Pics of the Day: More SINNER-related ephemera

Today, my last post before the blog goes on a short hiatus, I present two pics pertaining to Timothy’s magnum opus, The World’s Greatest Sinner (1962).

First up is an amazing piece of memorabilia that comes our way via Facebook friends (and super human beings) Bill Ackerman and Heather Drain. It’s a letter from Timothy to Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Premiere at the time of Sinner‘s release. It appeared in the May 1, 1962 issue of Variety. The print is pretty small, so here is how it reads:

Mr. Nikita Khrushchev 

Kremlin, Moscow, U.S.S.R.

Dear Mr. Khrushchev:

Allow me to introduce myself: My name is Timothy Carey. I am a motion picture producer-distributor.

I am writing for one reason. It has been said by many that you are the world’s greatest sinner. I made a film by the same name, wherein the leading character is quite similar to you, a man who wants to be God. I would like to send you a print for your viewing because it can be very enlightening. The subject matter deals with a great sinner who finally repents.

I’ve tried to show that there is some good in all human beings. I sincerely believe that there is a potent moral message in the “Sinner” and this movie can help the world, especially people who are out to conquer it. “The World’s Greatest Sinner” realized that a man doesn’t profit when he suffers the loss of his soul.

Sincerely yours,

 Timothy Carey

Letter to Nikita

I wonder if Mr. Khrushchev ever received his copy?

Secondly is a lovely photograph of Romeo Carey with Betty Rowland, taken when he interviewed Betty at her home in 2012. As previously reported, Betty, who portrayed long-suffering Edna Hilliard in Sinner, passed away recently. You can visit her online memorial here.

Betty Rowland with Romeo Carey, 2012

And that is all from me until March 31! Byron and I are headed down to Los Angeles for the Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival! Trust me, if anything Timothy-related should happen there, I’ll be your girl reporter on-the-spot!

Quote of the Week

“You mean you’ve never heard of WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER?”

This was a question posed to me not too long ago by a friend; too many drinks and joints in while surveying his collection of rare films and memorabilia. To tell the truth, I didn’t know what the hell he was talking about, and could only stare back at him with a kind of slack-jawed goggle reserved for Alabama rats attempting to study astrophysics. In turn, my friend quickly dropped down to the floor, mumbling about some article in Psychotronic Video as he threw the cabinet of his entertainment center open, revealing a gaggle of VHS tapes, imported DVDs, and even spindles of DVDr recordings of late night TCM showings. From one of the spindles came a disc, probably buried six or seven deep, with the words “World’s Greatest Sinner” crudely scribbled on it with a black Sharpie. For a second I was semi-stressed, as neither of our wives were present, and I feared I was going to get exposed to some kind of super sick snuff flick he had hidden amongst bootlegs of forgotten Warren Oates roles.

Instead, what I got was entranced by the first forty-five minutes of arguably one of the strangest, most fascinating bits of cinema I’d ever laid eyes on. Dubbed by some as one of the “worst films ever made”, WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER was the work of one Timothy Carey, a Brooklyn born character actor who was attempting to produce, write and direct what he considered to be a “truly controversial” film. The story of a suburban everyman who becomes a rock megalomaniac, WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER is undoubtedly odd, but also hypnotic in its purpose; a kind of counter-culture document made before the term “counter-culture” was even part of our pop culture vernacular. And while it practically ruined his career in 1962, WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER has come to find a ROOM-like cult amongst psychotronic film fans*, because underneath the film’s seemingly inept veneer is an odd commentary on race and religion the likes of which were unheard of in the late 50s and early 60s.

*Zack Carlson of the Alamo Drafthouse recently put on a screening of WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER as his “goodbye film” before leaving as a programmer for the famed Texas theater chain

Jacob Knight, “Remembering Timothy Carey: The World’s Greatest Bit Actor”; Very Aware (July 26, 2013)

The World's Greatest Sinner

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: “Paths of Glory” revisited

Turner Classic Movies is observing the 100th anniversary of World War I all this month. Tonight they are airing Stanley Kubrick‘s Paths of Glory (1957), 5:00 p.m. PST, 8:00 p.m. EST.

Paths of Glory

Pvt. Ferol makes his painful way to the firing squad, accompanied by Father Dupree (Emile Meyer). You owe it to yourself to see this magnificent film if you haven’t already, or even if you have. It’s timeless.

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.