TS-69-34A/4, ITC version

Posted on 18th September 2016 in "Times Square"
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Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta in the WJAD studio.  ITC variant of TIMES SQAURE press photo TS-69-34A.  Text:  ROBIN JOHNSON portrays Nicky  Marotta, an aimless, street- wise youngster whose heart is  set on becoming a rock star.  TIMES SQUARE™  ITC ENTERTAINMENT AN acc COMPANY  Permission is hereby granted to newspapers and other periodicals to reproduce this photograph for publicity or advertising except for the endorsement of products.  This must not be sold leased or given away.  Printed in U.S.A.

ROBIN JOHNSON portrays Nicky
Marotta, an aimless, street-
wise youngster whose heart is
set on becoming a rock star.

 

Another UK press photo produced by ITC, this one a cropped version of TS-69-34A/4 from the US Press Materials folder, with its caption added on at an annoyingly noticeable angle. The last one had a 4 on it; this one is not numbered. There may be two or three more of these ITC photos out there, there may not.

Everything else I might have to say about this, I addressed in the last post. So, see yez later.

 

 

[Robin Johnson “Times Square” press photo TS-69-34A/4, ITC variant]
black-and-white photograph, AAT ID: 300128347, 8.06 in (W) x 10 in (H) (work);
1080 px (H) x 881 px (W), 96 dpi, 348 kb (image)

1981
inscription:
(on border)
ROBIN JOHNSON portrays Nicky
Marotta, an aimless, street-
wise youngster whose heart is
set on becoming a rock star.
TIMES
SQUARE™
ITC ENTERTAINMENT
AN acc COMPANY
Permission is hereby granted to newspapers and other periodicals to
reproduce this photograph for publicity or advertising except for the
endorsement of products. This must not be sold leased or given away.
Printed in U.S.A.

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

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Headshot, ITC version

Posted on 8th September 2016 in "Times Square"
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Inscription:  TIMES SQUARE  4  Robin Johnson makes her motion picture acting and singing debut after being discovered by chance at her high school in Brooklyn for the co-starring role with Tim Curry and Trini Alvarado in "Times Square."  ITC ENTERTAINMENT  AN acc COMPANY  Permission is hereby granted to newspapers and other periodicals to reproduce this photograph for publicity or advertising except for the endorsement of products. This must not be sold leased or given away  Printed in USA

Associated Film Distribution, which released Times Square in the US, was a partnership between Thorn-EMI (which released Times Square in the UK and most of the rest of the world), and ITC, which was primarily a producer of television in the UK. By the time Times Square came out, AFD was already struggling from the failures of Can’t Stop the Music and Raise the Titanic! earlier that summer, and even as Times Square hit theaters and Robin was traveling the world promoting it, EMI and ITC were already working to dissolve AFD and sell its films to Universal. As far as I know, Universal still owns the theatrical performance rights, as well as the only pristine print and the negative to Times Square (which was not destroyed in the 2008 Universal Studios fire as had been reported), although through the vagaries of multiple rights and companies rising and falling, all other rights in the property (not counting the soundtrack album) are held by StudioCanal.

Anyway, a few publicity stills were released in the UK with ITC credited as the producer, and this is one. It’s TS-Spec.3, cropped a little closer, and with the caption printed directly on it rather than included as a separate slip of paper. Interestingly, it was “Printed in USA.” Even more interestingly, there’s a little number “4” before the caption, implying there are at least three more ITC-variant photos. I know of at least one other that I don’t have. Less interestingly, it, like this one, is a duplicate of an American publicity photo we’ve already seen.

 

 

[Robin Johnson head shot, ITC variant]
black-and-white photograph, AAT ID: 300128347, 7.75 in (W) x 10 in (H) (work);
1080 px (H) x 852 px (W), 96 dpi, 364 kb (image)

1981
inscription:
(on border)
TIMES SQUARE
4
Robin Johnson makes her motion picture acting and singing debut after being discovered by
chance at her high school in Brooklyn for the co-starring role with Tim Curry and Trini
Alvarado in “Times Square.”
ITC ENTERTAINMENT
AN acc COMPANY
Permission is hereby granted to newspapers and other periodicals to reproduce this photograph
for publicity or advertising except for the endorsement of products. This must not be sold
leased or given away
Printed in USA

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

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Leader, Winter 1980

Posted on 29th August 2016 in "Times Square"
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"The Magazine published by Columbia-EMI-Warner Distributors"

Leader was a vehicle by which Columbia-EMI-Warner film distributors promoted all their new films to UK theater owners. As Times Square was set to open in mid-January, it had a few mentions and an advertisement in the Winter edition, although it looks like the distributors were betting their big money on Flash Gordon, which had already had its premiere.

"The Magazine published by Columbia-EMI-Warner Distributors", p. 2  Relevant text:  ROYAL   EMI Films makes industry history with it’s turn-of-the-year-releases. Three Royal Premieres in three consecutive months for films from the same company is no mean achievement. “FLASH GORDON” had the Royal treatment on December 10th with a  glittering Charity Premiere at the ABC Shaftesbury Avenue attended by TRH’s Prince and Princess Michael.    “THE JAZZ SINGER” starring Neil Diamond, Sir Laurence Olivier and Lucy Arnaz is premiered on January 29th and the evening  will be graced by the presence of HRH Princess Margaret. This too is a charity premiere.    On February 26th HM Queen Elizabeth and HRH Prince Phillip will attend the British Charity Premiere of Agatha Christie’s  “MIRROR CRACK’D” with its all star international cast.    In addition to these three films EMI will open the Robert Stigwood production “TIMES SQUARE” in the West End in mid-January. “FLASH GORDON” will open in major cities right across Britain over the Christmas period and is being supported by a huge  marketing campaign.    Meanwhile “THE ELEPHANT MAN” starring John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins continues to go from success to success. It quickly  established itself with West End audiences and has triumphed in city after city as it’s release has progressed around the  country.

ROYAL

EMI Films makes industry history with it’s turn-of-the-year-releases. Three Royal Premieres in three consecutive months for films from the same company is no mean achievement. “FLASH GORDON” had the Royal treatment on December 10th with a glittering Charity Premiere at the ABC Shaftesbury Avenue attended by TRH’s Prince and Princess Michael.

“THE JAZZ SINGER” starring Neil Diamond, Sir Laurence Olivier and Lucy Arnaz is premiered on January 29th and the evening will be graced by the presence of HRH Princess Margaret. This too is a charity premiere.

On February 26th HM Queen Elizabeth and HRH Prince Phillip will attend the British Charity Premiere of Agatha Christie’s “MIRROR CRACK’D” with its all star international cast.

In addition to these three films EMI will open the Robert Stigwood production “TIMES SQUARE” in the West End in mid-January.

“FLASH GORDON” will open in major cities right across Britain over the Christmas period and is being supported by a huge marketing campaign.

Times Square was apparently the only winter 1980-81 EMI premiere not to get the royal treatment.

Two-page center spread promoting all the Columbia-Warner-EMI movies opening in the beginning of 1981. Relevant text: THE LINE-UP THAT ENSURES YOUR PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR No company can ever have started a year off in the fashion that EMI Films will start 1981. “THE JAZZ SINGER”, “TIMES SQUARE” and “MIRROR CRACK’D” all bow before British audiences before the year is hardly out of rompers, and whilst “FLASH GORDON” is delighting audiences from north to south and east to west. [photo caption:] "TIMES SQUARE" Two of the young stars featured in the Robert Stigwood production. Another tremendous musical score!

 

The center spread publicized all the films of the season, and again mentioned Times Square along with the the other three EMI films while giving a special shout-out to Flash Gordon.

From the two-page center spread promoting all the Columbia-Warner-EMI movies opening in the beginning of 1981. Text: No company can ever have started a year off in the fashion that EMI Films will start 1981. “THE JAZZ SINGER”, “TIMES SQUARE” and “MIRROR CRACK’D” all bow before British audiences before the year is hardly out of rompers, and whilst “FLASH GORDON” is delighting audiences from north to south and east to west. musical score!

No company can ever have started a year off in the fashion that EMI Films will start 1981. “THE JAZZ SINGER”, “TIMES SQUARE” and “MIRROR CRACK’D” all bow before British audiences before the year is hardly out of rompers, and whilst “FLASH GORDON” is delighting audiences from north to south and east to west.

At least Times Square got a picture… the image used was a cropped version of TS-72-8A/14, also seen in the AFD Campaign Pressbook, on the cover of the UK soundtrack sampler, as the cover of the Japanese soundtrack sampler, and cropped even further in the December 23 US magazine. The caption was a sneaky plug for the soundtrack album.

Image of Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnson from the two-page center spread promoting all the Columbia-Warner-EMI movies opening in the beginning of 1981. [photo caption:] "TIMES SQUARE" Two of the young stars featured in the Robert Stigwood production. Another tremendous musical score!

 

“TIMES SQUARE” Two of the young stars featured in the Robert Stigwood production. Another tremendous musical score!

 

 

1/2 page ad for "Times Square" from p. 10 of "Leader", Winter 1980

 

Finally, on page 10, was a half-page ad. After all the work that went into the logo on the cover of the UK Press Kit, it was tossed aside in favor of what you see here. Nearly all the UK advertising materials used this logo and the painted image of a frighteningly skinny Nicky. I’ll gripe more about that when I get to the movie poster.

 

 

Leader, Winter 1980
house organ, AAT ID: 300026662
12 pp., 8.4 ” (W) x 11″ (H) (work)
Leader, Winter 19800001_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 824 px (W), 96 dpi, 416 kb
Leader, Winter 19800002_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 824 px (W), 96 dpi, 490 kb
Leader, Winter 19800003_1080px.jpg
1080 px (W) x 700 px (H), 96 dpi, 483 kb
Leader, Winter 19800003_p6_detail_800px.jpg
634 px (H) x 800 px (W), 96 dpi, 343 kb
Leader, Winter 19800003_p7_detail_800px.jpg
652 px (H) x 800 px (W), 96 dpi, 205 kb
Leader, Winter 19800006_p10_1080px.jpg
1080 px (W) x 706 px (H), 96 dpi, 339 kb (images)

 

 

Times Square UK Press Kit (post 4 of 4)

Posted on 19th August 2016 in "Times Square"
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Here are the last photos from my copy of the UK Press Kit. They don’t have numbers that would match them up with the enclosed caption sheet, so I have doubts as to whether they were actually a part of it.

Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnson, in an unnumbered print from the "Times Square" UK press kit.  At first glance this looks like a collage but lightening the image gives the appearance that it is actually the two of them together.  Other photos of Robin in that outfit were taken by Mick Rock, so it's almost certain that this is a Mick Rock photo.  None of the captions on the caption sheet match up with the image.  The caption list omits numbers 9 and 10; however, there are three unidentified photos in this copy of the press kit.

 

This is the Mick Rock photo of Robin that appeared on the contents page of Film Review, Vol. 30 No. 10, October 1980. At first I thought that it was a collage of that and a photo of Trini, but I tried lightening up the background and it does indeed appear that they’re standing in the same room, on the same floor. Also, if you crop the photo to remove Trini, you lose a bit of Robin’s elbow, and that’s exactly how the Film Review version appears. What I’m getting at is, this is apparently a photograph of Trini Alvarado taken by Mick Rock.

 

 

Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnson atop the Times Square Theater marquee at the climax of the film, in an unnumbered print from the "Times Square" UK press kit. None of the captions on the caption sheet match up with the image. The caption list omits numbers 9 and 10; however, there are three unidentified photos in this copy of the press kit.

 

 

Trini and Robin atop the Times Square Theater marquee. This photo is labelled TS-22-32 in the style of the US publicity photos.

 

 

Trini Alvarado, Robin Johnson, and Tim Curry in a rare glamor shot, outside on or near Pier 56, in an unnumbered print from the "Times Square" UK press kit. The photo is identified by a code that matches the US publicity photos style, TS-88-29A. None of the captions on the caption sheet match up with the image. The caption list omits numbers 9 and 10; however, there are three unidentified photos in this copy of the press kit. Two of them (including this one) have US-style code numbers.

TS-88-29A, another of those rare publicity photos that doesn’t try to depict a scene from the film, although it obviously comes from the day they shot the scene where Johnny gets Pammy kicked out of the “hideout”. There was at least one other shot taken that day of these three smiling for the camera, which was printed in color in a UK magazine in 1981, and later on the sleeve of the Japanese laserdisc in 1986.

UK "Times Square" publicity photo stamp (back of UK Press Kit Photo #7)

Back of UK Press Kit photo #7


The backs of these three photos are blank. The rest of the photos in the UK Press Kit are stamped “TIMES SQUARE” on the back.

An identical stamp is on the back of this photo I posted about previously, which just happens to have a tiny UK Press Kit-style “34” printed into it. It would seem there was a series of UK photos that numbered at least up to 34, and which were stamped on the back with the movie title. This doesn’t mean, however, that they were all used… there’s probably at least a 2 and a 6 floating around somewhere, to match up with the caption sheet, but there’s no reason to think there was ever a 9, 10, or anything between 11 and 34. I can hope, though… it’s been quiet lately but “new” items still turn up from time to time.

One problem with the stamp, though, is that it also appears on the back of the second copy of Photo #1, the one with the US-style number on it. It seems as though it, and the smaller pasted-in number are good indicators that a given print was made and used in the UK, but I don’t think we can conclude anything else from it.

To finish things off, here are the two versions of the shorter profile of Robin. Again, the version on “Times Square” letterhead appears to have been “translated” into British English, “there’s an ad” into “there was an advert” and so on. I doubt Robin has ever said “advert” in her life. (The text below is the “British” version.)

ROBIN JOHNSON (Nicky Marotta)

Before spending twelve weeks in front of the “Times Square” cameras, the closest Robin Johnson ever came to a film set was when “The Wanderers” shot a scene in her Brooklyn neighbourhood. In fact, 15 year-old Robin had had no previous acting experience when, as a result of a five-month nationwide search, she was discovered by a talent scout outside Brooklyn High School. “He told me there was an advert in the paper for a girl about l6, slenderish, blonde hair and street—tough,” Robin recalls. “So he gave me a number to call. I just did it for a kick. I didn’t expect nothin’ out of it.”

A native of Brooklyn, Robin is blessed with an incredible amount of energy, awareness and photogenic appeal – as well as a very distinctive voice. Her “street toughness” is no surprise, since she describes her own Brooklyn neighbourhood as “not rough rough – like you gotta carry a knife on you. You just got to watch out for yourself.”

1.65m (five-feet five inches) and 52kg (115 pounds), Robin has green eyes and naturally blonde hair which was dyed several shades of red for the role. Like her screen counterpart, she is a devout rock enthusiast whose favourites include Led Zeppelin, The Wh0 and The Rolling Stones.

Before filming ”TIMES SQUARE”, Robin’s ambition was to become a commercial artist, but now she is already a seasoned performer and will be featured singing on the soundtrack album released by RSO Records.

TIMES SQUARE is an EMI Films presentation distributed in the United Kingdom by Columbia-EMI-Warner, in North America by AFD (Associated Film Distribution) and throughout the rest of the world by EMI Films Limited.

 

 

TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo_a
1080 px (H) x 864 px (W), 96 dpi, 154 kb (image)
TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo_b_TS-22-32
1080 px (W) x 864 px (H), 96 dpi, 302 kb (image)
TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo_c_TS-88-29A
1080 px (W) x 883 px (H), 96 dpi, 240 kb (image)
black and white photographic prints, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (works);

1980
inscriptions: [none]; TS-22-32; TS-88-29A
TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo_7 back
1080 px (H) x 864 px (W), 96 dpi, 44.9 kb (image)

 

ROBIN JOHNSON (Nicky Marotta) p. 1
8.5 in (W) x 11 in (H) (work);
1080 px (H) x 832 px (W), 96 dpi, 210 kb (image)

 

ROBIN JOHNSON (Nicky Marotta) p. 1-2
8.27 in (W) x 11.69 in (H) (works);
1080 px (H) x 755 px (W), 96 dpi, 279 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 755 px (W), 96 dpi, 59.2 kb (image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Times Square UK Press Kit (post 3 of 4)

Posted on 9th August 2016 in "Times Square"
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First, some pictures.

Tim Curry as Johnny LaGuardia on the roof outside the WJAD studio, in the UK press kit photograph numbered 5.  This photo was taken a second before or after the photo numbered TS-79-28/8 in the US press kit.  The text from the press kit's photo captions page:  5. TIM CURRY stars as an all-night disc jockey, who, perched in his studio high above Times Square follows and encourages the progress of the runaway girls, who thanks to his efforts become minor media celebrities.

5. TIM CURRY stars as an all-night disc jockey, who, perched in his studio high above Times Square follows and encourages the progress of the runaway girls, who thanks to his efforts become minor media celebrities.

 

 

UK Press Kit photo #5 is another headshot of Tim Curry, this time as Johnny appears at the end of the film as he’s watching the concert though his telescope on the deck outside WJAD. The most interesting thing about this photo is, at first glance it looks like TS-79-28/8 from the US press kit, but it isn’t. It’s not just cropped differently; Tim’s head is tilted up slightly and he hasn’t got the beginnings of a smile he sports in the US photo. It’s a different photo, taken just before or just after.

Photos 6, 7, and 8 are pictures of Robin. Unfortunately I don’t have Photo 6, and none of the photos without the little number are of Robin alone.

Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta atop the Times Square Theater marquee, in the UK press kit photograph numbered 7. The text from the press kit's photo captions page: 6/7/8. 15-year-old screen newcomer ROBIN JOHNSON stars as Nicky Marotta, a street-wise young runaway who, thanks to a radio DJ's patronage, is able to fulfil her fantasies of becoming a star of the "new wave".

6/7/8. 15-year-old screen newcomer ROBIN JOHNSON stars as Nicky Marotta, a street-wise young runaway who, thanks to a radio DJ’s patronage, is able to fulfil her fantasies of becoming a star of the “new wave”.


In Photo 7, Nicky kneels at the edge of the Times Square Theater marquee, deciding if she wants to perform or not. She never looks up in the film like she’s doing here, though, not without turning to look at Pammy or the Blondells. Perhaps she’s waiting here for a cue from Allan Moyle.
Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta in the Cleo Club, in the UK press kit photograph numbered 8. The text from the press kit's photo captions page: 6/7/8. 15-year-old screen newcomer ROBIN JOHNSON stars as Nicky Marotta, a street-wise young runaway who, thanks to a radio DJ's patronage, is able to fulfil her fantasies of becoming a star of the "new wave".

6/7/8. 15-year-old screen newcomer ROBIN JOHNSON stars as Nicky Marotta, a street-wise young runaway who, thanks to a radio DJ’s patronage, is able to fulfil her fantasies of becoming a star of the “new wave”.

 

Photo 8 has Nicky scoping out the Cleo Club for Pammy, before revealing her attempt at poetry to her. This one is really close to the shot as it appears in the film, but it isn’t. The POV is slightly to the left of the movie camera, and although Robin is doing the same nervous finger-pulling, her hands are never in that exact position. This is the same almost-but-not-quite situation we saw with the shots of Trini from the later scene in the club where Mr. Pearl confronts Pammy.

I don’t have any photos numbered 9 or 10, and the caption sheet has no entries for them.

Trini Alvarado as Pamela Pearl, in the UK press kit photograph numbered 11. The text from the press kit's photo captions page: 11. TRINI ALVARADO, 12-year-old star of Robert Altman's RICH KIDS, is Pamela Pearl, daughter of a well-to-do New York family who runs away to find a new and exciting life in the city’s streets.

11. TRINI ALVARADO, 12-year-old star of Robert Altman’s RICH KIDS, is Pamela Pearl, daughter of a well-to-do New York family who runs away to find a new and exciting life in the city’s streets.

 

 

Photo 11 is a shot of Trini from the end of the same scene in the Cleo Club as Photo 8. In the film she never looks in thIS direction while smiling. Also, this photo has been lit in such a way as to make the background disappear entirely. The photographer took the opportunity to make this a true glamor portrait, not just an on-set publicity still. The glass on the table by her elbow shows that it was taken on the set, though.

Most of the photos in the UK Press Kit are very grainy and dusty compared to the US photos, as if they were printed from copies themselves. I’ve cleaned up the dust and scratches that were on the physical copy of the prints, but I’ve left most of the ones that were in the print itself, except the ones that were so huge I couldn’t stand to leave them.

There are two sets of text pages, and two profiles of Robin in each. The longer profile is almost the same as the one from the US press kit. Almost… but not quite. Aside from the slight rewording of nearly every sentence, this UK version spells Allan Moyle’s name correctly, where the US press kit and the film itself spell it “Alan”. The UK version describes Robin’s “discovery” on the steps of Brooklyn Tech in 1979 when she was 15 (which is accurate), and the US version has it happening in 1980 and gives her age as 16. I’m starting to wonder if the UK Press Kit wasn’t made up first, and the US version derived from it. (The photo captions also state Robin’s age as 15, which she was during the making of the film; she was 16 during its marketing.)

The only difference between the two sets in the UK Press Kit is that the text on the pages without the Times Square letterhead contain American spellings of words, and the pages with Times Square letterhead contain British spellings (“centers”/”centres”, etc.).

“TIMES SQUARE” STAR ROBIN JOHNSON IS A NATURAL

One day Brooklyn’s Technological High School’s front steps may be legendary as the spot where a star was “born”, a ’79 equivalent to Hollywood’s Schwab’s Drug Store, On those steps, smoking a cigarette while waiting for classes to begin, 15 —year—old ROBIN JOHNSON was discovered by a casting scout on the lookout for possible candidates for the lead in TIMES SQUARE.

“He gave me this card and said to call this number if I was interested in being in a movie,” Robin recalls in her inimitible Brooklyn-accented speech. “I thought ‘Oh! Another wise guy’, but gave it a try.”

What Robin didn’t know at the time was that director Allan Moyle, who had written the original story for TIMES SQUARE with Leanne Unger, was determined to cast only the young actress who would be precisely right for the crucial central role of Nicky Marotta, a gusty teenager, loose and without adult super- vision and determined to be a rock star.

The talent search had already bypassed many of the traditional avenues and gone to youth centres, punk clubs, and placed ads in papers like the Village Voice, Soho News, Aquarian. “We were looking for someone who WAS Nicky,” Moyle admits. “Robin’s definitely not that doomed child. Luckily for the picture, Robin’s brought a lot more humour to the character than I had originally envisioned.”

Without any previous experience – “I had sung in a choir when I was 12” – Robin won the role over literally thousands of other candidates. After being cast, she entered an intensive programme of coaching in singing and dance/movement. Making the film meant that the novice was quickly transformed into a seasoned professional. Robin worked seven days a week for three months, for as a minor, the new star had to continue her studies with a tutor on the set and more lessons on Saturday. On Sunday, recording or dancing demands would take up the day. The veteran members of the New York crew were impressed with the professionalism of both Robin and her even younger co-star, 13-year-old TRINI ALVARADO. Both exhibited an almost non-stop flow of dedication, energy, high spirits and raucous good humour.

Robin lives with her older sister Cindy and her mother, in- Brooklyn. Born on May 29th, 1964, Robin never gave any thought to becoming an actress until TIMES SQUARE.

Her inclination previously ran toward sketching (I’m not into landscapes; give me cartoons with some people in there “) and, whenever the opportunity arose, banging on drums. And although she first started dating when she was 11, she’s not worried about permanent relationships at this point in her life. “I’m closest with my sister Cindy, who’s a year older. We’re both Geminis and I like to argue, especially in a friendly way.”

Like many young women her age, Robin can identify with Nicky’s rebelliousness and non-conformity, traits which land Nicky in trouble with the law and into the arms of Rosie (ANNA MARIE HORSFORD), a concerned social worker. “Nicky can’t put things over on Rosie like she does with others,” Robin figures, “and that’s the reason she admires her. I have trouble with authority figures, too, which means anybody with the upper hand – like my mother or my teachers.” But for director Allan Moyle, who might be considered the supreme authority figure, Robin has only praise: “We’re alike in certain ways and that made it easier to relate. Allan’s absolutely brilliant for inspiration, for giving you energy for a scene. When he wants you to do a scene better, he gets you to think, not bullying or intimidating, I want to work with him again.”

Robin sees Nicky as a teenager who masks what she really feels and tried to make her real, “She was bitter about being abandoned. Her Dad’s a loser. All she can do is pity him, not be mad at him now. Nicky has a lot of gutsiness that I really admired. Her philosophy always was, ‘When you’re mad, show it’.”

Gutsiness is a trait Robin and Nicky have in common. Robin, besides being bright, witty and talented, is seemingly fearless, whether performing atop a 42nd Street theatre marquee or being dunked into the icy December water of the polluted Hudson River. “Nerves don’t get you anywhere,” she says.

Robin was coached for TIMES SQUARE by veteran Sue Seaton, who has worked with Katharine Hepburn and Gilda Radner, But that throaty timbre is unmistakably her own, perhaps a result of the ”Kool” cigarettes she smokes incessantly.

The closest Robin had ever been to a movie set before TIMES SQUARE was when a scene for “The Wanderers” was shot in her neighbourhood. Now, the world of movies is opening for her.

“Let me tell you about this movie business,” she says seriously. “There’s no right for anyone to get an attitude just because so many people are aware of your job. What I say is, it’s entertainment and it’s a job. I hope TIMES SQUARE does well, but it’s not the answer to my life. Most, I loved meeting and working with so many wonderful people.”

There is one confession she’ll make when prodded about the rigors of working in the realm of make-believe: “Oh yeah,” she says with a grimace, “chewing roses was pretty disgusting. I’d never tasted flowers before.”

Two things of interest, both in the credits as listed in the letterhead: first, the order of the cast. The film’s credits are “Starring TIM CURRY, TRINI ALVARADO, and introducing ROBIN JOHNSON as Nicky.” This letterhead’s credits read “Starring ROBIN JOHNSON, TRINI ALVARADO and TIM CURRY.” So, for a brief moment, Robin had top billing.

Second, I just noticed… all the promotional materials, as well as the film itself, misspell Leanne Ungar’s name “Unger”. Of course, in Moyle’s earlier film The Rubber Gun (1977), she had a music engineering credit that spelled her name “Lianne Ungen,” so I suppose this was a step up.

 

 

TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo_5
1080 px (W) x 864 px (H), 96 dpi, 263 kb (image)
TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo_7
1080 px (W) x 864 px (H), 96 dpi, 260 kb (image)
TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo_8
1080 px (W) x 865 px (H), 96 dpi, 282 kb (image)
TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo_11
1080 px (W) x 865 px (H), 96 dpi, 245 kb (image)
black and white photographic prints, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (works);

1980
inscriptions: [on photos] 5; 7; 8; 11;
[on reverse] TIMES SQUARE

 

“TIMES SQUARE” STAR ROBIN JOHNSON IS A NATURAL, pp. 1-4
8.5 in (W) x 11 in (H) (works);
1080 px (H) x 832 px (W), 96 dpi, 238 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 832 px (W), 96 dpi, 200 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 832 px (W), 96 dpi, 233 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 832 px (W), 96 dpi, 115 kb (image)

 

“TIMES SQUARE” STAR ROBIN JOHNSON IS A NATURAL, pp. 1-3
8.27 in (W) x 11.69 in (H) (works);
1080 px (H) x 755 px (W), 96 dpi, 283 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 755 px (W), 96 dpi, 262 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 755 px (W), 96 dpi, 254 kb (image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Times Square UK Press Kit (post 2 of 4)

Posted on 30th July 2016 in "Times Square"
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The UK press kit contains a photo caption sheet indicating that there should be 11 photos, and indeed there are, but they don’t match up with the captions. This is the main reason I don’t think my copy of the press kit is complete. On the other hand, it means there are a few photos in it that are complete bonuses, since I’ve never come across them elsewhere.

So, here’s Photo #1.

Nicky and Pammy about to enter the subway after escaping from the cop who chased them through the Adonis Theater. Version one of the first photo (best guess) from the UK TIMES SQUARE press kit. The text from the caption sheet: 1. ROBIN JOHNSON (left) and TRINI ALVARADO (right) as Nicky and Pamela, the teenage runaways who team up to roam the seamier streets of New York City.

1. ROBIN JOHNSON (left) and TRINI ALVARADO (right) as Nicky and Pamela, the teenage runaways who team up to roam the seamier streets of New York City.

We can tell it’s #1 because there’s a tiny “1” taped into the print, there at the lower right. But we immediately run into trouble, because although there’s no photo numbered “2”, Nicky and Pammy about to enter the subway after escaping from the cop who chased them through the Adonis Theater. Version two of the first photo from the UK TIMES SQUARE press kit. This version is cropped differently and has slightly lower contrast, and replaces the identification number "1" in the lower right corner with the US-style number TS-22-11 in the lower left.one of the remaining ten photos is this one:

Exactly the same picture! Except, it isn’t. It’s cropped differently: there’s less at the top and left and more on the right. It’s printed a little better, with less harsh contrast. And most importantly, there’s no little “1” taped into it. Instead, at the lower left it has the code number TS-22-11, in the style of the American press kit photos.

 

The caption for Photo 2 is: “2. TRINI ALVARADO and ROBIN JOHNSON join music’s ‘new wave’ as The Sleaze Sisters.” There are two photos that match up with that description, but neither of them have a “2” on them. One has no number at all, and one has US-publicity-style code printed on it. I’ll get to them later; for now, let’s skip to Photos 3 and 4.

 

A shot not appearing in the film, that would have belonged to the sequence where the girls look for Nicky's father. The caption from the UK Press Kit's photo descriptions page: 3. ROBIN JOHNSON (l) and TRINI ALVARADO (r), the two teenage runaways, become familiar figures in New York’s street society.

3. ROBIN JOHNSON (l) and TRINI ALVARADO (r), the two teenage runaways, become familiar figures in New York’s street society.

 

 

 

Photo 3 is another shot from the deleted scene of Nicky and Pammy searching for Nicky’s dad in Times Square. Considering the entire sequence was deleted and replaced by the short scene of the girls on the subway, there sure were a lot of photos taken. I wonder how much of it was actually filmed. Was there any footage taken of Nicky’s dad, and if so, who played him? And did the guy in this photo have a part in the film?

 

 

 

 

Tim Curry as Johnny LaGuardia in the WJAD studio, in the UK press kit photograph numbered 4. The text from the press kit's photo captions page: 4. TIM CURRY stars as an all-night disc jockey, who, perched in his studio high above Times Square follows and encourages the progress of the runaway girls, who thanks to his efforts become minor media celebrities.

4. TIM CURRY stars as an all-night disc jockey, who, perched in his studio high above Times Square follows and encourages the progress of the runaway girls, who thanks to his efforts become minor media celebrities.

 

 

 

 

 

While it doesn’t appear in the US press kit, we’ve seen Photo 4 before. It appeared in The Aquarian way back in April 1980, and then again in the September-October 1980 Mediascene Prevue, both times paired with a shot of the girls singing “Your Daughter Is One” that hasn’t yet turned up anywhere else. Both of those published versions have been cropped from this one.

 

 

Text:  TIMES SQUARE, a Robert Stigwood production, stars ROBIN JOHNSON, TRINI ALVARADO and TIM CURRY. Directed by Allan Moyle from a screenplay by Jacob Brackman, based on an original story by Moyle and Leanne Unger about two runaway girls and their adventures on the streets of New York0 Produced by Robert Stigwood and Jacob Brackman, with Kevin McCormick and John Nicolella as executive producers and Bill Oakes as associate producer.  TIMES SQUARE has been acquired by EMI for world-wide distribution.  1. ROBIN JOHNSON (left) and TRINI ALVARADO (right) as Nicky and Pamela, the teenage runaways who team up to roam the seamier streets of New York City.  2. TRINI ALVARADO and ROBIN JOHNSON join music's “new wave“ as The Sleaze Sisters.  3. ROBIN JOHNSON (l) and TRINI ALVARADO (r), the two teenage runaways, become familiar figures in New York’s street society.  4. TIM CURRY stars as an all-night disc jockey, who, perched in his studio high above Times Square follows and encourages the progress of the runaway girls, who thanks to his efforts become minor media celebrities.  5. TIM CURRY stars as an all-night disc jockey, who, perched in his studio high above TIMES SQUARE follows and encourages the progress of the runaway girls, who thanks to his efforts become minor media celebrities.  6/7/8.	15-year-old screen newcomer ROBIN JOHNSON stars as Nicky Marotta, a street-wise young runaway who, thanks to a radio DJ's patronage, is able to fulfil her fantasies of becoming a star of the "new wave".  11. TRINI ALVARADO, 12-year-old star of Robert Altman's RICH KIDS, is Pamela Pearl, daughter of a well-to-do New York family who runs away to find a new and exciting life in the city’s streets.

Here’s the full caption sheet. I have no photos numbered 2, 9, or 10. There are no captions for photos numbered 9 or 10. I suppose it’s possible that there never were photos 9 and 10, and as this copy of the press kit went from person to person someone along the line stuck in 3 more photos to bring the total to 11 as the sheet implies. We may never know.

 

I do, however, have a photo numbered “34”. Which raises the question, are there photos numbered 12 to 33 somewhere out there?

 

 

 

TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo 1
TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo 1a TS-22-11
TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo 3
TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo 4
black-and-white prints (photographs), AAT ID: 300128349; 8 in (H) x 10 in (W); 1980 (works);
TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo_1_1080px.jpg
TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo_1a_TS-22-11_1080px.jpg
TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo_3_1080px.jpg
TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo_4_1080px.jpg
1080 px (W), 96 dpi (images);
 
TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit Caption Sheet, 8.27 in (W) × 11.7 in (H) (work);
1980 TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit text page – 0042_1080px.jpg, 764 px (W) x 1080 px (H), 96 dpi, 2.227 KB (image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Times Square UK Press Kit (post 1 of 4)

Posted on 20th July 2016 in "Times Square"
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The UK press kit had its own logo, a black-and-white Nicky atop a color theater marquee made of the words "Times Square".  Text:  EMI FILMS presents A ROBERT STIGWOOD Producton TIMES SQUARE EMI

TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit folder, front

 

TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit outer folder, inside

TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit folder, inside

 

The UK Press Kit is an even nicer package than its US counterpart, with its own logo featuring Nicky atop the theater marquee. Inside the big white folder is a smaller silver folder that holds the materials. (The reflective silver didn’t scan very well, I did what I could.) It almost certainly was produced during the summer or autumn of 1980, before the US opening of the movie.

 

 

The materials inside, unfortunately… I am not entirely confident that what I have is a complete press kit. There are two sets of mostly-but-not-quite-identical text pages, one on A4 size paper with a more elaborate letterhead than the US pages, and one on 8½ x 11 inch paper with no logos at all. And the A4 pages include a list of the photographs in the kit, but that list doesn’t quite match up with the photos I have. I have four copies of the US press kit so I have a pretty good idea of what was supposed to be in it; this is only UK press kit I’ve ever seen, and I have a few doubts.

Nevertheless, it still has some neat stuff in it. We’ll start having a look at it next time.

 

 

EMI FILMS presents A ROBERT STIGWOOD Production TIMES SQUARE
outer folder: 22.2 cm (W) x 31.7 cm (H)
inner folder: 22.2 cm (W) x 28.8 cm (H) (work);
inner folder contains: 11 information packets on A4 paper on “Times Square” letterhead, totalling 21 21 cm (W) x 29.7 cm (H) pages: ROBIN JOHNSON (Nicky Marotta) (2 pp.), TRINI ALVARADO (Pamela Pearl) (2 pp.), TIM CURRY (Johnny La Guardia) (2 pp.), ROBERT STIGWOOD (Producer) (4 pp.), ALLAN MOYLE (Director) (2 pp.), JACOB BRACKMAN (Producer and Screenwriter) (1 p.), BILL OAKES (Associate Producer) (1 p.), KEVIN McCORMICK (Exectutive Producer) (1 p.), JOHN NICOLLELLA (Executive Producer) (1 p.), “TIMES SQUARE” STAR ROBIN JOHNSON IS A NATURAL (3 pp.), TRINI ALVARADO – A SHOWBUSINESS “PRO” AT 13 (2 pp.); 12 information packets on 8 1/2 x 11 paper without letterhead, totalling 21 21.6 cm (W) x 27.9 cm (H) pages: TIMES SQUARE: Production Notes (4 pp.), ROBIN JOHNSON (Nicky Marotta) (1 p.), TRINI ALVARADO (Pamela Pearl) (1 p.), TIM CURRY (Johnny LaGuardia) (1 p.), ROBERT STIGWOOD (Producer) (3 pp.), ALLAN MOYLE (Director) (1 p.), JACOB BRACKMAN (Producer and Screenwriter) (1 p.), BILL OAKES (Associate Producer) (1 p.), KEVIN McCORMICK (Exectutive Producer) (1 p.), JOHN NICOLLELLA (Executive Producer) (1 p.), “TIMES SQUARE” STAR ROBIN JOHNSON IS A NATURAL (4 pp.), TRINI ALVARADO – A SHOWBUSINESS “PRO” AT 13 (2 pp.); 1 sheet of photo captions on A4 paper without letterhead; 11 black and white photographs, 23 cm x 25.5 cm

1980
1980 TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit folder cover – 0043_1080px.jpg, 1980 TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit folder inside_stitch_1080px.jpg, 1980 TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit folder flap – 0045_1080px.jpg, 1980 TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit folder back – 0044_1080px.jpg, 1980 TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit inner folder outside_1080px.jpg, 1980 TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit inner folder inside_1080px.jpg (images)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

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On The Road, 1980

Posted on 10th July 2016 in "Times Square"
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Robin and Trini, but mostly Robin, crossed the country and later traveled the world doing publicity for Times Square. They did The John Davidson Show together, and Robin was a guest on The Merv Griffin Show. I didn’t see the John Davidson appearance, but I managed to record Robin’s Merv Griffin interview on audio cassette. Unfortunately, that cassette is one of many things to have gone missing since 1980. I still have hope it’ll turn up someday, but not a lot of hope.

 

Robin Johnson during a press junket in San Francisco, 1980.  Photo by Bill Cogan Photography.

“Oh yeah! During a press junket in S.F. in 1980 at some nightclub. Was probably a bit ‘Lit’-up here!”
    — Robin Johnson, June 2014

 

 

 

 

 

Something that did turn up, though, is this photograph. The back has handwritten on it, “18” and “Robin Johnson”, and is stamped “Bill Cogan Photography.” Sadly, photographer Bill Cogan passed away in 2009.

 

 

[Photograph of Robin Johnson by Bill Cogan Photography], San Francisco, 1980
black-and-white print (photograph), AAT ID: 300128349
8″ (W) x 10″ (H)
inscription: [on reverse]
[stamped in black:]
Bill Cogan Photography
582 Market St.
San Francisco, Cal. 94104
Phone 415 – 391-1350
[handwritten in pencil:]
_18_
Robin Johnson
(work)
1980_RJ Headshot_San_Franciso_grayscale auto_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 874 px (W), 96 dpi, 370 kb (image)

 

 

Interview, Vol. X No. 12, December 1980

Posted on 30th June 2016 in "Times Square"
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Photo of Robin Johnson by Peter Strongwater  Text:  ROBIN JOHNSON  A native New York skeptic, ROBIN JOHNSON thought she was being handed another line when a talent scout for ROBERT STIGWOOD’s TIMES SQUARE approached her on the steps of Brooklyn Technological High School and said, “Hey kid, ya wanna be in pictures?” Winning the role away from hundreds of professionals, Robin was instantly immersed in twelve weeks of movie star training—all singing, all dancing, all talking. Now, Robin and co-stars TIM CURRY and TRINI ALVARADO have hit it big as TIMES SQUARE draws rave reviews and long lines. ... Photograph by PETER STRONGWATER. . . .Hair by STEPHANE LEMPIRE. . Makeup by MARIA MACHEDA.. . Clothes by MARIO VALENTINO. . . Earring by ROBERT LEE MORRIS/ARTWEAR. . . . Cuff by TED MUEHLING/ART- WEAR.. . Styling by GALE SMITH

Here, in the December issue of Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine, is Robin getting her fifteen minutes. A gorgeous glamor photo by photographer Peter Strongwater, and a stunningly non-realistic description of Times Square’s success… Robin was truly the toast of New York, for at least as long as it took to read the text on page 15:

 

ROBIN JOHNSON

A native New York skeptic, ROBIN JOHNSON thought she was being handed another line when a talent scout for ROBERT STIGWOOD’s TIMES SQUARE approached her on the steps of Brooklyn Technological High School and said, “Hey kid, ya wanna be in pictures?” Winning the role away from hundreds of professionals, Robin was instantly immersed in twelve weeks of movie star training—all singing, all dancing, all talking. Now, Robin and co-stars TIM CURRY and TRINI ALVARADO have hit it big as TIMES SQUARE draws rave reviews and long lines. … Photograph by PETER STRONGWATER. . . .Hair by STEPHANE LEMPIRE. . Makeup by MARIA MACHEDA.. . Clothes by MARIO VALENTINO. . . Earring by ROBERT LEE MORRIS/ARTWEAR. . . . Cuff by TED MUEHLING/ART- WEAR.. . Styling by GALE SMITH

 

And, that’s all I have to say about this. The photo speaks for itself. Despite Times Square’s failure, she would have been one of the biggest stars of the 1980s had Robert Stigwood not put the brakes on her career just as it was getting started. Whether that would have been a good or bad thing for her, well, who’s to say, but it would have been terrific for Us Her Fans. But, I’m getting ahead of myself… Times Square has only just opened, and she still has a publicity tour to do.
Cover of Interview, Vol. 10 No. 12, December 1980

Photo of Robin Johnson by Peter Strongwater from Interview Vol. X No. 12, Dec, 1980, p. 15.  (Detail)

 

 

Interview, Vol X No 12
11 in (W) x 17 in (H) (work)

 

Robin Johnson – Photograph by Peter Strongwater
Interview, Vol X No 12, p. 15
11 in (W) x 17 in (H) (work)
1080 px (H) x 680 px (W), 96 dpi, 357 kb (image)

 

Detail of Robin Johnson – Photograph by Peter Strongwater
Interview, Vol X No 12, p. 15
601 px (W) x 800 px (H), 96 dpi, 256 kb (image)

 

Interview, Vol X No 12, p. 1 (cover)
11 in (W) x 17 in (H) (work)
1080 px (H) x 684 px (W), 96 dpi, 432 kb (image)

 

©1980 Interview Enterprises

 

Playboy, Vol. 28 No. 1, January 1981

Posted on 20th June 2016 in "Times Square"
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“The raggle-taggle queen of the night is Robin…”

Relevant text:  MOVIE SCORE CARD capsule close-ups of current films by bruce williamson  Times Square (Reviewed this month) Punks on Broadway.

Bruce Williamson didn’t not like Times Square, but he couldn’t ignore its flaws… still, his review in the January Playboy was generally positive, appreciating the film’s visual evocation of Times Square and, like most other reviewers, Robin’s performance.

The two bunny-heads meant the movie was “worth a look.”

A gravel-voiced hoyden named Robin Johnson takes over Times Square (EMI/ AFD) and makes it all her own. Edited detail from p. 46, the second page of "Movies" by Bruce Williamson: a review of "Times Square": A gravel-voiced hoyden named Robin Johnson takes over Times Square (EMI/ AFD) and makes it all her own. Teamed up with Robin is Trini Alvarado (who made her big splash in last year’s Rich Kids), while England’s Tim Curry (star of The Rocky Horror Show on stage and screen) adds a garnish of colorful idiosyncrasy as an all-night deejay who transforms a couple of runaway kids into punk-rock stars. Directed by Canadian- born Alan Moyle from a screenplay by Jacob Brackman (former Esquire film critic and sometime PLAYBOY contributor), Times Square takes chances, caroms from hits to misses, yet captures the seedy, funky atmosphere of mid- Manhattan fleshpots as few other movies have done since Midnight Cowboy. Filmed on location, Moyle’s grungy fable depicts a nighttime New York full of music, drugs, muscle, hustle, youthful exuberance and teenaged rebels without a cause. The raggle-taggle queen of the night is Robin, herself in real life a Brooklyn high school girl and nonpro until someone discovered she could curse, swagger and belt songs like a junior-miss Bette Midler—though compared with this kid, Bette is a cream puff. Here, Robin’s the street-wise gamine who takes up with a New York City commissioner’s runaway daughter (Trini) to form a duo called The Sleaze Sisters. The movie as a whole may be a triumph of sleaze over substance, but Robin Johnson plays it like a seasoned trouper.Playboy Vol. 28 No. 1, January 1981, p. 1, cover Teamed up with Robin is Trini Alvarado (who made her big splash in last year’s Rich Kids), while England’s Tim Curry (star of The Rocky Horror Show on stage and screen) adds a garnish of colorful idiosyncrasy as an all-night deejay who transforms a couple of runaway kids into punk-rock stars. Directed by Canadian- born Alan Moyle from a screenplay by Jacob Brackman (former Esquire film critic and sometime PLAYBOY contributor), Times Square takes chances, caroms from hits to misses, yet captures the seedy, funky atmosphere of mid- Manhattan fleshpots as few other movies have done since Midnight Cowboy. Filmed on location, Moyle’s grungy fable depicts a nighttime New York full of music, drugs, muscle, hustle, youthful exuberance and teenaged rebels without a cause. The raggle-taggle queen of the night is Robin, herself in real life a Brooklyn high school girl and nonpro until someone discovered she could curse, swagger and belt songs like a junior-miss Bette Midler—though compared with this kid, Bette is a cream puff. Here, Robin’s the street-wise gamine who takes up with a New York City commissioner’s runaway daughter (Trini) to form a duo called The Sleaze Sisters. The movie as a whole may be a triumph of sleaze over substance, but Robin Johnson plays it like a seasoned trouper.

Photo of Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnson from p. 46, the second page of "Movies" by Bruce Williamson, containing a review of "Times Square":

 

 

The photo looks like the one that was used as the cover of the Japanese “Same Old Scene” single, on the inside of the soundtrack album gatefold, and in the songbook, but it isn’t. It also isn’t a color version of TS-72-8A/14, which appeared in the December 23, 1980 US magazine (as seen last post). It’s a third shot from that session, which as of this writing I don’t believe ever appeared anywhere else.

 

 

Playboy, Vol. 28 No. 1, January 1981
8.25 in (W) x 10.85 in (H)
(Bruce Williamson, “Movies,” pp. 44-50
“Times Square,” p. 46) (work)

 

©1981 Playboy