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.

Pic of the Day: “Crime Wave” revisited

Today is the 87th birthday anniversary of the late, lovely Phyllis Kirk! In her honor, we present another shot of her and Timothy from Andre’ De Toth‘s Crime Wave (aka The City is Dark, 1954 but filmed in 1952). Ellen Lacey is unsure about being left under the supervision of giggling hop head Johnny Haslett. As well she should be.

Crime Wave

Wrote Tim in his Movie Stars Parade article, “I played a heavy again in a picture called Crime Wave, with Sterling Hayden and Phyllis Kirk, and in one scene I was holding Phyllis prisoner in a dingy waterfront room. There was low key lighting and the boom was down low. I affected a twitch like a narcotics addict, I turned on a low, sensual, half-crazy laugh, gritted my teeth and dug my hands into her shoulders – just like the creep I was portraying would have done in real life. But Phyllis wasn’t impressed with my realism. She found me too convincing. She broke and got hysterical. I had to go apologize to her, although I don’t know what I was apologizing for.”

Pic of the Day: “Crime Wave” key set photo #2

In celebration of the great Andre’ De Toth‘s 102nd birthday anniversary, today’s pic is the second of two key set photos from Crime Wave (aka The City is Dark) (1954) that I found on eBay a while back. Key set photos were shots taken on set and used for continuity purposes. Both photos feature Timothy menacing Phyllis Kirk, not surprisingly.

Crime Wave key set photo #2

De Toth was born Sasvári Farkasfalvi Tóthfalusi Tóth Endre Antal Mihály in Hungary (then Austria-Hungary) on this date in 1912. When, during an interview, he was asked about Tim’s acting methods in this film, De Toth replied, “Who was acting?” All of his films are a treat, and most definitely worth watching. Mr. De Toth, The Timothy Carey Experience salutes you!

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?”

Pic of the Day: “Crime Wave” revisited

Our pic for today revisits Crime Wave (1954), aka The City is Dark, filmed in 1952 by Andre’ De Toth but released in 1954. Timothy and Gene Nelson are being hauled away by Sterling Hayden and Mack Chandler, as Phyllis Kirk looks on. Tim has just taken an epic tumble down a flight of stairs, apparently with no stunt man.

Crime Wave

I can’t emphasize enough what a great film this is. If you haven’t seen it yet, shame on you.

 

Pic of the Day: “Crime Wave” revisited

Crime Wave (1954), also known as The City is Dark, is one of the greatest examples of film noir that we have. Directed by Andre’ De Toth, it’s got a docudrama feel; the script is tight and snappy; the cinematography is crisp, perfect black and white; the editing is stellar; the cast is amazing; and the characterizations are top-notch. It was shot in 1952 but not released until 1954. Timothy’s giggling hop-head Johnny doesn’t appear until the final half hour or so, but he nonetheless manages to walk away with the film quite handily. He must have really annoyed some of the higher-ups behind the scenes, for he received no screen credit for what can truly be considered his breakout role. Here he is making his intentions toward Ellen Lacey (Phyllis Kirk) unmistakably clear.

When I visited Tim’s studio in El Monte in July, there was a still on the wall from this film, showing Johnny kissing Ellen full on the lips. This shot is wisely not in the film; to me the menace is more effective if he doesn’t actually follow through, or at least is not shown doing so. But it may, however, provide a clue as to why the part is uncredited. As Tim wrote in his remembrance of James Dean, “I affected a twitch like a narcotics addict, I turned on a low, sensual, half-crazy laugh, gritted my teeth and dug my hands into her shoulders – just like the creep I was portraying would have done in real life. But Phyllis wasn’t impressed with my realism. She found me too convincing. She broke and got hysterical. I had to go apologize to her, although I don’t know what I was apologizing for.”

Pic of the Day: “Crime Wave” revisited

Our pic for today takes another look at Crime Wave (aka The City is Dark) (1954), directed by Andre De Toth. Timothy first made audiences exclaim “Who is that guy?” (especially since he wasn’t credited) with his scene-stealing portrayal of giggling hophead Johnny Haslett. Here Johnny is menacing unfortunate Ellen Lacey (Phyllis Kirk).

“I played a heavy again in a picture called Crime Wave, with Sterling Hayden and Phyllis Kirk, and in one scene I was holding Phyllis prisoner in a dingy waterfront room,” Tim once said. “There was low key lighting and the boom was down low. I affected a twitch like a narcotics addict, I turned on a low, sensual, half-crazy laugh, gritted my teeth and dug my hands into her shoulders – just like the creep I was portraying would have done in real life. But Phyllis wasn’t impressed with my realism. She found me too convincing. She broke and got hysterical. I had to go apologize to her, although I don’t know what I was apologizing for.”