November 4 – 5, 2000

The World's Greatest Sinner! A Tribute to TIMOTHY CAREY

Our special thanks to Timothy Carey’s son Romeo for opening up his father’s archive of rare materials to us for this series.

Additional Thanks to: John Kirk/MGM-UA; Linda Evans-Smith & Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS. CLASSICS; Ivory Harris/CASTLE HILL FILMS; Steve DeJarnatt.







A combination of hepcat messiah, hulking loner and life-long loose cannon, the great character actor Timothy Carey (1925 – 1994) cut a fearsome, unforgettable figure on-screen, whether it was manhandling James Dean in EAST OF EDEN, throwing beer in Brando’s face in THE WILD ONE, or moaning pitifully on his way to execution in PATHS OF GLORY. Carey was cast most often as a menacing gunman/enforcer, a role he played with relish in crime classics like THE KILLING, CRIME WAVE and THE OUTFIT. His off-screen reputation was just as notorious – Carey once got caught scaling the fence at 20th Century Fox in full armor to audition for PRINCE VALIANT, and he faked his own kidnapping in Germany during shooting on PATHS OF GLORY.

In reality, Carey was a restless, completely dedicated performer who counted John Cassavetes among his closest friends, and acted each role "like it’s the last film I’m gonna make, and I want it to be the best" (Carey.) His self-made 1962 masterpiece THE WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER – in which an ordinary man declares himself "God" in a SoCal suburb – fully deserves its reputation as one of the most outrageous underground movies ever made.

Saturday, November 4 – 6:00 PM

Ultra-Rare Screening! Romeo Carey In Person!

THE WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER, 1962, 82 min. Director/writer/actor Timothy Carey’s astounding low-budget parable of Good and Evil in Southern California is one of the most notorious underground films ever made, a jaw-dropping fusion of garage rock, drive-in movie madness and the theories of Friedrich Nietzsche! Carey stars as Clarence Hilliard, a restless insurance salesman who decides to rename himself "God," start his own religion, political party and rock & roll band, all in the belief that each one of us is a "superhuman being." Carey’s performance, screaming in the streets of El Monte at dazed housewives, seducing a 70 year old granny for her life-savings, howling "Please! Take my hand!" to legions of teenage fans, is simply unbelievable. Soundtrack by Frank Zappa. Plus, Romeo Carey’s work-in-progress documentary portrait of his father (30 min.). Discussion following with Romeo Carey. [repeats 11/5 at 7:45 PM)

Saturday, November 4 – 9:00 PM

Double Feature

THE KILLING, 1956, MGM/UA, 83 min. Director Stanley Kubrick’s tough-as-nails heist film about a robbery at a race-track features an incredible rogues’ gallery of great character actors, including Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Elisha Cook, Jr., Marie Windsor, and Timothy Carey as a hepcat killer with a soft spot for both puppies and high-powered rifles. One of the most entertaining crime films ever made, propelled by Kubrick’s no-nonsense approach and screenwriter Jim Thompson’s biting, chiseled in stone dialogue (based on Lionel White’s novel Clean Break).

THE OUTFIT, 1973, MGM (Warners), 103 min. Dir. John Flynn. Excellent, unsentimental 1970’s crime film in the tradition of GET CARTER, with professional thief Robert Duvall out to avenge his brother’s death at the hands of the mob, and running smack into gangland chief Robert Ryan and sadistic enforcer Timothy Carey. Joe Don Baker and Karen Black turn in fine supporting performances, along with a virtual Who’s Who of film noir greats including Jane Greer, Richard Jaeckel, Sheree North, Marie Windsor and Elisha Cook, Jr. Another taut adaptation of one of Richard Stark/Donald Westlake’s Parker novels (John Boorman’s POINT BLANK was the first).

Sunday, November 5 – 5:00 PM

THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE, 1976, Castle Hill, 129 min. A close friend of director/writer John Cassavetes (who also cast him in MINNIE & MOSKOWITZ), Carey stars here as Flo, a hulking Hollywood mobster who plots to take over the Sunset Boulevard strip club run by Ben Gazzara. Cassevetes perfectly captures the outcast world of grifters, deadbeats and gunmen that Carey seemed to inhabit in so many of his films.

Sunday, November 5 – 7:45 PM

THE WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER, 1962, 82 min. Dir. Timothy Carey. [Repeat. See above for description.]

Plus, "TWEET’S LADIES OF PASADENA," 1972, 60 min. Dir. Timothy Carey. A pet project of Carey’s (he reportedly turned down a role in THE GODFATHER so he could work on it), TWEET’S was the pilot for a never-aired late-night TV series, starring Carey as the only male member of a Pasadena ladies’ sewing circle, whose mission in life is to find clothes for naked animals! Rampant, John Waters style madness ensues.

Plus short, "Cinema Justice," 1972, 6 min. An outtake from director Steve DeJarnatt’s featurette TARZANA, "Cinema Justice" is a single, 6-minute shot of Carey as a Korean War vet raving about exploding bombs and drawers full of useless medals. Totally improvised, totally Carey.