Pic of the Day: “Unwed Mother” revisited

Today’s pic takes another gander at the unnamed but unnerving back-alley abortionist of the low-budget cautionary melodrama Unwed Mother (1958), directed by Walter Doniger. The unfortunate title character (Norma Moore) is definitely wondering what she’s gotten herself into at this point.

Unwed Mother

This was Timothy’s first film after Paths of Glory (1957), which, let’s face it, would give the average actor whiplash. But as we know, Tim was not the average actor, and he never walked through a role. No matter how big or how small the part, the budget, or the “prestige,” he gave his all in every performance.

Video of the Week: “Unwed Mother” trailer

Here’s another one from the archives (read: we’ve run out of new videos to post again!). It’s the trailer for Walter Doniger‘s Unwed Mother (1958), the cautionary drive-in tale of a naive gal (Norma Moore) done wrong. Timothy appears as the grouchy back-alley abortionist about halfway through.

Also appearing is Robert Vaughn as the impregnating cad. Girls, let this be a warning – to you.

Pic of the Day: “Unwed Mother” revisited

Today’s pic takes another look at Unwed Mother (1958), Walter Doniger‘s cautionary tale of what can happen when you do the hanky-panky without benefit of marriage. As the beleaguered title character, Norma Moore pays a visit to Timothy’s unnamed back-alley abortionist. The expression on his face tells us all we need to know of his opinion of this little trollop – er, unfortunate woman.

Unwed Mother

Doniger began his Hollywood career as a scriptwriter in the 1940s. He directed his first film, Duffy of San Quentin (featuring two of Tim’s future Paths of Glory co-stars, George Macready and Joe Turkel), in 1954. He really made his mark in television, directing scores of episodes from the 1950s through the 70’s. His directing style was apparently a bit brusque. According to Robert Vaughn’s autobiography, while shooting this film Doniger clashed with Tim over certain characterizations Tim wished to bring to his character. Tim was forced to back down after Doniger threatened to have him kicked out of the Screen Actors Guild.

Pic of the Day: “Unwed Mother” revisited

Our pic today takes another look at Timothy’s grumpy back-alley abortionist from Unwed Mother (1958), directed by Walter Doniger. He seems to resent the intrusion of the title character, Betty Miller (Norma Moore), into what is apparently his drinking time. Betty seems to be reconsidering her plan.

Unwed Mother

Moore was a busy actress in the 1950s, mostly on television. She took some time off in the 60s and 70s and made a comeback in the 80s, again mostly on the small screen. Her most recent appearance was three years ago in the Christian-themed short Careful What You Wish For.

Pic of the Day: “Unwed Mother” lobby card

I’m in a medical mood today, having spent all morning in the dentist’s office. So today’s pic is a lobby card from Unwed Mother (1958), Timothy’s first film after Paths of Glory (1957). His grumpy abortion doctor is inspiring no confidence in the title character (Norma Moore).

Unwed Mother lobby card

A colorized publicity still was used for this one, a common practice back then. I wonder if Tim’s pants were really that shiny blue?

Pic of the Day: “Unwed Mother” revisited

Our pic for today is a lobby card from Unwed Mother (1958), Timothy’s first film after Paths of Glory, believe it or not. The title character (Norma Moore) is thinking twice about employing the services of Tim’s back-alley abortionist, who looks like he just stumbled in from an all-night bender.

The film is in black and white, but as was often the case, a publicity still was colorized for use on the lobby card. I’m hoping those shiny striped pants he’s wearing really were blue. Moore appeared on television quite often in the 1950’s. Perhaps her finest film role was in Fear Strikes Out (1957), opposite Anthony Perkins and Karl Malden.

Pic of the Day: “Unwed Mother” revisited

Our pic for today takes another look at Timothy’s unnerving abortionist from Unwed Mother (1958). Norma Moore, in the titular role, clearly is having definite second thoughts about the whole thing.

Would you trust this guy to perform an extremely delicate (and, at the time, illegal) medical procedure on you? As my mother used to say, not me, Myrtle.

Pic of the Day: “Unwed Mother”

Our pic of the day is from Walter Doniger’s Unwed Mother (1958). The titular character, naive Betty Miller (Norma Moore), has been knocked up by insincere cad Don Bigelow (Robert Vaughn). In desperation she visits a grumpy, greasy-haired back-alley abortionist, played by Tim. Things don’t go very well.

Unwed Mother
Vaughn had some interesting things to say about Tim’s characterization in his autobiography, A Fortunate Life:

The second picture I did was for Allied Artists and was titled Unwed Mother, a very provocative title for the late fifties. It starred Timothy Carey, an actor who had scored in Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory alongside Kirk Douglas. In our picture, Timothy played the role of an abortionist (also pretty frisky stuff for that time). When he arrived on the set to do his scene, dressed appropriately in a cheap dark suit, he opened his black medical bag and from it brought out some of the ugliest, vilest-looking knives, tools, hammers, and sundry stuff you’d likely see only in some triple-X horror movie. This bag had not been furnished by the prop department, nor was a bag of that kind mentioned in the script. It was all Timothy’s idea, and he had to be talked out of using it in his scene by the director, who threatened to have him fired and, if possible, kicked out of the Screen Actors Guild. He finally did acquiesce, and I heard very little about or from him since then.

I guess Vaughn forgot about the Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode he and Tim did together in 1967.