Pic of the Day: “What’s the Matter with Helen?” revisited

We close the week with another look at the handout-seeking tramp of Curtis Harrington‘s What’s the Matter with Helen? (1971). It’s a very brief appearance for Timothy, but Harrington imagined no one else in the role and insisted he be cast.

What's the Matter with Helen? (1971)Don’t miss What’s the Matter with Helen? on Turner Classic Movies this Sunday, April 26!

Video of the Week: “What’s the Matter with Helen?” trailer

This week’s video is the trailer for Curtis Harrington‘s favorite of all of his films, What’s the Matter with Helen? (1971). Timothy is briefly glimpsed as the panhandling bum who gives Debbie Reynolds quite a scare.

Also featured are Shelley Winters, Dennis Weaver, Pamelyn Ferdin (quintessential child star of the ’60s and ’70s and the voice of Lucy in most of the early Charlie Brown television specials), and the flamboyant Irish theatrical powerhouse Micheál MacLiammóir. Harrington was a proud Careyphile and spoke highly of Tim in his autobiography. Enjoy!

Pic of the Day: “What’s The Matter With Helen?” revisited

Our pic today takes another gander at Curtis Harrington‘s What’s The Matter With Helen? (1971). Glamorous dance teacher Adelle (Debbie Reynolds) answers a knock at the door, thinking it’s her date (Dennis Weaver). It isn’t.

What's The Matter With Helen?

As we know, Harrington was very fond of Timothy, calling him “my favorite bogeyman”. They worked together once more after this film, in the Baretta episode “Set Up City” (10.29.75).

Pic of the Day: “Fifth Man in a String Quartet” revisited

Our pic of the day revisits the McCloud episode “Fifth Man in a String Quartet”. It was first broadcast on February 2, 1972. Timothy’s unnamed apartment house manager is taking McCloud (Dennis Weaver) to investigate the apartment of a musician suspected of murder.

Fifth Man in a String Quartet - 1972

 

If Tim had not been fired (I’m not 100% certain that’s what happened, but all signs point to it) from Duel at Diablo (1966), he would have worked with Weaver four times and not three. For sure they appeared together here, in the Gunsmoke episode “The Gentleman” (6.7.58), and in What’s the Matter with Helen? (1971).

Pic of the Day: “What’s the Matter with Helen?” revisited

Today we revisit Curtis Harrington‘s What’s the Matter with Helen? (1971), a gem of a film if ever there was one. Harrington, a humongous Careyphile, insisted on Timothy for the brief but memorable role of the bedraggled tramp who hits up Debbie Reynolds for a hand-out in Depression-era Hollywood.

What's the Matter with Helen? (1971)

I am currently reading and greatly enjoying Harrington’s long-awaited (and posthumous, unfortunately for us) autobiography, Nice Guys Don’t Work in Hollywood: The Adventures of an Aesthete in the Movie Business. In fact, I’ve already used a couple of his observations about Tim for Quotes of the Week. Please do yourselves a favor and check out this book (and his short film collection while you’re at it); I predict you won’t be disappointed!

Quote of the Week

I had my heart set on Timothy Carey to play the tramp who asks Debbie [Reynolds] for a handout [in What’s the Matter with Helen? (1971)]. He was notoriously difficult to deal with and had an aggressive personality that frightened many people. Most producers didn’t want to work with him, but to the many creative directors who loved him – like Kazan, Cassavetes, and Kubrick – he was unique and irreplaceable. I was one of those directors. I ordered Caro [Jones, casting director] to offer him the part and make a deal with him. Still, there were a few sticky moments. One day she called me in terror to tell me that Timothy had warned her that he owned some vicious dogs and that if he didn’t get the part he would let them loose on her! I calmed her down and she made the deal.

Curtis Harrington, Nice Guys Don’t Work In Hollywood: The Adventures of an Aesthete in the Movie Business (Drag City Incorporated, 2013)

What's the Matter with Helen?

Pic of the Day: “What’s the Matter with Helen?” revisited

Today it’s time for another look at the Curtis Harrington-directed shocker What’s the Matter with Helen? (1971). Timothy is briefly but memorably seen as a panhandling tramp in 1930s Hollywood. Here he thanks Adelle (Debbie Reynolds) and her beau Linc Palmer (Dennis Weaver) for their generosity and for “giving a damn.”

What's the Matter with Helen?

Tim had worked with both Reynolds and Weaver previously – with Reynolds in The Second Time Around (1961), and with Weaver in the Gunsmoke episode “The Gentleman” (6.7.58). He would work with him again the following year in the McCloud episode “Fifth Man in a String Quartet” (2.2.72). If Tim hadn’t been fired from Ralph Nelson‘s Duel at Diablo (1966), that would have made four times he’d worked with Weaver.