Film Review, Vol. 31 No. 1, January 1981

Posted on 27th December 2016 in "Times Square"
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Cover of UK magazine containing feature artcle on "Times Square"

P. 3 (contents page) Relevant text: 22 TIMES SQUARE The adventures of two teenage girls (Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado) and the all-night Times Square radio personality (Tim Curry) who gives a boost to their dream of rock stardom.

22
TIMES SQUARE
The adventures of two teenage girls (Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado) and the all-night Times Square radio personality (Tim Curry) who gives a boost to their dream of rock stardom.

“With an off-beat beauty all her own, and an engaging rasping singing voice, Ms Johnson has enough female virility to fill many films yet, and is already pencilled in for the sequel to Grease.”

 

There’s no arguing with the fact that in January of 1981, the big movie in the UK was Flash Gordon.

 

Despite its title, Film Review didn’t contain an actual review of Times Square, but a promotional article. You can tell it’s not a review because it’s 100% positive.

 

Edit, 14 January 2017: After some consideration, I think this was actually a review, of sorts, and the author had seen the film before composing it. It’s a piece that appears in the next month’s issue of Film Review that’s an unabashed puff piece that might have been written by EMI’s publicity department. I still think this one was more promotion than review, though.

 

The first photo accompanying the article is worth the price of admission, though: a color shot of Robin, Trini, and Tim, taken at the same time as the black and white photo in the UK Press Kit. Also, to my knowledge the shot in the lower left corner, “Robin Johnson sings to her fans in her Sleaze Sisters apparel,” is making its first appearance. The remaining color photo was used as a lobby card, and the black and white photo on the following page is TS-72-8A/14 from the US Press Material Folder, which appeared in the AFD Campaign Pressbook, on the covers of the British and Japanese soundtrack sampler records, in US Magazine, in the Leader, and on one of the strange 2-photo 8x10s that misspelled Robert Stigwood’s name. So far, other than the portraits of Robin and Trini that were used on the soundtrack album cover and the US movie poster, this is the photo that most often helped promote the film.

The one thing the article has in common with most real reviews of the movie is that it ultimately focuses on Robin’s performance as the big reason to see it. It’s also the first mention of Robin’s next scheduled project, as the female lead in Robert Stigwood’s production of Grease 2. Remember that?

TIMES SQUARE

A thought-provoking tale of alienated teenages — their moods, their mad antics and their music

Two runaway teenage girls, a variety of New Wave rock music and a grimy, pristine backdrop of New York make up the ingredients of Times Square (an EMI release), Robert Stigwood’s latest offering to a youthful cinema-going public.

Robin Johnson, a spunky 15-year-old newcomer, plays with admirable bravado the central role of Nicky, a street urchin with destructive inclinations and a yen for musical stardom. In hospital for psychiatric tests, Nicky finds herself in the company of Pamela Pearl (played by Trini Alvarado — from Robert Altman’s Rich Kids), an introverted 12-year-old from a privileged background, also in for tests. Despite their opposing upbringings, the two run away together — from the System that oppresses them both — to lead an exuberant, retaliatory existence on the streets.

It is this slight story-line that makes up the canvas for a gritty but heart-warming story of today’s youth, their problems, their qualities, their understandable misgivings and denied intelligence. They make mistakes — like every young generation before them — but this breed is growing up faster than ever before.

Canadian director Alan Moyle, making his American film debut after a string of successful films and documentaries over the border, conjures up a realistic atmosphere to his scenes beyond the call of Hollywood duty — to the extent you sometimes feel you are watching the runaway duo for real.

Moyle cleverly intercuts his footage with shots of genuine Times Square coke snorters, back street alcoholics, Eighth Avenue prostitutes and pimps, and all the fun of the New York fair. For the climactic sequence he even managed to close 42nd Street’s “Deuce” (a notorious strip of theatres and porno cinemas) for the first time in New York film location history.

Between all this he concentrates his camera almost lovingly on the adventures of Johnson and Alvarado, who have meanwhile taken their anti-establishment hostilities one step further, adopting a dual identity and calling themselves The Sleaze Sisters Not without point!

Under this guise, wearing outrageous costumes pieced together from jumble outcasts and dustbin liners, they tear through the streets of New York begging for money, in their spare time levering tv sets — the ultimate symbol of the bourgeoisie — from the top storeys of Manhattan’s skyscrapers.

It is this singular prank that arouses the interest of the public, and in particular that of a late-night Times Square DJ, played with laid-back relish by England’s own Tim Curry, late of “The Rocky Horror Show”. Providing The Sleaze Sisters with even greater coverage on New York’s air waves, narrating their boardwalk escapades and even allowing them to sing their protests, DJ Johnny LaGuardia becomes the catalyst in Moyle’s story. Like the DJ Curry played on television in “City Sugar”, LaGuardia reaches out from the night to the receptive, confused soul of a young girl wanting, desiring an intimate liaison with an established anti-establishment voice. Here, Curry has two souls to contend with and, even though he is trying to help them and gain public sympathy (by this time the police are now hot on their trail), he is at the same time exploiting them, exploiting their isolation from society, the society which eventually they come to need.

So, Times Square turns out to be many things: an exciting, abrasive look at the uglier face of New York; a compassionate tale of two desperate runaways who find mutual friendship encountering a common enemy; and a musical featuring some of the finest New Wave sounds around, including contributions from The Pretenders, Lou Reed and Suzi Quatro.

But for all Moyle’s perspicacious and sensitive direction, it is young Robin Johnson’s performance that dominates the film. With an off-beat beauty all her own, and an engaging rasping singing voice, Ms Johnson has enough female virility to fill many films yet, and is already pencilled in for the sequel to Grease. □

Karen (DefeatedandGifted) posted her copy of these pages in March 2015.

 

 

Film Review, Vol. 31 No. 1, January 1981;
UK EMI Cinemas Ltd.;
magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389; 29.8 cm (H) x 21.3 cm (W) (work);
1981-01 Film Review Vol 31 No 1 p01_1080px.jpg (cover)
1981-01 Film Review Vol 31 No 1 p03_1080px.jpg (contents)
1981-01 Film Review Vol 31 No 1 p22_1080px.jpg (“TIMES SQUARE”)
1981-01 Film Review Vol 31 No 1 p23_1080px.jpg (“TIMES SQUARE”)
1080 px (H), 96 dpi (images)

 

Another UK Movie Ad

Posted on 17th December 2016 in "Times Square"
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Ad from a UK newspaper promoting "Times Square's" opening Text: NOW!  ABC  Shaftesbury Ave  Tel: 836 8861  Licensed Bar  DOLBY STEREO  STUDIO  OXFORD CIRCUS  Tel: 437 3300  DOLBY STEREO  SCENE LEICESTER SQ (WARDOUR ST)  Tel.439.4470  ABC  BAYSWATER  DOLBY STEREO  ABC  EDGWARE RD.  ABC  FULHAM RD.  TIMES SQUARE AA  "GO SLEAZE!" ...IN TIMES SQUARE  ROBERT STIGWOOD Presents "TIMES SQUARE"  Starring TIM CURRY·TRINI ALVARADO And Introducing ROBIN JOHNSON  Also Starring PETER COFFIELD·HERBERT BERGHOF DAVID MARGULIES·ANNA MARIA HORSFORD  Executive Producers KEVIN McCORMICK·JOHN NICOLELLA  Directed by ALAN MOYLE  Produced by ROBERT STIGWOOD and JACOB BRACKMAN Screenplay by JACOB BRACKMAN  Story by ALAN MOYLE and LEANNE UNGER  Associate Producer BILL OAKES An EMI-ITC Production  Soundtrack available on RSO Records and TAPES RSO  Released by COLUMBIA-EMI-WARNER Distributors Limited.  EMI  A Member of the THORN EMI Group. ALL OVER LONDON FROM SUNDAY AT ABC AND OTHER LEADING CINEMAS  (SEE LOCAL PRESS FOR DETAILS)This is almost identical to the ad from my last post, which appeared a in an unknown film magazine, but it promotes the film’s wide opening “All Over London from Sunday.” The previous ad has the premiere date, Thursday, 15 January, so it must have been published first. Either way, Times Square was probably out of all those theaters in two weeks’ time.

My notes say that this particular ad came from the Record Mirror, but they don’t say why they say that. All I have is the ad itself, and there’s nothing on it to indicate what page of what magazine it was cut from. I think the ad on the back may give a little weight to the argument, though.

From a January 1981 Record Mirror. Back of a movie ad for TIMES SQUARE.

If T.I.T.S was still in business, how many of these shirts would you buy, right now?

 

 

[“Times Square” UK movie advertisement]
advertisement, ID: 300193993, 29.1 cm (W) x 20.12 cm (H) (work);
1080 px (W) x 747 px (H), 96 dpi, 485 kb (image)

1981
Inscription:
NOW!
ABC
Shaftesbury Ave Tel: 836 8861
Licensed Bar
DOLBY STEREO
STUDIO
OXFORD CIRCUS
Tel: 437 3300
DOLBY STEREO
SCENE
LEICESTER SQ (WARDOUR ST)
Tel.439.4470
ABC
BAYSWATER
DOLBY STEREO
ABC
EDGWARE RD.
ABC
FULHAM RD.
ALL OVER LONDON FROM SUNDAY AT ABC AND OTHER LEADING CINEMAS
(SEE LOCAL PRESS FOR DETAILS)
TIMES SQUARE AA
“GO SLEAZE!” …IN TIMES SQUARE
ROBERT STIGWOOD Presents "TIMES SQUARE"
Starring TIM CURRY·TRINI ALVARADO And Introducing ROBIN KOHNSON
Also Starring PETER COFFIELD·HERBERT BERGHOF·DAVID MARGULIES
ANNA MARIA HORSFORD
Executive Producers KEVIN McCORMICK·JOHN NICOLELLA
Directed by ALAN MOYLE Produced by ROBERT STIGWOOD and
JACOB BRACKMAN·Screenplay by JACOB BRACKMAN
Story by ALAN MOYLE and LEANNE UNGER
Associate Producer BILL OAKES An EMI-ITC Production
Soundtrack available on RSO Records and TAPES RSO
Released by COLUMBIA-EMI-WARNER Distributors Limited.
EMI A Member of the THORN EMI Group.

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

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UK Movie Ad

Posted on 7th December 2016 in "Times Square"
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UK magazine ad for "Times Square", 1981 Text: TIMES SQUARE AA  "GO SLEAZE!" ...IN TIMES SQUARE  ROBERT STIGWOOD Presents "TIMES SQUARE"  Starring TIM CURRY·TRINI ALVARADO And Introducing ROBIN JOHNSON  Also Starring PETER COFFIELD·HERBERT BERGHOF DAVID MARGULIES·ANNA MARIA HORSFORD  Executive Producers KEVIN McCORMICK·JOHN NICOLELLA  Directed by ALAN MOYLE  Produced by ROBERT STIGWOOD and JACOB BRACKMAN Screenplay by JACOB BRACKMAN  Story by ALAN MOYLE and LEANNE UNGER  Associate Producer BILL OAKES An EMI-ITC Production  Soundtrack available on RSO Records and TAPES RSO  Released by COLUMBIA-EMI-WARNER Distributors Limited.  EMI  A Member of the THORN EMI Group. FROM THURS. 15 JAN. ABC  Shaftesbury Ave  Tel: 836 8861  Licensed Bar  DOLBY STEREO  STUDIO  OXFORD CIRCUS  Tel: 437 3300  DOLBY STEREO  SCENE LEICESTER SQ (WARDOUR ST)  Tel.439.4470  ABC  BAYSWATER  DOLBY STEREO  ABC  EDGWARE RD.  ABC  FULHAM RD.

 

This ad promoting the movie’s opening has the same art as the one published previously in the Leader, but with the addition of the theaters it will be in. It’s essentially a black-and-white version of the quad poster, the top half of the painting by Cummins.

It appeared in a film magazine, but I don’t know which one. It’s on heavy magazine stock, not newsprint, and on the back is an ad for Seems Like Old Times, but unfortunately the portion of the page I have doesn’t have the name of the magazine or the page number.

 

 

[“Times Square” UK movie advertisement]
advertisement, ID: 300193993, 20 cm (W) x 14.3 cm (H) (work);
1080 px (W) x 768 px (H), 96 dpi, 434 kb (image)

1981
Inscription:
TIMES SQUARE AA
"GO SLEAZE!" …IN TIMES SQUARE
ROBERT STIGWOOD Presents "TIMES SQUARE"
Starring TIM CURRY·TRINI ALVARADO And Introducing ROBIN JOHNSON
Also Starring PETER COFFIELD·HERBERT BERGHOF
DAVID MARGULIES·ANNA MARIA HORSFORD
Executive Producers KEVIN McCORMICK·JOHN NICOLELLA
Directed by ALAN MOYLE
Produced by ROBERT STIGWOOD and JACOB BRACKMAN
Screenplay by JACOB BRACKMAN
Story by ALAN MOYLE and LEANNE UNGER
Associate Producer BILL OAKES An EMI-ITC Production
Soundtrack available on RSO Records and TAPES RSO
Released by COLUMBIA-EMI-WARNER Distributors Limited.
EMI
A Member of the THORN EMI Group.
FROM THURS. 15 JAN.
ABC
Shaftesbury Ave
Tel: 836 8861
Licensed Bar
DOLBY STEREO
STUDIO
OXFORD CIRCUS
Tel: 437 3300
DOLBY STEREO
SCENE LEICESTER SQ (WARDOUR ST)
Tel.439.4470
ABC
BAYSWATER
DOLBY STEREO
ABC
EDGWARE RD.
ABC
FULHAM RD.

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+