Our pic of the day today takes another look at the Profiles in Courage episode “Andrew Johnson”. It was first broadcast on February 28, 1965. Timothy is a ruffian by the name of Hartwick, the leader of a gang of disgruntled torch-bearing voters out to intimidate President Andrew Johnson (Walter Matthau).
Profiles in Courage took as its jumping-off point the 1957 book by then-Senator John F. Kennedy. The series provided work for many of Tim’s past and future colleagues, including Ted de Corsia (in this episode, actually), John Cassavetes and George Macready. It is long overdue, in my humble opinion, for an official DVD release.
Today, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, we revisit The World’s Greatest Sinner (1962), written by, produced by, directed by, financed by, and starring Timothy. Here we see once-humble salesman Clarence Hilliard reveling in his newly-claimed identity as “God” and plotting a complete political takeover as president, as the Devil himself (James Farley) looks on approvingly.
Tim could not have made a more prophetic picture if he’d tried. It may be hard to comprehend at times, but the underlying theme of the absolute corruption of absolute power is unmistakable. Something to keep in mind as we remember a terrible day and ponder the nature of power.
Our week begins with a pic from the episode of the long-running Western series The Virginian entitled “Home to Methuselah,” which was first aired on November 26, 1969. Timothy gives what I believe is one of his best and most low-key performances as outlaw Zach Ontro, on the run but knowing that his time will soon be over.
Also appearing in this episode is the great G.D. Spradlin, another of Hollywood’s best character actors. He was active in local politics in his home state of Oklahoma before he got into acting, serving as the state director of John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign. He also made an unsuccessful run for mayor of Oklahoma City in 1965.
Today’s pic is another from the Profiles in Courage episode “Andrew Johnson,” first airing on February 28, 1965. Tim is Hartwick, the leader of a gang of roughnecks harassing Andrew Johnson (Walter Matthau), 17th president of the U.S., who was struggling with reconstruction issues after the Civil War.
Profiles in Courage was a great series that attracted many top-flight actors of the era. It was based on the book of the same name by President John F. Kennedy, presenting inspirational tales of historical Americans dealing with major life crises. It is long overdue for an official DVD release.