We close the week with another look at the handout-seeking tramp of Curtis Harrington‘s What’s the Matter with Helen? (1971). It’s a very brief appearance for Timothy, but Harrington imagined no one else in the role and insisted he be cast.
This week’s video is the trailer for Curtis Harrington‘s favorite of all of his films, What’s the Matter with Helen? (1971). Timothy is briefly glimpsed as the panhandling bum who gives Debbie Reynolds quite a scare.
Today we take another look at the Baretta episode “Set Up City”, directed by Curtis Harrington. It first aired on October 29, 1975. Grumpy jewel thief Joe Dineen inspects the swag from his latest heist.
Sure would be nice if the powers-that-be could get around to finally releasing subsequent seasons of Baretta on DVD (the first season is the only one commercially available). Then Timothy could get rid of that silly SUN TV logo that keeps showing up on his clothes.
Today we revisit Curtis Harrington‘s What’s the Matter with Helen? (1971), a gem of a film if ever there was one. Harrington, a humongous Careyphile, insisted on Timothy for the brief but memorable role of the bedraggled tramp who hits up Debbie Reynolds for a hand-out in Depression-era Hollywood.
I am currently reading and greatly enjoying Harrington’s long-awaited (and posthumous, unfortunately for us) autobiography, Nice Guys Don’t Work in Hollywood: The Adventures of an Aesthete in the Movie Business. In fact, I’ve already used a couple of his observations about Tim for Quotes of the Week. Please do yourselves a favor and check out this book (and his short film collection while you’re at it); I predict you won’t be disappointed!
Very sad to hear of the death yesterday of Larry D. Mann, age 91. He was the Canadian character actor perhaps best known as the voice of Yukon Cornelius in the television Christmas classic Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964). He received a memorable manhandling from Timothy as T-Bone, the unfortunate used car salesman, in the Baretta episode “Set Up City” (10.29.75).
“There’s a scene in ‘Set Up City’ where Timothy roughs up a used car salesman,” the episode’s director, Curtis Harrington, told Penny Blood magazine. “Timothy was a bit out of control because he really hurt the other actor who later sued through the Screen Actors’ Guild.” I have no doubt that it was a case of Tim not knowing his own strength and not meaning any deliberate harm. We wish Mann peaceful rest and thank him for letting us know that “Bumbles bounce!”
To give [Robert] Blake his due, he was one of the few people who would allow me to hire my favorite bogeyman, Timothy Carey, and so again I had the pleasure of working with this incorrigible madman. This time, Timothy got a bit too out of control and actually hurt a fellow actor in a scene where he was beating him up. He also did a number of improvisational riffs on his dialogue that I found utterly fascinating but which may not have been appreciated by the producers. As usual with Timothy, the network insisted on cutting many of these bits of eccentric behavior that made him such a unique and refreshing presence on the screen. How the network executives hated the unconventional and the unexpected, and how equally they loved their comfortable little groove of mediocrity!
– Curtis Harrington, writing about the Baretta episode “Set Up City” (1975), from Nice Guys Don’t Work In Hollywood: The Adventures of an Aesthete in the Movie Business (Drag City Incorporated, 2013)
Our pic of the day is another one from the Curtis Harrington-directed Baretta episode “Set Up City.” It was first broadcast on October 29, 1975. Ill-tempered jewel thief Joe Dineen shows his displeasure with explosives expert Jake Hatch (Charles Durning) threatening to blow them all to smithereens, while a nervous Larry Block looks on.
Block was a familiar character actor in films and on television since the early 1970s. He also did frequent stage work and wrote poetry. Unfortunately he passed away last October.
I had my heart set on Timothy Carey to play the tramp who asks Debbie [Reynolds] for a handout [in What’s the Matter with Helen? (1971)]. He was notoriously difficult to deal with and had an aggressive personality that frightened many people. Most producers didn’t want to work with him, but to the many creative directors who loved him – like Kazan, Cassavetes, and Kubrick – he was unique and irreplaceable. I was one of those directors. I ordered Caro [Jones, casting director] to offer him the part and make a deal with him. Still, there were a few sticky moments. One day she called me in terror to tell me that Timothy had warned her that he owned some vicious dogs and that if he didn’t get the part he would let them loose on her! I calmed her down and she made the deal.
Today it’s time for another look at the Curtis Harrington-directed shocker What’s the Matter with Helen? (1971). Timothy is briefly but memorably seen as a panhandling tramp in 1930s Hollywood. Here he thanks Adelle (Debbie Reynolds) and her beau Linc Palmer (Dennis Weaver) for their generosity and for “giving a damn.”
Tim had worked with both Reynolds and Weaver previously – with Reynolds in The Second Time Around (1961), and with Weaver in the Gunsmoke episode “The Gentleman” (6.7.58). He would work with him again the following year in the McCloud episode “Fifth Man in a String Quartet” (2.2.72). If Tim hadn’t been fired from Ralph Nelson‘s Duel at Diablo (1966), that would have made four times he’d worked with Weaver.