“The raggle-taggle queen of the night is Robin…”
Bruce Williamson didn’t not like Times Square, but he couldn’t ignore its flaws… still, his review in the January Playboy was generally positive, appreciating the film’s visual evocation of Times Square and, like most other reviewers, Robin’s performance.
The two bunny-heads meant the movie was “worth a look.”
A gravel-voiced hoyden named Robin Johnson takes over Times Square (EMI/ AFD) and makes it all her own. Teamed up with Robin is Trini Alvarado (who made her big splash in last year’s Rich Kids), while England’s Tim Curry (star of The Rocky Horror Show on stage and screen) adds a garnish of colorful idiosyncrasy as an all-night deejay who transforms a couple of runaway kids into punk-rock stars. Directed by Canadian- born Alan Moyle from a screenplay by Jacob Brackman (former Esquire film critic and sometime PLAYBOY contributor), Times Square takes chances, caroms from hits to misses, yet captures the seedy, funky atmosphere of mid- Manhattan fleshpots as few other movies have done since Midnight Cowboy. Filmed on location, Moyle’s grungy fable depicts a nighttime New York full of music, drugs, muscle, hustle, youthful exuberance and teenaged rebels without a cause. The raggle-taggle queen of the night is Robin, herself in real life a Brooklyn high school girl and nonpro until someone discovered she could curse, swagger and belt songs like a junior-miss Bette Midler—though compared with this kid, Bette is a cream puff. Here, Robin’s the street-wise gamine who takes up with a New York City commissioner’s runaway daughter (Trini) to form a duo called The Sleaze Sisters. The movie as a whole may be a triumph of sleaze over substance, but Robin Johnson plays it like a seasoned trouper.
The photo looks like the one that was used as the cover of the Japanese “Same Old Scene” single, on the inside of the soundtrack album gatefold, and in the songbook, but it isn’t. It also isn’t a color version of TS-72-8A/14, which appeared in the December 23, 1980 US magazine (as seen last post). It’s a third shot from that session, which as of this writing I don’t believe ever appeared anywhere else.
Update, 4 February 2018: The photo accompanying the Playboy review of Times Square is TS-C-34/29, one of a series of black and white press photos issued by AFD, and carrying a copyright date of 1981. I have one of those photos, but not this one; luckily they’re all in the collection of Karen Dean (Defeatedandgifted), and it’s on display on her blog.
8.25 in (W) x 10.85 in (H)
(Bruce Williamson, “Movies,” pp. 44-50
“Times Square,” p. 46) (work)