“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+

 

Allan Moyle at work

Posted on 28th January 2017 in "Times Square"
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Allan Moyle directs Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado on 42nd Street

Way back in October 2014, I posted a photo of Robin and Trini getting ready to shoot a scene that was later cut from the film, and complained that although the vast majority of Times Square publicity stills don’t actually come from shots of takes used in the film, there was a dearth of genuine behind-the-scenes images.

Frame grab from "Times Square"Well, that dearth is slightly less dearthy now. Here’s Allan Moyle directing the girls on 42nd Street. Judging from the neon sign at the left, it’s just as they duck into and get kicked out of the adult novelties shop. That shot was made from the street, not the sidewalk, so the movie camera is likely directly to our right.

Handwritten on the back is “45/35”. I have no idea what that might mean, or when it was written.

And that’s about all I have to say about this, despite the fact that it’s one of the things I’ve been most excited to find. Except maybe to note that Moyle seems to be wearing the same sweater we saw half of in the other photo. I’m sure, though, that quite a few comments will be inspired by the expressions on Robin and Trini’s faces.

 

 

[Allan Moyle directs Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado on 42nd Street]
black-and-white photograph : AAT ID: 300128347 : 20.8 x 25.4 cm : 1979 (work);
45,35 auto_1080px.jpg
878 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 378 kb (image)

 

vlcsnap-2017-01-14-19h17m08s269.png
frame grab from Times Square
480 x 853 px, 96dpi, 522 kb

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

TS-C-22/27

Posted on 17th January 2017 in "Times Square"
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Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado as Nicky and Pammy dance down 42nd Street

I’m going to have to temporarily abandon my mostly chronological posting order, because I’ve recently obtained a few items that If I’d had them previously, they’d have already gone up.

Although, in all honesty, I don’t know where this would go. It’s a publicity still from AFD, in the fashion of the items from the US Press Material folder, but it has a copyright year of 1981. AFD was the company EMI and ITC had created to release films in the US, and it was in dire financial straits at the time and Times Square wasn’t helping. Times Square was long gone from US theaters by 1981, so there should have been no need to produce more publicity materials. Of the stills released in the UK, some are credited to ITC, some from Columbia-EMI-Warner, and the ones in the UK press kit had no information on them but the kit itself was credited to EMI. Why did AFD print this up in 1981? But since it’s American, I feel that chronologically it should have come before the items produced in the UK.

My copy here has crop marks; someone intended in cutting off the very bottom and an inch off the right to make it fit, but what they were making it fit into, I have no idea. There’s probably a magazine or newspaper out there with this photo, cropped like that, in it. If that should turn up, it might give us an idea of why, when, and where this was made.

The back has some writing on it as well, but I don’t think it’s significant. The same green pen from the front has written “58”, crossed it out, and then written “57%’. A different pen has added “172” and “25” in black.

If this looks familiar, it’s because I’ve posted a color version twice previously, which was originally scanned and posted by Cineplex; I don’t actually have a physical copy, but if you’ve been following me here you know it’s one of the images I believe to have originally been UK lobby cards.

Karen (DefeatedandGifted) has this photo without the crop marks, along with four more AFD stills from 1981. Up till now I was assuming that they were produced for the Australian market, but Times Square was released in Australia by EMI-ITC, so why AFD made any publicity materials at all in 1981 is still a mystery.

 

 

TS-C-22/27
black-and-white photograph : AAT ID: 300128347 : 20.2 x 25.7 cm : Associated Film Distribution, 1981 (work);
TS-C-22 auto_1080px.jpg
849 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 319 kb (image)

 

©1981 Associated Film Distribution
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

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photoplay, Vol. 32 No. 1, January 1981

Posted on 6th January 2017 in "Times Square"
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Cover of Photoplay Vol. 32 No. 1, January 1981

The January 1981 photoplay featured a cover story on, what else, Flash Gordon.

It also contained a review of Times Square, attributed only to “M.B.”

Review of "Times Square" from Photoplay Vol. 32 No. 1. Text, by "M.B.": TIMES SQUARE 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 Directed by Alan Moyle. Cert: “AA". Running time: 111 minutes. (Columbia-EMI-Warner) STORY — Nicky, a young punkette suffering from "anti-social behaviour", and Pamela, a misunderstood little rich girl who cracks up at one of her dad's political meetings, are room-mates in a psychiatric hospital. After a shaky start they become friends and decide to run away together. They steal an ambulance for their getaway and set up home in a derelict warehouse, just round the comer from Times Square. Following their plight is local DJ, Johnny LaGuardia. He encourages them as they rename themselves The Sleaze Sisters, sing a few anti-establishment songs, break up TV sets and cover Times Square in graffiti. They become cult heroines and organise a midnight rock concert in Times Square, but the police and Pamela's father are waiting. VERDICT — It's another of those movies about rebellious youth set to rock music. Sound familiar? Whereas Breaking Glass, Quad-rophenia and the like have managed to depict the subject fairly successfully. Times Square fails. It's too naive, the performances of the two girls are weak and even Tim Curry does little to liven up the proceedings. The soundtrack is reasonable, featuring music by The Pretenders, Roxy Music, Gary Numan and Joe Jackson. M.B.


M.B.’s review is atypical, not in that it likes the movie — spoiler, it doesn’t — but in that it goes out of its way to make the point that both Trini’s and Robin’s performances are “weak”. Most of the contemporary reviews were negative but they generally had praise for the girls’ performances.

TIMES SQUARE

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

Directed by Alan Moyle.
Cert: “AA”. Running time: 111 minutes.
(Columbia-EMi-Warner)

STORY — Nicky, a young punkette suffering from “anti-social behaviour”, and Pamela, a misunderstood little rich girl who cracks up at one of her dad’s political meetings, are room-mates in a psychiatric hospital. After a shaky start they become friends and decide to run away together. They steal an ambulance for their getaway and set up home in a derelict warehouse, just round the comer from Times Square. Following their plight is local DJ, Johnny LaGuardia. He encourages them as they rename themselves The Sleaze Sisters, sing a few anti-establishment songs, break up TV sets and cover Times Square in graffiti. They become cult heroines and organise a midnight rock concert in Times Square, but the police and Pamela’s father are waiting.

VERDICT — It’s another of those movies about rebellious youth set to rock music. Sound familiar? Whereas Breaking Glass, Quadrophenia and the like have managed to depict the subject fairly successfully, Times Square fails. It’s too naive, the performances of the two girls are weak and even Tim Curry does little to liven up the proceedings. The soundtrack is reasonable, featuring music by The Pretenders, Roxy Music, Gary Numan and Joe Jackson. M.B.

The accompanying photo is from the scene after the girls escape from the plainclothes detective chasing them through the Adonis Theater. I believe this is its first publication, but I think we’ll see a better quality version in the future.

Image of Nicky and Pammy, illustrating  "Times Square" review by "M.B.":

 

 

M.B., “At the Movies – Times Square” (review (document), AAT ID: 300026480)
photoplay, Vol. 32 No. 1, January 1981, p. 52 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389)
29.8 cm (H) x 21.3 cm (W) (work);
1981-01 Photoplay vol 32 no 1_p01_1080px.jpg (cover)
1080 px (H) x 848 px (W), 96 dpi, 628 kb
1981-01 Photoplay vol 32 no 1_p52_detail_1080px.jpg (review)
1080 px (H) x 292 px (W), 96 dpi, 193 kb
1981-01 Photoplay vol 32 no 1_p52_detail_2_800px.jpg (illustration detail)
800 px (W) x 738 px (H), 96 dpi, 311 kb (images)
 
photoplay ©1981 The Illustrated Publications Company Limited

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

 

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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