Pic of the Day: “Flight to Hong Kong” revisited

Our pic today revisits the foreign intrigue potboiler Flight to Hong Kong (1956), directed by Joseph M. Newman. Diamond smuggler Tony Dumont (Rory Calhoun) enlists the aid of shady thug Lagarto at a dive bar in Macao.

Flight to Hong Kong

Here is yet another of Timothy’s early films that deserves a proper commercial DVD release. You can, however, buy or rent it digitally at Amazon Instant Video.

Pic of the Day: “Flight to Hong Kong” revisited

Our pic today takes a long-overdue look at Flight to Hong Kong (1956), the low-budget international diamond-smuggling caper directed by Joseph M. Newman. It looks like something inappropriate is going on here, but it’s just Tony Dumont (Rory Calhoun) trying to get thug Lagarto out of the way so he can get a better look at a mysterious suitcase, as Cappy (Bob Hopkins) and another miscreant in the shadows look on.

Flight to Hong Kong (1956)

Hopkins – and that’s Hopkins, not Hoskins – racked up many credited and uncredited bit parts in film and on television in his relatively short career. He died at the young age of 44 in 1962.

Quote of the Week

One day on my first Dragnet, I stepped outside the soundstage to have a cigarette with Jack [Webb] and Ben Alexander. As we were standing there, we heard a commotion and looked toward the front gate of the Disney lot, and through a chain-link fence we could see a couple of studio guards chasing a tall guy in our direction. The guy came flying over the fence and landed on our side of it and grabbed a-hold of Jack’s lapels and pushed him up against the wall, babbling, ‘You gotta use me on the show! You gotta use me on the show!’ It was frightening! Turns out it was a madman of an actor named Timothy Carey. With a crazy look on his face, he demanded that Webb let him appear on Dragnet and Webb, obviously hoping to calm him down and get him to let go, said, ‘Yeah, sure, you’re in the show, when do ya want to start??’ Jack assured Carey that he would be in a Dragnet, and that quieted him down; the guards arrived at that point and took him away.

Timothy Carey might have been a great Dragnet villain but he scared the shit out of us. He was nuts! Carey was an actor who would do anything to get a role; I once heard that he went into the Columbia Studios office of the producer of the motion picture The Caine Mutiny, pulled a gun on him and said, ‘You gonna give me a part in this show?’ When you have that burning desire to be an actor and be on the screen, some people will do whatever it takes.

Paul Picerni, from Steps to Stardom: The Autobiography of Paul Picerni by Paul Picerni with Tom Weaver (BearManor Media, 2007)

Flight to Hong Kong

Timothy with Rory Calhoun in the only film he and Picerni did together (no scenes together though), Flight to Hong Kong (1956)

Pic of the Day: “Flight to Hong Kong” revisited

Today we take another look at Flight to Hong Kong (1956), the foreign intrigue potboiler directed by Joseph M. Newman. Diamond smuggler Tony Dumont (Rory Calhoun) locates thug-for-hire Lagarto in a shady bar in Macao and enlists his services for his next evil plan. Lagarto is quite the fashion plate with his neckerchief and skimpy t-shirt.

Flight to Hong Kong

Los Angeles native Calhoun enjoyed a long career as a dashing leading man in scores of films and television shows from the 1940s until shortly before his death in 1999. He became something of an “elder statesman” in his later years, taking roles that some may feel were beneath him, but which he seemed to enjoy and kept him busy and working. I’m especially fond of his performance in Kevin Connor‘s Motel Hell (1980). “It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent’s Fritters!”

Pic of the Day: “Flight to Hong Kong” revisited

And out of that binder full of Timothy comes our pic of the day! It’s another bizarre promotional still for Flight to Hong Kong (1956), with another shot that isn’t actually in the movie. Along with this one, I’m sure these stills were basically used as models for poster artwork.

Rory Calhoun pretends to land a punch on Tim as Bob Hopkins (on the left) and another unidentified actor (I’ll try and figure out who he is) look on. Hopkins and Tim both had small uncredited roles in I’ll Cry Tomorrow (1955).

Pic of the Day: “Flight to Hong Kong” revisited

Starting off the work week is another look at Flight to Hong Kong (1956), directed by Joseph M. Newman. Timothy’s sleazy thug-for-hire Lagarto and his pal Cappy (Bob Hopkins) are eager to open what Tony Dumont (Rory Calhoun) wants them to think is a suitcase full of diamonds. It isn’t.

Not much else to say about this one. Tim’s appearance is, as usual, brief but memorable. You can catch this one on Netflix Instant; it’s worth a look.