In Elia Kazan’s classic John Steinbeck adaptation East of Eden (1955) Carey is a pimp/bodyguard for Jo Van Fleet’s character in a brothel she runs and is ordered to throw her son Cal (played by James Dean) out the door when he comes to see her. Right away you notice a spark of brutality and weirdness from Carey’s arrival onscreen. As preparation for his role as “Joe” the pimp, Carey tried mumbling all his lines because he thought it was “how pimps talked”. At a certain point Kazan got so angry at his annoying interpretation, he stabbed Carey with a pen in the shoulder. He and Dean actually became friends during the production. One day they went on a car ride through Salinas after which Carey stated he would never get in a car with him again due to his reckless driving habits. Dean would later die in what is now an infamous car crash.
– Peter (just Peter), “Mad As Hell Heroes: TIMOTHY CAREY… What a Character!”; Furious Cinema, November 11, 2013
Our video for this week is another one culled from the archives. John Steinbeck‘s great American novel East of Eden has been filmed twice: first as a feature film in 1955, directed by Elia Kazan, and then as an ABC television miniseries in 1981 with Harvey Hart at the helm. (Apparently there is a new version in the works with Jennifer Lawrence.) Timothy has the distinction of appearing in both of them. Here he is in the 1981 miniseries as a fiery circuit-riding preacher, starting at about the 1:15:28 mark.
Unfortunately, this is the only time he appears in the program. I can’t be the only one who thinks this character deserved his own spin-off series. Enjoy!
Eighty-four years ago yesterday, James Byron Dean was born in Marion, Indiana. The blue-eyed heart-breaker from the heartland scored his first starring role in Elia Kazan‘s East of Eden (1955), based on the epic novel by John Steinbeck. Timothy and Dean hit it off during shooting, and together they shook up the little seaside town of Mendocino, California.
Tim told the story of his friendship with Dean in an article for Movie Stars Parade magazine in 1957. This September we will observe the sixtieth anniversary of Dean’s death. We can only imagine the elder statesmen of cinema these two would be now, if we had not been deprived of their presence far too soon.
Over a year ago I mentioned that I ought to do a side-by-side comparison of Timothy’s roles in both screen versions of John Steinbeck‘s epic 1952 novel East of Eden – the 1955 feature film helmed by Elia Kazan, and the 1981 television miniseries directed by Harvey Hart. So let’s do it already! Here are Joe the brothel bouncer from 1955, and the unnamed fire-and-brimstone preacher from 1981.
It seems clear that no matter what the role, Tim knew how to command the screen. Well done.
To wash away the sins of yesterday’s post, we turn to Brother Carey as he sermonizes against the dangers of “the devil’s holy water” in the 1981 television miniseries version of John Steinbeck‘s epic novel East of Eden, directed by Harvey Hart.
I need to do a side-by-side comparison of Timothy’s roles in both this version and Elia Kazan‘s 1955 film, in which he portrayed a man not nearly so holy and righteous. Repent and be saved, brothers and sisters.
Today’s pic (and don’t forget about clicking for embiggening) revisits the television miniseries East of Eden, first broadcast on February 8, 1981. Based on the epic novel by John Steinbeck, it features a much-too-short cameo by Timothy as a fire-and-brimstone circuit-riding preacher.
As we all know by now, Tim also appeared with James Dean in the 1955 film of the same novel, as the bouncer at Kate’s brothel. It’s nice to see him on the other end of the moral spectrum here.