Quote of the Week

Timothy Carey, best known for playing sometimes crazy, sometimes villainous, sometimes both characters in movies (Paths of Glory, The Killing, Beach Blanket Bingo) auditioned for the role of the gang boss [in Reservoir Dogs]. In an interview with Grover Lewis that eventually appeared in Film Comment (“Cracked Actor: Timothy Carey,” January/February 2004), Carey pinned his losing the role to Harvey Keitel: “Tarantino brought me in to read. He’d done a terrific script with my name on the top – ‘inspiration by Timothy Carey.’ Harvey Keitel didn’t want me on the show. He was afraid. I could tell when I walked in. He had the right to say yea or nay to any actor. Larry Tierney got the part. Larry’s a good friend of mine, and he called me up later and kind of apologized.” However, Carey failed to mention that, as seen on page 125 of Wensley Clarkson‘s book Quentin Tarantino: The Man, The Myths and His Movies [John Blake Publishing, 2007], the dedication on the script shows eight individuals – including himself and Tierney – a point that would come up with the next person who auditioned for the role [Robert Forster].

Dale Sherman, Quentin Tarantino FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Original Reservoir Dog; Hal Leonard Corporation, February 1, 2015

LT, Reservoir Dogs

LT in Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Pic of the Day: “Beach Blanket Bingo” revisited

Today we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of William Asher‘s Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)! And how we do that around here is by revisiting that pool-cue-slinging ne’er-do-well, South Dakota Slim. Slim has just been overcome by a cloud of chalk dust thoughtlessly propelled into the air by Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck).

Beach Blanket BingoBingo was the fourth in Asher’s beach opus quintet, which also includes Beach Party (1963), Muscle Beach Party (1964), Bikini Beach (1964), which includes Slim’s first appearance, and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965). We’ve just discovered that Asher first directed Timothy in an episode of Invitation Playhouse: Mind Over Murder entitled “The Last Act,” first airing on May 14, 1952. It’s at the top of my list of lost Careyana.

Quote of the Week

In the landscape of television, public access has always been the equivalent to the wild, wild west. You will see and hear things that you would never see on “regular” or “for pay” television. It’s a field that many an artist and personality has created and prospered in. One man that fits this bill oh so nicely is Art Fein and his long running Los Angeles access show, Art Fein’s Poker Party. Billed as a “rock & roll talk show” and running since 1984, Fein’s likable personality coupled with a history of stellar guests, including Brian Wilson, Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Richard Carpenter and the Legendary Stardust Cowboy have all helped make Poker Party a cult favorite. But like a Cajun dancing Elvis from Hell, it was one guest in particular that made Art Fein’s Poker Party history.

On June 12th, 1989, along with Paul Body, Richard Blackburn (director of Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural, a film I cannot recommend enough) and host Fein himself, was the man, Timothy Agoglia Carey. Carey, famous for his unforgettable turns in films like Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing and Paths of Glory, as well as John CassavetesThe Killing of a Chinese Bookie, had already long-earned the reputation of wild card by the time of this episode’s taping. This nearly six minutes of pure brazen gold plays out like a gift for anyone in the know of this not nearly heralded enough artist and true blue genius. In fact, it is so good that it is also a great introduction to the charisma and beautiful madness that was and forever is Timothy Carey for the uninitiated.

Here, Carey talks about his work with Cassavetes, as well as briefly his own film, the incomparable rock & roll religious parable of sorts, The World’s Greatest Sinner. Even better is Carey’s recollections of his work in both the campy AIP (American International Pictures) classic, Beach Blanket Bingo, as well as his last mainstream feature film, Echo Park. While neither description is entirely accurate, both actually would have made said films even better, between his talk of murder-by-bongos or women literally weeping from the painful indigestion after eating his character’s pizza. It makes one yearn for an entire universe as seen through Timothy-Carey-Vision. Dreaming is free but in the meantime, we at least thankfully have this great clip courtesy of Art Fein’s Poker Party.

Heather Drain, “World’s Greatest Sinner on Public Access: Cult Actor Timothy Carey on ‘Art Fein’s Poker Party’; Dangerous Minds (January 5, 2015)

Video of the Week: “Beach Blanket Bingo”

As temperatures plummet across the United States, and here in Portland we’re preparing for the possibility of our first snowstorm of the year, it seems only fitting that we start thinking about summer again. Here, then, is another one from the archives – South Dakota Slim’s big scene from Beach Blanket Bingo (1965). Timothy’s co-stars here are Linda Evans, Alberta Nelson, Myrna Ross, and a gigantic buzzsaw.

Enjoy and keep warm, bubies!

Pic of the Day: “Beach Blanket Bingo” revisited

Today I needed to see a pic of Timothy punching someone out. So here he is as South Dakota Slim from Beach Blanket Bingo (1965). He is protecting Sugar Kane (Linda Evans) at all costs, which is weird because minutes earlier he was attempting to cut her in half with a buzzsaw. A whack on the head will do that to you, I guess.

Beach Blanket Bingo

I’m not sure who the unfortunate punchee is. It’s been a week full of weirdness, and I just needed to see Tim sock it in the jaw. Carry on!

Timothy Carey, 65, A Character Actor

On this date twenty years ago, Timothy passed away. It’s hard to believe it’s been twenty years already. However, though his corporeal form has left us, his spirit remains, as vital and larger-than-life as ever. For someone I never actually met, he certainly has essentially taken over my life. And I’m perfectly fine with that. Here is his obituary, as it appeared in the New York Times on May 17, 1994.

Timothy Carey, 65, A Character Actor

Timothy Carey, a character actor whose films ranged from Paths of Glory and One-Eyed Jacks to 1960’s beach movies, died on Wednesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He was 65.

His son Romeo announced the death on Sunday and said the cause was a stroke.

Timothy Carey’s acting career began with a part in Billy Wilder‘s 1951 movie The Big Carnival [aka Ace in the Hole] and included more than 50 feature films and many television roles.

He often played a villain. Two of his most recognized roles were in Stanley Kubrick films, The Killing (1956) and Paths of Glory (1957). He acted in One-Eyed Jacks (1961) with Marlon Brando and in John CassavetesKilling of a Chinese Bookie (1976).

He also appeared in Bikini Beach (1964) and Beach Blanket Bingo (1965).

Mr. Carey wrote and directed himself in The World’s Greatest Sinner, in 1962.

In addition to his son Romeo, he is survived by his wife, Doris, and five other children, Mario, Velencia, Silvana, Dagmar and Germain.

Visiting Tim.

Me visiting Tim, 2011.

Timothy and his mother, Ida Agoglia Carey

And since it’s Mother’s Day, here’s Tim and his mom.