Quote of the Week

The second picture I did was for Allied Artists and was titled Unwed Mother, a very provocative title for the late fifties. It starred Timothy Carey, an actor who had scored in Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory alongside Kirk Douglas. In our picture, Timothy played the role of an abortionist (also pretty frisky stuff for that time). When he arrived on the set to do his scene, dressed appropriately in a cheap dark suit, he opened his black medical bag and from it brought out some of the ugliest, vilest-looking knives, tools, hammers, and sundry stuff you’d likely see only in some triple-X horror movie. This bag had not been furnished by the prop department, nor was a bag of that kind mentioned in the script. It was all Timothy’s idea, and he had to be talked out of using it in his scene by the director [Walter Doniger], who threatened to have him fired and, if possible, kicked out of the Screen Actors Guild. He finally did acquiesce, and I heard very little about or from him since then.*

*Marisa’s note: I guess he forgot about the Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode he and Timothy did together.

Unwed Mother

Pic of the Day: “Unwed Mother” revisited

Today’s pic takes another gander at the unnamed but unnerving back-alley abortionist of the low-budget cautionary melodrama Unwed Mother (1958), directed by Walter Doniger. The unfortunate title character (Norma Moore) is definitely wondering what she’s gotten herself into at this point.

Unwed Mother

This was Timothy’s first film after Paths of Glory (1957), which, let’s face it, would give the average actor whiplash. But as we know, Tim was not the average actor, and he never walked through a role. No matter how big or how small the part, the budget, or the “prestige,” he gave his all in every performance.

Video of the Week: “Unwed Mother” trailer

Here’s another one from the archives (read: we’ve run out of new videos to post again!). It’s the trailer for Walter Doniger‘s Unwed Mother (1958), the cautionary drive-in tale of a naive gal (Norma Moore) done wrong. Timothy appears as the grouchy back-alley abortionist about halfway through.

Also appearing is Robert Vaughn as the impregnating cad. Girls, let this be a warning – to you.

Pic of the Day: “Unwed Mother” revisited

Today’s pic is another from Unwed Mother (1958), directed by Walter Doniger. Timothy’s sweaty, disheveled abortionist looks here like he just wandered in from a German Expressionist film of the 1920’s.

Unwed Mother

Tim’s brief appearance is definitely the highlight of this moralistic melodrama. Check it out on DVD and also on Fandor.

Pic of the Day: “Unwed Mother” revisited

Today’s pic takes another look at Unwed Mother (1958), Walter Doniger‘s cautionary tale of what can happen when you do the hanky-panky without benefit of marriage. As the beleaguered title character, Norma Moore pays a visit to Timothy’s unnamed back-alley abortionist. The expression on his face tells us all we need to know of his opinion of this little trollop – er, unfortunate woman.

Unwed Mother

Doniger began his Hollywood career as a scriptwriter in the 1940s. He directed his first film, Duffy of San Quentin (featuring two of Tim’s future Paths of Glory co-stars, George Macready and Joe Turkel), in 1954. He really made his mark in television, directing scores of episodes from the 1950s through the 70’s. His directing style was apparently a bit brusque. According to Robert Vaughn’s autobiography, while shooting this film Doniger clashed with Tim over certain characterizations Tim wished to bring to his character. Tim was forced to back down after Doniger threatened to have him kicked out of the Screen Actors Guild.

Pic of the Day: “Unwed Mother” revisited

Our pic today takes another look at Timothy’s grumpy back-alley abortionist from Unwed Mother (1958), directed by Walter Doniger. He seems to resent the intrusion of the title character, Betty Miller (Norma Moore), into what is apparently his drinking time. Betty seems to be reconsidering her plan.

Unwed Mother

Moore was a busy actress in the 1950s, mostly on television. She took some time off in the 60s and 70s and made a comeback in the 80s, again mostly on the small screen. Her most recent appearance was three years ago in the Christian-themed short Careful What You Wish For.

Pic of the Day: “Unwed Mother” lobby card

I’m in a medical mood today, having spent all morning in the dentist’s office. So today’s pic is a lobby card from Unwed Mother (1958), Timothy’s first film after Paths of Glory (1957). His grumpy abortion doctor is inspiring no confidence in the title character (Norma Moore).

Unwed Mother lobby card

A colorized publicity still was used for this one, a common practice back then. I wonder if Tim’s pants were really that shiny blue?

Pic of the Day: “Unwed Mother” revisited

Our pic for today is a lobby card from Unwed Mother (1958), Timothy’s first film after Paths of Glory, believe it or not. The title character (Norma Moore) is thinking twice about employing the services of Tim’s back-alley abortionist, who looks like he just stumbled in from an all-night bender.

The film is in black and white, but as was often the case, a publicity still was colorized for use on the lobby card. I’m hoping those shiny striped pants he’s wearing really were blue. Moore appeared on television quite often in the 1950’s. Perhaps her finest film role was in Fear Strikes Out (1957), opposite Anthony Perkins and Karl Malden.

Babylon Boozer?

OK, let’s get this one out of the way. It was recently brought to my attention that Timothy appears in Kenneth Anger‘s notorious book, Hollywood Babylon II (1984), in the chapter entitled “Babylon Boozers.” I admit that Anger’s first Babylon book was an old guilty pleasure of mine, but I had not seen the second one. I acquired the book, checked out the chapter in question, and indeed, this photograph appears.

Here we see Tim in his well-known publicity still from Unwed Mother (1958), with the caption declaring that he was one of the “thirsty thespians.” It’s worth noting that this chapter is comprised of captioned photographs only. There is absolutely no anecdotal evidence presented to back up Anger’s insinuations about anyone in this chapter, not just Timothy.

Two quotations of Tim’s need to be noted at this point. From the Film Comment interview by Grover Lewis, 1992:

GL: “No offense, Tim, but did you ever drink a lot or use drugs?”

TC: “No, I’m a teetotaler. I never even smoked. People were always offering me grass or cocaine. I got my own cocaine – my own personality. I AM COCAINE. What do I need that stuff for?”

And from Timothy’s own article “The Highways of Heaven,” written in 1957, in which he talks about how he got to know James Dean during the filming of East of Eden in the spring of 1954:

He would have beer and smoke cigarettes, and he would get a great kick out of me ordering 7-Up.

“How do you like that?” he laughed the first time I did it. “You look like you can do anything – like you’d drink rubbing alcohol.”

“I don’t need any synthetics for my kicks, Jimmy,” I told him.

“You have something there,” he nodded.

Kenneth Anger is indeed a gifted filmmaker, but his hatred of the city and the industry that birthed him and ultimately rejected him is obvious, and legendary. Everything in the Babylon books needs to be taken with a humongous grain of salt. For a truly eye-opening experience, I highly recommend Anger: The Unauthorized Biography by the late Bill Landis.

Pic of the Day: “Unwed Mother” revisited

Our pic for today takes another look at Timothy’s unnerving abortionist from Unwed Mother (1958). Norma Moore, in the titular role, clearly is having definite second thoughts about the whole thing.

Would you trust this guy to perform an extremely delicate (and, at the time, illegal) medical procedure on you? As my mother used to say, not me, Myrtle.