Happy Father’s Day!

Wishing all you dads out there a wonderful Father’s Day! Among the many virtues of this day is the opportunity I get to post this great pic once again. It’s Timothy, his wife Doris and their six young’uns, from the early 1970s. It accompanied the article “Timothy Carey: The World’s Greatest Director!” by Harvey F. Chartrand in Filmfax Plus magazine #102 (April/June 2004).

From the Filmfax Plus #102 articleHappy day, dads, fathers and father figures!

Quote of the Week

Since then, Le Petomane has become the stuff of legend. His story became a comic strip in a 1975 issue of Apple Pie magazine and the better part of a 1976 comic book called The Compleat Fart, both of which featured him farting on the cover. In the 1980s, writer-character actor Timothy Carey, with assistance from painter Salvador Dali, invoked the figure and the “let-it-all-out” consciousness of Le Petomane during a murder trial (a man accidentally killed a woman when he farted) in a bizarre stage play called The Insect Trainer, subtitled Le Pet. While casting the play, Carey told Filmfax magazine, “I’d take a big fart in front of [the actors]. That’s always a big help. I always thought if you really want to be a good actor, you’ve got to be able to fart in public.”

Jim Dawson, Who Cut the Cheese?: A Cultural History of the Fart; Ten Speed Press, 1998

The Insect Trainer

Quote of the Week

FAX: Is a cult forming around Timothy Carey?

CAREY: Oh yes, there is no doubt about that. I get e-mail from around the world from people who are just now discovering him. My dad was always pretty famous. As kids, we couldn’t go anywhere with him that he wouldn’t be recognized. He is remembered because he was a great actor who appeared in some landmark films, like Paths of Glory and The Killing. He made his own films, which influenced other independent filmmakers. It all comes down to originality. Someone as iconoclastic as my father resonates down the generations. It’s a mystery why he is becoming more popular since his death, but I think there’s a whole pirated underground of [The World’s Greatest] Sinner tapes out there. There are regular screenings of Sinner in Brooklyn that attract a thousand people per screening. There are Tim Carey film festivals in Chicago, San Francisco, even Australia! For a guy who did what he did in his little way, it’s pretty impressive. It just goes to show, if you put the right kind of energy into something, it doesn’t go away.

Romeo Carey, “Carrying On in the Family Tradition”, interview by Harvey F. Chartrand; Filmfax Plus #102 (April/June 2004)

From the Filmfax Plus #102 article

Happy Father’s Day!

Quote of the Week

Carey’s true nature, belying his odious on-screen behavior, came out in the easygoing way he talked about the many leads he’s worked with, actors who’ve routinely – and literally – kicked him around. He was given the cold shoulder by Robert Ryan on Alaska Seas (1954), “cursed and stomped on” by Richard Widmark during The Last Wagon (1956), and kicked in the ribs by Karl Malden during the filming of Marlon Brando‘s One-Eyed Jacks (1961) – to name only a few instances! When asked to reflect on these incidents, a sad fondness crept into Carey’s voice as he had nothing but praise for the many actors whose resentfulness instilled in him a real martyrdom rather than bitterness: “I’ve been fired from several shows. I’m not proud of it, but I do hold the all-time record.”

Ara Corbett, “Rebels With a Cause: The Timothy Carey-John Cassavetes Partnership”; Filmfax magazine #56 (May/June 1996)

One-Eyed Jacks

Karl Malden literally kicks Timothy’s ass in a scene that didn’t make the final cut of One-Eyed Jacks

Happy Father’s Day!

Wishing all you dads out there a wonderful Father’s Day! Among the many virtues of this day is the opportunity I get to post this great pic once again. It’s Timothy, his wife Doris and their six young’uns, from the early 1970s. It accompanied the article “Timothy Carey: The World’s Greatest Director!” by Harvey F. Chartrand in Filmfax Plus magazine #102 (April/June 2004).

From the Filmfax Plus #102 article

Have a great day, dads!

Quote of the Week

“My personal opinion is that [The World’s Greatest] Sinner is very unusual,” [Gil] Barreto observes. “Nobody else but Tim would have dared to make a movie like that. Very controversial, especially when Tim pierces the host (to make God cry out in pain and reveal Himself). Tim’s acting was good, but it was very strange.”

Carey changed during the filming, Barreto reports, truly becoming the character he was portraying. Clarence Hilliard starts out sweet and loving and becomes a wicked man. Barreto recalls, “At first, I only had a few lines, but Tim was so nasty to the bit players that they started quitting the picture. As they disappeared, Tim kept giving me their lines, until I had a big supporting role. Tim became God Hilliard, and we really had God in person on the set. It was very difficult to be with Tim at times.”

Nothing would deflect Carey from bringing his vision to the screen. The result is there for all to see: a crazed B-movie, insane, disturbing, and provocative, fueled by rage and passion.

– Harvey F. Chartrand, “Timothy Carey: The World’s Greatest Director!”, Filmfax Plus magazine #102 (April/June 2004)

photo from Film Comment

 

Quote of the Week

Timmy always seemed to have a project going, but I guess that’s par for the course with creative personalities. I don’t recall the origins of The World’s Greatest Sinner. He wanted to combine religion and politics in a film and do something a little different about a self-made type of person who becomes a big celebrity. He had a production book. I wonder if it’s still around. It explains the plot in quite a lot of detail.

The World’s Greatest Sinner was 20 years ahead of its time. The religious aspect upset the studio heads. People who could have advanced the film were anxious, because they thought the public would condemn it as blasphemous, although I don’t think The World’s Greatest Sinner is irreligious, compared to films today. The character of Clarence Hilliard is redeemed in the end. And Timmy had such a shoestring budget to work with… that didn’t help.

Most of the film was shot in El Monte, California, where Timmy lived. One very amusing scene had Timmy standing on a pile of fertilizer as he was campaigning. He had a big guitar in his hand and he was running for office, talking to the crowds, making a political speech. And the camera pans down and we see that Timmy is standing on a great big pile of cow manure. (laughs) I thought that was a funny touch. That was very good!

I remember that day. Timmy was positioning all the people. They were just local people who were acting in the scene. Timmy had a few professional actors working on the picture with him, like the guy who played his campaign manager (James Farley) and Gil Barreto (who played Clarence’s disciple). I don’t think anybody other than Timmy had any significant credits, though. The World’s Greatest Sinner was all improvised. I don’t remember Timmy ever working from a script.

I went to a few screenings of The World’s Greatest Sinner. I saw the film in Manhattan. Timmy brought it to New York and showed it in several screening rooms, trying to get some film companies interested. But they were all turned off and scared by the religious aspect. But The World’s Greatest Sinner does conclude with a miracle, a church scene where Clarence Hilliard begs forgiveness. He has remorse for the type of person he was and seeks redemption. The problem was with the blasphemous stuff that came before. Not too many people could handle that. It was too ahead of its time.

Interview with Timothy’s brother George Carey by Harvey F. Chartrand, unpublished Filmfax article, 2003

The World's Greatest Sinner