Quote of the Week

[Martin] Scorsese was shaken. He went home, summoned his friends, [John] Milius, [Brian] DePalma, [Steven] Spielberg, to his house on Mulholland. “Can you come up here right away?”

“Why?” Spielberg asked.

“Well, it’s an emergency.” Spielberg jumped in his Mercedes and drove over from Laurel Canyon. “I had never seen  Marty so upset,” he recalls. “Verging on tears, but leaning toward rage. He shattered a glass Sparkletts bottle all over the kitchen floor. We were holding his arms, trying to calm him down, find out why he was so upset. He finally came out with the fact that Columbia had seen his movie [Taxi Driver], had hated the ending, and wanted him to take out all the violence, the entire shoot-out, to cut away from the splintering fingers and the blood spouting and puddling. They felt the film was bound for an X rating, and he was being forced to Disney-ize it. Eventually he began to tell us the story of an actor, Timothy Carey, when he was auditioning for Harry Cohn in the early ’50s. In the middle of his audition, he broke down and said, ‘This is so humiliating standing up here and acting for you people who know nothing about actors, nothing about my art,’ and he pulled out a gun and fired at the executives, full-load blanks, and then had trouble getting a job for years after that. That was his [Scorsese’s] fantasy. He pointed a finger at Stanley Jaffe, and said, ‘He’s the head of the studio, he’s the guy I’m angry at, so I’m gonna get a gun and shoot him.’ He wasn’t serious about it, but he was relishing the rage, and he wanted us to share his anger.”

Peter Biskind, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and Rock ‘N’ Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (Simon and Schuster, 1998)

Scorsese directing DeNiro in Taxi Driver

Scorsese directing Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver (1976)

Pic of the Day: “Head” revisited

Getting our week off to a weird start is another look at Head (1968), the only film outing by the “pre-fab four,” the Monkees. It was a failure at the box office, but now enjoys status as a cult favorite. Here we see Timothy in his third and final scene in the film, playing off his Western tough-guy reputation. I think that’s what’s going on here anyway.

Also, this has little to do with Tim, but I must take note of the passing this weekend of William Finley. A vastly underrated character actor, he was one of Brian DePalma‘s  favorite featured players. Among his films with DePalma are Sisters (1973), The Fury (1978), The Black Dahlia (2006), and most famously, The Phantom of the Paradise (1974). Like Timothy, he had a unique screen presence that captured your attention. He will be greatly missed. Rest well, Winslow.