We kick off the week a day late (sorry about that) with another look at Hugo, the silent, lumbering castle henchman of Francis in the Haunted House (1956), directed by Charles Lamont. Open the door – close the door. That’s all Hugo does all day.
Lamont’s directing career began in the silent era and continued full steam ahead until the late 1950s. He directed, produced and/or wrote scores of shorts and features, specializing in comedies starring the likes of Abbott and Costello and Ma and Pa Kettle. While directing the musical short War Babies (1932), he was so impressed with the talent of one little 4 year old that he brought her out of the chorus and put her into the spotlight. Her name was Shirley Temple. Lamont directed her again in several more shorts over the next few years.
Horvath was one of the top stuntmen in Hollywood, brawling his way through countless films and television shows from the late 1940s until his death in 1978. He and Timothy had uncredited roles in Joseph M. Newman‘s The Gunfight at Dodge City (1959). And like Tim, he worked with John Cassavetes late in his career, in A Woman Under the Influence (1974).
Today’s pic is the last good shot of Timothy as Hugo, hulking castle minion, that you will see in Francis in the Haunted House (1956), directed by hard-working Charles Lamont. The spooky goings-on clearly have Hugo flummoxed.
Mickey Rooney admitted in his autobiography that he has no memories about making this film. How could he forget working with Tim??? Here’s another of Timothy’s films that needs a proper DVD release, but is available for immediate viewing on Amazon Instant Video.
Our video for this week is the trailer for Francis in the Haunted House (1956), directed by Charles Lamont. See Tim as as Hugo, silent lumbering servant of the castle, literally getting his butt kicked by Francis the Talking Mule! Francis is voiced by the great Paul Frees, whom Timothy would later hire to provide the silky smooth seductive tones of The Snake in The World’s Greatest Sinner (1962).
Timothy’s IMDb filmography also has him listed as appearing in another Francis film, Francis in the Navy (1955), as “Auctioneer’s Helper (uncredited).” I have seen the film several times, watched the one auction scene carefully, and I do not see him anywhere. Unless there is compelling evidence that he is indeed in the film, I believe it should be removed from Tim’s filmography until such evidence, if any, can be presented.