Tonight is opening night for the Portland edition of I Wake Up Dreaming, the excellent film noir fest curated by Elliot Lavine for nearly thirty years in San Francisco. Seven days and nights of film noir at Cinema 21! I’m thrilled to report that one of the films shown on the fest’s final day, March 23rd, will be Stanley Kubrick‘s classic heist thriller The Killing (1956), the film that truly brought Timothy to the attention of the film world. I’m also thrilled to report that I will be catching a few words on video with Mr. Lavine this weekend! If you’re in town, don’t you dare miss this stellar presentation! I may even try to do a quick Facebook Live video tonight, just to test it out. See you there!
Tim Carey’s total face time in film noir probably doesn’t add up to an hour, if that. But oh, what a face! That uber-creepy countenance and mad-genius acting methodology make almost all of his performances unforgettable. It certainly seems that Carey commanded far more camera time than he actually did.
Grossly underutilized by Hollywood primarily due to the erratic off-screen behavior that made his off-kilter characters so powerful and edgy on screen, Timothy Agoglia Carey was more than just one of a kind. He was a brother from another planet, somehow uniquely appealing and captivating – even lovable, his ever-expanding number of cult followers might submit – in spite (or because) of the grotesque, unbalanced, and downright bizarre characters he played.
Here’s another one from the archives. It’s Timothy’s pivotal scene from John Flynn‘s The Outfit (1973), with a crackling screenplay by Flynn from Donald Westlake‘s novel. Tim’s ill-tempered gangster Jake Menner learns a hard lesson from bent-on-vengeance Earl Macklin (Robert Duvall).
One of Tim’s best performances in a stellar tribute to film noir. Don’t miss it!
We were saddened to learn today of the passing of Coleen Gray, a delicate beauty who became one of film noir‘s brightest lights (how’s that for a paradox?). The only film in which she appeared with Timothy (not together on-screen, unfortunately) was Stanley Kubrick‘s The Killing (1956). She also made her mark in Nightmare Alley (1947), Kiss of Death (1947), and Kansas City Confidential (1952). By all accounts she was one of the nicest women you could hope to meet in the City of Angels. We wish her peaceful rest.
Crime Wave (1954), also known as The City is Dark, is one of the greatest examples of film noir that we have. Directed by Andre’ De Toth, it’s got a docudrama feel; the script is tight and snappy; the cinematography is crisp, perfect black and white; the editing is stellar; the cast is amazing; and the characterizations are top-notch. It was shot in 1952 but not released until 1954. Timothy’s giggling hop-head Johnny doesn’t appear until the final half hour or so, but he nonetheless manages to walk away with the film quite handily. He must have really annoyed some of the higher-ups behind the scenes, for he received no screen credit for what can truly be considered his breakout role. Here he is making his intentions toward Ellen Lacey (Phyllis Kirk) unmistakably clear.
When I visited Tim’s studio in El Monte in July, there was a still on the wall from this film, showing Johnny kissing Ellen full on the lips. This shot is wisely not in the film; to me the menace is more effective if he doesn’t actually follow through, or at least is not shown doing so. But it may, however, provide a clue as to why the part is uncredited. As Tim wrote in his remembrance of James Dean, “I affected a twitch like a narcotics addict, I turned on a low, sensual, half-crazy laugh, gritted my teeth and dug my hands into her shoulders – just like the creep I was portraying would have done in real life. But Phyllis wasn’t impressed with my realism. She found me too convincing. She broke and got hysterical. I had to go apologize to her, although I don’t know what I was apologizing for.”
I wasn’t going to post anything today, but then this pic came up on my screen saver and I simply couldn’t resist. Customs agent Benny Coughlin salutes his old Army CO turned private detective Milt Lassitor (Michael C. Gwynne) in Steve De Jarnatt‘s unreleased short homage to film noir, Tarzana (1978).
This fabulous little flick should be available for purchase very soon. Watch this space!
Inspired by the awesome folks at the Fans of Timothy Carey group on Facebook, today’s pic takes another look at The Outfit (1973), directed by John Flynn (Rolling Thunder ). I am particularly digging everyone’s color-coordinated outfits here.
This is a great film that recalls the film noir classics of the past and gathers together many of its icons – not only Tim is here, but also Robert Ryan, Elisha Cook, Jr., Marie Windsor, and Jane Greer. There’s even a cameo by the great jazz chanteuse Anita O’Day. Don’t miss this one!