PSYCHOTRONIC VIDEO #6 1990
Interview and Article by Mike Murphy, Johnny Legend and Michael J.Weldon
As you’ll find out in this issue,
one of Hollywood’s most unique personalities.
This month (July), he’s presenting a play in Hollywood about a
killer fart (see page 35). (His
hero, Salvador Dali inspired it.) If
you can manage to be there – GO!! It
will be worth it! Carey has
acted with James Dean (EAST OF EDEN)
and Marlon Brando (THE WILD ONE)
and had stand-out roles in two of Kubrick’s best features (THE KILLERS and PATHS OF GLORY).
He acted with Elvis and The Monkees and stole scenes in two
notorious exploitation movies, POOR
WHITE TRASH and MERMAIDS OF
TIBURON. He also
discovered Frank Zappa and ray Dennis Steckler, and directed himself in THE
WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER, an amazing way- ahead-of-it’s-time early
60s feature dealing with the deadly mixture of religion, politics and rock
and roll. Michael Murphy and
Johnny Legend (BRIDE OF THE
REANIMATOR), two guys from California who know, somehow managed to
videotape Carey talking about his fascinating career and the results are
here in print!
Well he’s the World’s Greatest Sinner. I said the World’s Greatest Sinner. As a sinner he’s a winner. Honey, he’s no beginner. He’s rotten to the core. Daddy, you can’t say no more. He’s the World’s Greatest Sinner. If you see him walking around the floor. He’s the meanest creature that you’ve ever saw. (repeat)
(1963 – Frank Zappa)
(All through this song, the bass voice goes “Hey Papa, Doodly
papa, hey Papa, Doodly Papa…”)
Agoglia Carey is directing
a play in Hollywood this month about death by farting.
He’s been acting in films since 1951, was in classics with Brando
and Dean, worked several times each for Kubrick and Cassavetes, was in the
exploitation classic POOR WHITE TRASH and made a movie that would be a
cult classic if only people could see it – THE WORLD’S GREATEST
various books, the 6’4”, now 65 year old Carey has been called “a
heavy eyed character actor, often a loathsome villain”, “totally
without attractive characteristics, repulsive looking”, and “the least
lovable actor since Rondo Hatton”.
He’s also considered a great actor and his fans in the business
include Jack Nicholson, Peter Falk and Brando. Here, often in his own
words, is the Timothy Carey story:
“The first time I worked was in a Clark Gable film in Colorado…
And I was sent one time in New York
by an agent who used to handle Clarke Gable by the name of Chamberlain
Brown. I was just an extra in
ACROSS THE WIDE MISSOURI (MGM, 1951).
Gable had a home up there they rented for him.
I went up there and said I was working on the picture.
They invited me in and gave e tea and crumpets and were very
hospitable to me. I started working on the show three days later and he
was a little embarrassed that he wined and dined an atmosphere player at
his home. I worked on the
show, I played a dead man in it; it was a great part!
You could only see my back, I was lying in the water.
I’ll never forget the director (William Wellman,) he was a great
director, a tough director. I
had two arrows in my back lying in the water.
I couldn’t hold still, it was so cold and my teeth were
chattering. The director
said, ‘Keep that jerk still, he’s supposed to be dead.’
I had just come from dramatic school in New York.
I thought I was a great actor; I’m the only one who did.
They were shooting a film called ACE IN THE HOLE (a.k.a. THE
BIG CARNIVAL) with Kirk Douglas, directed by Bill Wilder.
I went over and said, ’Here I am Mr. Wilder.
I’m just fresh out of acting school and would love to be in the
show.’ He said go ahead and
put your name in to be an extra and the production office said there were
no parts. So I just left, but came back the next morning and knocked on
Mr. Wilder’s door. He came
out and his cheek was bleeding, he cut himself shaving, and I told him
they told me there were no parts. He
said, ‘If you bother me again I’m going to let you have it!’
So I went back to the production office and said, ‘You got me in
trouble with Billy Wilder; he cut himself shaving!’
So they said, ‘O.K., you want to be an extra?…Get in the
car’. And that started me
off on my movie career.”
(The Paramount release about exploiting a mining disaster is now
considered a classic). “So
now I was hitchhiking in Hollywood and this fellow picked me and I told
him I was trying to get an agent. He
told me about this guy to see, Walter Conan, but he wouldn’t do anything
until he saw a scene I did at Hollywood.
It was a farmer scene where I prayed for rain, but there was a
little twist to it. At one
point, I stopped and said, ‘All right, I know you people are just
laughing at me, but I came to do a scene.
You’re going to see me in a scene that’s gonna put me on a pink
cloud. So this guy, my
friend, yells on cue, ‘Oh oh, watch it, he’s got a gun!’
So I shot him with a blank and then I shot myself. Everybody was
down below their seats and I got up and said, ‘That’s my scene.’
Timothy Carey continued to play
character roles, usually as villains.
HELLGATE was a Lippert remake of PRISONER OF SHARK ISLAND (36), starring Sterling Hayden.
BLOODHOUNDS OF BROADWAY
(20th Century Fox) was a musical comedy starring Mitzi Gaynor
as a singing hillbilly and Scott Brady as a Manhattan bookie.
Carey and Charles Buchinski (Bronson) played hoods.
Carey was also on the popular but short-lived, GANGBUSTERS
TV show in 1952. WHITE WITCH DOCTOR (20th ) was a Technicolor adventure
set in the Belgian Congo staring Robert Mitchum and Susan Hayward; Henry
Hathaway directed it. CRIME WAVE
(Warners) was directed by, Andre De Toth, on location at San Quentin and
in Los Angeles’ Chinatown. It
starred Gene Nelson (who later directed KISSIN
COUSINS and THE COOL ONES)
as an ex-con forced into helping with a bank robbery.
Also in the cast were Phyllis Kirk and Charles Bronson (who had
both just been HOUSE OF WAX,
made by the same producer, director, screenwriter team), Carey and young
Richard Benjamin. ALASKA SEAS (Paramount) was a remake of SPAWN OF THE NORTH, starring Robert Ryan.
“Someone took me to see Lazlo Benedict, who directed THE WILD ONE, and he liked me, but he wouldn’t let me drive a motorcycle, I guess he didn’t trust me. He thought I’d run over a few people”.
WILD ONES, Carey as a biker, eggs on Chino, (Lee Marvin) in a fight,
throws beer in Brando’s face, and takes over the office of the local
phone receptionist. “After that, I tried to get into PRINCE
VALLIANT (1954, Robert Wagner starred).
So I went to Western Costume to dress up like Sir Black, the heavy
in it. They fitted me in this
outfit…all sashed pants and that had a medieval glove with a weapon from
that era. And I thought, how
am I gonna get in there, so I went to climb the fence at 20th
Century Fox, but I couldn’t make it because of the clothes I had on.
It was right near a golf course and a golfer helped me over with a
ladder. I told him I was an
actor on the set who got lost. I
tried to find the director, Henry Hathaway, but he wasn’t in his office
so I went to the commissary where he was having lunch and said, ‘Here I
am, Sir Black! My men number
many. I’m here for the
part. Do I get it?’ I took out my knife. He
said, ‘Put the knife away, you got the part.’
Then I was escorted off the lot.
I never got the part, but I enjoyed it.
It was fun”.
“I went up and read for Elia Kazan.
He picked me up and we went to Mendicino to shoot the scene (for EAST
OF EDEN). I was playing
the bouncer in the house of ill repute for his (James Dean’s) mother.”
“Another time I did a show called FINGERMAN with Frank Lovejoy.
They needed some publicity for the show, so I went to the Santa
Monica Pier and I was going to be thrown in the water in a trunk in front
of the press, but the box was supposed to open up so I wouldn’t drown.
But the newsmen wanted to lock it.
So I went in but I didn’t lock it and the police came to arrest
me. Then the producer John
Burroughs came and he helped me out.
You know I was always a hound for publicity. They were doing the
Academy Awards and Brando was up for it. Well, I knew him from THE
WILD ONE; I knew he was going to get it (for ON
THE WATRFRONT) so I was getting dressed up for it and I was going to
go up there and get it before he got there but some guy from Western
Costume who was dressing me up talked me out of it.”
In FINGERMAN, Carey was
the right hand goon of Forrest Tucker, a bootlegger, white slaver.
KILLING, a United Artists release, was Stanley
Kubrick’s first major feature, a classic time shifting semi-documentary
style look at the racetrack payroll heist.
Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden) hires Nikki Arane, a sharpshooter who
lives on a farm (Carey) to create an important diversion.
Nikki shows up in his MG sports car with a double-barreled shotgun
in a guitar case to assassinate Red horse.
James B. Harris produced THE
KILLING, PATHS OF GLORY (and LOLITA),
before splitting from Kubrick and producing and directing THE
BEDFORD INCIDENT (1965). He
later directed SOME CALL
IT LOVING (1973), FAST WALKING
(1982, again with Carey) and COP (1988).
His last two films starred James Woods.
THE LAST WAGON (20th) was a Richard Widmark western.
FRANCIS IN THE HAUNTED HOUSE was the 7th and last of
Universal’s popular talking mule series, and the only one starring Micky
Rooney. RUMBLE ON THE DOCKS
(Columbia), a juvenile delinquency movie starring James Daren was one of
six Fred Sears movies released in 56.
It was co-billed with Sears’ DON’T
KNOCK THE ROCK and also
featured Robert Blake and Freddie Bell And The Bellboys.
FLIGHT TO HONG KONG (U.A.) was a gangster movie starring Rory Calhoun.
“Somewhere around there I was
kicked out of six films in a row. Then
I did BAYOU and they wanted me to play the heavy, so I went down to
Louisiana and played a Cajun, Ulysses, ‘What I want I gonna get and no
dirty Yonkee from swell country is gonna take it away from me!’
Peter Graves takes away my woman and we have a big fight scene in
the cemetery and I fall on an axe.”
Carey’s Cajun bully was memorable (other characters refer to him
as a shark and a snake), but his standout bit was doing an incredible
uninhibited dance to accordion music. He hops in the air, does rubber-leg moves, caresses himself
and scratches like he has fleas, while a storm brews. The Ulysses dance is so good that it’s edited in several
times. BAYOU was made at
about the same time as Roger Corman’s SWAMP
WOMAN. Both featured
Corman regulars, Jonathon Haze and Ed Nelson.
BAYOU was directed by Harold Daniels, who had co-directed the famous
road show hit THE PRINCE OF PEACE
with William Beaudine.
and broke. Never had no cash. Everybody calls me Poor White Trash. Live in the swamp for my pay.
Well the company man. He
came my way. Company man
stole my gal away. Poor White
Trash, not a nickel in my jeans. Poor
White Trash, don’t know what lovin means.
Poor White Trash, never had no fun.
Poor White Trash, ain’t got no one.
In the swamp I live. In
the swamp I’ll die. But
Poor White Trash, no one will cry. No
one will cry.
In 1961, Producer M.A. Ripps, based
in Mobile, Alabama, bought back his film from United Artists, added some
new sex and shock sequences, a great new pre-credit banjo theme song intro
and game BAYOU the effective new
title, POOR WHITE TRASH.
Often unconvincing doubles were used for the stars.
When northerner Graves and sexy Lita Milan finally start to make
love in a cabin, the scene continues with cuts of bare legs, caresses,
close-ups of eyes, and the storm outside.
The long, at the time shocking scene everybody remembered though
was when Ulysses attacks Milan. In
the new footage, Carey’s shirtless double chases Milan’s double
through the woods, ripping away her clothes as they run.
Eventually she’s running naked, then crawling in the mud
screaming. More new footage
shows her praying in church. Even Carey’s death scene was spiced up with a bloody axe in
the back insert. Because of
the new scenes and a brilliant exploitation advertising campaign (radio,
and newspaper teasers) the adults only POOR
WHITE TRASH was still paying
theatres as late as 1971 (!) and grossed an
“estimated $10 million” (!)
More people probably saw Carey in this historical re-constructed
movie than in any other he was in. The
incredible success of POOR WHITE
TRASH helped spawn other country shockers like COMMON
LAW WIFE (from Ripps), GIRL ON A
CHAIN GANG, SHOTGUN WEDDING, and
several titles each from Russ Meyer and Herschell Gordon Lewis.
Ripps’ 1976 POOR WHITE TRASH II was really S.J. Brownrigg’s unrelated SCUM
OF THE EARTH, shot in Texas. It
was re-titled, advertised as a sequel and made lots of money.
“Then I went to Germany to do PATHS OF GLORY…and that’s where I met my wife.
It was dull, but I loved working for Kubrick.
Now, I love publicity, so I decided to get kidnapped and
disappeared for a few days and they dragged the lake because someone
reported that I committed suicide. It built up a lot of advertising in Munich.
Let me tell you an interesting story about PATHS
OF GLORY. In the
execution scene there was no dialogue but I started to speak, so Kubruck
said, ‘Bring in the sound!’ I
kept saying, ‘I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die’, so
Kubruck comes up to me and says, ‘Tim, you better make this good, Kirk
Douglas doesn’t like it’, but of course they used it.”
GLORY is considered one of the most powerful anti-war films ever made.
The World War I themed feature,based on Humphrey Cobb’s novel,
was made by United Artists only after Douglas agreed to star. Although the characters are in the French Army, the film was
made with German police extras playing French soldiers. Three soldiers are chosen to be court marshaled to cover for
the crass mistakes of their generals (Adolph Menjou and George Macready).
After a mock trails with Colonel Dax (Douglas) as the defense
attorney, they’re found guilty and executed.
Private Ferol (Carey with a goatee), Corporal Paris (Ralph Meeker),
and Private Arnuad (Joseph Turkel who had also been in THE KILLING) are
the doomed men. Both THE
KILLING and PATHS OF GLORY
were co-scripted by novelist Jim Thompson (THE
GETAWAY, THE KILLER INSIDE ME…),
who wrote most of the dialogue. You
can order a dozen different Thompson re-print novels from Amok (see book
OF NUMBERS (MGM) was a crime film staring Jack
Palance in a duel role as brothers. Carey
was a “Giggling psychopath”. UNWED
MOTHER was an Allied Artists teen movie with Robert Vaugh.
The ads said, “20,000 anguished girls wrote it’s blistering
story!” In REVOLT
IN THE BIG HOUSE (Allied Artists) Carey played Bugs Moran.
Gene Evans and Robert Blake starred.
THE BOY AND THE PIRATES (U.A.)
was a kid’s fantasy movie produced and directed by Bert I. Gordon and
featuring his daughter Susan. Carey
played Morgan the pirate and Joseph Turkel played Abu the Genie.
It was filmed in “Perceptovision”.
“I also did ONE
EYED JACKS with Marlon Brando, a film that Stanley Kubrick was
supposed to direct. I played
a bully and was supposed to push this girl’s face in a bowl of chili. She was supposed to get angry, but she kept on crying.
Brando, who directed the film, told me to get her angry, to kick
her in the ass! Karl Malden
said, ‘You can’t do that!’ I
said, ‘I know, her husband’s gonna kill me!’ So we just couldn’t
get her angry, she would only cry. Brando
gave me a compliment or a complaint!
He said, ‘Tim, you’re the only actor’, now he shot me,
‘You’re the only actor that I ever worked with, that even in death,
you move.’ He knew me from THE
WILD ONE. There’s this
scene where we shake up a beer and squirt it in Brando’s face and he
said o me, “you’re not gonna throw any beer in my face are you?’ and
I said, “If I do Marlon, it’s gonna be good beer, I’m gonna use
German beer’. Brando took
over the direction of the excellent epic revenge western also featuring
Elisha Cook Jr., Ben Johnson, and Slim Pickens.
Carey, as Howard Tetley meets Rio (Brando) in a showdown.
WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER is an amazing
film…with ahead of his time
producer/director/screenwriter/distributor/star Carey as Clarence
Hilliard, an insurance salesman who drops out, starts his own religion and
eventually runs for president! (It
was filmed from 1958 to 1961, years before PRIVILEDGE
or WILD IN THE STREETS).
The feature cost “$100,000”.
Clarence says, “There’s only one god and that’s man!” and
renames himself God Hilliard. God
says, “Each and every one of use should be millionaires.
We should be gods, every one of us here – super human beings!”
After witnessing a wild, screaming, multi-racial rock show, he gets
a guitar and a fake goatee and starts doing a rock/preacher show that
might make you think of Elvis mixed with James Brown as Jimmy Swaggart.
God and his loud, crude rocking band, (with female sax player) work
the audiences into a frenzy (the film’s original title).
All of a sudden the music stops and God yells: “Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Take my hand”
He takes off his white suit coat, does the same craze Ulysses dance
from POOR WHITE TRASH,
flops on his back on the stage like he’s having an epileptic fit, then
jumps into the converted crowd!
God’s followers wear F arm
patches. God also seduces an
old lady for her money, welcomes a 14-year old groupie to his bed, hits
his daughter, and drives a man to suicide.
The narrator is a snake. Effects,
including a flash foreword, a color scene and some up-side-down shots are
used. “I play an atheist
who gets people’s attention by playing music.
I graduated from a rock and roller to a politician.
Then he ran for president with God written on his cuffs.
I played the part of God Hilliard.
I had this cult. We shot at this cathedral in San Gabriel.
I was living there by now. The
end scene I take the communion from the church and take it home.
I hold it up in one hand and hold a pin in the other and I say,
‘If you’re really a god, show me if there’s something mightier than
man.’ Then I start stabbing it and nothing happens.
The wafer breaks and I start laughing, ‘Nothing but a piece of
bread! Mother, you’re dead
forever!’ and walk outside and then all of a sudden blood starts
dripping out fast downstairs. Out
the house and I’m scared, but go back into the room and this light hits
me. We shot it in black and
white, but at that point we change to color.
And I yell, ‘Oh my god’, and get thrown up against the wall and
it cuts now to the wafer and the credits come on.
I’ve been tying to locate the negative of the film for years. Mike Murphy and his wife Cheryl are trying to run it down”.
“When I was working with Debbie
Reynolds for the second time (in THE
SECOND TIME AROUND, a
western comedy) at 20th Century Fox, a fellow came up to me and
complimented me on my acting. He
said he was a composer and the guy he came with, his next-door neighbor,
played the guitar. I said, ‘What’s your name?’
he said, ‘Frank Zappa’. So
I said, ‘OK, I have something for you.
We have no music for THE
WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER. If
you can supply the orchestra and a place to tape it, you have the job’.
And that’s what he did. Around
the same time he was on the Steve Alan Show.
That’s where our friendship stopped.
Steve asked him what films he did.
He said, ‘I did THE
WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER, the world’s worst film and all the actors
were from skid row.’ It
wasn’t true. The press said
I was the world’s greatest ham, and that THE
WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER was a travesty of the arts.
Zappa didn’t like that and he started to get on their bandwagon.
The opening night at the directors guild, he was in complete awe.
He walked into the window and banged himself in the head.
He didn’t even know there was a window there. The World’s Greatest Sinner/How’s Your Bird? By “Baby
Ray And The Ferns” (Donna 1378) was released in March, 63.
Baby Ray was vocalist, Ray Collins.
“How’s Your Bird” was a phrase that Steve Allen used to say
on TV. In 1983 Rhino/Del Fi
included both sides of the historic single on the “Rare Meat” EP.
Another cult figure who got his
start on WGS was Ray Dennis Steckler.
Carey brought Steckler to Long Beach to shoot scenes of crowds of
extras watching Carey on stage then rioting.
Several other cameramen had already been fired.
“This fellow said he needed an assistant and he knew a
cinematographer that lived in Pennsylvania.
He said, ‘If you can give me the money to pay his expenses to
come out here’ and I said, “Yeah.”
Steckler later said that when he was in the closet loading film,
Carey threw a boa constrictor in with him.
After some more cinematography and acting jobs, Steckler directed WILD
GUITAR for Arch Hall Sr., then
began his own unique career with THE
INCREDIBLY STARANGE CREATURES…
At the premiere of THE WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER, Carey got everything off to a
memorable start by firing a 48 above the heads of the audience.
For more promotion, he wore his gold lame Gold suit and told people
on the streets about his must-see feature.
OF TIBURON was the creation of underwater
photography specialist, John Lamb (VOYAGE
TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, WAR GODS OF THE DEEP…), who filmed in
Mexico and around Catalina Island. The
hero discovers a race of mermaids wearing flowers on their breasts.
Famous model and two-time Playboy centerfold (May ‘55 and Feb.
’56) Diane Webber (Margaret Empey) was the star mermaid. She and her
husband, Bob Webber, a film cutter, were nudists.
Diane later showed up in Ray Dennis Steckler’s SINTHIA, THE DEVIL’S DOLL. Carey,
as murderer, Milo Sangster, follows in a rented boat, searching for giant
pearls. He throws Pepe (Jose
Gonzalez Gozalez) and his guitar to the sharks and dynamites some
mermaids. This unique color
movie used to show up on late night TV in black and white and was
especially popular in Boston. One
minor character was played by Gil Baretto, also in WGS.
In 1965, Art Films added some new scenes with mermaids without the
flower pasties and re-released MERMAIDS
as AQUA SEX. For the second time, Carey inadvertently found himself in an
“adults only” movie.
“I did a great thing in CONVICTS FOUR. I said,
‘You’re a great screw,’ but they changed it around. They were afraid it was gonna mean I was screwing the guard.
It had nothing to do with that.
They’re always looking at the negative side.”
CONVICTS FOUR (Allied
Artists) was about a prisoner (Ben Gazzara) who becomes a professional
artist. The impressive cast
included Vincent Price as an art critic, Stuart Whitman, Ray Walston,
Sammy Davis Jr., Rod Steiger, Broderick Crawford, Reggie Nalder, and Jack
Aberstson. In A.I.P.s
BIKINI BEACH and BEACH BLANKET
BINGO, the third and fourth in the popular Frank and Annette series
directed by William Asher, Carey played South Dakota Slim who hangs out
around the pool table with Eric Von Zipper’s gang.
RIO CONCHOS (20th
Century) was a western with Richard Boone and Stuart Whitman. It also featured Carey as an underground actor with “the
new sentimentality.” A TIME FOR KILLING
(Columbia), a Civil War drama was started by director, Phil Karlson but
actually directed by (an unaccredited) Roger Corman the same year as THE
TRIP. It starred, Glen Ford and Inger Stevens but the support cast
was the best part: George Hamilton, Paul Peterson, Max Baer, Kenneth Tobey,
Dick Miller, Harry Dean Stanton, and Harrison Ford.
WATERHOLD #3, also set during the Civil War, was a black comedy
western starring James Coburn. Carey’s
character made goat noises.
Timothy’s next parts were in the
last film appearances by The Monkees and Elvis.
In HEAD, written by Jack
Nicholson, another Carey fan, he had an incredible stand out scary role as
“Lord High ‘n Low.” Others
from Timothy’s past, who had small roles included Frank Zappa and
Annette. HEAD is filled with
references to Stanley Kubruck films (2001,
DR. STRANGELOVE) and of course Carey himself. “I did an Elvis Presley film, his last movie (CHANGE
OF HABBIT with Mary Tyler Moore.)
I had one scene as a proprietor of a seedy Puerto Rican restaurant.
He came up to me and said, ‘Aren’t you Timothy Carey? Didn’t you do THE
WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER?’ I
said, ‘Yes.’ He said,
‘I always wanted to see that show.
Do you have a 16mm version?’
I only had a 35mm, but proceeded to talk about it.
He knew all about it. I
only had four prints. That
was one of the reasons that I didn’t send it.”
TO KNOW YOUR RABBITT (from Warners) was Brian
DePalma’s first major release, but still showed his anti-establishment
roots. Tom Smothers starred
as an executive who drops out and joins Orson Welles’ school for
magicians. The movie flopped,
but the interesting support case included John Astin, Allan Garfield, M.
Emmet Walsh, and Carey as a cop. Timothy
played a tramp in Curtis Harrington’s WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH HELEN
written by Henry Farrel (WHAT’S
THE MATTER WITH BABY JANE?).
Shelly Winters and Debby Reynolds were the mothers of two killers
in 1930s Hollywood. MINNIE
AND MOSKOWITZ was a Universal release directed and written by John
Cassavettes. Gena Rowland
starred as a museum curator who finds herself involved with Seymour Cassel
as a longhaired parking lot attendant.
Carey was third billed as Morgan Morgan, a derelict poet who says
he hates cinema but likes Wallace Beery.
Carey turned down a roll in THE GODFATHER because he was busy directing and acting in TWEET’S
LADIES OF PASADENA, a film he worked on for years.
The homemade comedy has been described as “looking like
Steckler’s LEMON GROOVE KIDS movie.” Carey
plays a custodian/gardener for an old-ladies knitting club who wants to
clothe naked animals. “The
first time I met Coppola, he kept asking me to do THE GODFATHER.
So I did a little Italian scene and they kept asking me to come up
to San Francisco to do a tape there, but I didn’t go up; I just didn’t
feel like going. I was in the
middle of doing TWEET’S LADIES OF
PASADENA. Later on he
wanted me to do THE GODFATHER II, so I went down to Paramount and did a scene.
My son was with me, eating some Italian pastries and at one point;
I reached into the pastry box, and pulled out a gun and shot Coppola.
He was just shocked. He
didn’t know what to do, but he wanted me even more after that, but I
never went there. It just
never materialized. Carey did
play a role in THE CONVERSATIONS,
Coppola’s lone feature between the GODFATHER films.
Gene Hackman was excellent as the surveillance expert.
The cast included John Cazale, Allan Garfield, Frederic Forrest,
Robert Duvall, Cindy Williams, Teri Garr, and Harrison Ford.
THE OUTFIT, from MGM was a violent
gangster thriller based on a novel by Richard Stark (real name: Donald E.
Westlake) as were POINT BLANK and
THE SPLIT (which imitated the structure of THE KILLING). John
Flynn (ROLLING THUNDER) directed
and wrote the screenplay. Robert
Duvall starred as an ex-con who had robbed a syndicate run bank.
Carey had a major role as Jake Menner, a mob underling who had
killed Duvall'’ brother. Duvall
and Joe Don Baker declare war on Menner and syndicate chief Robert Ryan
and escape in the end after a lot of bloodshed.
The TV version was altered so that they appear to be captured by
the police. Marie Windsor and
Elisha Cook Jr. (also both in THE
KILLING) were in the cast, along with Karen Black and Richard Jaeckel.
from 20th Century Fox, was a spoof of the 1940’s private eyes
starring Michael Caine and Natalie Wood, directed by Peter Hyams.
Carey played Sid. Liz
Renay was a dancer. CHESTY ANDERSON, USN was a tame and silly sex and crime comedy with
an incredible cast including Shari Eubank (SUPERVIXEN),
Rosanne Katon (THE SWINING
CHEERLEADERS), Dyanne (ILSA) Thorne, Betty Thomas (HILLS
STREET BLUES), Fred Willard, Scatman Crothers, and Carey as a
gangster. Carey had second
billing in John Cassavettes’ partially improvised, independent release, THE KILLING OF A CHINESE
BOOKIE. Ben Gazzara
starred as the owner of a sleazy LA strip show, who has to murder the
Chinese bookie for the syndicate. Also,
with Seymour Cassel and Morgan Woodward.
SPEEDTRAP starred Joe Don Baker as a private eye and featured
Robert Loggia, Tyne Daly, Morgan Woodward, and Richard Jaeckel.
a black and white short, was directed by Steve DeJarnatt (CHERRY 2000, MIRACLE MILE).
Carey was a Korean War vet friend of a detective/jazz drummer
(Michael C. Gywne). Eddie
Constantine (ALPHAVILLE0, in a
rare US film appearance, plays a cop.
A seven minute long unrehearsed stream of conscienceness scene with
Carey (“The world is a cesspool. But
I like it!”) was cut out. In
1978, Carey started directing THE
HILLSIDE STRANGLER/PROTRAITS OF JACK.
It was never finished, but the following year Ray Dennis Steckler
made THE HOLLYWOOD STRANGLER MEETS
THE SKID ROW SLASHER/THE MODEL KILLER, so there’s probably some
connection. During the 70s,
Carey also acted in episodes of Columbo, Baretta, Starsky and Hutch, and
other cop/detective TV shows. In 1979, he appeared in person at a three-night “Tribute to
Timothy Carey” in Ann Arbor. Lucky
viewers got to see TWEET, SINNER,
and TARZANA, as well as the Kubrick films, ONE EYED JACKS and WATERHOLE
WALKING, directed and written by James B. Harris
was considered too strong for a major release.
James Woods starred as a slimy con man prison guard.
Both Kay Lenz and M. Emmet Walsh take their clothes off.
Harris is the only man to direct Timothy Carey and Susan Tyrrell in
the same movie (!). D.C. CAB,
a comedy, featured Mr. T, Gary Busey, Irene Cara, and Timothy Carey.
ECHO PARK, set in L.A. was an Australian/American co-production
starring Susan Dey in her first serious role and Tom Hulce, alone with
Timothy and Cassandra Peterson (Elvira).
Although it received some good reviews and helped Dey’s career,
Timothy Carey hasn’t been in a feature since.
His last network TV appearance was on Mickey Spillaine’s Mike
Hammer. Although some
directors consider Carey “hard to work with” his talents have been
used in devious ways many times. He’ll
do an incredible screen test, they tell him “thanks but no thanks” and
have another actor study his performance and copy it for the actual film!
Timothy’s son, Romeo Carey,
directed him in a 1988 short called THE
DEVIL’S GAS. In ’89,
Timothy, (along with Johnny Legend), was a guest on the L.A. public access
program, Little Art’s Poker Party.
He acted out scenes from some of his films, sang Jambalaya, talked
about Dali and making wind and said, “The combustible engine has got to
go. It’s like glorifying
Timothy Carey is a fan of Salvador
Dali. He memorized Dali’s
words from DIARY OF A GENIUS (1964), does a one man Dali show and lectures on farting, a
subject Dali wrote and talked about.
“In San Francisco, THE
WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER and Dali’s film played together so I got
interested in Dali. He was
like my idol. I’ve been
working on the fat play, The Insect Trainer for eight years now.
It’s the first ever story about the incarceration of farting in
society and one man’s struggle to free it.
This guy gets arrested for accidentally killing a lady by farting
and knocking her down. In
jail he discovers his talents for training insects.
It was he murder trial of the century where the defendant is the
first person ever in criminal history charged with homicide where his ass
was the lethal weapon. He is
eventually acquitted. Hallelujah!
Personal human gas is free. How
an overnight celebrity, using his body as an instrument, he embarks on a
successful, unique, musical career, a la La Pet, which means The Fart, who
is originally from France who became famous with public farting.
We should fart out loud in public.
It’s good for us. The play is not really about the man on trial; it’s about
the fart on trial. What would you rather do…Fart in a crowd, or die
alone in a corner? Live
longer, live healthier, let thy arse make wind!”
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