Turner Classic Movies seems to be in the middle of a beach party movie marathon today. They will be showing Bikini Beach (1964) and Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) very shortly, so get those DVRs fired up! You don’t want to miss a minute of South Dakota Slim and his antics. See you at the bubbie house, bubbies!
In films since 1952, character actor Timothy Carey gained a cult following for his uncompromising portrayals of sadistic criminals, drooling lechers, and psycho killers. His definitive screen moment occurred in Stanley Kubrick‘s The Killing (1956), in which, as two-bit hoodlum Nikki Arcane, he gleefully shot down a race horse. Kubrick used Carey again in Paths of Glory (1957), this time in the sympathetic role of condemned prisoner Private Ferol. Equally impressed by Carey’s work was director John Cassavetes, who gave the actor a leading role in The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976). In 1965, Carey spoofed his unsavory screen image in Beach Blanket Bingo, playing leather-jacketed cyclist South Dakota Slim, who expresses his affection for leading lady Linda Evans by strapping her to a buzz saw. He went on to menace the Monkees in Head (1968), bellowing out incomprehensible imprecations as Davy, Mike, Micky and Peter cowered in confused terror. One of his juiciest film roles was as a rock-singing evangelist in The World’s Greatest Sinner (1962), which he also produced, directed, and wrote. In his later years, Timothy Carey occasionally occupied his time as an acting teacher.
– Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide (accessed 04/13/2014)
Well, this one is, shall we say, different. It’s a weird little rockabilly tune that samples some of Timothy’s dialogue from Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) and Head (1968). And that’s about it.
Sorry folks, this is the best I could come up with this week. Enjoy!
In the midst of freezing temperatures across the nation (and it’s not even officially winter yet), let’s take a trip back to the beach and those carefree days of summer. Except that we’ll be stuck in a pool hall. Our pic today is from Beach Blanket Bingo (1965), the second film in which Timothy appears as that pool-cue-slinging ne’er-do-well South Dakota Slim. Here he forces himself to be polite to vapid pop singer Sugar Kane (Linda Evans), under the insistence of Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) and his gang.
She looks so girlish and sweet here – it’s hard to believe this is the same Linda Evans who would achieve fame in the ’80s on Dynasty. Well, you gotta start somewhere!
Timothy Agoglia Carey was born Timothy William Carey in 1924 [sic; actually 1929]. And it was all uphill from there. A hulk at 6-foot-4, the man was born to play every weird, menacing background figure any movie ever needed. Often, he was called upon to do just that. Carey’s anarchistic and sometimes violent sense of whimsy wouldn’t allow him to just stand there behind the big names and glower. Too much kinetic energy bound up; it got released. […]
A polarizing figure both onscreen and off, Carey could be intimidating by just saying “Hello.” His reputation for unpredictability kept him from being cast in big movies (Spartacus, The Grifters, Reservoir Dogs – Tarantino dedicated the script to him) and got him into trouble with others – he and Elia Kazan almost came to blows on East of Eden (the actual fight is apocryphal); Richard Widmark and Karl Malden both did their own improvising during fight scenes with Carey in The Last Wagon and One-Eyed Jacks respectively, making sure that punches and kicks were not pulled. Also on One-Eyed Jacks, Brando got his revenge for the beer gag [in The Wild One] by stabbing Carey with a pen.
But those who were friends with him, good friends, were friends until the end. Longtime buddy John Cassavetes, who cast Carey in Minnie and Moskowitz and The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, considered him to be a genius on a par with Sergei Eisenstein. Carey’s loyalty to Cassavetes led him to turn down the role of Luca Brazzi in The Godfather. […]
In Head, he played Lord High ‘n’ Low, the representation of everything evil in marketing, who tried to get the Monkees to sell their sweat and nail clippings. In Fast-Walking, he played the towering lunatic inmate Bullet. And in Beach Blanket Bingo, he played South Dakota Slim, who straps Linda Evans to a buzzsaw. Maybe you don’t know the name (even I have to confess that for years I confused him with both Timothy Leary and Professor Irwin Corey), but you know who he is. The face’ll get ya every time.
As summer wanes, we once again revisit Beach Blanket Bingo (1965), thanks to the fine folks at Movieclips.com. Here’s the end of the film, as South Dakota Slim battles all comers in defense of Sugar Kane (Linda Evans), who looks really confused. The day is saved by Frankie Avalon – we have no trouble giving him all the credit. Huzzah!
Also, Paul Lynde!!!!
The kind folks over at Movieclips.com have added several clips from Timothy’s films to YouTube, so today before the summer’s over, we present one of South Dakota Slim’s defining moments from William Asher‘s Beach Blanket Bingo (1965).
Having very strong second thoughts about their plan to get rid of the annoyingly perky Sugar Kane (Linda Evans) are Rat Pack gals Puss (Alberta Nelson) and Boots (Myrna Ross). Slim, however, is having the time of his life. Enjoy the insanity, bubbies!