Written and directed by Timothy Carey
Cast (in alphabetical order)
Timothy A Carey—Clarence "God" Hilliard
Grace De Carolis—Mother
Victor Floming—Office boss
Paul Frees—Voice of Satan
Gail Griffen—Betty Hilliard
Whitey Jent—Guitar player
Betty Rowland—Edna Hilliard
Jenny Sanches—Old lady in church
George E. Carey (assistant)
Anthony M. Lanza (assistant)
George E. Nahas (assistant)
Production: Frenzy Films World Sales Absolute Films,
8383 Wilshire Boulevard #360, USA-Beverly Hills, CA 91733,
Tel.: +1-818-4426454, Fax:+1-818-4426454
Ove H. Sehested
Ray Dennis Steckler
Film Editing: Carl Mahakian
Assistant Director: Gene Koziol
El Monte, California, USA
Long Beach, California, USA
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Music by Zappa
A 21-year-old Ontario musician, Frank V. Zappa, scored arrangements for a movie, The World's Greatest Sinner, to be released in April.
Release date June 1962
Release date: June 1962 (USA)
True to Carey's bizarre persona, he fired off a .38 at the movie's 1962 premiere, scaring the hell out of the gathered crowd.
At the première at the Vista-Continental Theater in Hollywood on 30 January 1963, Carey, ever the showman, appeared in his silver lamé preacher suit with GOD stitched on the sleeves and got the evening off to an exciting start by firing a .38 over the heads of the audience.
Zappa studied music and art at Chaffey College. He wrote the score for The World's Greatest Sinner, a low-budget tale about a sacrilegious imposter who repents. Sinner had its premiere at Vista-Continental Theater, Hollywood, and opened Wednesday [March 20, 1963] at the Ken Theater, San Diego.
Zappa writes musical commercials for TV and radio. They are recorded at Pal Studio, Cucamonga.
That's where our friendship stopped. Steve [Allen] 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.
[Timothy] Carey had been invited to the [Joe Pyne Show] to discuss his controversial film, The World's Greatest Sinner, now showing at the Cinema Theatre.
[...] So far Carey has not had much luck with the film. He spent four years and nearly $100,00 making it, yet in the two years it has been out it has not been shown in more than a half-dozen theaters. Most exhibitors, he claims, are afraid of the controversial nature of the film. [...]
Carey said that his only regret was that he had made Sinner his first film instead of first doing something less controversial. However, undaunted, he is making plans to take the picture to Europe, where he hopes to find more acceptance from exhibitors.
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 trying to locate the negative of the film for years. Mike Murphy and his wife Cheryl ate trying to run it down.
FZ: Ah, well, you will, you will be familiar with some of my songs as of next week. But I did the score for The World's Greatest Sinner, the . . . (laughter)
Steve Allen: And who might that be? (laughter) Tommy Manville or who . . . (laughter) tell us about that.
FZ: That's the name of the film. It's the world's worst movie, and I did the music for it.
Steve Allen: The World's Greatest Sinner?
FZ: Yes. It's a Tim Carey production, Frenzy Productions.
Steve Allen: FRENZY Productions . . . (laughter)
FZ: It's an, it's an independent company. (laughter)
Steve Allen: Well they all are these days, the way things are going. But, uh . . .
FZ: They shot it in El Monte.
Steve Allen: So they shot my agent in El Monte, ya know . . . that can happen to anybody. Ah, who is in it?
FZ: Uh, Tim Carey and a cast of a thousand people that he found down on Main St. someplace (laughter).
Steve Allen: The World's Greatest Sinner. Does Tim play the title role?
FZ: Uh, yes.
Steve Allen: And you, you wrote the score for that. What instrumentation did you use, three harmonicas and a bicycle or what? (laughter)
FZ: Well uh, we have a 55-piece orchestra and we had a very unusual reed section, we had . . .
Steve Allen: They couldn't read. (laughter)
FZ: We had a contrabass clarinet, uh, two bassoons . . . no, four bassoons, uh, two oboes, English horn, four flutes and piccolo, uh . . . four trumpets, four horns, and four trombones and a tuba, and uh, I forget, there's a bunch of . . .
Steve Allen: And a partridge in a pear tree. Well that's a very interesting uh, inventory.
FZ: We recorded it, we recorded it in the Chaffey High School, no, the Chaffey College Little Theater in uh, Alta Loma, California . . .
Steve Allen: It was a runaway production then, wasn't it?
FZ: For twelve hours we recorded it.
Steve Allen: Well, we'll look forward to that.
Around the same time [FZ] was on [The Steve Allen 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.
It's about a guy who decides to form a religion. He calls himself God and gathers all these followers. Then one night, he wonders whether or not he really is God. So in order to check himself out, he breaks into a supposedly Catholic church, steals a communion wafer, runs home and sticks a pin in it to see if it'll bleed. It leaves a trail of blood all the way across the lawn and he repents and . . . oh, it was stupidity.
Plot Summary for World's Greatest Sinner, The (1962) A bored insurance salesman quits his job to go into politics. He first starts preaching about how man is greater than he thinks and that man can live forever. He ends up forming his own political party, "The Eternal Man" party. He begins to be referred to as "God". Then he starts having doubts about the eternalness of man.
The World's Greatest Sinner. The story of a dissatisfied insurance clerk who quits his job and goes on the road to become a Rock 'n' Roll star/ preacher/politician, gathering an odd mixture of dedicated followers who call him God. His progress to what is almost a success and then to the realization of being greater than any human can conceive proceeds amid wild scenes of mass-hysteria.
This is the great Timothey Carey's wonderous creation of underground, lo-fi film magic. It's the story of a man who wakes up one day and decides he's God. He starts his own church, preaching his gospel using NO WAVE rock n' roll. He makes a deal with satan, forces a man to commit suicide, has sex with an 80 year old woman and a 14 year old girl, wears flashy suits with cuffs that say GOD in gold, runs for president and battles the real God to the death!! The music for this amazing film is by a young Frank Zappa, including the great theme song. This is a must have film for any Tim Carey, Frank Zappa or underground film fan! Join the Fanatical Cult of the World's Greatest Sinner!!!!!!!
"You won't believe his performances. He just starts shaking and his hair falls down . . . He must have watched Jerry Lee Lewis or something. He starts rolling around on the stage, he's just shaking all over. It's a live performance and he's just smashing his guitar, he's really beating on it real loud. This is one of the greatest rockabilliy movies ever made. If you get a chance to see it, it'll just change your life. Wow!" (Lux Interior)
Last night The Sundance Channel broadcast the film, The Cockettes, about a 1960s & '70s acid-gobbling theatrical troupe from San Francisco. During some onscreen commentary by John Waters, he stated that the first time he was ever in San Francisco for the showing of one of his early films, he got to watch 'The World's Greatest Sinner' at the Palace Theater. The way he stated the comment made it seem like he really appreciated the movie; as if it were right up his alley in entertainment value. The Cockettes website: http://grandelusion.com/
The music to this film is quite good if you like Zappa's orchestral music. (And, who doesn't') [...] An edited 12 minute section of the soundtrack was released on various bootlegs, including "Apocrypha". Look over there for a transcription of that selection. When I first saw this film I thought it was kind of cheesy and bad, but compared to Run Home Slow it's a fucking masterpiece. Actually, after one or two viewings I found it pretty entertaining in its own right. I've shown it to non-Zappa people who also enjoyed it. I give it a "thumbs up."
I have a [...] memory of my grandmother watching "The World's Greatest Sinner", a showing my sister dragged us all to at a Pomona movie theatre [...]. I don't remember anything about the movie, but suddenly my grandmother burst out in chuckles at a certain point in the film when the rest of the theatre was dumbstruck quiet. Frank was pretty quiet after the movie, too. As he seemed a little anxious or upset to me, later at home, I thanked him for the invitation to attend. I told him that my grandmother seemed to enjoy the film—she laughed all the way through it.
THE WORLD'S GREATEST SINNER (1963).
Run, do not walk, to check out this movie! Timothy Carey, the character actor fave who appeared in everything from Kubrick's THE KILLING to The Monkees' HEAD, spent several years directing, writing and financing this below-low budget blast. One of the most bizarre movies ever made, and over three decades later, it's STILL ahead of its time! A grotesque parable that's as innovative and subversive as any film ever made. Carey sticks himself in the lead as Clarence Hilliard, a middle-aged insurance agent who goes nutzo and decides to become a rockabilly messiah. Abandoning his normal life, he changes his name to "God" and stands on street corners, handing out flyers, recruiting white-trash greasers to his fire 'n' brimstone "Life is Hell" doctrine. To raise money for his cause, he seduces old ladies for cash, and performs in an Elvis-like silver-lame suit. He even starts his own "Eternal Man" political party, which promises to make everyone a "superhuman being" (their motto: "There's only one God, and that's Man."). This is seriously whacked stuff, folks, and Carey pulls off one of the most intense, overwrought performances of all time (putting novice scenery-chewers like Dennis Hopper to shame)—ranting, crying, dancing, and looking wasted, his eyelids at half-mast throughout. Eventually, Clarence's followers begin rioting and vandalizing, but that type of social upheaval has to be expected when a new God emerges—especially one promising "No Death". When the political machines get wind of his rock'n'roll charisma, they run him as an independent candidate for president, but Clarence is corrupted when his dogma takes on fascist overtones and he starts seducing cute, 14-year-old volunteers. Though lacking in little things like coherency, Carey packs this volatile tale with venom toward modern politics, the media, dried-up religion, and the entire sorry state of the human race. It's even narrated by The Devil, represented by a snake! Carey is dead serious with all this craziness (even the heavily religious finale) and his outrageous direction is beyond belief! Most of the extras seem like they were simply pulled off the streets, and the score was provided by a young musician named Frank Zappa. Even its theme song is hilariously unforgettable: "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." Complete with cinematography by Ray Dennis Steckler (RAT PHINK A BOO BOO), this is a work of warped genius.
If you have any sense, you'll go to the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard on Saturday, November 4th and Sunday the 5th. If you DON'T have any sense, you'll probably be there already.
For two nights the American Cinematheque is screening Timothy Carery's ultra-rare THE WORLD'S GREATEST SINNER (1962). I first caught this flick back in January of 1996, when it got screened once at The New Beverly Cinema. Someone told me it was John Cassavettes' favorite flick. Maybe they meant "favorite comedy", since this is one of the strangest moviegoing experiences I've ever had. I felt like the be-wigged gentry, paying a few shillings to view the maniacs at St. Guy's back in the 17th century.
The film concerns Clarence Hilliard (Carey), an insurance salesman who decides he's "God" (he makes a shirt with the word "GOD" stitched onto the sleeves) and forms a rock band/religion/political movement. It reportedly took Carey FOUR years of off-and-on piecemeal filming to complete the project. The closing credits alone are a testament to this, and worth the price of admission. You'll see what I mean, guaranteed. But never has the idea of written/directed/starring/edited/filmed been more lovingly illustrated.
The plot could politely be called "episodic", unraveling like a vaguely sinister acid trip, only you're laughing too hard to start clawing your eyeballs out. The soundtrack is by Frank Zappa (billed in the credits as "ZAPPA") and it churns along like a forgotten garage rock band recorded in an echo-ey sewer—and that's a compliment! The scenes of Hilliard performing in "concert" make the Shaggs look like Rush. The band basically bangs and crashes and farts out this proto-punk spew, then stops dead silent so Hilliard can yawp, "Please, please PLEASE take my HAND!" Then the band starts up again, with Hilliard doing this creepy/hilarious shimmy dance, jangling around in his weird silk blouse/shirt.
Of course, these scenes pale in comparison to the scene where he seduces a 70 year-old widow for her cash, and the final, climactic "miracle". Trust me, you HAVE to go see this flick.
It's also nice to see the burgeoning DVD "bonus goodies" mentality starting to infect live screenings. Saturday night's screening (6pm) is introduced by Romeo Carey, who's showing a 30-minute work-in-progress documentary about his father. Then, at 9, they're showing THE KILLING (1956) and THE OUTFIT (1973).
Sunday's screening (7:45 pm) is followed by TWEET'S LADIES OF PASADENA (1972), Timothy Carey's attempt at a late night TV series. Rumor has it he turned down a part in THE GODFATHER so he could finish TWEET'S—a one-hour show about the only male member of a Pasadena sewing circle (Carey) who find clothes for nude animals. TWEET'S is followed by CINEMA JUSTICE, a 6-minute outtake from Steve DeJarnatt's TARZANA, where Carey sustains an unscripted rant as a crazed Korean War vet. I've never seen either one, but you can bet your death-rictus I'll be there! Whew!
In the seemingly boundless realm of Hollywood vanity projects, few are as genuinely eccentric as The Worlds Greatest Sinner, an independent movie written, directed, produced and starring character actor Timothy Carey and released in 1962. Instantly recognizable from his basset-hound mug and lachrymose Brooklyn whine, Carey, who died in 1994, is probably best known as the sharpshooter who takes out the racehorse in Stanley Kubricks The Killing (1956). A year later, Kubrick cast the actor as one of the soldiers condemned to the firing squad in Paths of GloryCareys Private Ferol is the one sobbing, comically, horribly, unrelentingly, alongside the priest during one of that films bravura tracking shots.
Carey began acting in the early 1950s and lucked out with bit parts in films such as Crime Wave and East of Eden before securing a kind of immortality with the two Kubrick films. Although he would go on to appear in One-Eyed Jacks, Careys subsequent run would have remained essentially unremarkable if John Cassavetes hadnt given him meaty supporting roles in Minnie and Moskowitz and The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. While these two films along with the pair he made with Kubrick would be enough to sustain Careys memory, the existence of The Worlds Greatest Sinner gives that memory a certain something extra. Carey embarked on the project in 1958, finishing it three years later. "I play an atheist who gets peoples attention by playing music," he once said of his role. "I graduated from a rock & roller to a politician. . . . He ran for president with God written on his cuffs. I played the part of God Hilliard. I had this cult." And then someThe Worlds Greatest Sinner has since gone on to accrue its own small following, and there are enough moments of touching weirdness in the film to explain why.
Carey plays an insurance salesman named Clarence Hilliard who becomes a rock & roll singer-cum-crusader whose wiggles, lam suit and oil-slick hair are inspired by Elvis Presley and whose jive is an incoherent pastiche of street-corner huckster evangelism. ("You like a job following me?" "To where?" "To eternal life.") The dialogue, the acting, the cinematography, the editing and the sound are as crude as the story is nonsensical. The film is narrated by a stentorian-voiced boa constrictor, and the music is by Zappa (going by his last name only). Still, despite its technical shortcomings, and despite too many passages that simply stall outmoments during which it feels as if Carey himself had lost focusThe Worlds Greatest Sinner is more often enjoyable than not. Some of the pleasure is of the sort that fills magazines such as Psychotronic Video (Issue 6 has a nice rambling interview with Carey by Mike Murphy and Johnny Legend), but theres more to the film than its camp fizz, namely real passion. It may be terrible, but at least its not dishonest.
The Worlds Greatest Sinner! A Tribute to Timothy Carey. Now playing at the Egyptian Theater, Hollywood.
The World's Greatest is commercially available OFFICIALLY from Tim Carey's son. Try a web search. they were advertising regularly in Film Threat as well. It's a bit pricey though. At last check he was asking for I believe $50.00US.
Currently the place to get this video is from www.absolutefilms.net. They are selling a video which includes an interview with Timothy Carey and theatrical trailers, as well as posters and t-shirts emblazened with the "Carey-as-a-rattlesnake" graphic, at this location: http://www.absolutefilms.net/videosale.html
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 complemented 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.
There was this film that Frank scored the music for. He met Timothy Carey at Wallach's Music City, and that's how that happened.
A 21-year-old Ontario musician, Frank V. Zappa, scored arrangements for a movie, "The World's Greatest Sinner," to be released in April.
[...] Zappa began composing for the film last June. "The score is unique," he said, "in that it uses every type of music."
The film—directed by Tim Carey—featured many songs which were to reappear later on other Zappa releases. He eventually dropped out of his junior college classes and began devoting himself almost full-time to writing the film's score. Zappa, who was then twenty-one years old, later called it 'a rancid period of my life.'
It took FZ 2 months to write 15 minutes of music for the soundtrack. [...]
While FZ was writing the soundtrack, he would dip his pen in the ink and then wipe the excess off on his pant leg. He always wore the same pants, gray with thin black stripes. It ended up looking pretty cool. He told me that he cut out the section of pant leg with the ink on it and framed it and sold it for $500.
A small rock-n-roll group—eight musicians—recorded last November.
Apparently my dad played saxophone on the soundtrack to "the world's greatest sinner." [...] My dad's name is William Upholt. [...] He was [at] Pomona College when he did the recording, where he was in the band. A friend of his contacted him and asked him if he wanted a gig playing on a soundtrack so he took it.
[...] The recording location listed isn't where he recorded, but there were probably multiple recordings going on. [...] He said he was probably part of that eight piece group, since he knows he was [not] in the chamber ensemble or the orchestra. [...] Oh yes, the musicians in the film were different than the musicians on the soundtrack.
The music was recorded by the Pomona Valley Symphony Orchestra, directed by Fred E. Graff, and augmented by other instrumentalists.
[...] In early December a 20-piece chamber ensemble recorded. The 55-piece orchestra recorded Dec. 17, putting in a 12-hour stint at Chaffey auditorium.
The recording session took 11 hours with the Pomona Valley Symphony. Frank conducted and one mic was used. It was placed above the podium. Aside from Al Sarratt [Surratt] and myself, I don't remember who else played. Maybe Ronnie, but I can't be sure.
I played several instruments during the session including clarinet, rhythm guitar, marimba, snare drum and contra-bass saxophone, a very rare instrument. I have no idea where Frank found it.
I started playing drums when I was 14 years old [...]. I also worked [...] with Frank Zappa on his 1963 film score for "The World's Greatest Sinner" which starred cult actor and director Timothy Carey.
It must have been quite a session—a fifty-two piece orchestra made up of amateurs and quasi-professionals, called together by the music teacher of Pomona High School. The taping took place in the [Chaffey] Junior College Little Theater on one Saturday afternoon. Dynamite technical setup: fifty-two musicians, two microphones, all mixed down to mono in a truck outside. "It was rancid," said Frank.
I did the score for The World's Greatest Sinner [...]. It's the world's worst movie, and I did the music for it. [...] It's a Tim Carey production, Frenzy Productions. [...] They shot it in El Monte. [Starring] Tim Carey and a cast of a thousand people that he found down on Main St. someplace. [...] We have a 55-piece orchestra and we had a very unusual reed section, we had [...] a contrabass clarinet, uh, two bassoons . . . no, four bassoons, uh, two oboes, English horn, four flutes and piccolo, uh . . . four trumpets, four horns, and four trombones and a tuba, and uh, I forget, there's a bunch of . . . [...] We recorded it in [...] the Chaffey College Little Theater in Alta Loma, California . . . [...] For twelve hours we recorded it.
Zappa's score was played in 1960 by amateurs and semi-professionals gathered together by the music teacher at Pomona High School: fifty-two musicians, two microphones, mixed down to mono in a mobile studio in a truck outside the Chaffey College Little Theater. The credit ran: The Pomona Valley Symphony Orchestra conducted by Fred E. Graff. For the rock 'n' roll sections Zappa played gutiar, Kenny Burgen [Burgan] saxophone, Doug Rost rhythm guitar and Al Surratt drums. 'Rancid' was Zappa's description of the recording conditions.
Fred E. Graff, Band and Orchestra
I spent a lot of time with FZ and Timothy Carey during post production both at Carey's home in El Monte and in Hollywood at the sound company, Glen Glenn.
In motion picture language, it's called a "deferment." You defer payment until the sale of the picture, and you agree on a price for the score. The price was dirt cheap. It was a $2,500 score; which is really peanuts for a film score when you think of these guys getting anywhere from $15,000 up. I figured the $2,500 would be good. If I made it, I made it. If I didn't, I would still get to hear my music. But in that particular instance, I didn't get a tape of the music. I'm still trying to get a tape of the score from that film. It's called The World's Greatest Sinner.
Timothy A. Carey, The World's Greatest Sinner
USA 1958. The World's Greatest Sinner. Regie/Buch/Produzent Timothy A. Carey Kamera Ray
Dennis Steckler Schnitt Carl Mahakian Musik Frank Zappa Prod. Des. Raymond Cierol Kostme
Alberts Ton George Carey Darsteller Timothy A. Carey (Clarence "God" Hilliard), Gil Baretto
(Alonzo), Betty Rowland (Edna Hilliard), James Farley (Teufel), Gail Griffen (Betty
Hilliard), Grace De Carolis (Mutter) Produktion Frenzy Films World Sales Absolute Films,
8383 Wilshire Boulevard #360, USA-Beverly Hills, CA 91733, Tel.: +1-818-4426454, Fax:
+1-818-4426454 Verleih offen Lnge 83 Min. Format 35mm, 1:1,85, Schwarzwei und Farbe
Biography. Timothy A. Carey was born in 1929. He went to acting school in New York. He was
a character actor in films with, among others, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Stearling Hayden
and Robert Mitchum under the direction of Stanley Kubrick, Bob Rafelson, Henry Hathaway and
Elia Kazan. He was a good friend of John Cassavetes. He appeared in numerous TV series,
among others, "Colombo". THE WORLD'S GREATES SINNER is his only finished feature film as
director. An earlier project, TWEET'S LADIES OF PASADENA exists only as a work print.
Carey died in 1994 in Los Angeles.
From: Patrick Neve (splat[at]darkwing.uoregon.edu)
An edited 12 minute section of the soundtrack was released on various
bootlegs, including "Apocrypha". Look over there for a transcription
of that selection. Also, the orchestra that's heard on the soundtrack
was the Pomona Valley Symphony.
From: Randy Nelson (rnelson[at]reninet.com)
Tim Carey was also in the episode of Cimarron Strip, which starred Stuart Whitman
as Marshal Jim Crown, entitled "Big Jessie" in which he played an outlaw named
Lobo. I have a picture of him on my website under the villians page at
From: Jeffrey Leonard Stein (u1014834[at]warwick.net)
I just would like to comment on the Great Timothy Carey. It is rare to
find someone in film and television who can sustain a level of
excellence in every performance. He truly is an unsung Hollywood legend.
Just in television alone he created a treasure trove of great characters
from Danny in Starsky and Hutch to Burt in Charlie's Angels to El Greco
and Joe Dineen in Baretta to Bad Talkin' Lenahan in Tony Musante's
short-lived series Roma.
Subject: TIM CAREY
Wonderful homage to an amazing and great intuitive talent.
It was my delight to have Tim as a friend for many years and work with
him in Tarzana and an episode on TV or two that I cannot recall.
Enjoyed your writing, though the spelling errors looked like word
processor problems, you are to be congratulated for the work done.
I met Tim for the first time in jail. It was almost one in the morning.
It was on the set.
The set for Tarzana was the unused jail of Long Beach. We hit it off
immediately when Charlie, his gopher, was asked to make a run and get me some
The memorized essay on farting by Dali was next and we began the saga of
shooting Tarzana which was done on weekends over a period of almost a year.
I shall never forget the scene where he just decided to dance and ad lib
with a shopping cart full of empty bottles. The crew was dumbfounded. I was
waiting for my cue line...which never came. They went through and entire roll
of film on that one shot!
It was a tour-de-force and I was standing directly in front. It was like
visiting Niagara Falls. I have had that kind of experience only one other
time and that was in Detroit in 1963 when I was one of six people in a coffee
house watching John Coltrane work his way through a lighning-like tempo on a
tune that took two hours and four minutes to play.
We may never see his likes again. Whenever I have to buy some Mozzarella
cheese I hear his voice urging me to buy only Polly-O brand.
I can't watch his movies now without feeling a tear, a laugh and a fart
rising. All at the same time.
He made me watch "The World's Greatest Sinner" with him at his home. I
met Doris and the kids and all the dogs and the small zoo in his backyard.
The images flash before me and I realize now that even writing about him is
taxing my skills.
Towards the end I would look forward to returning to my home in the
Hollywood Hills because likely as not there would be a very long message on
my answering machine and it would be Tim and we would all gather around and
make tea and listen, like a great radio show, as he used the machine to spin
a priceless yarn for us all.
Would to God I had kept all those messages.
I was in hospital some time in late 1994 I think, when I read in the
paper that he had passed. I recall Romeo calling me. Or maybe it was Steve
DeJarnett, the director and telling me he was in the hospital and not
receiving anyone so I did not feel too guilty.
It was all too sad though.
Hollywood never really what to do with his enormous life force.
We are grateful for the few directors who had the vision to employ him.
I was a pall bearer at his funeral and got to say good-bye as he lay in
his coffin in a new blue pinstriped suit. I was almost sure he was gonna wink
The preacher read a prepared statement by Romeo I believe, and when it
got to the play about farting that Tim was working on, I thought I saw a
slight grin of glee on his face. The tears in the room turned to a soft
laughter that I know Tim would have loved.
Many thanks for some info that I did not know. The Brando stories should
also include the one he told me.
"During "Jacks" Brando was forced to fire me." he said not explaining
"He came to my dressing room with the sad news and he had two gifts for
me. One was a leash for my dogs, I train German Shepherds, and the other was
a book. Can you imagine? Marlon Brando giving me a book. I cherished the idea
then I looked at the title. It was, "How to Win Friends and Influence
People." I almost died laughing. I farted too. That's when he left."
Miss you Tim
Interview by Mike Murphy and Johnny Legend (Research... Michael Wheldon)
"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've ever sinned before. Then you know what I mean. If you see him walking around the floor. He's the meanest creature that you've ever seen. "(repeat)
(1963—Frank Zappa—All through this song, the bass voice goes Hey Papa, Doodly Papa, Hey Papa, Doodley Papa)
Timothy 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 times each for Kubrick and Cassavetes. was in the exploitation classic POOR WHITE TRASH and made a movie that would be a cult classic only people could see it—WORLD'S GREATEST SINNER. In various books, 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 able by the name of Chamberlin 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 there and said I was working on the picture. They invited me in and gave me 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 laying 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 laying in 'the water. I couldn't hold still, it was so cold and my teeth were- chattering. The director said, 'Keep Bat 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 Billy Wilder. I went over and said, 'Here I am Mr. Wilder I'm just fresh out of acting school and I would lore to be in the show.' He said go ahead and put your name in to be an extra and the production once 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, lf you bother me again I'm going to let you have id'. So 1 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 up and 1 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 D on EAST 8 playhouse in Hollywood. It was a farmer scene where i prayed for rain, but there was a little risk 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 was a musical comedy starring Mitzi as a 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 starring Robert Mitchum and Susan Hayward. It was directed by Henry Hathaway. 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. Sterling Hayden played a police detective. 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 set 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".
THE WILD ONE, Carey as a biker, eggs on Chino, (Lee Marvin) in a fight, throws beer in Brandos's face and takes over the office of the local phone receptionist. "After that, I tried to get into PRINCE VALIANT (54; Robert Wagner starred). So I went to Western Costume to dress up like Sir Black, the heavy in it They fined me in this outfit all sashed pants and that d 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 a 20th Century Fox, but 1 couldnt make it because of the clothes I had I on. It was right near a golf course and a golfer helped me over with a ladder. I told him I rag an actor on the set who got lost I tried to find the director, Henry Hathaway.: wasn't in his office so I went to the comissary where he was having lunch and said, 'Here I am, Sir Black! many. for the pan Do I get it?' I took out my 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 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 a, the Santa Monica Pier and I was going to be thrown in the water in a tank 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 Buroughs 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 We'll I knew him from THE WILD ONE, I knew he was going to get it (for ON THE WATERFRONT), 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 fit" In FINGERMAN Carey was the right hand goon of Forrest Tucker, a bootlegger, white slaver.
THE KILLING, a United Artists release, was Stanley Kubrick's first major feature, a classic time shifting semi-documentary style look at a racetrack payrole Johnny heist. 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-barelled shotgun in a guitar case to assassinate Red Lightning, a race horse. James B. Harris produced THE KILLING, PATHS OF GLORY (and LOLITA), before splitting from Kubrick and producing and directing THE BEDFORD INCIDENT (65). He later directed SOME CALL IT; LOVING (73), FAST WALKING (82, again with Carey) and COP (88). His last two films starred James Woods. THE LAST WAGON (20th) was a Richard Widmark western. FRANCIS 1N THE HAUNTED HOUSE was the 7th and last of Universal's popular talking mule series, and the only one starring Mickey Rooney. RUMBLE ON THE DOCKS (Columbia), a juvenile delinquency movie starring James Darren was one of six Fred Sears movies released in 56. It was co-billed with Sears' DONT 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 Cormans SWAMP WOMAN. Both feature Corman regulars Jonathon Haze and Ed Nelson. BAYOU was directed by Harold Daniels who had co-directed the famous roadshow hit, THE PRINCE OF PEACE, with William Beaudine.
Poor and broke, Never had no cash. Everybody calls me Poor White Trash. Live in the swamp all of my days. Dip in the swamp for my pay. Well the company man. He came my way. Conpany man stole my gal away. Poor White Trash, not a nickle 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.
(Title song from POOR WHITE TRASH)
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 gave 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, closeups 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 though 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 Careys 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 playing in theatres as late as 1971 (!) and grossed an "estimated $10 million"(!). Morepeople probably saw Carey in this historical reconsaucted 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.F Brownrigg's unrelated SCUM OF THE EARTH, shot in Texas. It was retitled advutised 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 disappear~d 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 Kubrick said 'Bring in the sound!'. I kept saying,' don't want to die, I don't want to die', so Kubrick comes up to me and says, Tim, you better make this good, Kirk Douglas doesn't like it', but of course they used it." PATHS OF 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. Allthough 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 martialed to cover for the crass mistakes of their generals (Adolph Menjou and George Macready). After a mock trial with Col. 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.
HOUSE 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 Vaughn. The ads said, "20.00 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 "Percept-o-vision" "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 chilli. 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 Maiden 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 I shake up a beer and squirt it in Brando's face and he said to me, 'You're not gonna throw any beer in my face are your, 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, Howard Tetley meets Rio (Brando) in a show- down.
THE 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 thru 1961, years before PRIVLEDGE 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 us 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 rockin band, (with a 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 crazed 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 upside-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 trying to locate the negative of the film for years. Mike Murphy and his wife Cheryl ate 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 complemented 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 Allen Show. That's where our friendship stopped. Steve asked him what films he did. He said,' 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 stated to get on their bandwagon. The opening night at the director's 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 them." 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 m. 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 let 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 a closer 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 STRANGE CREATURES... At the premiere of THE WORLD'S GREATEST SINNER, Carey got everything off to a memorable start by firing a 38 above the heads of the audience. For more promotion, he wore his gold lame God suit and told people on the streets about his must-see feature.
MERMAIDS 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 Mile Sangster follows in a rented boat, searching for giant pearls. He throws Pepe (Jose Gonzalez Gonzalez) and his guitar to the sharks and dynamites some mermaids. This unique color movie used to show up on late right 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 professional artist. The impressive cast included Vincent Price as an art critic, Stuart Whitman, Ray Walston, Sammy Davis Jr., Rod Steiger, Broderick Crawfordi Reggie Nalder, and Jack Albertson.
In A.I.P.s BIKINI BEACH and BEACH BLANKET BINGO, the third and fourth in the popular Frankie and Annette series directed by William Asher, Carey played South Dakota Slim who hangs out around the pool table with Eric non Zipper's gang. RIO CONCHOS (20th Century) was a western with Richard Boone and Stuart Whitman. It also featured the film debut of Jim Brown. In 1964, Esquire magazine 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 uncredited) Roger Corman the same year as THE TRIP. It stared Glen Ford and Inger Stevens bur the support cast was the best part: George Hamilton, Paul Peterson, Max Baer, Kenneth Tobey, Dick Miller, Hany Dean Stanton, and Harrison Ford. WATERHOLE #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 " Low". Others from ?Timothy's past who had small roles included Frank Zappa and Annette. HEAD is filled with references to Stanley Kubrick films (2001, DR. STRANGELOVE) and of course Carey himself. "I did an Elvis Presley film, his last movie (CHANGE OF HABIT 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,' always wanted to see that show. Do you have a 16mm version?' I only had a 35mm, but we 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."
GET TO KNOW YOUR RABBIT (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 cast included John Astin; Allan Garfield, M. Emmet Walsh and Carey as a cop. Timothy played a tramp in Curtis Harrington's WHATS THE MATTER WITH HELEN, written by Henry Farrell (WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH BABY JANE?). Shelly Winters and Debbie Reynolds were the mothers of two killers in 1930s Hollywood. MINNIE AND MOSKOWITZ was a Universal release directed and written by John Cassavettes. Gena Rowlands starred as a museum curator who finds herself involved with Seymour Cassel as a long haired 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 home made 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, 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 CONVERSATION, Coppola's lone feature between the GODFATHER films. Gene Hackman was excellent as the surveillance expert. The cast included John Cazale, Allan Garfield, Frederick Forest, Robert Duvall, Cindy Wllliams, 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): Jordan 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's 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.
PEEPER, from 20th Century Fox, was a spoof of 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 SWINGING CHEERLEADERS), Dyanne OLSA) Thorne, Betty Thomas (HIU 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 L.A. 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. TARZANA, a Mack 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. Gywnt). Eddie Constantine (ALPHAVILLE), in a rare US film appearance, plays a cop. A seven minute long unrehearsed stream of consciousness scene with Carey ("The world is a cesspool. But I like it.") was cut out In 1978, Carey started directing THE HILLSIDE STRANGLER /PORTRAlTS 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 Arthor. Lucky viewers got to see TWEET, SINNER and TARZANA as well as the Kubrick films, ONE EYED JACKS and WATERHOLE #3. FAST 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 Lent 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. D.C. CAB a comedy, featured Mr. T, Gary Busey, Irene Cara and Timothy Carey. ECHO PARK, set in L.A. was an AusVian/American co-production starring Susan Dey in her first serious role and Tom Hulce, along 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. Allthough 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 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 arsenic". 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 fart 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 snuggle 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 the 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. Now an overnight celebrity, using his body as an instrument, he: embarks on a success full, 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 trail, it's about the fart on Trial. What would you rather do... Fart in a crowd, or die alone in a comer? Live longer, live healthier, let thy arse make wind!"
POSTSCRIPT: TIMOTHY CAREY IS DEAD.
Filmography (as actor)
ACROSS THE WILD MISSOURI Colorado (Regie William A. Wellman)
BLOODHOUNDS OF BROADWAY (Regie: Harmon Jones)
WHITE WITCH DOCTOR Weie Frau am Kongo (Regie: Henry Hathaway)
CRIME WAVE Von der Polizei gehetzt (Regie: Andre de Toth)
EAST OF EDEN Jenseits von Eden (Regie: Elia Kazan)
FINGER MAN Entfesselte Unterwelt (Regie: Harold Schuster)
THE KILLING Die Rechnung ging nicht auf (Regie: Stanley Kubrick)
THE LAST WAGON Der letzte Wagen (Regie Delmer Daves)
PATHS OF GLORY Wege zum Ruhm (Regie: Stanley Kubrick)
REVOLT IN THE BIG HOUSE Mit dem Messer im Rcken (Regie: R.G. Springsteen)
ONE-EYED JACKS Der Besessene (Regie: Marlon Brando)
CONVICTS FOUR (Regie: Millard Kaufman)
BIKINI BEACH (Regie: William Asher)
POOR WHITE TRASH
WATERHOLE #3 Wasserloch Nr. 3 (Regie: William Graham)
A TIME FOR KILLING/THE LONG RIDE HOME Der gnadenlose Ritt (Regie: Phil Karlson)
HEAD Head (Regie: Bob Rafelson)
WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HELEN? Was ist denn blo mit Helen los? (Regie: Curtis Harrington)
MINNIE AND MOSKOWITZ Minnie und Moskowitz (Regie: John Cassavetes)
THE OUTFIT Revolte in der Unterwelt (Regie:John Flynn)
PEEPER/FAT CHANCE Die falsche Schwester (Regie: Peter Hyams)
THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE Mord an einem chinesischen Buchmacher (Regie: John Cassavates)
Maintained by Román García Albertos