Today’s pic is an original promotional still from Rumble on the Docks (1956), directed by Fred F. Sears. It still bears the original studio stamp and a typed notation glued to it on the back. The note reads “RACKETEER’S HENCHMAN BEATEN – Tim Carey, trigger man for crooked union boss, is found beaten and brought to latter’s headquarters in a scene from Columbia’s ‘Rumble on the Docks,’ produced by Sam Katzman.”
Tim is being propped up by James Darren and Robert Blake, the latter his future co-star in Revolt in the Big House (1958) and four Baretta episodes in the ’70s. Darren enjoyed a successful career as a teen heartthrob and singing sensation in the ’50s and ’60s, then found his niche on television in The Time Tunnel and many other series. Trekkies will remember him as the holographic lounge singer Vic Fontaine on several episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in the late 1990s.
Today’s pic is one of two key set photos from Andre De Toth‘s Crime Wave (1954) that I recently scored on eBay. Key set photos were often used by script supervisors to help with shot continuity; they were put into a binder for easy reference. Both of the photos feature Timothy menacing Phyllis Kirk. This is by far the creepiest one.
I will probably be posting sporadically for the next week. We are leaving later this morning for another trip to California, where Romeo Carey and I will hopefully be conducting some interviews. Exciting stuff! Watch this space!
It’s two-for-the-price-of-one day here at the blog! Today we’re posting some promotional material from Bayou (1957), “presenting Tim Carey”. The first is a still featuring Tim facing down Peter Graves, while Lita Milan glares up at Tim (hope the poor girl didn’t get a crick in her neck). I hadn’t seen this one before; you can’t see Tim’s face too well, but he’s obviously meant to look menacing and all. The second is a Spanish-language version of the film’s poster. The title translates to The Goddess of the Swamp.
Our final entry for Memorabilia Week is a British lobby card/still for Bert I. Gordon‘s The Boy and the Pirates (1960). I have three of these, which are identical to the U.S. publicity stills, except for the text and the fact that they are tinted blue. Which is pretty cool, actually.
Young Charles Herbert, shown here being menaced by mean pirate Morgan, had vivid memories of working with Tim. “He, on that movie, probably scared me more than the Colossus of New York!” he told Tom Weaver in an interview for Classic Images in 2006. “But he was a nice man, and he always tried to make you feel, ‘I’m not really crazy,’ and you would say, ‘Okay.’ And then he would walk away and you’d go, ‘He’s CRAZY!’ He was a scary man… It was just his eyes—those eyes! He’d look at me and I would run behind my mother. And I had to catch up to her, because she was tryin’ to find somebody else to hide behind! His eyes, and the way he talked—all the time, he just seemed ANGRY, and out of control. But after a while, it didn’t bother me. He wasn’t somebody who was different off-screen—he was crazy on- AND off-screen.”
This week we will be featuring some of Timothy’s promotional stills, lobby cards and whatnot. First up, in honor of his co-star Don Calfa’s birthday anniversary today, is a promo still from Peeper (1976), the genial homage to 1940s gumshoe mystery flicks directed by Peter Hyams. Irascible torpedo Sid has his roscoe trained on our hero, Leslie C. Tucker (Michael Caine).
I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I got a terrific interview with Calfa last year, wherein he recounted with great delight his experiences working with Tim in this film, and their subsequent friendship. We here at TTCE wish Don a most splendiferous birthday!
Our pic of the day is a British publicity still from Finger Man (1955), directed by Harold D. Schuster. Timothy’s sullen torpedo Lou Terpe is menacing the ill-fated blonde (not sure who the actress is) who has just told him, “Get your big wet paws offa me!” Lou’s boss, bootlegger and “white slaver” Dutch Becker (Forrest Tucker), sits at the far right.
The British publicity materials are interesting; I have a few from The Boy and the Pirates that are tinted blue! In general, I find non-American film memorabilia to be a bit more off-beat and colorful than most of their American counterparts. The Mexican lobby cards are especially good examples of this.
In a letter to Carey (dated January 22, 1994), Ray Carney, a professor of film and American studies at Boston University, wrote:
“Re: The Insect Trainer script–What an extraordinary, weird, wonderful, bizarrely unclassifiable work you’ve created. In the Joycean, Swiftian, Salvador Dalian vein, you violate all of the taboos, cross all of the boundaries, break all of the rules, and–ecstatically–take us to places almost never even dreamt of in drama before. The script is a ‘gas’ in the other sense of the word: It’s hilarious–as well as humanly touching and moving. It’s a celebration of eccentric, non-homogenized, non-normalized humanity. An expression of love for the lost and forgotten feelings and impulses of life. A recognition of some of the sadness and loneliness of all originals, pioneers, inventors. In short, you break up the mental and spiritual constipation that afflicts both art and life. You free the spirit. The laughter and thoughtfulness you provoke, if we let ourselves be affected by them, shake us out of our zombie-like trances of conformity. This is an awesome piece of work. Bravo. Bravissimo!”
Prof. Carney’s letter is a fitting epitaph to the amazing talent and spirit of Timothy Carey.
— Harvey F. Chartrand, “Timothy Carey: The World’s Greatest Director!”, Filmfax Plus magazine #102 (April/June 2004)
Today we take another gander at Professor Petro, the very strange lecturer on “Dali and the Power of the Fart,” of Romeo Carey‘s The Devil’s Gas (1990). It was Timothy’s final film performance. Note the poster of Tim as Pvt. Ferol from Paths of Glory (1957) on the wall.
During my visit to the Absolute Films studio last summer, Romeo showed me the boots that Tim wore in this scene. Well, he was wearing one of them anyway. When I asked him if Tim did that on purpose as part of his characterization, he said no. Tim had had his first stroke by this time, and his left leg was a bit swollen as a result. It was difficult for him to get the boot on, so he just wore one boot and a tennis shoe. As it turns out, it’s a perfect representation of the Professor’s eccentricity.
It’s my birthday! That means I get to be totally self-indulgent and post one of my absolute favorite pics of Timothy for no other reason than I think it’s smoking hot. So here he is as Morgan the ill-tempered pirate in Bert I. Gordon‘s The Boy and the Pirates (1960). I posted this one last year, but does it ever bear repeating. Holy jeepers wow.
My sweet husband got me another incredible Tim-themed present – a ginormous three-sheet movie poster for The Outfit (1973)! I’m telling you, this thing is huge – we may have to build it its own room. Anyway, thank you for indulging me in this shameless fangirl moment. You guys are the best.