Video of the Week: “Kidnap”

Well look what I found on Dailymotion! The full length CHiPs episode “Kidnap,” first broadcast on January 26, 1980. Most definitely one of Timothy’s most eccentric performances.

Tim’s cohort in crime here is Warren Berlinger, another venerable character actor born in Brooklyn (with the same birthday as me!). He’s been all over the big and small screens since the late 1950s. He is also Milton Berle‘s nephew!

Quote of the Week

Modern hipsters didn’t invent the cult actor. Oh, we might all feel really cool raving about icons like Christopher Walken or newcomers like Michael Shannon. There’s still a long history of weirdo artists infiltrating our movie theaters and living rooms. Just consider the epic strangeness of Timothy Carey. He maintained a perfectly normal career as a character actor right through the 1980s. In fact, Carey would’ve managed one more great role if he’d passed Quentin Tarantino’s audition to play the crime boss in 1992’s Reservoir Dogs. Tarantino cast veteran oddball actor Lawrence Tierney instead. The director dedicated Reservoir Dogs to a list of idols that included Carey, though. That was nice–especially since Carey would pass away in 1994.

But why would Tarantino dedicate his first feature to a guy who’d shown up in mainstream TV shows like Starsky & Hutch, Charlie’s Angels, and CHiPs? That’s because Carey was far more than a character actor. He was a beatnik visionary and a true wild man. The young actor first made a name for himself by stealing a scene from Marlon Brando in the pioneering biker epic The Wild One. Carey didn’t even get billing, but the hulking actor with the basso voice was soon being used as a heavy by all kinds of directors. He gave one of his most compelling performances as a crazed Cajun in 1957’s Bayou, where he contributed to a sleazy atmosphere that kept the movie playing the drive-in circuit well into the ’70s.

Stanley Kubrick cast Carey in memorable roles for both The Killing and Paths of Glory, and a lot of other directors–including John Cassavetes–loved Carey’s knack for crazed improvisation. That was the kind of Hollywood connection that got Carey playing parts in three episodes of Columbo. Other directors, however, couldn’t tolerate Carey’s maniacal Method acting.

Carey did a lot to sabotage his own career, too. He turned down roles in The Godfather and The Godfather Part II–and walked off the set of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation. That’s three less classics in Carey’s weird filmography, but he found time to appear in Chesty Anderson, U.S. Navy and the Joe Don Baker epic Speedtrap. To be fair, Chesty Anderson gave Carey the freedom to let loose with one of his more amazing performances.

Carey also wrote and directed himself to an amazing role in 1962’s The World’s Greatest Sinner–which was pretty much forgotten for most of Carey’s career. Originally, the film’s legend was kept alive by some musical contributions from Frank Zappa. Then Sinner began to build a bigger reputation as Carey’s own careening genius built his own cult. It’s an amazing film, and was recently restored and is now available to the masses. There’s no other movie like it.

Speedtrap

Pic of the Day: “Kidnap”

Finally, it’s here! Today’s pic is from the just-released-to-video CHiPs episode “Kidnap,” first broadcast on January 26, 1980. Timothy is a ne’er-do-well by the name of Solkin, who, along with his partner in crime Bickel (Warren Berlinger), is on his way to court to face a number of charges. Needless to say, things go awry from there.

Kidnap - 1980

This episode was directed by Gordon Hessler, who had previously directed Tim in the Kung Fu episode “Ambush” (4.4.75). Unfortunately Tim doesn’t get too much to do here other than drive a Rolls-Royce, but he does get some good line reads in. I had forgotten how enjoyably silly this series could be. Check it out!

In Search Of, Redux

Yesterday we received the exciting news that Season 3 of CHiPS has finally been released on DVD. That means that we will soon have Timothy’s episode “Kidnap” in our hot little hands and will be posting screencaps ASAP.  So in that spirit, I’ve decided to repost an edited version of this post from last year that details all of Timothy’s work that I have yet to discover. I have removed the CHiPS episode and added a couple of new entries. As always, your help in obtaining these is more than welcome. Here we go…

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As awesome as it would have been for Timothy to have shown up in an episode of that Leonard Nimoy-hosted “mysterious mysteries” series, this post isn’t about that. Instead, as mentioned yesterday, I’m going to list Timothy’s film and television appearances that I have yet to acquire on DVD. I have a want list up for most of these over at ioffer.com, but just in case any of you lovely people have any leads on where one might get ahold of “collector to collector” copies of these, I thought I would present them here. So, in chronological order, let’s start our search:

1. Chevron Theatre: “The Survey Man” (1952)

A brand-new addition to Tim’s IMDb page, although his presence in it is listed as “unconfirmed.” Season 1, episode 16; directed by the great Norman Lloyd. First broadcast on April 18, 1952, which would make this his earliest recorded performance on record, if indeed he is in it.

2. Invitation Playhouse: Mind Over Murder: “The Last Act” (1952)

Here’s another new one that has appeared on Tim’s IMDb page since I made the original post a year ago. Directed by William Asher, who later directed Tim in the Beach Party films. Additional cast includes Gene Roth, veteran of several Bert I. Gordon films, and former silent star Claire Windsor.

Gang Busters

3. Gang Busters: “The Tri-State Gang” (1952)

My hubby wrote about this one here a while back. It hasn’t been added to Tim’s IMDb page, but it really should be as its existence is well documented. A two-parter from season 1, first airing on November 9 and November 27, 1952. It’s out there somewhere.

Death Valley Days

4. Death Valley Days: “Cynthy’s Dream Dress” (1953)

Season 1, episode 9. This is another recent addition. It was first broadcast on March 3, 1953. Ed Wood stalwart Lyle Talbot is in it too!

Cowboy in Africa

5. Cowboy in Africa: “The Red Hand of Michael O’Neill” (1968)

Season 1, episode 19; first broadcast on February 5, 1968. Portraying Tim’s daughter is Bonnie Beecher, who later became Mrs. Wavy Gravy!

The Outsider

6. The Outsider: “For Members Only” (1968)

Pilot episode of the series, first airing on September 18, 1968. Star Darren McGavin met his future wife Kathie Browne while filming this episode.

The Name of the Game

7. The Name of the Game: “Aquarius Descending” (1970)

Season 3, episode 13. The second of two episodes of the series in which Tim appears, this one was first broadcast on December 11, 1970. He plays a character who goes by the intriguing name of “Desert Rat.”

Toma

8. Toma: “A Funeral for Max Fabian” (1974)

Season 1, episode 13; first broadcast on February 22, 1974. It’s listed as “A Funeral for Max Berlin” on IMDb, but numerous other sources list it as “Max Fabian” (oddly enough, the name of the put-upon theatrical producer portrayed by Gregory Ratoff in All About Eve [1950]), so I’m going with that. Based on the real-life adventures of undercover cop David Toma, the series was retooled after one season and became Baretta, after star Tony Musante refused to sign on for another season. Which leads us to…

Baretta

9. Baretta: “The Marker” (1978)

Season 4, episode 16; first broadcast on February 16, 1978. The last of Tim’s four appearances in the series. From reading the brief plot synopses found around the internet, I have a feeling Tim’s character is particularly heinous in this one.

Hollywood Knight/MidKnight RiderHollywood Knight/Hard Knocks

10. Hard Knocks (1979)

This one’s a puzzle.  It’s been released under several titles, including Hollywood Knight, Mid’Knight Rider, Mid-Knight Rider and Mid Night Man. An online version can be found here (Warning: The first part of the film is NSFW). It’s not very good, and I sat through the whole thing – no Timothy to be seen. So either there’s a version out there with him in it, or there’s another film by that name with him in it. Not a clue.

And there you have it! Man, that took forever. Thanks, everyone!

In Search Of…

As awesome as it would have been for Timothy to have shown up in an episode of that Leonard Nimoy-hosted “mysterious mysteries” series, this post isn’t about that. Instead, as mentioned yesterday, I’m going to list Timothy’s television appearances that I have yet to acquire on DVD. I have a want list up for most of these over at ioffer.com, but just in case any of you lovely people have any leads on where one might get ahold of “collector to collector” copies of these, I thought I would present them here. So, in chronological order, let’s start our search:

1. Chevron Theatre: “The Survey Man” (1952)

A brand-new addition to Tim’s IMDB page, although his presence in it is listed as “unconfirmed.” Season 1, episode 16; directed by the great Norman Lloyd. First broadcast on April 18, 1952, which would make this his earliest recorded performance on record, if indeed he is in it.

Gang Busters

2. Gang Busters: “The Tri-State Gang” (1952)

My hubby wrote about this one here a while back. It hasn’t been added to Tim’s IMDb page, but it really should be as its existence is well documented. A two-parter from season 1, first airing on November 9 and November 27, 1952. It’s out there somewhere.

Death Valley Days

3. Death Valley Days: “Cynthy’s Dream Dress” (1953)

Season 1, episode 9. This is another recent addition. It was first broadcast on March 3, 1953. Ed Wood stalwart Lyle Talbot is in it too!

Cowboy in Africa

4. Cowboy in Africa: “The Red Hand of Michael O’Neill” (1968)

Season 1, episode 19; first broadcast on February 5, 1968. Portraying Tim’s daughter is Bonnie Beecher, who later became Mrs. Wavy Gravy!

The Outsider

5. The Outsider: “For Members Only” (1968)

Pilot episode of the series, first airing on September 18, 1968. Star Darren McGavin met his future wife Kathie Browne while filming this episode.

The Name of the Game

6. The Name of the Game: “Aquarius Descending” (1970)

Season 3, episode 13. The second of two episodes of the series in which Tim appears, this one was first broadcast on December 11, 1970. He plays a character who goes by the intriguing name of “Desert Rat.”

Toma

7. Toma: “A Funeral for Max Fabian” (1974)

Season 1, episode 13; first broadcast on February 22, 1974. It’s listed as “A Funeral for Max Berlin” on IMDb, but numerous other sources list it as “Max Fabian” (oddly enough, the name of the put-upon theatrical producer portrayed by Gregory Ratoff in All About Eve [1950]), so I’m going with that. Based on the real-life adventures of undercover cop David Toma, the series was retooled after one season and became Baretta, after star Tony Musante refused to sign on for another season. Which leads us to…

Baretta

8. Baretta: “The Marker” (1978)

Season 4, episode 16; first broadcast on February 16, 1978. The last of Tim’s four appearances in the series. From reading the brief plot synopses found around the internet, I have a feeling Tim’s character is particularly heinous in this one. And finally…

CHiPs

9. CHiPs: “Kidnap” (1980)

Season 3, episode 18; first aired January 26, 1980. Directed by recently-deceased Gordon Hessler, who also directed Tim in the Kung Fu episode “Ambush” (4.4.75). Also appearing is our favorite Klingon, Michael Dorn, in his first regular role in a television series.

And there you have it! Man, that took forever. Thanks, everyone!

Quote of the Week

This is from the extras (Film Noir Web, disc 2) on the Reservoir Dogs (1992) tenth anniversary special edition DVD 2-disc set. The Kazan and Brando stories are apocryphal; Timothy always denied they took place. Also, Tim passed away not on his own birthday (March 11), but on the birthday of one of his heroes, Salvador Dali.

TIMOTHY (William) CAREY (1929-1994)

A lanky, saturnine character actor most famous for his work with Stanley Kubrick in PATHS OF GLORY… and most infamous for being the only man director Elia Kazan ever physically attacked on-set. Marlon Brando stabbed Carey with a pen on the set of ONE-EYED JACKS. John Cassavetes, who cast Carey in THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE, declared that the actor had “the brilliance of Eisenstein” – after Carey put Cassavetes in a padded suit and turned an attack dog loose on him, during the actor/director’s first visit to his home.

Carey’s six-foot-five stature and laconic demeanor served him well in a number of tough-guy and character bits, and he later become a television regular on such shows as MANNIX, BARETTA, ELLERY QUEEN and CHiPS. He was apprehended scaling the fence at 20th Century-Fox in full armor, just to audition for PRINCE VALIANT, and later faked his own kidnapping while in Germany, during the shooting of PATHS OF GLORY.

His magnum opus was THE WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER (1962) – made nearly single-handedly over three years and released in 1962. Carey wrote the story of an insurance salesman who goes into politics and develops a God complex, then directed and starred. It featured a score by iconoclastic genius Frank Zappa. A second feature, TWEET’S LADIES OF PASADENA, remained in production from 1972 onward (Carey turned down a role in THE GODFATHER to work on it), but was never completed.

Carey also appeared in Kubrick’s THE KILLING, EAST OF EDEN, CRIME WAVE, and THE OUTFIT.

He died of a stroke on his own birthday, May 11, 1994.

Cassavetes directing Tim in The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)

Pic of the Day: “Angels on Ice” revisited

Today we revisit Timothy’s vaguely Russian/Middle Eastern gang leader in “Angels on Ice,” the Charlie’s Angels episode that first aired on September 21, 1977. He has just come to the realization that the rather awkward belly dancer who has been entertaining him and his gang is, in fact, that pesky spy girl Kelly (Jaclyn Smith).

Angels on Ice - 1977

Timothy built up quite a roster of guest appearances on television during the 1970’s – Charlie’s Angels, CHiPs, Baretta, Ellery Queen, the list goes on. Each one was given the unmistakable Carey treatment; he never just walked through a role, no matter how small. He once said that each role he played could very well be his last, so why not strive to make it his best? Why not, indeed.