Screen International No. 276, January 24-31, 1981

Posted on 18th May 2017 in "Times Square"
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Page 1 (cover)  Issue contains mention of "Times Square" in article on musicals in center spread, and article on Robin Johnson in London on page 23.  The list of "London's Top Ten" indicates "Times Square" opened as the 7th highest-grossing film in London that week:  London’s Top Ten 1	(1) Flash Gordon (Col-EMI-War) ABC 1 Shaftesbury Avenue, ABC 2 Bayswater, ABC 4 Edgware Road, ABC 1 Fulham Road, Classic 1 Haymarket, Studio 4 £24,179 2	(4) Caligula (GTO) Prince Charles	£17,405 3	(2) The Dogs Of War (UA) Odeon Leicester Square £16,628 4	(3) Airplane! (CIC) Plaza 2, Classic 5 Oxford Street, ABC 3 Edgware Road, ABC 4 Fulham Road	£15,071 5	(—) Tribute (20th Fox) Leicester Square Theatre	£14,789 6	(6) Hopscotch (Rank) Plaza 1, Classic 3 Oxford Street, Odeon 2 Kensington	£13,374 7	(—) Times Square (Col-EMI-War) ABC 2 Shaftesbury Avenue, ABC 1 Bayswater, ABC 1 Edgware Road, ABC 2 Fulham Road, Scene 2, Studio 2	£12,791 8	(8) The Stunt Man (20th Fox) Classic 2 Chelsea, Classic 2 Haymarket, Classic 2 Oxford Street	£10,546 9	(7) Stardust Memories (UA) Classic 1 Oxford Street, Cinecenta 2, Cinecenta 3	£10,259 10	(5) Any Which Way You Can (Col-EMI-War) Warner 2, Classic 4 Oxford Street, ABC 3 Fulham Road	£9,526

 

 

The number one film in mid-January 1981 London was, unsurprisingly, Flash Gordon, which had already been open for six weeks to Times Square’s one. Times Square debuted at number seven and was falling fast, but its “tepid” performance hadn’t yet doomed it to closure when this issue of Screen International came out.

 

The box office totals for the previous week. Relevant text: Page 2—Screen International Saturday 24th January 1981 LONDON BOX OFFICE By Chris Brown IT WAS once again a week when cinema-goers stuck to the tried and true rather than paying to see new releases in the West End. Two films came into the Top Ten this week, Tribute and Times Square, but neither showed much sparkle. “Tribute” netted a uninspiring £14,789 at the Leicester Square Theatre, with “Times Square” doing very tepid business at its six screens.


     

The film still merited a mention in the issue’s big article on the use of pop music in motion pictures, wherein we’re informed that The Clash refused to sully themselves by letting their art be exploited for Hollywood’s bourgeois commercial gain by allowing one of their songs to be used in Times Square. The issues and ironies involving the concept of exploitation in Times Square, both within the film itself and as a (failed) commercial property, deserve an essay to themselves, which you’re not going to get from me anytime soon, sorry.

 

 

But the best thing about this issue of Screen International is page 23, which is covered in photos of Robin schmoozing with British film critics. The film hadn’t completely tanked, but as we’ve seen previously RSO had already realized that the one thing the movie had going for it (aside from the soundtrack) was Robin, so they sent her overseas to promote it.

Screen International No 276, January 24, 1981, p. 23.  The photo-illustrated article on Robin Johnson's trip to London appears to be an advertisement.  Text:  Saturday 24th January 1981 Screen International —Page 23 • Robin Johnson gets her first sight of London from Tower Bridge. • David Land (co-deputy chairman, Robert Stigwood Group) with Robin Johnson. • Molly Plowright (“Glasgow Herald") and Robin Johnson. • Glenys Roberts (freelance), John Coleman (“New Statesman") and Robin Johnson. Robin: a new star in ‘Times Square’ ROBIN JOHNSON, the screen's latest teenage sensation, arrived in Britain last week to publicise the London opening of EMI's "Times Square" in which she plays a rebellious girl who lives off her wits on the harsh New York streets. Robin, accompanied by her mother, Ida, and representatives of The Robert Stigwood Group, the film's producers, attended a special luncheon where she met and charmed the national critics as well as taking part in interviews for radio and TV. After a weekend of sightseeing the party left London for a promotional tour to attend special preview screenings, followed by more interviews, in Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle and Leeds. Her abrasive performance in the film, which also stars Trim Alvarado and Tim Curry, has earned Robin acclaim from the critics, "The New Standard" describing her as "a real discovery". "Times Square" is released in the UK by Columbia-EMI-Warner Distributors. Photos: PIC • Denise Silvester-Carr ("London Weekly Diary") and Rod Gunnar (managing director, Robert Stigwood Group). • Margaret Hinxman ("Daily Mail") and Robin Johnson. • Kenelm Jenour ("Hollywood Reporter"), Robin Johnson and Bill Hall (freelance). Advt.

Robin: a new star in Times Square’

ROBIN JOHNSON, the screen’s latest teenage sensation, arrived in Britain last week to publicise the London opening of EMI’s “Times Square” in which she plays a rebellious girl who lives off her wits on the harsh New York streets.

Robin, accompanied by her mother, Ida, and representatives of The Robert Stigwood Group, the film’s producers, attended a special luncheon where she met and charmed the national critics as well as taking part in interviews for radio and TV.

After a weekend of sightseeing the party left London for a promotional tour to attend special preview screenings, followed by more interviews, in Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle and Leeds.

Her abrasive performance in the film, which also stars Trini Alvarado and Tim Curry, has earned Robin acclaim from the critics, “The New Standard” describing her as “a real discovery”.

“Times Square” is released in the UK by Columbia-EMI-Warner Distributors. Photos: PIC

As I’ve mentioned before, Times Square came out at the dawn of the home video recording revolution. As far as I know, none of the radio and television appearances mentioned in the article have survived. If you have a recording of any of them PLEASE let me know.)

This previous post occurred well after this, that interview taking place at the end of her promotional tour, but this page is more impressive what with all the photos of Robin. Unfortunately the newspaper-style printing leaves a lot to be desired, and reproducing them on a computer screen only highlights their limitations.

The first photo accompanying the article/ advertisement 'Robin: a new star in "Times Square"' from Screen International No 276, January 24, 1981, p. 23.  Text:   Robin Johnson gets her first sight of London from Tower Bridge.

And finally, returning to the theme of exploitation, the very bottom of the page carries the abbreviation “Advt.” It’s not a real article at all, but an ad placed by RSO, selling Robin. Odds are this was and probably still is a common practice, but it’s still another layer of exploitation, and irony, considering how RSO handled the next stage of her career. But we’re not there yet…

 

 


Screen International, No. 276, January 24-31, 1981 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389) ; 38 x 29 cm; (contains:)
Chris Brown, “London box office: Old, familiar favorites” (article, AAT ID: 300048715) ; p.2
Nick Robertshaw, “Record companies – is the time ripe for pop with pictures?” (article, AAT ID: 300048715) ; pp. 16-17
“Robin: a new star in ‘Times Square'” (advertisement, AAT ID: 300193993) ; PIC, photography ; p. 23 (works)

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Times Square Press Synopsis and Credits

Posted on 7th May 2017 in "Times Square"
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This was sold as a “Press Kit,” but it’s just the one sheet of A4-size paper with a very complete synopsis of the film on one side and the full cast and credits on the other. It was definitely used for publicity purposes in the UK, but the logo on it is the one that was used in the British advertisements and movie posters. The actual UK Press Kit documents used the American logo. This must have been made and distributed later than the Press Kit.

There was no synopsis in the UK Press Kit, at least not in my copy. There was one in the US Press Kit, and it’s significantly different. Where most of the contents of the UK Press Kit are taken almost directly from the US versions, this synopsis is almost certainly the work of a different synopsizer. Most strangely, although the logo implies it was produced later, some of the details in it make it seem that whoever wrote it was working not from the film but from an earlier version of the screenplay, or at least an earlier cut of the film. For instance, this page has Nicky pulling a switchblade on the police who come to arrest her outside the disco. The May 1979 script has her attacking the “roadies” from the club with a switchblade. There is no switchblade in the movie, or in the US Press Kit synopsis. It also mentions the famously-removed sequence by/in the Hudson River, although it describes them becoming “blood sisters” during it while in the May 1979 screenplay that happens on the pier, like it does in the movie.

TIMES SQUARE

SYNOPSIS

(Not for Publication)

42nd Street is one of New York’s busiest – it leads to Times Square, the centre of the city’s nightlife and filled with colourful characters. Winos, pimps, prostitutes and junkies rub their sordid shoulders with the thousands of tourists and sightseers out funseeking to catch the infectious atmosphere of the heart of “the Big Apple”.

Noisily trundling a shopping cart, filled with her guitar, amplifier and battery, along 42nd Street is 16-year-old Nicky Marotta (ROBIN JOHNSON), a girl who has lived most of her life on these rough and lively streets.

Outside a disco she plugs in her guitar and begins to play her own music against the thumping beat from within. When a hostess from the disco calls the police, they arrive to be faced with a stream of four-letter words and Nicky’s switchblade.

On the other side of town in a posh East Side apartment Pamela Pearl (TRINI ALVARDO) sits alone, tuned in to the mellow words and music of all-night disc jockey Johnny LaGuardia (TIM CURRY).

Now in custody and recognised as a habitual offender, Nicky is in the charge of Rosie (ANNA MARIA HORSFORD), a concerned social worker who tells her that she is to be taken to hospital to see if there is any psychological reason for her anti-social behaviour.

The next day Pamela’s father, David Pearl (PETER COFFIELD), a widower and rising politician, takes Pamela to a public meeting where he is to outline his newest assignment – as the Mayor’s Commissioner to clean up Times Square. His dedication to his career and lack of attention to his introverted young daughter have made him unable to recognise her loneliness and mental anguish. When she finds herself on the meeting platform beside her father she is mortified with embarrassment and when David refers to her in his speech, she bolts for the ladies’ rest room in tears.

"Times Square" Screenplay by Jacob Brackman, 1979, p. 48  Text:  47  EXT THE HUDSON RIVERSIDE	AFTERNOON  MUSIC. NICKY has’already spray painted out the Hopkins Center markings on the ambulance. She has also  sprayed slogans from her songs all over the van.  NICKY has sprayed. "Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah . . down the side of the van, over the ground and now up  PAMELA'S leg.  They wrestle for the can. PAMELA escapes an armlock and presses NICKY into a full Nelson against the van.  NICKY is surprised and impressed.  EXT POLICE HEADQUARTERS, MANHATTAN	DUSK  MUSIC. City of New York limousines and Hopkins Center vehicles are parked at the entrance. ROSIE HAUSE arrives in a cab.  EXT THE HUDSON RIVERSIDE 	DUSK  MUSIC. NICKY kneels before a hubcap full of thick, red goo she has mixed. PAMELA watches, fascinated.  NICKY cups the stuff in her palms and smooths it into her own hair. It is henna, a primitive hair dye.  Next, she rubs an equal amount into PAMELA'S hair, sensually at first. Their mood turns playful. They  plaster each other with henna and quickly look like gargoyles.  EXT THE ALLIED CHEMICAL BUILDING	EVENING  MUSIC. On the roof, next to the neon WJAD logo, JOHNNY, alone, scans his domain with a high powered  telescope on a tripod.Anxious for a speedy solution to the inconvenience of having a sick daughter, Pearl agrees to his doctor’s recommendation that she should undergo tests at the hospital to see if there are psychological reasons for her strange behaviour.

Thus Nicky and Pamela meet… as room-mates at the hospital. Nicky’s antics and irreverent behaviour towards the hospital staff shock Pamela at first, but later she begins to be amused and, after a night-time conversation in which Nicky convinces Pamela that there is nothing wrong with either of them, they leave their room together and, stealing a hospital ambulance, escape to a derelict pier where they set up a makeshift home. At the water’s edge they henna their hair, become “blood sisters” and determine to make the city sit up and take notice of them.

Johnny LaGuardia reads the newspaper accounts of the pair’s disappearance and believes Pamela is the girl who wrote to him a few days ago describing her loneliness and fears. He speaks to the runaways over the air, encouraging them in their bid to find their own brand of freedom.

As the days pass Nicky and Pamela engage in a variety of fruitless occupations to make ends meet, narrowly escape recapture by an undercover policeman and finally find employment in a sleazy club on 42nd Street known as “Cleopatra’s Lounge”, Pamela as a go-go dancer and Nicky as a singer with the resident band, The Blondells.

In the meantime David Pearl continues his efforts to find his daughter and makes an enemy of Johnny LaGuardia who, he is convinced knows where Pamela, is and is hampering both his bid to find her and his campaign to clean up the city centre.

In their rejection of many of society’s social values, Pamela and Nicky adopt weird clothes – bits and pieces of sixties mini-skirts and plastic garbage bags and call themselves “The Sleaze Sisters”. They spray graffiti all over town and indulge in a highly individual rampage of destruction by spectacularly destroying dozens of what they regard as the worst social symbol of all.

With reports of their progress being fed out over the airwaves by LaGuardia, “The Sleaze Sisters”, and in particular Nicky who has written a song about herself in very down-to-earth terms, become cult heroines and they even broadcast Nicky’s music live from the radio station.

But events are conspiring to end their great adventure. Nicky insists they go down in a blaze of glory by staging an illegal midnight rock concert atop a cinema marquee.

An explosive climax builds as hundreds of teenage girls, dressed in “Sleaze Sisters” clothing and make-up, stream towards Times Square for the concert. Also making their way there are the police and Pamela’s father…

Running Time: 111 mins, approx.
Certificate ‘AA’

EMI
A Member of the THORN-EMI Group
Released by COLUMBIA-EMI-WARNER Distributors Ltd.

THE CAST

Johnny LaGuardia……….TIM CURRY
Pamela Pearl……….TRINI ALVARADO
Nicky Marotta……….ROBIN JOHNSON
David Pearl……….PETER COFFIELD
Dr. Huber……….HERBERT BERGHOF
Dr.Zymansky……….DAVID MARGULIES
Rosie Washington……….ANNA MARIA HORSFORD
JoJo……….MICHAEL MARGOTTA
Simon……….J.C. QUINN
Roberto……….MIGUEL PINERO
Heavy……….RONALD “SMOKEY” STEVENS
Blondell……….BILLY MERNIT
Blondell……….PAUL SASS
Blondell……….ARTI WEINSTEIN
Eastman……….TIM CHOATE
Disco Hostess……….ELIZABETH PENA
Nurse Joan……….KATHY LOJAC
Nurse May……….SUSAN MERSON
Don Dowd……….GEORGE MORFOGEN
Speaker……….CHARLES BLACKWELL
Stuntplayer……….BILL ANAGNOS
Stuntplayer……….TAMMAS J. HAMILTON
Stuntplayer……….FRANKLYN SCOTT
Stuntplayer……….JANE SOLAR
Stuntplayer……….VICTORIA VANDERKLOOT
Dude……….STEVE W. JAMES
Plainclothes Cop ……….JAY ACOVONE
Magda……….ALICE SPIVAK
George……….CALVIN ANDER
Plainclothes Cop……….PETER IACANGELO
Young D.J……….MICHAEL RINEY
Policeman 1 ……….LOUIS BELERO
Policeman 2……….GERALD KLINE
Hold-Up Man……….BEN SLACK
Beer Vendor……….AARON HURST
Beer Vendor……….SEAN HUST
Shop Owner……….PETER LOPICCOLO
T.V. Drop Kid……….ROGER CAMCAHO
T.V. Drop Kid……….STEVE PABON
Daughter……….DANIELLE TILETNICK
Daughter’s Friend……….DONNA SIROTA
Movie Theatre Reactor……….TULANE HOWARD II
Waitress……….KAREN EVANS
Cigarette Girl……….RODI ALEXANDER
Sleez Bag Vendor 1 ……….RAMON FRANCO
Sleez Bag Vendor 2……….RIKI COLON
Renaissance AKIDE……….MELANIE HENDERSON
Cop On Marquee……….LARRY SILVESTRI
Beer Buyers.. . . PAULA NAPLES, MANDY CAMERON
Intern……….SCOTT P. SANDERS
Andy……….TIGER HAYNES
Sleez Girls……….CAMMI LYNN BUTTNER
SARAH DOUGHERTY, AMY GABRIEL
SANDRA LEE GOGA, PAMELA GOTLIN
SHUNA LYDON, KELLY McCLORY
MARLENA SEDA

THE CREDITS

Produced by……….ROBERT STIGWOOD
JACOB BRACKMAN
Directed by……….ALAN MOYLE
Executive Producers……….KEVIN McCORMICK
JOHN NICOLELLA
Screenplay by……….JACOB BRACKMAN
Story by……….ALAN MOYLE and LEANNEUNGER
Associate Producer……….BILL OAKES
Director of Photography……….JAMES A. CONTNER
Edited by……….TOM PRIESTLEY
Casting……….BARBARA CLAMAN for BCI
Special Casting……….MARGIE SIMKIN
Extras Casting……….LOUIS Di GIAIMO
Production Manager……….JUDITH STEVENS
Assistant Director……….ALAN HOPKINS
2nd Assistant Director……….ROBERT WARREN

THE CREDITS (cont’d)

2nd Unit Directors……….EDWARD BIANCHI
JOHN NICOLELLA
Unit Manager……….LOU FUSARO
Location Manager……….RON STIGWOOD
Camera Operator……….ENRIQUE BRAVO
Assistant Cameraman ……….HANK MULLER
Script Supervisor……….SANDY McLEOD
Makeup Artist……….PETER WRONA, JR.
Hairstylist……….JUDI GOODMAN
Wardrobe Supervisor……….KAREN EIFERT
Stunt Coordinators……….JAMES LOVELETT
ALEX STEVENS
Titles Design……….DAN PERRI
Opticals by ……….MOVIE MAGIC
Filmed in PANAVISION and TECHNICOLOR
and DOLBY STEREO
On Locations in New York City

THE MUSIC

ROCK HARD……….Performed by SUZI QUATRO
Composed by MIKE CHAPMAN & NICKY CHINN
TALK OF THE TOWN Performed by THE PRETENDERS
Composed by CHRISSIE HYNDE
SAME OLD SCENE……….Performed by ROXY MUSIC
Composed by BRYAN FERRY
DANGEROUS TYPE……….Performed by THE CARS
Composed by RIC OCASEK
DOWN IN THE PARK……….
Performed & Composed by GARY NUMAN
HELP ME ! Performed by MARCY LEVY & ROBIN GIBB
Composed by ROBIN GIBB & BLUE WEAVER
LIFE DURING WARTIME……….
Performed by TALKING HEADS
Composed by DAVID BYRNE
PRETTY BOYS……….
Performed & Composed by JOE JACKSON
TAKE THIS TOWN……….Performed by XTC
Composed by ANDY PARTRIDGE
I WANNA BE SEDATED……….
Performed & Composed by The RAMONES
DAMN DOG……….Performed by ROBIN JOHNSON
Composed by BILLY MERNIT and JACOB BRACKMAN
YOUR DAUGHTER IS ONE ……….
Performed by ROBIN JOHNSON & TRINI ALVARADO
Composed by BILLY MERNIT, NORMAN ROSS & JACOB BRACKMAN
BABYLON’S BURNING……….Performed by THE RUTS
Composed by JOHN JENNINGS, DAVE RUFFY
MALCOLM OWEN, PAUL FOX
YOU CAN’T HURRY LOVE . Performed by D. L. BYRON
Composed by HOLLAND, DOZIER, HOLLAND
WALK ON THE WILD SIDE……….
Performed & Composed by LOU REED
THE NIGHT WAS NOT……….
Performed by DESMOND CHILD & ROUGE
Composed by DESMOND CHILD
INNOCENT, NOT GUILTY……….
Performed & Composed by GARLAND JEFFREYS
GRINDING HALT……….Performed by THE CURE
Composed by TOLHURST DEMPSEY SMITH
PISSING IN THE RIVER……….
Performed & Composed by PATTI SMITH
FLOWERS IN THE CITY……….
Performed by DAVID JOHANSEN
& ROBIN JOHNSON
Composed by DAVID JOHANSEN & RONNIE GUY
Additional Music by BLUE WEAVER
Special thanks to JIMMY IOVINE, JOHN PACE and
D. L .BYRON BAND (FOR “DAMN DOG”)

I would say that M.B. was using this synopsis to help his/her own description of the film in the review in the January 1981 Photoplay.

Here, for comparison, is the American synopsis from the US Press Material folder:

TIMES SQUARE

SYNOPSIS

New York City at night. Along 42nd Street in the heart of Times Square, Nicky Marotta (ROBIN JOHNSON) swings aimlessly, a loose and carefree teenager plugged into life and rock music, complete with guitar, and portable amp system. With sudden inspiration, Nicky leans on the alley wall of a disco and against the thumping music from within begins to play her own music, loud and strong. A woman opens the alley door of the disco, berates Nicky for the “noise” which can be heard within, and demands she remove her equipment from the hood of the owner’s parked car. Nicky defiantly responds by smashing the headlights of the car. The woman runs into the club for help.

David Pearl (PETER COFFIELD), a widower consumed with his career as a rising young politician, has lost touch with his daughter, Pamela (TRINI ALVARADO). Unable to see that she is troubled and lonely, he takes Pamela to his newest assignment as the Mayor’s commissioner to clean up Times Square and a speech presenting his “Times Square Renaissance” program. To her dismay, Pamela is seated with her father on the dais and, when her father uses Pamela as the subject of a false and embarrassing story, she is convulsed with mortification and runs to the ladies restroom.

Nicky’s disturbance at the disco brings the police and she is apprehended, then taken in custody to await court and medical decisions.

Pamela, meanwhile, is in her upper East Side high-rise apartment listening to the mellow words and rock music of late-night disc jockey Johnny LaGuardia (TIM CURRY) from his studio high atop a building overlooking Times Square. Pamela hears LaGuardia read a letter she has written to him, a missive of deep anguish and loneliness. On the air, he advises the anonymous letter writer, who signed it “Zombie Girl,” to believe that all people should be very special to themselves and to learn how to “fly.”

Anxious for a solution to his daughter’s apparent neuroticism, David Pearl agrees to his doctor’s recommendations that Pamela be admitted to a hospital for neurological testing to determine if there is an organic reason for her behavior. Pamela meets Nicky in a hospital room they share since both will be undergoing the same psychiatric and physical tests. Nicky has been sent by police officials for the tests, following the recent arrest, her fourth on record.

During the tests by Dr. Huber (HERBERT BERGHOF),Nicky takes charge, raucously and with vulgar answers to his queries, a brazen attitude that fascinates Pamela. Pamela awakens one morning to learn with some sadness that Nicky has been discharged from the medical tests.
Nicky, however, surreptitiously returns to the room and convinces Pamela to join her in a flight to freedom. Impetuously, they run out of the building and commandeer an ambulance for a wild careening drive through the back streets of New York.

Two teenagers, free of responsibility, free in the exciting city of New York, they roam through an abandoned pier in the old city harbor area, and devise a makeshift refuge for shelter. To survive, they engage in a variety of activities—stealing, scrounging for food and clothing. Nicky even fails at an attempted mugging, with Pamela as the decoy, and their try at a sidewalk three-card monte game, fails to hook any suckers. The con game does get them chased by a plain-clothes undercover cop. They escape from him after a harrowing chase through a porno theatre, across its stage, up to the rooftops of buildings, down alleys,and eventually, safety in the subway.

Their next try for income is successful when the owner of a sleazy nitery in Times Square, the Cleopatra Club, is intrigued enough by Pamela’s innocence and refusal to dance topless to hire her as a campy put-on for the amusement of his customers. Nicky also is hired to sing with a back-up group, The Blondells.

Johnny LaGuardia, meanwhile, reads the newspaper accounts and reports of the search for David Pearl’s runaway daughter, believed to be kidnapped by Nicky Marotta, a dangerous delinquent. He makes the connection that Pamela is, in fact, his anonymous, troubled correspondent and on the air begins to encourage the two rebels, urging them to remain free. The publicity turns Pam and Nicky into minor media celebrities with legions of teenage girls their fans.

Nearby, David Pearl is torn between the anxiety over his daughter and his campaign to rehabilitate Times Square. Social worker Rosie Washington (ANNA MARIA HORSFORD), a dedicated civil servant, tries to persuade Pearl that Pamela’s company with Nicky Marotta is not a serious escapade, that Nicky is troubled but not beyond help. Rosie gets a letter filled with understanding to Nicky to ensure Pamela’s eventual and safe return. Pamela also calls her father to assure him she’s alright, and that Nicky needs her.

In their rejection of many of the values of the culture, the girls adopt “bag lady” wardrobes, bits and pieces of the ’60s miniskirts, plastic garbage bags as blouses. And they become “Sleaze Sisters,” when they see their fans’ spray-painted graffiti on a street bus panel advertising Pamela’s disappearance. In their jobs at the Cleo Club, Pamela becomes a favorite attraction, although fully dressed, because of her wild uninhibited gyrations and frenzied dance routines. Nicky also wows the customers with the rock rendition of her own composition, “Damn Dog,” backed up by The Blondells.

Nicky and Pamela then begin a series of exciting but dangerous escapades—dropping television sets from the tops of building to crash amongst unsuspecting pedestrians below. Pamela, now frightened by the behavior, begins to waver in her allegiance and friendship to Nicky. During an interlude in their dangerous pastime, the girls induce Johnny LaGuardia to let them sing on the air for his listeners. LaGuardia’s irresponsibility to the girls’ rebellion and his continuing on-air comments urging them to do their own thing, incenses David Pearl, who storms into LaGuardia’s studio, threatens him and attempts to assault him. To assuage Pearl’s anger, a LaGuardia staff member blurts out that Pamela can be found at the Cleo Club. At the club, Pamela rejects her father’s pleas to return and runs out into the night.

Later, after Pamela and Nicky have their first real disagreement over their lifestyle and “go down flaming,” Nicky leaves in anger. Pamela calls LaGuardia who comes to her with a gift bottle of vodka. The two are conversing warmly, stretched out on Pam’s and Nicky’s bed, when Nicky returns, slightly drunk. Enraged at LaGuardia, Nicky begins to hurl objects at him and Pamela and they rush out. Nicky then burns all the mementos of the time with Pamela and, later, bursts into Johnny’s studio demanding that she be allowed to sing on the air. Into a dead microphone, Nicky sobs an incoherent babble of pain, accompanied by her guitar strumming. Then, out of control, Nicky is carried out of the studio, emotionally spent.

LaGuardia seeks out Pamela and brings her to a sleeping Nicky, now composed. Pamela tells Nicky that she will arrange for Nicky to fulfill a lifelong dream—a live rock concert to be held in Times Square. In her father’s office after hours, Pamela makes phone calls to every major radio outlet in the New York area, informing them of the impending rock concert in Times Square. Within days, every Sleaze Sister fan of Pam and Nicky has been told by radio of the big event.

All over New York City, teenage girls dress in their Sleez (sic) costumes and garish make-up and converge on Times Square. In their midst are David Pearl, who believes this is the night he will recover his daughter, and the concerned social worker, Rosie Washington, who also has faith in another recovery that night—of Nicky Marotta.

With the huge crowd teeming on the streets of Times Square, Nicky Marotta makes her entrance for the hundreds of fans—atop the marquee of the Times Square movie house. With her are Pamela, in the shadows behind Nicky, and Nicky’s back-up group, The Blondells. Nicky introduces her concert with some well-chosen words on revolt, rebellion and resistance to authority, then breaks into an inspired rendition of her “Damn Dog.” As cheers and applause fill Times Square, a number of policeman move in toward Nicky. She threatens to jump if they close in before her concert is concluded. A few more remarks, a song reprise… and Nicky leaps into the crowd below….

Johnny LaGuardia, who has been viewing the activity in Times Square through a high-powered telescope, and has reported to his listeners, reflects that he had once advised a lonely Pamela Pearl, then his anonymous letter writer, to conquer her fears and “fly.”

 

 

Times Square Synopsis (press kit, AAT ID: 300236195)
2 pp., 29.7 x 22 cm. (work);
Times Square UK Press Info sheet front_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 769 px (W), 96 dpi, 382 kb
Times Square UK Press Info sheet rear_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 757 px (W), 96 dpi, 436 kb

 

Times Square Synopsis, from the Times Square Press material folder (press kit, AAT ID: 300236195)
5 pp, 8.5 x 11 in. (work);
TIMES SQUARE Press Kit0002_synopsis_1_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 836 px (W), 96 dpi, 269 kb
TIMES SQUARE Press Kit0003_synopsis_2_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 836 px (W), 96 dpi, 272 kb
TIMES SQUARE Press Kit0004_synopsis_3_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 835 px (W), 96 dpi, 269 kb
TIMES SQUARE Press Kit0005_synopsis_4_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 837 px (W), 96 dpi, 276 kb
TIMES SQUARE Press Kit0006_synopsis_5_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 836 px (W), 96 dpi, 188 kb

 

TIMES SQUARE, p. 47
Screenplay by Jacob Brackman
1979

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

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Musica Original de la Pelicula “Times Square”

Posted on 26th April 2017 in "Times Square"
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I should have posted this along with the other versions of the soundtrack album I have, but I somehow had it in my head that it was released in 1981. It wasn’t; all the international editions of the soundtrack were released in 1980, with only one exception I know of, and this isn’t it.

This is the Peruvian edition, and cover-wise it’s essentially identical to the Canadian edition, with a blank red spot in place of Tim Curry, and Tim in his rightful place in the center square in the gatefold.

I stopped collecting variants of the soundtrack album once I realized just how much space they would take up for dozens of items that were all pretty much the same. I’ll only pick one up if it has some substantial difference (and is cheap enough), and the title in Spanish on the spine and the Spanish translations of the song titles on the record labels did it for me.

My copy doesn’t have the blue paper inner sleeves with the photos of Nicky and Pammy and the extended song publication information. I don’t know if that’s how it was originally issued or if some previous owner lost them along the way. This may also be different because it’s a white-labeled promotional record. Prohibida su venta.

For comparison, here are the American and the UK editions.

 

 

Times Square – Musica Original de la Pelicula, A25 – RSO 2658145.3; Peru, 1980; 2 long-playing records (AAT 300265802) with gatefold picture sleeve (AAT 300266823);

 

©1980 Butterfly Valley NV

 

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Record Mirror, January 31, 1981

Posted on 15th April 2017 in "Times Square"
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“‘Oh, I’ve been known to curse in my time…'”

Cover of Record Mirror, January 31, 1981, a UK music magazine containing an interview with Robin Johnson, during her publicity tour of the UK for "Times Square"

Page 7 of Record Mirror, January 31, 1981, a UK music magazine containing an interview with Robin Johnson, during her publicity tour of the UK for "Times Square"

 

RSO had evidently come to the realization that Robin was the film’s major selling point, so they sent her to England accompanied by her mom to promote Times Square’s opening and herself. The interviews she gave must have occurred even as the bad reviews started coming out, but they were published after. Along with the teasing of RSO’s plans for her future projects, she wasn’t hesitant to gripe in public about the poor editing of Times Square. She even agrees here that the script wasn’t all it could have been.

Record Mirror, January 31, 1981, p. 7  Text:  Record Mirror, January 31,1981  7  ROBIN JOHNSON MEETS BRYAN FERRY (and Mike Nicholls!)  ROBIN JOHNSON ponders becoming the next Chrissie Hynde as well as Liza Minelli.  ROADRUNNER ONCE, sipping cocktails in the hyper - high - rent confines of Mayfair's Inn On The Park hotel. A Daimler limousine purrs up to the entrance and I'm ushered into it. Inside sits a dark, diminutive, refined looking girl and her ma. The former is 16 - year - old Robin Johnson, star of trash epic 'Times Square'. Not that anyone who's seen the film could possibly guess. The amoral urchin with the matted hair has been transformed into a veritable princess. Only the scratchy, street - wise Brooklyn larynx remains the same. So what's all this nonsense? I gesture, referring to incongruity between our present surroundings and those of the film.  "That was only a movie and this is real life," she replies matter - of - a factly, "though I don't travel everywhere like this. For longer journeys we use trains."  A quick - witted likeable young lady, seemingly unaffected by success. Both her feet are square on the ground and she makes clear that because she's missing a lot of school, ma got clearance from the principal and lavishes her with lots of homework. At the moment, however, she just wants to learn Cockney rhyming slang.  As we're going through the basics, we arrive at the theatre showing 'Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' and out she gets. So much to do and see during a short promotional visit... ROADRUNNER TWICE. Robin and her manager / ma have gone on to a whistlestop tour of the provinces. Birmingham. Manchester and Glasgow are all in the past. She's just arrived in Newcastle, and New York seems a long way away.  How were you enlisted for 'Times Square'? I wonder, courtesy of the GPO.  "Enlisted!?" she shrieks down the phone into my Notting Hill pad "yeah, I guess that's it. I was drafted! Really! One day after school I was hanging out across the street with some friends and a guy came up and said 'are you 16?' I said -yeah, why?' so he tells me there's an ad in the Village Voice requiring someone like me for a film." she rasps, sounding like one of the Jets gang from West Side Story'.  "He told me the storyline, assured me there was no sexual exploitation and gave me a number to ring. Well," she goes on barking, "the summer vacation was coming up, I had nothing to do so I called it up just for a goof."  Goofing or otherwise, she'd made contact with the mighty Stigwood empire, went on to pass the audition and got signed for the major role in the first of three films. In the next, she stars opposite Andy Gibb in 'Grease 2'.  'The funny thing is," she prattles amiably, "no-one knew who the guy was or have seen or heard from him since. God must have sent an angel from Heaven!"  Scarcely an overstatement, if you think about it. in the course of the film, Robin comes out with some fairly choice language. Did this come naturally? "Oh, I've been known to curse in my time," is the riposte. "Actually, the voice and mannerisms are pretty much me. For the third movie I do, the script will actually be tailored with me  in mind. That's the best kind you can do."  I point out that the script in 'Times Square' was pretty naff. In fact, st ruined the film.  "Yeah," she agrees, "and it was edited pretty badly, too. I actually found it disorientating because there's stuff said which pertains to earlier scenes that were cut. But I was happy with my performance even if the film in general could have done with being better.  "In America," she admits, "it hasn't done as well as expected, with some major distributors pulling out. Maybe the time and market weren't felt to be right," she continues sensibly, giving the impression that she's spent a lifetime in the game.  A bright spot, however, is the 'Times Square' soundtrack, featuring, amongst others, delicacies by Talking Heads, The Ramones, Lou Reed and The Pretenders. Is that your sort of music?  "Oh yeah," she enthuses, "that's what I listen to all the time. New wave, The Clash, Blondie, Roxy Music ... I saw Bryan Ferry in Manchester after their show there. He seems like a nice fellow. I thanked him for the song on the soundtrack ('Same Old Scene'} which I like very much. Hey! I'd have told him if I didn't!"  How was the Roxy gig?  "Oh it was great and it was nice to see the local teenagers."  It was nice talking to Robin Johnson, a bright star on the ascendant, totally without phoney airs and pretentions. The lil' gurl's gonna be huge. Remember where you read it first. (The Daily Mail? — Ed).

ROBIN JOHNSON MEETS BRYAN FERRY
(and Mike Nicholls!)

ROADRUNNER ONCE, sipping cocktails in the hyper-high-rent confines of Mayfair’s Inn On The Park hotel. A Daimler limousine purrs up to the entrance and I’m ushered into it. Inside sits a dark, diminutive, refined looking girl and her ma. The former is 16-year-old Robin Johnson, star of trash epic ‘Times Square’. Not that anyone who’s seen the film could possibly guess.

The amoral urchin with the matted hair has been transformed into a veritable princess. Only the scratchy, street-wise Brooklyn larynx remains the same. So what’s all this nonsense? I gesture, referring to incongruity between our present surroundings and those of the film.

“That was only a movie and this is real life,” she replies matter-of-a factly, “though I don’t travel everywhere like this. For longer journeys we use trains.”

A quick-witted likeable young lady, seemingly unaffected by success. Both her feet are square on the ground and she makes clear that because she’s missing a lot of school, ma got clearance from the principal and lavishes her with lots of homework. At the moment, however, she just wants to learn Cockney rhyming slang.

As we’re going through the basics, we arrive at the theatre showing ‘Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ and out she gets. So much to do and see during a short promotional visit…

ROADRUNNER TWICE. Robin and her manager / ma have gone on to a whistlestop tour of the provinces. Birmingham. Manchester and Glasgow are all in the past. She’s just arrived in Newcastle, and New York seems a long way away.

How were you enlisted for ‘Times Square’? I wonder, courtesy of the GPO.

“Enlisted!?” she shrieks down the phone into my Notting Hill pad “yeah, I guess that’s it. I was drafted! Really! One day after school I was hanging out across the street with some friends and a guy came up and said ‘are you 16?’ I said ‘yeah, why?’ so he tells me there’s an ad in the Village Voice requiring someone like me for a film.” she rasps, sounding like one of the Jets gang from West Side Story’.

“He told me the storyline, assured me there was no sexual exploitation and gave me a number to ring. Well,” she goes on barking, “the summer vacation was coming up, I had nothing to do so I called it up just for a goof.”

Goofing or otherwise, she’d made contact with the mighty Stigwood empire, went on to pass the audition and got signed for the major role in the first of three films. In the next, she stars opposite Andy Gibb in ‘Grease 2’.

‘The funny thing is,” she prattles amiably, “no-one knew who the guy was or have seen or heard from him since. God must have sent an angel from Heaven!”

Scarcely an overstatement, if you think about it. in the course of the film, Robin comes out with some fairly choice language. Did this come naturally? “Oh, I’ve been known to curse in my time,” is the riposte. “Actually, the voice and mannerisms are pretty much me. For the third movie I do, the script will actually be tailored with me in mind. That’s the best kind you can do.”

I point out that the script in ‘Times Square’ was pretty naff. In fact, it ruined the film.

“Yeah,” she agrees, “and it was edited pretty badly, too. I actually found it disorientating because there’s stuff said which pertains to earlier scenes that were cut. But I was happy with my performance even if the film in general could have done with being better.

“In America,” she admits, “it hasn’t done as well as expected, with some major distributors pulling out. Maybe the time and market weren’t felt to be right,” she continues sensibly, giving the impression that she’s spent a lifetime in the game.

A bright spot, however, is the ‘Times Square’ soundtrack, featuring, amongst others, delicacies by Talking Heads, The Ramones, Lou Reed and The Pretenders. Is that your sort of music?

“Oh yeah,” she enthuses, “that’s what I listen to all the time. New wave, The Clash, Blondie, Roxy Music … I saw Bryan Ferry in Manchester after their show there. He seems like a nice fellow. I thanked him for the song on the soundtrack (‘Same Old Scene’} which I like very much. Hey! I’d have told him if I didn’t!”

How was the Roxy gig?

“Oh it was great and it was nice to see the local teenagers.”

It was nice talking to Robin Johnson, a bright star on the ascendant, totally without phoney airs and pretentions. The lil’ gurl’s gonna be huge. Remember where you read it first. (The Daily Mail? — Ed).

Still of Robin Johnson as Nicky from "Times Square"  with caption, from Record Mirror, 31 Jan. 1981, p. 7 -  Image digitized for ROBINJOHNSON.NET

ROBIN JOHNSON ponders becoming the next Chrissie Hynde as well as Liza Minelli.

 

This is the second mention of her next project being Grease 2 (the first was in the January 1981 Film Review), although it’s the first mention of her starring opposite Andy Gibb. It’s also the first mention of the third film of her three-picture-deal being a movie written specifically for her to star in.

She lists The Clash among the bands she listens to “all the time.” In an interview she’d done months before for Seventeen, she mentioned them as a band she hated, along with all punk rock (as distinguished from New Wave). I don’t believe she ever was the kind of person who would soften her artistic opinion to protect someone else’s feelings, so I’m guessing she’d never really listened to any punk rock until after Times Square was finished shooting, and then decided it was pretty good.

The photo is TS-69-34A/4 from the US Press Material folder, which was also printed for use by ITC to promote Times Square in the UK, and at some point in a full-bleed version, with no white border, numbered 69-34A-4. My copy of that one isn’t technically in mint condition. There was also a version numbered “6” which I believe was printed for use in the UK Press Kit.
 

 

Mike Nicholls, “ROBIN JOHNSON MEETS BRYAN FERRY (and Mike Nicholls!)” (article, AAT ID: 300048715)
Record Mirror, January 31, 1981, p. 7 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389)
16 in (H) x 11 in (W) (work);
Record_Mirror_19810131_p1_1080px.jpg (cover)
1080 px (H) x 811 px (W), 96 dpi, 605 kb
Record_Mirror_19810131_p7_1080px.jpg (full page)
1080 px (H) x 809 px (W), 96 dpi, 557 kb
RJ_TS_Record_Mirror_19810131p7_1080px.jpg (detail of article)
1080 px (W) x 1009 px (H), 96 dpi, 659 kb
RJ_TS_Record_Mirror_19810131p7_photo_800px.jpg (detail of photograph accompanying article)
800 px (H) x 685 px (W), 96 dpi, 301 kb (images)

 

©1980 Spotlight Publications Ltd

 

Record Mirror, 1980

Posted on 4th April 2017 in "Times Square"
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TIMES SQUARE soundtrack album promotional mirror

 

No, not the magazine Record Mirror. This was a promotional item given by an RSO music rep to the music director of WLKI in Angola, Indiana, along with 25 copies of the soundtrack album to give away as contest prizes. It was on display as part of his enormous album collection for over 35 years. (No, he didn’t die! Just decided to whittle his collection down a bit.)

It is indeed a mirror, about license-plate size, with “TIMES SQUARE™ | RSO™ | ©1980 BUTTERFLY VALLEY NV” screen printed on it. The frame is plastic (and slightly warped), and the backing is corrugated cardboard; it is just a promotional freebie, after all. There must have been hundreds of these given out. There were also t-shirts and buttons made; the buttons turn up every so often, the t-shirts less so (and always in “small”), but before finding this I had no idea the mirrors existed.

TIMES SQUARE soundtrack album promotional mirror

 

 

 

 

 

 

It isn’t easy to scan or photograph a mirror.

 

 

[Times Square soundtrack album promotional mirror]
promotional material : AAT ID: 300249572 : 20.5 x 26.8 cm. : 1980 (work);
Times_Square_1980 Promotional Mirror_layers_1080px.jpg
863 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 491 kb
Times_Square_1980 Promotional Mirror_2_1080px.jpg
1033 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 553 kb (images)

 

©1980 Butterfly Valley, N.V.
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

“6”

Posted on 24th March 2017 in "Times Square"
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Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta during the filming of TIMES SQUARE (1980). The number and the stamp on the back imply that it was part of the UK Press Kit. The caption for photo 6 in the Press Kit reads:   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”.

 

 

This, I believe, is one of the photos missing from my copy of the UK Press Kit. The photo caption sheet in the press kit lists photos 6, 7, and 8 as pictures of Robin all with the same caption, and my copy only has a 7 and 8. This photo has a tiny “6” inset on the front, and the back has the same black “TIMES SQUARE” stamp as the Press Kit photos. Add in the fact that this came from a memorabilia dealer in England, and I’m satisfied that it was originally part of the Press Kit package.

 

It’s the same image as TS-69-34A/4 from the US Press Material folder, printed with higher contrast and thus losing some detail, but cropped differently so it shows a little more of the area around Robin. We can now see Trini’s arm, the bottom of the guitar, and not quite enough more of the headstock to be sure whether this was before or after the “Rickenbacker” nameplate was removed. The same image was also used by ITC to promote the film, that one being cropped even closer.

 

 

[Times Square UK Press Kit photo 6]
black and white photographic print, 25.3 x 20.2 cm. (work);
1080 px (H) x 865 px (W), 96 dpi, 334 kb (image)

1980
inscription: [front] 6
[back:] [stamped, black:] TIMES SQUARE
[handwritten:] Robin Johnson | 96 | 429

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

New Musical Express, 24 January 1981

Posted on 13th March 2017 in "Times Square"
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Cover of NME 24-1-1981, featuring The Jam.  Issue has a review of "Times Square" on pp 14-15.

 

“No, this won’t do.”

 

Monty Smith’s review of Times Square is true to form, giving some light praise to Robin’s and Trini’s performances while tearing the movie itself to shreds. Although he does sometimes go a bit over the top with a particularly English-flavored cooler-than-thou sneering (“a real stiff for the kids, a would-be ‘punk’ epic, three years too late and twice as tasteless”), he does have a bead on exactly what’s causing the film’s problems (“they seem to have been stymied by the prerequisites of marketing… [that’s] what you get for your double album — sorry, film…”)

Review of TIMES SQUARE in New Muscial Express, 24 January 1981, Edit of Pages 14 and 15.  Text:  Page 14 — New Musical Express 24th January, 1981  In a desperate rebellious gesture, Robin Johnson prepares to plummet to the ground three and a half feet below. Behind the times Times Square Directed by Alan Moyle Starring Robin Johnson, Trini Alvarado and Tim Curry (EMI) SO AFTER Grease and Saturday Night Fever, the Stigwood outfit delivers a real stiff for the kids, a would-be 'punk' epic, three years too late and twice as tasteless. This time around, what you get for your double album — sorry, film — is a couple of teenage tearaways doing a bunk from a New York neurological hospital and setting up a squat by a derelict pier. That they are both eminently suitable cases for treatment seems lost on early-hours DJ Johnny LaGuardia, who takes up their cause. Publicly, he mocks the authorities' feeble attempts to find the two girls; privately, he's grooming them for their fifteen minutes of stardom. The Sleaze Sisters are born! And they're not so bad: Robin Johnson as 16-year-old Nicky Marotta is all foul-mouth and fiery temper ("I'm sure her childhood was a complete disaster but that's not the point," says one typically concerned adult), an abrasive-looking ragamuffin who happens to talk like Jimmy Durante; Trini Alvarado as 13-year-old Pamela Pearl is all capped-teeth and catatonic trances (she's the well brought-up one who keeps a diary), an angelic-featured kewpie-doll who could pass for the Mona Lisa's daughter. Believe it or not, they go together well. But Times Square falls apart as soon as Nicky and Pam hit the streets of the city so nice they named it twice. It's all very well plumping for life over TV, vitality over manners and slime over plastic, but I don't think the various pimps, winos, prostitutes and junkies they rub shoulders with would put too much faith in credentials as limp as these. And as for Tim Curry's extraordinary performance as DJ La Guardia ... the hoots of derision that greeted his every solemn utterance, his every knit of brow and pout of lip (denoting his concern for the girls' welfare), could not have been much less loud than those at the opening night of O'Toole's Macbeth. No, this won't do. The writer and director have both before been involved in 'proper' films (The King Of Marvin Gardens, Days Of Heaven, Outrageous, Montreal Main) but here they seem to have been stymied by the prerequisites of marketing. Not only with the soundtrack — and by all means chuck in songs as incongruous as those by Gary Numan and the Ruts, but Talking Heads' 'Life During Wartime' sits mighty uneasily with the feeble on-screen fairy tale — also with the risible climax in which scores of Sleaze Sister lookalikes emerge, lemming-style, from the surburbs for a free midnight gig, man: "We are one minute from history," says LaGuardia, and we all broke up again. Honestly, it's just like The Brady Bunch, but with swear words and a few chewns. Monty Smith

Behind the times

Times Square
Directed by Alan Moyle
Starring Robin Johnson,
Trini Alvarado and Tim Curry
(EMI)

SO AFTER Grease and Saturday Night Fever, the Stigwood outfit delivers a real stiff for the kids, a would-be ‘punk’ epic, three years too late and twice as tasteless.

This time around, what you get for your double album — sorry, film — is a couple of teenage tearaways doing a bunk from a New York neurological hospital and setting up a squat by a derelict pier. That they are both eminently suitable cases for treatment seems lost on early-hours DJ Johnny LaGuardia, who takes up their cause. Publicly, he mocks the authorities’ feeble attempts to find the two girls; privately, he’s grooming them for their fifteen minutes of stardom. The Sleaze Sisters are born!

And they’re not so bad: Robin Johnson as 16-year-old Nicky Marotta is all foul-mouth and fiery temper (“I’m sure her childhood was a complete disaster but that’s not the point,” says one typically concerned adult), an abrasive-looking ragamuffin who happens to talk like Jimmy Durante; Trini Alvarado as 13-year-old Pamela Pearl is all capped-teeth and catatonic trances (she’s the well brought-up one who keeps a diary), an angelic-featured kewpie-doll who could pass for the Mona Lisa’s daughter. Believe it or not, they go together well.

But Times Square falls apart as soon as Nicky and Pam hit the streets of the city so nice they named it twice. It’s all very well plumping for life over TV, vitality over manners and slime over plastic, but l don’t think the various pimps, winos, prostitutes and junkies they rub shoulders with would put too much faith in credentials as limp as these. And as for Tim Curry’s extraordinary performance as DJ La Guardia … the hoots of derision that greeted his every solemn utterance, his every knit of brow and pout of lip (denoting his concern for the girls’ welfare), could not have been much less loud than those at the opening night of O’Toole’s Macbeth.

No, this won’t do. The writer and director have both before been involved in ‘proper’ films (The King Of Marvin Gardens, Days Of Heaven, Outrageous, Montreal Main) but here they seem to have been stymied by the prerequisites of marketing. Not only with the soundtrack — and by all means chuck in songs as incongruous as those by Gary Numan and the Ruts, but Talking Heads’ ‘Life During Wartime’ sits mighty uneasily with the feeble on-screen fairy tale — also with the risible climax in which scores of Sleaze Sister lookalikes emerge, lemming-style, from the surburbs for a free midnight gig, man: “We are one minute from history,” says LaGuardia, and we all broke up again.

Honestly, it’s just like The Brady Bunch, but with swear words and a few chewns.

Monty Smith

The Box Office chart, with listings borrowed from our old friend Screen International, shows (what else?) Flash Gordon at the top.

Photo accompanying review of TIMES SQUARE in New Muscial Express, 24 January 1981, page 14.  Caption: In a desperate rebellious gesture, Robin Johnson prepares to plummet to the ground three and a half feet below.   Text:  Page 14 — New Musical Express 24th January, 1981  I

In a desperate rebellious gesture, Robin Johnson prepares to plummet to the ground three and a half feet below.

 

The photo accompanying the review seems to have been taken at the same time as TS-28-28/7, but as of this writing I don’t believe it appeared anywhere else but here.

 

 

Monty Smith, “Behind the times” (review (document), AAT ID: 300026480)
New Musical Express, January 24, 1981, pp. 14-15 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389)
17 in (H) x 11 in (W) (work);
1981-01-24 TS NME 24 Jan 1981 2012 scan ABBYY 12 – 0001_2_1080px.jpg (cover)
1080 px (H) x 699 px (W), 96 dpi, 437 kb
1981-01-24 TS NME 24 Jan 1981 pp 14-15 edit_1080px.jpg (edit of details from pp. 14 & 15)
1080 px (W) x 994 px (H), 96 dpi, 669 kb
1981-01-24 TS NME 24 Jan 1981image from p 14 800px.jpg (detail p. 14)
800 px (W) x 619 px (H), 96 dpi, 301 kb (images)

 

 

Screen International No. 246, June 21-28, 1980

Posted on 2nd March 2017 in "Times Square"
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Cover page of a UK movie industry trade publication with two-page ad centerfold announcing TIMES SQUARE in production

This is the fifth appearance Times Square made in the press that I know of. The first was a mention in Radio and Records, the date of which I’m uncertain, but since it describes the movie as coming out in the summer I’m placing it first — possibly even as early as November 1979 when shooting would have started and the big WJAD neon sign hoisted into place on the Candler Building. The second was Screen International No. 231 in March 1980, touting Robin’s unlikely “discovery.” The third was an article about the film’s production in The Aquarian in April 1980 which seems to have been written from interviews conducted in November and December 1979. And the fourth, in May 1980, a quote about the movie from Robert Stigwood in Photoplay.

So in mid-June 1980, which, judging by the Radio and Records article, was the originally planned release date for Times Square, EMI plastered a two-page announcement of the film’s impending release in the center spread of this organ aimed at British film exhibitors and producers. Allan Moyle had long since left the project; the spring months had probably been devoted to reshoots and re-editing. The text of the ad, which features a glorious photo of Robin by Mick Rock, places Times Square as the crowning jewel in Robert Stigwood’s crown. Seven months later it would be obvious to all that this was not the case, and the remaining publicity for Times Square would revert to the March Screen International blurb and center around Robin’s discovery and impending stellar career.

 
Two-page centerspread advertisement from a UK movie industry trade publication. Photo by Mick Rock. Text: Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy. The entertainment revolution that Robert Stigwood began, continues with TIMES SQUARE™ AN EMI FILMS PRESENTATION UNITED KINGDOM DISTRIBUTION BY COLUMBIA-EMI-WARNER NORTH AMERICA BY ASSOCIATED FILM DISTRIBUTION AND THROUGHOUT THE REST OF THE WORLD BY EMI FILMS EMI A member of the Thorn EMI Group TIMES SQUARE™ © 1980 Butterfly Valley N.V.

Saturday Night Fever, Grease,
Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy.
The entertainment revolution
that Robert Stigwood began,
continues with
TIMES SQUARE™
AN EMI FILMS PRESENTATION
UNITED KINGDOM DISTRIBUTION BY COLUMBIA-EMI-WARNER
NORTH AMERICA BY ASSOCIATED FILM DISTRIBUTION AND
THROUGHOUT THE REST OF THE WORLD BY EMI FILMS
EMI
A member of the Thorn EMI Group

TIMES SQUARE™
© 1980 Butterfly Valley N.V.

If you have the feeling you’ve seen this before, or that I’m just vamping here, you’re right: I only just obtained a copy of this magazine, but in December 2015 I posted a link to the copy previously posted by Karen Dean (DefeatedandGifted) and said pretty much all I had to say about it then. At the time I never thought I’d find any copies of Screen International, but I now have three issues in which Robin appears. I’ve been collecting Robin Johnson items for a very long time, and somehow “new” things keep turning up.

 

 


Screen International, No. 246, June 21-28, 1980 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389) ; 38.8 x 28.9 cm; (contains:)
[Times Square center spread advertisement] (advertisement, AAT ID: 300193993), pp. 12-13
Screen_International_No_246_1980-06-21_p1_1080px.jpg
777 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 508 kb
Screen_International_No_246_1980-06-21_pp12-13_1080px.jpg
1080 x 1609 px, 96 dpi, 647 kb (images)

©1980 King Publications Ltd
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+


 

Record Mirror, January 24, 1981

Posted on 19th February 2017 in "Times Square"
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“All things vaguely sensible suddenly disappear in a puff of smoke.”

Cover of Record Mirror, January 24, 1981 featuring Jane Kennaway, "the voice of 1981"

Page 8 of the Jan. 24, 1981 "Record Mirror," containing a bad review of "Times Square."

 

 

Chris Westwood’s review of Times Square in the January 24, 1981, Record Mirror was sadly typical, finding it an unbelievable melodramatic mess that “tries too many things and pulls none of them off.” He sees some value in Tim Curry’s and Robin’s performances, but they’re not enough to save the film: “Robin Johnson battles aggressively to find some measure of meaning in life and the script… Her potential is possibly great, but it’s held down by ‘Times Square’, which looks as though it’s been made for the sake of making a movie.”

 

Review of "Times Square" from page 8 of the Jan. 24, 1981 "Record Mirror."  Text:  FILMS...FILMS...FILMS...FILMS...FI  TIMES SQUARE. Starring Tim Curry, Trini Alvarado, Robin Johnson. Director: Alan Moyle. (EMI).  PRE-PREVIEW buzzings led one to expect a sort of  Stigwoodian allusion to punk Woodstock, where in fact it's  nothing of the sort. Or any other sort for that matter — 'Times  Square' being a rather muddled mish-mash of an observation,  centering on a pair of female juveniles rejecting adulthood and  growing into it at the same time. Said juveniles (Trini Alvarado,  Robin Johnson) are seen setting up squat amongst the  seamier, slummier areas of New York, hustling for work at a  strip club and singing as the Sleez Sisters, dropping TV sets from great heights, becoming cult figures and — it seems —  the prime and only obsession of "meaningful" DJ Tim Curry  whose good intentions seem to do no good to anyone. All so much soap opera really, if well performed: Curry as  LaGardia is suitably nauseating (supporting the good bad  "guys" a la 'Vanishing Point'), whereas Robin Johnson battles aggressively to find some measure of meaning in life and the  script, her role here is something of a trash-novelist's-eye- view of rebel-punk. Her potential is possibly great, but it's  held down by 'Times Square', which looks as though it's been  made for the sake of making a movie. 'Times Square' never really goes anywhere — apart from  around in circles — because it's used up before it starts; as a  film aimed at the teenage market-place it offers neither the spice nor spectacle of 'Saturday Night Fever' or 'Grease'; as a  film about friendship (which it attempts to be) it dithers,  stumbles and only occasionally works; it tries too many things  and pulls none of them off. By the end we're faced with a rooftop jam session in Times  Square itself, where Robin Johnson's Nicky is suddenly elevated to the role of superstarlet, her embarrassing  rockspeak pronouncements bringing the salivating crowds to  boiling point. All things vaguely sensible suddenly disappear  in a puff of smoke. 'Times Square' is silly. It doesn't know what to say. If only  people would think about what to do with their allowances...  CHRIS WESTWOOD  ROBIN JOHNSON

This review distinguishes itself by being perhaps the only one ever to have absolutely nothing to say about Trini Alvarado.

FILMS…FILMS…FILMS…FILMS…

TIMES SQUARE. Starring Tim Curry, Trini Alvarado, Robin Johnson. Director: Alan Moyle. (EMI).

PRE-PREVIEW buzzings led one to expect a sort of Stigwoodian allusion to punk Woodstock, where in fact it’s nothing of the sort. Or any other sort for that matter — ‘Times Square’ being a rather muddled mish-mash of an observation, centering on a pair of female juveniles rejecting adulthood and growing into it at the same time. Said juveniles (Trini Alvarado, Robin Johnson) are seen setting up squat amongst the seamier, slummier areas of New York, hustling for work at a strip club and singing as the Sleez Sisters, dropping TV sets from great heights, becoming cult figures and — it seems — the prime and only obsession of “meaningful” DJ Tim Curry whose good intentions seem to do no good to anyone.

All so much soap opera really, if well performed: Curry as LaGardia is suitably nauseating (supporting the good bad “guys” a la ‘Vanishing Point’), whereas Robin Johnson battles aggressively to find some measure of meaning in life and the script, her role here is something of a trash-novelist’s-eye-view of rebel-punk. Her potential is possibly great, but it’s held down by ‘Times Square’, which looks as though it’s been made for the sake of making a movie.

‘Times Square’ never really goes anywhere — apart from around in circles — because it’s used up before it starts; as a film aimed at the teenage market-place it offers neither the spice nor spectacle of ‘Saturday Night Fever’ or ‘Grease’; as a film about friendship (which it attempts to be) it dithers, stumbles and only occasionally works; it tries too many things and pulls none of them off.

By the end we’re faced with a rooftop jam session in Times Square itself, where Robin Johnson’s Nicky is suddenly elevated to the role of superstarlet, her embarrassing rockspeak pronouncements bringing the salivating crowds to boiling point. All things vaguely sensible suddenly disappear in a puff of smoke.

‘Times Square’ is silly. It doesn’t know what to say. If only people would think about what to do with their allowances…
CHRIS WESTWOOD

The accompanying photo is TS-57-26/1 from the US Press Material folder and Press Book, also used on all the North American movie posters, and the soundtrack album and promotional materials, including the UK soundtrack sampler record cover.

Advertisement for the "Times Square" soundtrack album on page 32 of the Jan. 24, 1981 "Record Mirror."

 

 

On page 32, however, RSO gives a huge middle finger to the bad review of the movie by running a full-page ad for the soundtrack. In hindsight, we can see that was actually a huge middle finger to the film itself.

The cool thing about this ad is the top half devoted to a line drawing version of TS-82-30, which also appeared on the UK soundtrack sampler cover.

 

 

Chris Westwood, “Films – Times Square” (review (document), AAT ID: 300026480)
“Times Square – the double album soundtrack of the Robert Stigwood film” (advertisement, AAT ID: 300193993)
Record Mirror, January 24, 1981, pp. 8, 32 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389)
16 in (H) x 11 in (W) (work);
Record_Mirror_1981-01-24_p1_1080px.jpg (cover)
1080 px (H) x 798 px (W), 96 dpi, 461 kb
TS_Review_Record_Mirror_19810124_p8_layers_1080px.jpg (full page)
1080 px (H) x 736 px (W), 96 dpi, 502 kb
RJ_TS_Review_Record_Mirror_19810124_p8_1080px.jpg (detail of review)
1080 px (W) x 543 px (H), 96 dpi, 301 kb
TS_OST Ad_Record_Mirror_19810124_p32_1080px.jpg (full page ad)
800 px (W) x 741 px (H), 96 dpi, 425 kb (images)

 

©1980 Spotlight Publications Ltd

 

Allan Moyle, still at work

Posted on 8th February 2017 in "Times Square"
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Allan Moyle directs Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnson in the WJAD studio

And here’s another shot of Allan Moyle giving the girls direction, this time for the “Your Daughter Is One” sequence. I can only imagine what Trini and Robin are thinking, based on their expressions. I wonder what Moyle was telling them.

Behind Moyle, on the left and out of focus, is the assistant director, Alan “Hoppy” Hopkins. We can’t see the headstock on Nicky’s guitar, so we can’t tell if this was taken before or after the “Rickenbacker” nameplate was removed (it doesn’t appear in the film).

And again, surprisingly for what should be one of the most interesting Times Square finds ever, that’s all I have to say about this. Here are the stars and director hard at work months before things started to go bad.

I still wonder occasionally whether the WJAD interiors were shot at the top floor of the Candler Building, where the exteriors were shot, or if they were on a set built somewhere, and if so, where. I’ve checked with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting, and they’ve long since disposed of all the records of location permits for productions that long ago.

The back of this photo has the handwritten notation, “116-16A.” I don’t know when that was written, who wrote it, or what it might mean.

 

 

[Allan Moyle directs Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnson in the WJAD studio]
black-and-white photograph : AAT ID: 300128347 : 20.8 x 25.4 cm : 1979 (work);
116-16A auto_1080px.jpg
882 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 330 kb (image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+