On the Occasion of Sterling Hayden’s 100th Birthday Anniversary

I usually don’t post on Saturdays, but as the legendary Sterling Hayden was born 100 years ago today, I couldn’t not post. Timothy appeared in three films with him: Hellgate (1952), Crime Wave (1954) and The Killing (1956), getting a chance to really interact with him only in the latter film. It’s too bad there weren’t more, but what we have is choice. Hayden was a true iconoclast, the very definition of “rugged individualism.” They just don’t make ’em like that anymore. Sir, we salute you.

Hellgate

Hellgate (1952), with Joan Leslie and James Anderson

Crime Wave

Crime Wave (1954), with Phyllis Kirk, Gene Nelson and Mack Chandler

The Killing (1956)

The Killing (1956), directed by Stanley Kubrick

Joan Leslie 1925 – 2015

We learned last week of the passing of lovely star Joan Leslie at the age of 90. Timothy was lucky enough to share the screen with her (and Sterling Hayden), however briefly, in one of his earliest film appearances. That film was Hellgate (1952), the entertaining Western prison drama written and directed by Charles Marquis Warren.

HellgateAlmost always the “good girl,” Leslie played against type to most memorable effect in the underrated noir thriller Repeat Performance (1947). An accomplished singer and dancer as well as an actress, it was always a treat to watch her practice her craft. She will indeed be missed.

Video of the Week: “Hellgate”

EDITOR’S NOTE 10/20/2015: Another one bites the dust. My apologies.

Our video this week features another of Timothy’s early film appearances, fleeting and dubbed over as it is. It’s Charles Marquis Warren‘s Hellgate (1952), starring a man Tim would encounter again on-screen, Sterling Hayden. Tim can be seen very early in the film as one of bad guy James Anderson‘s henchmen.

This entertaining combination of Western and prison drama boasts an impressive cast – in addition to Hayden and Anderson, Joan Leslie, Ward Bond, and James Arness are also on board. It’s possible that Tim appears again amongst the extras in the prison scenes, but I haven’t been able to catch a glimpse of him. Perhaps you might be more successful than I – if so, please let me know! Enjoy!

Quote of the Week

Carey’s career as a character actor began with the role of a dead man in Across the Wide Missouri, directed by William Wellman, who, Carey recalled, “was a great director and a tough director. I had two arrows in my back laying in the water. I couldn’t hold still, it was so cold my teeth were chattering.The director said, ‘Keep that jerk still, he’s supposed to be dead’. I had just come from dramatic school in New York. I thought I was a great actor. I’m the only one who did.”

The pattern for Carey’s acting career was set. Director and player wrestled for control of a scene. Directors who afforded Carey room to operate, those who were able to understand his capabilities, worked well with him. Carey played the absolute heavy to the relative heavy in a string of hard-boiled dramas of the early ‘50s including Hellgate, The Big Carnival [aka Ace in the Hole] and Finger Man. […]

By the mid-50’s, Carey’s work had attracted the attention of a number of directors. Elia Kazan cast him in East of Eden, playing the bouncer at a brothel owned by James Dean’s mother. This experience would produce the only serious regret of Carey’s professional life. Kazan decided that the actor’s Brooklynese was not to his liking, and had Carey’s voice dubbed over, significantly marginalizing his presence in the film. He and Dean bonded during the production. This culminated in one of Dean’s infamous reckless Sunday drives through Salinas. After they returned to the set Carey said, prophetically, “I’m never getting in a car with him again.”

– Alex de Laszlo, “The Wonderful Horrible Life of Timothy Carey”, Uno Mas magazine, 1996

Across the Wide Missouri

Pic of the Day: “The Killing” revisited

We close the week with another look at Nikki Arano, the cool-daddy-o sharpshooter of Stanley Kubrick‘s The Killing (1956). Here he is finalizing his crooked deal with Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden). If you’ve been paying close attention, you’ll know that the two-finger point was a standard Carey gesture throughout his career.

The Killing

Timothy and Hayden appeared in three films together – Hellgate (1952), Crime Wave (1954), and The Killing. It might have been four, if Tim had ended up playing Luca Brasi in The Godfather (1972) as Francis Ford Coppola had initially desired. Tim’s manic style and Hayden’s stoicism played off one another nicely, I think. It’s too bad they didn’t get more screen time together.

Pic of the Day: “Hellgate” revisited

Today’s pic wrings another post out of Timothy’s fleeting appearance in Hellgate (1952), directed by Charles Marquis Warren. The jig is up for Tim’s uncredited henchman, but he is not going quietly.

Also appearing here are Sterling Hayden, Joan Leslie and James Anderson. Hellgate is actually an entertaining combination of Western and prison drama. It’s definitely worth a look.

Pic of the Day: “Hellgate” revisited

Wrapping up the week is another rather awkward shot of Timothy from Hellgate (1952). He’s the henchman of bad guy James Anderson (so memorable in To Kill a Mockingbird [1962]), delivering his only line. In someone else’s voice. I imagine director Charles Marquis Warren was not crazy about the idea of a cowboy with a Brooklyn accent.

It’s another uncredited, don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-him part. I guess you gotta start somewhere, huh?