Quote of the Week

I did a great thing in Convicts Four. I said, “You’re a great screw,” but they changed it around. They were afraid it was gonna mean I was screwing the guard. It had nothing to do with that. They’re always looking at the negative side.

– Psychotronic Video magazine #6, Summer 1990; interview by Michael Murphy and Johnny Legend, research by Michael J. Weldon


Quote of the Week

“When I was working with Debbie Reynolds for the second time [Ed. note: it was actually for the first time, at least as far as I know!] (in The Second Time Around, a western comedy) at 20th Century Fox, a fellow came up to me and complimented me on my acting. He said he was a composer and the guy he came with, his next door neighbor, played the guitar. I said, ‘What’s your name?’ He said, ‘Frank Zappa.’ So I said, ‘OK, I have something for you. We have no music for The World’s Greatest Sinner. If you can supply the orchestra and a place to tape it, you have the job.’ And that’s what he did. Around the same time he was on the Steve Allen Show. That’s where our friendship stopped. Steve asked him what films he did. He said, ‘I did The World’s Greatest Sinner, the world’s worst film and all the actors were from skid row.’ It wasn’t true. The press said I was the world’s greatest ham, and that The World’s Greatest Sinner was a travesty of the arts. Zappa didn’t like that and he started to get on their bandwagon. The opening night at the director’s guild, he was in complete awe. He walked into the window and banged himself in the head. He didn’t even know there was a window there.”

– Psychotronic Video magazine #6, Summer 1990; interview by Michael Murphy and Johnny Legend, research by Michael J. Weldon

For a video of Zappa’s appearance on the Steve Allen Show, please go here.

Quote of the Week

“Loathsome,” “repulsive” and “most socially undesirable” have all been tossed around in various film guides attempting to describe the late character actor Timothy Carey. Renowned for his dominating presence in Stanley Kubrick’s early films The Killing (1956) and Paths of Glory (1957), Carey had the exhibitionism and humility of an aging circus clown, suffering to invest everything he had into even the smallest of bit roles. The sack-shaped giant with the oil spill hair and cadaverous grin died of his third major stroke on May 11, 1994. But what remains unmentioned in reference sources are his humanist spirit, and love for the Average Joe that inspired not only his acting, but his own writing and directing ventures, which were as ridiculous as they were revolutionary.

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

Timothy with Ara Corbett, summer of 1992

(photo by Michael Murphy)

Quote of the Week

“I play an atheist who gets people’s attention by playing music. I graduated from a rock and roller to a politician. Then he ran for president with God written on his cuffs. I played the part of God Hilliard. I had this cult. We shot at this cathedral in San Gabriel. I was living there by now. The end scene I take the communion from the church and take it home. I hold it up in one hand and hold a pin in the other and I say, ‘If you’re really a god, show me if there’s something mightier than man.’ Then I start stabbing it and nothing happens. The wafer breaks and I start laughing, ‘Nothing but a piece of bread! Mother you’re dead forever!’, and walk outside and then all of a sudden blood starts dripping out fast downstairs. Out the house and I’m scared, but go back into the room and this light hits me. We shot it in black and white, but at that point we change to color. And I yell, ‘Oh my god’, and get thrown up against the wall and it cuts now to the wafer and the credits come on. I’ve been trying to  locate the negative of the film for years. Mike Murphy and his wife Cheryl are trying to run it down.”

– Timothy on The World’s Greatest Sinner (1962), Psychotronic Video magazine #6, Summer 1990; interview by Michael Murphy and Johnny Legend, research by Michael J. Weldon

Happy Easter, everybody!

(photo from “Cracked Actor,” Film Comment Jan/Feb 2004)