Doris E. Carey 1940 – 2017

Very sad news to report, via Romeo Carey:

Doris Carey, 77, Mother, Actress, Poet, Theanthropist

LOS ANGELES, June 7—Doris Erica Radlinger-Carey, actress, poet, and best known as the wife of character actor Timothy Carey (they met in Germany in 1957 while Carey was making Stanley Kubrick‘s Paths of Glory), died on Wednesday at Arcadia Methodist Hospital. She was 77. Her son Romeo announced the death and said the cause was a heart attack.

Doris Carey’s acting career began with a part in Timothy Carey’s 1961 movie The World’s Greatest Sinner and 1969 TV series Tweet’s Ladies of Pasadena. Mrs. Carey was also a published author of a book of poems entitled Echoes of A Soul in Anguish.

Mrs. Carey was her husband’s writing partner on several movie scripts and plays, including The Insect Trainer. Mrs. Carey’s domestic life was filled with homemaking, gardening, knitting, animal rescue, and other philanthropic endeavors.

In addition to her son Romeo, she is survived by her five other children: Mario, Velencia, Silvana, Dagmar and Germain, and six grandchildren: Priscilla, Ambria, Kevin, Fiory, Akira, and Prima.

Mrs. Carey will be laid to rest on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 alongside her husband at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California.

Quote of the Week

“The World’s Greatest Sinner” and the Big Timothy Carey Question

Timothy Who? Timothy Agoglia Carey, sometimes Tim Carey, most of the time Timothy Carey. 1929-94. This character actor (dis)graced American screens for five decades, playing vile, despicable and loathsome scum of the earth, void of any redeeming quality.

What has he been in? You might be familiar with The Wild One (1953), East of Eden (1955), The Killing (1956), Paths of Glory (1957), One-Eyed Jacks (1961), Minnie and Moskowitz (1971) and The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) to mention a few out of 50 something screen appearances – not counting television, which credits for about 50 more. Despite this sizable curriculum, he was quite possibly fired more often than any other actor in Hollywood, for example by Billy Wilder and Arthur Penn, and also quite willfully turned down parts in movies such as the first two Godfather films as well as Kubrick‘s Spartacus.

Why so vile, despicable etc? Well, he throws a beer in Brando‘s face, beats up James Dean, crushes a cockroach, pushes a girl into a bowl of chili, shoots a horse and verbally abuses a black man, all this in the most unspeakable of ways. And all this during the first ten years of his career…

If so vile etc – why is he worth watching? This 193 cm/6′ 4″ male specimen sported a pair of heavy-lidded eyes that matched Robert Mitchum’s, a set of clenched teeth that beat out Burt Lancaster’s, a dance routine that would have frightened James Brown and tantrums that outdid Harvey Keitel’s. This is partly why.

The World’s Greatest Sinner? A film he wrote, directed, produced and starred in, shot between 1958 and 1961, and released in 1963. He plays Clarence Hilliard, an insurance salesman who quits his job, changes his name from Clarence to God (he keeps Hilliard) and starts his own political/religious movement, promising to turn everyone into “millionaires, gods, super human beings!” He dons a silver lamé suit [NB: It was actually gold] and becomes a (very unlikely) rock ‘n’ roll idol, then runs for president of the United States as the candidate of The Eternal Man Party. The film is narrated by a snake and was promoted as “The most condemned and praised American movie of its Time”, but soon disappeared from the public eye. Among the few people who saw it were Frank Zappa, who wrote the film’s songs and called it the world’s worst film, and John Cassavetes, who said it had the emotional brilliance of Eisenstein. Among the people who didn’t see it was an indifferent Ingmar Bergman, despite the fact that Carey sent a friend to Sweden with a print earmarked for the director’s viewing pleasure, as well as a most enthusiastic Elvis Presley, on whom Carey did not want to waste a precious print, as he only had four left.

Carey and Vienna? Some almost five decades late, in November 1st, 2009, The World’s Greatest Sinner finally had its Austrian premiere. A packed audience at the legendary Gartenbaukino cinema in Vienna savoured the treat with awe. A tribute section devoted to selected Carey gems included Head (featuring pop group The Monkees and written by Jack Nicholson), Minnie and Moskowitz, Paths of Glory, Poor White Trash (a sordid exploitation story in which scary Carey is again seen doing a crazy dance), and another Carey directorial effort, Tweet’s Ladies of Pasadena, in which he plays a kind (!) member of a ladies knitting club who constantly roller-skates and wants to clothe naked animals. Along for the ride was Romeo Carey, one of four [NB: Actually six] of the actor’s children, providing insightful information on his father’s career (as well as being living proof of the fact that Carey, apart from being vile, despicable and loathsome, also was a family man) and guiding us through a highly unusual career (which also include a one-man stage performance on the topic of flatulence).

So is he just a cult guy? True, if Carey is in a film, even if it’s Francis the Talking Mule in the Haunted House, it’s worth seeing. Even in the smallest of parts, he manages to steal from the greatest of greats – some of them feeling surprisingly outdated these days, whereas Carey himself remains utterly watchable. In this respect, he comes across as a forerunner of sorts to actors like Vincent Gallo, Harvey Keitel and even Michael Richards, whose Kramer character in Seinfeld arguably owes a moment or two to Carey. In other words, this is an actor with a resonating presence. The idea of giving Carey a well-deserved tribute is thus highly appropriate, as well as being film festival retrospective programming at its finest.

Why has no one come up with this idea before? That’s The Big Timothy Carey Question. Quite simply.

"He's the World's Greatest Sinner" by eyeodyssey on Deviantart

“He’s the World’s Greatest Sinner” by Aaron Dylan Kearns (eyeodyssey) on DeviantArt

An Animated “Tweet’s” redux! (and the Video of the Week)

Remember this post from last summer?

Breaking news from Absolute Films!

Promo clip pitching the notorious action comedy-mind blower, circa 1969 film from legendary film genius, Timothy Carey.

The idea of adapting TWEET’S LADIES OF PASADENA as an animated series is brilliant… one can only imagine the back-story?

We are currently looking for animators who are interested in helping to create the animation pilot to pitch to Netflix.

Contact: tweetsladies@absolutefilms.net

Well, I’ve just heard from Romeo Carey that an animator has been found for this project! An Emmy-winning animator. That’s all I know at this point. More as it becomes available! Is this exciting or what?

BREAKING NEWS! An animated “Tweet’s”????

Breaking news from Absolute Films!

Promo clip pitching the notorious action comedy-mind blower, circa 1969 film from legendary film genius, Timothy Carey.

The idea of adapting TWEET’S LADIES OF PASADENA as an animated series is brilliant… one can only imagine the back-story?

We are currently looking for animators who are interested in helping to create the animation pilot to pitch to Netflix.

Contact: tweetsladies@absolutefilms.net

Video of the Week: “Mama Cooper”

Our video this week is the second of the two Daniel Boone episodes in which Timothy appears. He has a much less prominent role in this one, “Mama Cooper”, first airing on February 5, 1970. He was deep into filming Tweet’s Ladies of Pasadena at the time, which could explain it.

Tim shows up at about the 10:35 mark as slave trader Wibberly. Also appearing in this above-average episode are football legend and needlepoint enthusiast Rosey Grier and, in the title role, the one and only Ethel Waters. Enjoy!

Quote of the Week

Tweet’s Ladies of Pasadena may be singular.  Tweets may be plural.  It either refers to a feature-length film or a series of shorts.

Tweet’s Ladies of Pasadena is so obscure that Mike White from Cashiers du Cinemart drove 10+ hours to see a screening in Philadelphia.

Tweet’s Ladies of Pasadena is the work of the late Timothy Carey of World’s Greatest Sinner fame. 

Tweet’s Ladies of Pasadena is so bizarre it makes World’s Greatest Sinner seem like ABC Family fodder.

Tweet’s Ladies of Pasadena is easily the most punishing film going experience of my life. 

– Mike Faloon, “That Which Doesn’t Kill You: Timothy Carey’s Tweets”; Go Metric April 16, 2010 (accessed July 13, 2014)

Tweet's

Quote of the Week

For a weird, Z-grade movie, The World’s Greatest Sinner is remarkably prescient. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, there would be an explosion of God Hilliards out there. The Manson Family, the MOVE, the SLA, and Jonestown were all political and religious hybrid cults with charismatic leaders that led their followers into horrible ends.

The film’s music was composed and conducted by an (at the time) unknown musician from the L.A. area, Frank Zappa. There’s nothing in the music that is noticeably Zappa-esque, it mostly sounds like countless other swinging soundtracks from no-budget ‘60s films. Zappa briefly promoted the film during his 1963 appearance on the Steve Allen Show. There to show off his talents at playing the bicycle as a musical instrument, Zappa casually calls The World’s Greatest Sinner, “the world’s worst movie.” Zappa would later make the world’s worst movie, the unwatchable dreck known as 200 Motels.

The World’s Greatest Sinner failed to gain any wide distribution. For decades the film was the stuff of legend with rough bootlegs being passed around. That started to change with its initial airing on Turner Classic Movies – you can now purchase the film on iTunes. I first heard about it on a list compiled by Lux Interior and Poison Ivy of The Cramps where they ranked it their favorite film. Carey continued to work as a character actor in TV and films until his death in 1994, though he never completed another film as a director. He did work on directing Tweet’s Ladies of Pasadena, but the film was never completed and it has been said that the footage is unwatchable. Regardless, Carey has morphed into a full-blown cult movie icon. The Timothy Carey Experience is a regularly updated fan site dedicated to the legendary character actor.

As is the case with many no-budget, Z-grade films from the ‘60s, The World’s Greatest Sinner can be rough around the edges. The film does avoid the Z-grade pratfalls of padding the running time with stock footage to hit the 90-minute mark, running a tight 77-minutes. Even though Carey has worked with some of the greatest filmmakers in history, his work as a director varies from borderline incompetence to borderline brilliance. Even though the film isn’t the work of a cinema virtuoso, it’s an unusual, brave, and uncompromising work. Like its star, writer, and director,The World’s Greatest Sinner is truly one of a kind.

– Sean Mulvihill, “Reelin’ and Rockin’ – The World’s Greatest Sinner: A True Cult Film”; FanBoyNation.com, May 30, 2014

The World's Greatest Sinner