Charles Herbert 1948 – 2015

We were very sad to learn today of the sudden death on Halloween of Charles Herbert, child star of the 1950s and ’60s and Timothy’s nemesis in Bert I. Gordon‘s The Boy and the Pirates (1960). As it’s Video of the Week Wednesday, we dug into the archives and are re-posting this enjoyable video review of Pirates.

“Do you know who Timothy Carey is?” Herbert asked Classic Images during a 2006 interview. “He, on that movie [Pirates], probably scared me more than the Colossus of New York [laughs]! But he was a nice man, and he always tried to make you feel, ‘I’m not really crazy,’ and you would say, ‘Okay.’ And then he would walk away and you’d go, ‘He’s CRAZY!’ He was a scary man.” We wish Mr. Herbert peaceful rest.

Pic of the Day: “The Boy and the Pirates” revisited

I decided we needed some pirate Timothy today, so here he is once again from Bert I. Gordon‘s The Boy and the Pirates (1960). Morgan, that scurvy dog, is relishing the prospect of committing some mayhem upon young Jimmy (Charles Herbert).

The Boy and the Pirates

In a 2006 interview with Classic Images, Herbert mentioned that Tim scared the bejabbers out of him during the making of Pirates. When asked to elaborate, he said, “It was just his eyes—those eyes! He’d look at me and I would run behind my mother. And I had to catch up to her, because she was tryin’ to find somebody else to hide behind [laughs]! His eyes, and the way he talked—all the time, he just seemed ANGRY, and out of control. But after a while, it didn’t bother me. He wasn’t somebody who was different off-screen—he was crazy on- AND off-screen.”

Pic of the Day: “The Boy and the Pirates” revisited

Today’s pic takes another look at Bert I. Gordon‘s children’s adventure tale The Boy and the Pirates (1960). Disgruntled pirate crew members Peake (Mickey Finn), Hunter (Than Wyenn) and Morgan do some plotting.

The Boy and the Pirates

Finn and Wyenn were busy character actors throughout the 1950s and 60s. They had both previously worked with Gordon, Finn in Earth vs. the Spider (1958) and Wyenn in Beginning of the End (1957). Wyenn was the more prolific of the two, working steadily until the mid-1980s. Finn’s credits end in the late 1960s; he passed away at the relatively young age of 55 in 1989. He turned up in an uncredited bit as a blacksmith in One-Eyed Jacks (1961). In spite of Gordon’s misgivings about hiring Timothy for the role of Morgan, I do believe Tim was born to play a pirate.

It’s Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Avast me hearties, today be International Talk Like a Pirate Day! In observation of this stellar event, let’s take another look at Morgan, the meanest bilge rat who ever sailed the Seven Seas, from Bert I. Gordon‘s The Boy and the Pirates (1960). Here he is enjoying some of that famous pirate’s treasure we’ve heard tell about. (I was going to say “booty,” but that means something else now.)

The Boy and the Pirates

Be off with ye now! Smartly, me lasses and laddies! Go forth and pillage!

Video of the Week: TCM “The Boy and the Pirates” intro

Our video for this week doesn’t actually have Timothy in it, but he is talked about. It’s the introduction to the Turner Classic Movies broadcast of Bert I. Gordon‘s The Boy and the Pirates (1960) this past June during their Pirate Pictures Week. The presenter is actor and comedian Greg Proops.

It’s nice to hear Tim enthusiastically spoken about, isn’t it? Next week’s video will have him physically in it, I promise. Since he doesn’t appear in this week’s video, here’s a bonus pic from that very film.

The Boy and the Pirates lobby card

Pic of the Day: “The Boy and the Pirates” revisited

Turner Classic Movies ends this month’s spotlight on pirate films tonight with Bert I. Gordon‘s The Boy and the Pirates (1960)! 7 pm Pacific, 10 pm Eastern.

The Boy and the Pirates (1960)

Morgan, that scurvy dog, will be very upset with you if you miss it. Very. So unless you’re in the mood for a red-hot poker in your face, take my advice – don’t.


Pic of the Day: “The Boy and the Pirates” promo still

We celebrate Valentine’s Day by, firstly, wishing Timothy’s youngest, Germain, a very happy birthday! And secondly, by posting this absolutely lovely and relatively rare promotional still from Bert I. Gordon‘s The Boy and the Pirates (1960). It’s Tim in full-on pirate mode, complete with musket, earring, and “AAARRGH”.

The Boy and the Pirates promo still

I have only seen this particular still once before, at Tim’s studio in El Monte during my visit there a while back. It was particularly noteworthy because Tim himself had decorated it in his own inimitable way. He had drawn lines coming out of the musket barrel, and written alongside it “FART POSE”. I could not stop laughing. I hope we all get to see that particular photo some day soon…


Quote of the Week

EDITOR’S NOTE: The “pirate actor” is unnamed, but I asked Mr. Gordon about it, and he confirmed that the actor was indeed Timothy.

But, of course, doing a movie isn’t all fun and games. Much of it is hard work with long hours. And sometimes painful, like our young star Charlie Herbert experienced. The script called for one of the pirates to discover Jimmy hiding on their pirate ship, and to pull him out of his hiding place. The pirate actor wrote his own action… grabbing the boy and viciously hurling him across the deck. And if you think Charlie hurt himself when he hit the vessel’s railing, you’re right. The poor kid almost made his lower lip bleed from biting it so hard to keep from crying.

From what I was told about the actor’s reputation of bordering on psychotic behavior, I shouldn’t have been surprised at his treatment of Charlie, but I didn’t think the man would be so violent with a young boy. Anyway, I didn’t want him in the film anymore. Now my problem was how to get rid of him, since the script called for him to be in scenes throughout the film, including the last scene of the movie.

So, after the day’s shoot was over, I got busy writing a scene where the pirate would be killed in a shipboard sword encounter. The scene could be easily cut into a sequence we had already filmed. Because he was established in so much of the already-filmed footage, it was critical that I would get him to do this additional scene. If he refused, I would have to carry him throughout the rest of the film as written.

When I gave him the new pages the next day, he asked me how he could get killed in the beginning of the movie when, according to the screenplay, he appears in the rest of the film, until the end. Of course I lied. I told him the new scene was to be a new ending with his death at the very end.

He bought it, and we quickly set up the scene on the ship’s deck… filmed it in record time… and our production manager quickly handed him his notice of completion.

Bert I. Gordon, The Amazing Colossal Worlds of Mr. B.I.G. (Bert I. Gordon, 2009)

The Boy and the Pirates lobby card

Pic of the Day: “The Boy and the Pirates” revisited

Today we revisit Bert I. Gordon‘s The Boy and the Pirates (1960). The boy, Jimmy (Charles Herbert), meets the pirates, including Morgan, Blackbeard (Murvyn Vye) and Snipe (Paul Guilfoyle). They appear to be skeptical of Jimmy’s claim that there is a genie (Joe Turkel) in that bottle.

The Boy and the Pirates

Vye appeared often in Broadway musicals, originating the role of Jigger Craigin in the 1945 production of Carousel. He also sang often in the movies (introducing the Gypsy tune “Golden Earrings” in the film of the same name), but usually ended up playing tough guys.