Pic of the Day: “Crime Wave” revisited

To celebrate the birthday anniversary of the great Ted de Corsia, born in Brooklyn this date in 1903, we take another look at Crime Wave (1954), directed by Andre’ de Toth. This is a publicity still for the film under its original title, The City is Dark.

aka Crime Wave

Also appearing here are (left to right) Phyllis Kirk, Gene Nelson, Jim Hayward, and the familiar-looking fellow in the white t-shirt is Charles Buchinsky. You probably know him better under the name he began using shortly afterwards – Charles Bronson.

Quote of the Week

[Ted] De Corsia‘s sidekick in Crime Wave is the young Charles Bronson, who not only flexes impressively, but growls a few great henchman lines. Leveling his gun at Ellen, he smiles at her husband: “You want I should clip a curl off the cutie?” [Andre’] DeToth loved the primitive contours of Bronson’s face, and his atavistic grace. He used them smartly in several pictures, including the 3-D House of Wax. The gang also included the amusingly unstable Timothy Carey, who is so brain damaged that midway through sexually intimidating Phyllis Kirk he becomes distracted and forgets what he’s doing. Crime Wave was one of the first films that would prompt viewers to ask of Carey: “What the hell is wrong with this guy?”

Crime Wave key set photo #2

Pic of the Day: “Ain’t We Got Fun” revisited

Today we take another gander at Loxie, the fire-loving torpedo behind a bootlegger, from the episode of The Untouchables known as “Ain’t We Got Fun.” It first aired on November 12, 1959. Loxie is taking in a comedy show with his boss, Big Jim Harrington (Ted de Corsia) and Harrington’s moll, Renee Sullivan (Phyllis Coates).

Ain't We Got Fun - 1959

It still boggles my mind that Timothy received no screen credit for this rather important role. I can only imagine which higher-ups he must have irritated and what he must have done to irritate them to lead them to remove his name from the credits.

Pic of the Day: “Ain’t We Got Fun” revisited

Classic cinematic tough guy Ted de Corsia was born in Brooklyn, New York, on this date in either 1903 or 1905. He co-starred with fellow Brooklynite Timothy four times: in Crime Wave (1954), The Killing (1956), the Profiles in Courage episode “Andrew Johnson” (first aired February 28, 1965), and in today’s offering, “Ain’t We Got Fun”. That episode of The Untouchables was first broadcast on November 12, 1959. Here bootlegger Big Jim Harrington confers with Loxie, his pyromaniac torpedo.

Ain't We Got Fun - 1959

Following stage and radio acting stints, de Corsia hit the big time with his film debut, Orson WellesThe Lady from Shanghai (1947). He enjoyed a long career in films and on television in mostly tough-guy roles. He always brought a touch of class to his low-life bad guys, even if it was just a low-life’s idea of class. He passed away in 1973 of cerebral thrombosis; his ashes were scattered at sea.

Pic of the Day: “Ain’t We Got Fun” revisited

Today we take another long-overdue look at “Ain’t We Got Fun”, the episode of The Untouchables that was first broadcast on November 12, 1959. Loxie, the muscle behind bootlegger Big Jim Harrington (Ted de Corsia), enjoys a night on the town with Harrington and his moll, Renee Sullivan (Phyllis Coates).

Ain't We Got Fun - 1959

Timothy was well into shooting The World’s Greatest Sinner when he made this episode, which was directed by Roger Kay. Kay also helmed The Cabinet of Caligari (1962), based on the classic German Expressionist silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). He gained a certain amount of notoriety when he apparently attempted to wrest the screenplay credit for that film from its rightful owner, Robert Bloch. Bloch described the ordeal (and his subsequent victory) in his autobiography, which just shot to the top of my must-read list.

Pic of the Day: “Andrew Johnson” revisited

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).

Andrew Johnson - 1965

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.

Pic of the Day: “The City is Dark” publicity still

Today’s pic is another publicity still for Andre’ De Toth‘s Crime Wave (1954) under its original (and, I believe, more fitting) title, The City is Dark. Timothy and his gang – Jim Hayward, Ted de Corsia, and Charles Bronson – menace Phyllis Kirk and Gene Nelson.

aka Crime Wave

As the 16th annual Noir City Los Angeles Film Noir Festival prepares to launch tomorrow, I can’t think of a better film to get yourself psyched up for it. “How come the smart guys are inside and the dopes outside?”