Today we need to take another look at the handsome mug of Flo, the garrulous torpedo of John Cassavetes‘ The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976). Here he reminds an off-screen Cosmo (Ben Gazzara) that $23,000 is a lot of money.
Taking up the foreground on the right side of the pic is Robert Phillips, who my MSTie pals will recognize as the exasperated police chief of Mitchell (1975). “You’re gonna get me mad, Mitchell, and when that happens I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes. Now get out.”
Ending the week is another look at Chain of Evidence (1957), the amnesia-plot-device police drama directed by Paul Landres, who co-directed Timothy the year before, along with Eddie Dew, in Naked Gun (1956) but went uncredited. Bad guy Carl Fowler has been called in for questioning on an assault charge, and he is none too happy about it (even though he did it).
Landres was another hard-working journeyman director, helming many low-budget feature films and television series (seemingly specializing in Westerns) from the late 1940s into the 1970s. He also received no on-screen credit for his directing duties, along with the prolific Robert L. Lippert, on the MST3K favorite Last of the Wild Horses (1948), filmed a few hours’ drive from me in the Rogue River Valley in southern Oregon.
It’s time to take another look at Lou Terpe, the grabby yet cowardly torpedo of Finger Man (1955), directed by Harold D. Schuster. Here he enjoys a drink with his boss, Dutch Becker (Forrest Tucker) and one of Becker’s B-girls, Gladys Baker (Peggie Castle).
Ms. Castle was one of the more memorable B-movie bombshells of the 1950s, both in feature films and on television. My MSTie pals will recognize her as intrepid girl reporter Audrey Aimes from Bert I. Gordon‘s Beginning of the End (1957) (starring another of Timothy’s future co-stars, Peter Graves). Sadly, she fell victim to alcoholism and died in 1973 at the age 45 of cirrhosis of the liver.
Today’s pic looks in once again on “Gypsy Traders,” the episode of Cowboy G-Men that first aired on February 28, 1953. The titular gypsies are worried about a big court case that threatens to take away their copper mining rights.
Timothy must have had some difficulty early in his career trying to figure out what to do with his tall gangly atmosphere player self. What he’s doing there looks really uncomfortable. It does, however, remind me of the old MST3K riff, “This actor’s really using his where.”
Our pic today takes another look at Revolt in the Big House (1958), the low-budget prison yarn directed by R.G. Springsteen. Big man on campus Bugsy Kyle holds forth while his lackeys Red (John Dennis, in the back) and Al (Sam Edwards) look on in approval.
My MSTie pals will recognize Edwards from Paul Frees‘ The Beatniks (1960). “Send up some more booze! You know, gas water! Laugh juice!” He spent pretty much his entire life in show business, making his stage debut as an infant in the arms of his mother, actress Edna Park, in a production of Tess of the Storm Country. He was a dependable character player in films and on television for decades, and also did lots of character voice work for Disney, among many others.
Today we take another look at Chain of Evidence (1957), the low-budget crime drama directed by Paul Landres. Foul-tempered Carl Fowler (see what I did there?) is being grilled by Lt. Andy Doyle (“Wild” Bill Elliott), Sgt. Mike Duncan (Don Haggerty) and the gal who started the whole mess, Harriet Owens (Claudia Barrett).
Haggerty later appeared with Timothy in The Gunfight at Dodge City (1959). My MST3K and bad-movie-loving pals will recognize Barrett as the intrepid Alice from the infamous Robot Monster (1953). “We want peace, Ro-Man. But peace with honor.”
We start the work week with another look at “The Town Budget,” the episode of the Alcoa Theatre anthology series that first aired on December 15, 1958. Crooks on the run Jonas and Frankie (Arthur Batanides) try to act natural. Jonas has just shot a cop and is pretty happy about it.
For 30-odd years, Batanides was a reliable character actor who appeared in scores of television programs and several films as well. My Mystery Science Theater 3000 pals will remember him as the high-strung Danny from The Unearthly (1957). Towards the end of his career he had a recurring role as Mr.Kirkland in several of the Police Academy comedies.
Today our pic revisits Delmer Daves‘ The Last Wagon (1956). Timothy received no screen credit for his admittedly minor role as bad guy Cole Harper. Here Cole and his father, Sheriff Bull Harper (George Mathews), shoot it out with renegade Comanche Todd (Richard Widmark).
As I’ve mentioned previously, my MSTie friends will no doubt recognize Mathews from his role as the put-upon guardian angel of the short X Marks the Spot (1944). He turned in many fine performances, mostly on television in the 1950s and 60s. Off-screen he was an avid chess player.
Today we take another gander at Flo, that enigmatic mix of bonhomie and brute force from John Cassavetes‘ The Killing of a ChineseBookie (1976). Here he reminds Cosmo Vittelli (Ben Gazzara) of his obligations, as fellow gangster Phil (Robert Phillips) listens.
As I believe I’ve mentioned before, my fellow MST3K pals will recognize Phillips as Chief Pallin, the put-upon superior of Mitchell (1975). “You’re gonna get me mad, Mitchell, and when that happens I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes. Now get out.” Phillips is an interesting character himself, having been a pro football player, bodyguard for Adlai Stevenson, and worked undercover for the Los Angeles Police Department, among other exploits. He is also the author of Sixty-One Ways to End an Argument.