42nd & 6th

Posted on 6th November 2014 in "Times Square"
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Nicky and Pammy walk the streets in this black and white print of a color publicity photo for "Times Square," which depicts a scene not actually in the film.

 

 

So: the girls are east of Times Square and headed for it. They’ve already traded clothes, and are on foot. In the film, this happens after they’ve been on the subway in those outfits, except they’re on their way to “the hideout” (as it’s called in the script). The hideout is described in the script as being a pier on the Hudson River near 42nd Street, but Pier 56 as it appears in the film is actually closer to 14th Street, and the walking we see in the film looks to have been shot there in the meatpacking district back when meat was actually packed there. We never see Nicky and Pammy walking through a populated city street in those outfits.

o-TIMES-900

 

Wait… they’ve just come out of the subway, on their way to the hideout, and are now walking to 14th Street? That doesn’t make any sense; why get off the train when they still have 30 blocks south to go? The thing is, this is maybe the second most heavily edited part of the film, the first being the sequence immediately before this one, where they cut and dye each other’s hair on the Jersey side of the river, which was eliminated entirely. The shot in the film on the subway doesn’t happen in the subway in the script, it happens on the street. These photos are the beginning of the scene which was almost totally removed, in which Nicky goes to her father for help.

"Times Square" Screenplay p. 49

All of these pictures which were ultimately only used for publicity purposes were originally shot from this page, in which the girls emerge from the subway and go to a Nedick’s, looking for someone who might know where Roger Marotta is, and then continue on their way. The scene in the film on the subway originally happened out on the street after Nicky realizes her dad won’t be able to help them find a place to stay. In the script, her saying to Pammy “We are going to do everything ourselves” is a direct reaction to her father’s inability to help. In the film, it’s a statement of general opposition to the world, and in my opinion, it may be less realistic, but it’s more powerful. Take that, original cinematic vision! The scene on the subway is all that remains of the sequence, and as I said, it wasn’t written as happening on the subway.

If you looked real closely, and I’m sure you did, you noticed that in this script Pammy christens them The Sleaze Sisters. (Nicky comes up with the phrase “Sleaze Sister” on the previous page.) There’s no dialogue written in the script when they find the junk-filled trunks in the pier. This would seem to indicate that either the excised riverside scene was heavily rewritten before it was shot — sadly since it’s long lost there’s no way to compare it with the pages — or that the “exploring the pier” scene was rewritten after the riverside scene had been shot and cut.

My main purpose on this site is to show pictures of Robin Johnson and place them in some sort of context, not to analyze Times Square to hell and back. There are others who can do that much better than I. But I will throw in a little here and there, just to get you talking amongst yourselves, hopefully. With that in mind, here’s a tiny peek into the mindset of the film’s creators: note that at the top of the screenplay page, our two protagonists, having abandoned civilization, achieve “an effect of … savage beauty” by darkening their skin. Make of that what you will. At least the beta carotene pills seem to have been dropped from the script before filming, otherwise we’d have all been wondering for years not only what happened to their hair, but where’d they get the tans.

M8DTISQ EC001
The first shot above is a black-and-white print. The photo was taken in color, as it was published that way many times, but I haven’t found a primary source image for it. And it bugs me, because as you can see this color version I found on the Web actually shows more of the image. Why it was printed in black-and-white, I don’t know. It’s one of a number of prints I believe to be contemporary with the film, as they all bear the stamp on the back “THIS PAPER MANUFACTURED BY KODAK,” which was used on Kodak photo paper from 1972 to about 1989. Some have numbers written on the back, but nothing to give a clue as to what they were for originally. Some are in black-in-white, some are color. The one thing they have in common is that they depict a shot from the film without actually being from that shot. Even when you take into account that the photographer wasn’t standing in the same spot as the movie camera, the things and people in the frame are in different positions. “What exactly do you mean?” I hear you ask. Well, since this particular photo is an exception, as it’s a shot not in the film at all, you’ll have to wait till next time for a demonstration.
Nicky and Pammy walk to the pier - frame capture from 'Times Square' DVD

 

 

 

But, here’s the closest shot in the film. It’s several blocks west and a long way south.

 

 

“Nicky and Pammy on the Street”
8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work);
863 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 535 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on reverse:] [handwritten:] Times Square
[stamped:] THIS PAPER MANUFACTURED BY KODAK

 
o-TIMES-900-300×199.jpg
900 px (W) x 598 px (H), 300 dpi, 140 KB (image)
1979/1980
retrieved on 2014-05-01 from Brooks, Katherine. “12 Films That Pay Homage To Punk Rock Girls.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc., 1 May 2014. Web.
 
TIMES SQUARE, p. 49
Screenplay by Jacob Brackman
1979

 
TIMES SQUARE, from left, Robin Johnson, Trini Alvarado, 1980, ©Associated Film .
1000 px (W) x 685 px (H), 300 dpi, 113 KB (image)
1979/1980
retrieved on 2014-10-22 from “Times Square.” Cineplex. Cineplex Entertainment LP, n.d. Web.
 
vlcsnap-2014-10-18-18h53m27s204-300×168.png
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 922 KB (image)
screen capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-10-18
 
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

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