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The World's Greatest Sinner (1962)

Not Rated | | Drama | June 1962 (USA)
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 ... See full summary »


Timothy Carey


Timothy Carey

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Timothy Carey ... Clarence Hilliard
Gil Barreto Gil Barreto ... Alonzo (as Gil Baretto)
Betty Rowland Betty Rowland ... Edna Hilliard
James Farley James Farley ... The Devil
Gail Griffin Gail Griffin ... Betty Hilliard (as Gail Griffen)
Tyde Rule Tyde Rule ... Follower
Gene Koziol Gene Koziol ... Follower
Dayna Madison Dayna Madison ... Follower (as Dana Madison)
Gitta Maynard Gitta Maynard ... Elderly Woman
Titus Moede ... Follower
Betty Sturm Betty Sturm ... Follower
Marty Prisco Marty Prisco ... Follower
Grace De Carolis Grace De Carolis ... Mother
Carolina Samario Carolina Samario ... Nate
George F. Carey George F. Carey ... Follower


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. Written by J. Picagli <mirjen@ibm.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated






Release Date:

June 1962 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

El Monte, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Frenzy Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Black and White | Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Timothy Carey plays 'Lord High 'n Low' in the Monkee's movie 'Head.' See more »


When Clarence tries to learn to play the guitar (about 13 minutes into the movie). See more »


Clarence Hilliard: Yes, I wouldn't even bother taking out insurance policies on funeral, Dear. Because when you die your body starts to stink. That's right. They give you a free burial. I wouldn't worry about nothing. No, no, you don't need insurance policies that cover your burial funeral. That's right, Dear. Thank you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"The Beginning" (at the end) See more »


Referenced in The Cockettes (2002) See more »


The Planets, Op. 32: Mars, the Bringer of War
Written by Gustav Holst
Excerpt in score as Clarence approaches the church
See more »

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User Reviews

The World's Greatest Under-Appreciated Actor
30 July 2008 | by ElijahCSkuggsSee all my reviews

Recommended to me by a complete and utter "World's Greatest Sinner" fanboy, I decided I should check it out. He said something like, "If you're a fan of insane acting performances you will not be let down." Hell, I love insane acting performances! Probably more than the next guy. F that, way more than the next guy! So, the WGS Fanboy, or he may be a Timothy Carey fanboy....anyways, WGS/Tim Carey fanboy called me out pretty much. So, the next chance I had, I popped on The World's Greatest Sinner. And I'll tell you what, it was most definitely an insane acting performance. One so great, that it made the movie. It is the movie.

The film is simply about a tired Insurance Salesman who just doesn't want to do what he does anymore. He wants to be a somebody. And does he ever. He strives for power, and before he knows it, he has it. Watching Carey's character evolve from an everyday joe shmoe to uber-personality is basically the premise here.

The film itself is a smart flick. Some other comment said it was ahead of it's time, but it's not really that, but it's more of a timeless film. People don't change in the way Carey's character did in just one period. Carey's strive for power and attention is a trait humans have had and probably will have until we expire as a species.

I had no clue who Timothy Carey was prior to watching TWS. I heard he was a regular as a supporting character in a few Kubrick films. So, heading into this film, I didn't know what the dude even looked like. And boy oye oye, after seeing this film, I'll never forget. Timothy Carey is a tall, foreboding and masculine figure that delivers a style of acting which is just 100% unique. His tedious and realistic approach at acting is kinda bizarre to watch. But like I just said, it's unique. At times, with those sullen looking eyes and his relaxed way of talking, I almost thought he played his character drunk the entire film. But, when he has a scene where he needs to show emotion and energy, he's all over it. Simply put, if Carey didn't cast himself as the lead in his film (wrote, directed, acted etc.) this movie would have been in no way on Earth as entertaining.

The World's Greatest Sinner is only a fantastic movie, because at that time, The World's Greatest Under-appreciated Actor was in it. It's a film that's different, realistic and true to the bone. Definitely a flick I'll be recommending to my more accomplished movie-going friends.

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