Pic of the Day: “What’s the Matter with Helen?” revisited

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.

What's the Matter with Helen? (1971)Don’t miss What’s the Matter with Helen? on Turner Classic Movies this Sunday, April 26!

Video of the Week: “What’s the Matter with Helen?” trailer

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.

Also featured are Shelley Winters, Dennis Weaver, Pamelyn Ferdin (quintessential child star of the ’60s and ’70s and the voice of Lucy in most of the early Charlie Brown television specials), and the flamboyant Irish theatrical powerhouse Micheál MacLiammóir. Harrington was a proud Careyphile and spoke highly of Tim in his autobiography. Enjoy!

Pic of the Day: “Set Up City” revisited

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.

Set Up City - 1975

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.

Pic of the Day: “What’s The Matter With Helen?” revisited

Our pic today takes another gander at Curtis Harrington‘s What’s The Matter With Helen? (1971). Glamorous dance teacher Adelle (Debbie Reynolds) answers a knock at the door, thinking it’s her date (Dennis Weaver). It isn’t.

What's The Matter With Helen?

As we know, Harrington was very fond of Timothy, calling him “my favorite bogeyman”. They worked together once more after this film, in the Baretta episode “Set Up City” (10.29.75).

Pic of the Day: “What’s the Matter with Helen?” revisited

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.

What's the Matter with Helen? (1971)

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!

Larry D. Mann 1922 – 2014

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).

Set Up City - 1975

“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!”

Quote of the Week

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)

Set Up City - 1975