Movie 81 No. 2, February 1981

Posted on 1st July 2017 in "Times Square"
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Australian movie magazine containing article about TIMES SQUARE (1980)

“There’s a hot new talent, Robin Johnson in Robert Stigwood’s Times Square…”

contents and editorial page of Australian movie magazine containing article about TIMES SQUARE (1980) relevant text: There's a hot new talent, Robin Johnson in Robert Stigwood's Times Square...

 

Times Square was still in theaters in London when the February Movie 81 came out in Australia and editor John Fraser made the above announcement.

Movie 81 No. 2, February 1981, pp. 14-15  Text:  TIMES SQUARE  AN APPRAISAL BY TERRY O BRIEN  Like the music which accompanies it on a pulsating soundtrack of rock, Times Square is a story of the streets. It’s about rebellion on a small scale, a search for some kind of basic freedom and a need to live life rather than simply exist. By setting the story in Times Square (surely the definitive microcosm of all that is good and bad in pre-packaged urban society), there’s a perfect, ready-made background of excitement, urgency and even danger that is inherent in that milieu. Surviving day to day in this environment is Nicky Marotta (Robin Johnson) a free spirit with aspirations of becoming a rock star. Her very wayward, uncompromising manner lands her in a psychiatric hospital for tests. While there, she meets Pamela Pearl (Trini Alvarado), a shy girl whose personality, unlike Nicky’s, has been submerged by her environment. She is, in fact, at quite the opposite end of the spectrum to Nicky. Moreover, Pamela’s father is a politician who has promised to clean up the seedier side of Times Square. The two girls escape from the hospital and, in their own way, take on the establishment with acts that supposedly symbolise their rejection of the plastic culture. Their exploits are covered and encouraged by Johnny LaGuardia (Tim Curry), a disc-jockey who turns the couple into celebrities with a following which allows Nicky, ultimately, a brief moment of fame as a rock singer. Another aspect of the story is the effect that each of the girls has on the other. Nicky’s life-style allows Pamela to experiment with her own and to break out of her protective shell. (It’s interesting that once she has had her freedom she decides to return to her father, though, one suspects, on her own terms.) Conversely, the poetic and sensitive Pamela brings about a change in Nicky who finds she has her first real friend and, subsequently, a basis for believing in herself. Robin Johnson, in her movie debut, is a sensation. Her Nicky is vibrant, exciting and fragile—and one of the most interesting movie characters in years. She is a find of the first order! Trini Alvarado is her perfect foil and willing pupil. Tim Curry’s eccentric exploitive disc-jockey is a far cry from his Frank N’ Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but is, again, a fascinating performance. The movie’s feeling of rebellion and non-acceptance of some of society’s values is reflected in the music—a constant background of rock by some of today’s more prominent performers. James A. Contner’s cameras have caught some spectacular shots of New York, especially from atop the building from which Johnny broadcasts. Times Square is a showcase for some new and little-seen talent.  Producers: Robert Stigwood Jacob Brackman Director: Allan Moyle  The neon nerve centre of young New York, tuned to a furious rock beat—amps up, full power on, with all-night disc jockey Johnny (Tim Curry) perched in his skyscraper studio waiting for the moment.

 

The two-page spread later in the issue is comprised of “An Appraisal by Terry O’Brien,” which from here in the 21st Century reads more like a promotional press release than a critical review. It is, though, an early adopter of the tone of most of the remaining publicity for Times Square, shifting its focus as hard as it can from the movie overall to Robin herself. “She is a find of the first order!”

The neon nerve centre of young New York, tuned to a furious rock beat—amps up, full power on, with all-night disc jockey Johnny (Tim Curry) perched in his skyscraper studio waiting for the moment.

TIMES SQUARE
AN APPRAISAL BY TERRY O BRIEN

Like the music which accompanies it on a pulsating soundtrack of rock, Times Square is a story of the streets. It’s about rebellion on a small scale, a search for some kind of basic freedom and a need to live life rather than simply exist. By setting the story in Times Square (surely the definitive microcosm of all that is good and bad in pre-packaged urban society), there’s a perfect, ready-made background of excitement, urgency and even danger that is inherent in that milieu. Surviving day to day in this environment is Nicky Marotta (Robin Johnson) a free spirit with aspirations of becoming a rock star. Her very wayward, uncompromising manner lands her in a psychiatric hospital for tests. While there, she meets Pamela Pearl (Trini Alvarado), a shy girl whose personality, unlike Nicky’s, has been submerged by her environment. She is, in fact, at quite the opposite end of the spectrum to Nicky. Moreover, Pamela’s father is a politician who has promised to clean up the seedier side of Times Square. The two girls escape from the hospital and, in their own way, take on the establishment with acts that supposedly symbolise their rejection of the plastic culture. Their exploits are covered and encouraged by Johnny LaGuardia (Tim Curry), a disc-jockey who turns the couple into celebrities with a following which allows Nicky, ultimately, a brief moment of fame as a rock singer. Another aspect of the story is the effect that each of the girls has on the other. Nicky’s life-style allows Pamela to experiment with her own and to break out of her protective shell. (It’s interesting that once she has had her freedom she decides to return to her father, though, one suspects, on her own terms.) Conversely, the poetic and sensitive Pamela brings about a change in Nicky who finds she has her first real friend and, subsequently, a basis for believing in herself. Robin Johnson, in her movie debut, is a sensation. Her Nicky is vibrant, exciting and fragile—and one of the most interesting movie characters in years. She is a find of the first order! Trini Alvarado is her perfect foil and willing pupil. Tim Curry’s eccentric exploitive disc-jockey is a far cry from his Frank N’ Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but is, again, a fascinating performance. The movie’s feeling of rebellion and non-acceptance of some of society’s values is reflected in the music—a constant background of rock by some of today’s more prominent performers. James A. Contner’s cameras have caught some spectacular shots of New York, especially from atop the building from which Johnny broadcasts. Times Square is a showcase for some new and little-seen talent.

Producers: Robert Stigwood
Jacob Brackman
Director: Allan Moyle

The real treasures here are the accompanying photographs. Within an assortment of publicity stills we’ve seen before are two more behind-the-scenes shots, one of Trini, Tim, and Robin on Pier 56 on the Hudson River, and one of Robin and Trini during the shooting of the concert in Times Square. The three-shot must come from the same break in shooting that produced the top photo on page 22 of Film Review, Vol. 31 No. 1, and the black and white photo in the UK Press Kit, and which I’ve noted before are among the very few photos from Times Square with the actors in costume smiling directly at the camera.

The shot of Robin and Trini probably was taken within moments of the slide of Robin in Aggie Doon makeup on 42nd Street; Nicky is only on that street in the makeup after she jumps from the marquee, and Pammy is never down there with her. This photo was taken either before, during a break in, or after filming.

The other photos are UK lobby cards (or suspected lobby cards), except the Yoram Kahana photograph from the session that also produced the shot that became half of the movie poster and soundtrack album cover, and the slide of Aggie Doon debuting Damn Dog, which I think is seeing its first publication here.

TIMES SQUARE movie advertisement from Movie 81 No. 2, February 1981, p. 47

 

 

 

 

And that’s not all! On page 47, we find an ad featuring for the first time the English South Pacific movie poster. The collaged artwork featuring a Mick Rock photo previously appeared in a production promotional ad in Screen International in June of 1980. Here we see the debut of the new tag line, “… is the music of the streets!” which still doesn’t exactly make sense, but is a step up from England’s “Go sleaze!”

 

 

 

 

 

But wait, there’s more! As a bonus, on pages 59, our friend Terry O’Brien gives the soundtrack a glowing review.

Soundtrack
TERRY O’BRIEN CHECKS OUT THE MOVIE MUSIC SCENE
TIMES SQUARE
Another double-album from the RSO stable and thus packaged for sure-fire entertainment. “Times Square” is “the music of the streets” and features some of the more familiar names of the New Wave. Suzi Quatro gets the set off with a blast on her “Rock Hard”—a gutsy number which happens to be the favourite of the film’s two young female leads played by Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado. Second up is The Pretenders’ “Talk of the Town” followed by a great Roxy Music number, “Same Old Scene”. The Bowie influence is much in evidence in Gary Numan’s haunting “Down in the Park”, and “Help Me!” has a good commercial sound from Marcy Levy and Robin Gibb. Other standouts are Lou Reed’s classic “Walk on the Wild Side” and a revival of “You Can’t Hurry Love” by D. L. Byron. You’ll also find some good rock from Talking Heads, Joe Jackson, XTC, The Ramones, The Ruts, Desmond Child & Rouge, Garland Jeffreys, The Cure and Patti Smith Group. Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado themselves are also featured on “Your Daughter is One” a nose-thumbing raspberry to society and “Damn Dog”, a solo by Johnson. A good collection.
TIMES SQUARE-RSO Records

 

 


Movie 81, No. 2, February 1981 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389) ; 27.2 x 20 cm.; (contains:)
John Fraser, Editorial (editorial, AAT ID: 300026284), p. 3
Times Square : an appraisal by Terry O’Brien (review (document), AAT ID: 300026480), pp. 14-15
[Times Square is the music of the streets], (advertisement, AAT ID: 300193993), p. 47
Soundtrack : Terry O’Brien checks out the movie music scene : Times Square (review (document), AAT ID: 300026480), pp. 58-59 (work)
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©1981 Modern Magazines (Holdings) Ltd.


 

 

Films Illustrated, Vol. 10 No. 113, February 1981

Posted on 9th June 2017 in "Times Square"
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“If the story sounds as though it makes sense, it doesn’t…”

Cover of Films Illustrated, Vol. 10 No. 113, February 1981

 

 

This was dated February but was probably on the stands while Times Square was still in theaters. EMI certainly expected it to be so, judging by the advertisement that appeared on page 162.

Half-page ad for "Times Square"

 

It’s almost identical to the ad that ran in Record Mirror, probably at the same time.

Page 177 contained a review of the movie by David Quinlan, accompanied by one of the photos Mick Rock doesn’t really remember taking of Robin. Mr. Quinlan’s review is typically fair for the time: it’s a bad movie that nevertheless has something genuinely affecting in it, rooted in “the gutsy performances of the girls themselves,” particularly Trini, bless his heart.

A photo of Robin Johnson as Nicky taken by Mick Rock accompanies the review.  Text:  TIMES SQUARE (X). Despite a silly story that never begins to hang together, Times Square gets by on youthful raw energy, another pre-sold LP background score of new wave music, and the inter-relationship between its two young female stars, gravel-voiced Robin Johnson as the backstreets fifteen year-old and especially thirteen year-old Trini Alvarado, who gives a warm and understanding performance as the repressed daughter of an eager-beaver young politician. Committed for hospital observation under very different circumstances, the girls run away together and form a duo against society, calling themselves The Sleez Sisters. With the help of an independent-minded DJ (overplayed by Tim Curry), they become cult figures and, for a brief while, a national news item. If the story sounds as though it makes sense, it doesn’t in the actual relation of events on screen, which are pure fantasy (with treatment to match) and have no basis in real life, apart from the gutsy performances of the girls themselves, which at times make one care more than was probably the script’s intention. The music is a knock-out, and the end may find you groping furtively and reluctantly for a handkerchief. — D.Q. (Prod/Robert Stigwood, Jacob Brackman. Scr/Jacob Brackman. Dir/Alan Moyle. Ph/James A Contner. Technicolor. Ill mins. EMI. US 1980)

TIMES SQUARE (X). Despite a silly story that never begins to hang together, Times Square gets by on youthful raw energy, another pre-sold LP background score of new wave music, and the inter-relationship between its two young female stars, gravel-voiced Robin Johnson as the backstreets fifteen year-old and especially thirteen year-old Trini Alvarado, who gives a warm and understanding performance as the repressed daughter of an eager-beaver young politician. Committed for hospital observation under very different circumstances, the girls run away together and form a duo against society, calling themselves The Sleez Sisters. With the help of an independent-minded DJ (overplayed by Tim Curry), they become cult figures and, for a brief while, a national news item. If the story sounds as though it makes sense, it doesn’t in the actual relation of events on screen, which are pure fantasy (with treatment to match) and have no basis in real life, apart from the gutsy performances of the girls themselves, which at times make one care more than was probably the script’s intention. The music is a knock-out, and the end may find you groping furtively and reluctantly for a handkerchief. — D.Q. (Prod/Robert Stigwood, Jacob Brackman. Scr/Jacob Brackman. Dir/Alan Moyle. Ph/James A Contner. Technicolor. Ill mins. EMI. US 1980)

Chart of reviews of newly opened movies; "Times Square" has one 3-star and one 1-star review

 

 

On page 178, we find that Mr. Quinlan gave Times Square 3 stars, and his colleague Rosemary Stirling gave it only one. Perhaps we should be glad she didn’t write the review the magazine printed. Perhaps it would have been interesting to see what she might have had to say about it.

 

 

 


Films Illustrated, Vol 10 No. 113, February 1981 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389) ; 29.7 x 20.9 cm; (contains:)
[Times Square movie advertisement], (advertisement, AAT ID: 300193993), p. 113
David Quinlan, “Times Square” (review (document), AAT ID: 300026480), p.177
[Review grid] (review (document), AAT ID: 300026480), p.178 (work)

 

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©1981 Illustrated Publications Limited

 

 

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

 

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

 

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+

 

Times Square U.K. Quad Poster

Posted on 28th October 2016 in "Times Square"
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An edit of the Cummins illustration from the UK movie poster, with two different B&W stills. The "Cummins" signature is edited out. 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. This copyright advertising material is licensed and not sold and is the Property of National Screen Service Ltd. and upon completion of the exhibition for which it has been licensed it should be returned to National Screen Service Ltd. PRINTED IN ENGLAND BY W. E. BERRY LTD. BRADFORD

 

A standard one-sheet movie poster is 40 inches high by 27 inches wide. A “quad” poster, which I don’t think they make anymore, is 40 inches wide by 30 inches high. EMI took this extra space and zoomed in on the top two-thirds of the painting, cutting it off just above the artist’s signature.

Overall it’s a more pleasing layout, with the credits in the lower left corner over the wet street, and the two inset photos next to each other in the lower right. The photo of Tim Curry has been changed to TS-66-28/8 from the US press kit and AFD Campaign Pressbook, and the photo of Pammy and Nicky is TS-72-8A/14, also from the US press kit and the Campaign Pressbook. Neither of these photos were in the UK Press Kit (at least not in my copy). Perhaps this poster was put together first, and when the one-sheet was designed the American stills were replaced with British ones.

This was the layout used for the newspaper and magazine theater advertisements for the movie’s run.

 

 

Times Square UK quad movie poster
poster, AAT ID: 300027221
30″ (H) x 40″ (W)
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.
This copyright advertising material is licensed and not sold and is the Property of National Screen Service Ltd.
and upon completion of the exhibition for which it has been licensed it should be returned to National Screen Service Ltd.
PRINTED IN ENGLAND BY W. E. BERRY LTD. BRADFORD
(work)

1981 UK Quad Poster_1080px.jpg
1080 px (W) x 812 px (H), 96 dpi, 500 kb (image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Times Square U.K. Movie Poster

Posted on 18th October 2016 in "Times Square"
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"Times Square" UK movie poster, featuring a painting by Cummins of Nicky over a collage of Times Square theater marquees Text: "GO SLEAZE!" ...IN TIMES SQUARE CUMMINS 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 Distributed by EMI Films Limited. EMI A Member of the THORN EMI Group. PRINTED IN ENGLAND BY W. E. BERRY LTD. BRADFORD


 

After all the work that went into creating the logo on the cover of the UK Press Kit, and the poster-worthy image that had been used to promote the movie’s production in the 21-28 June, 1980 Screen International, EMI went with this image for the UK movie poster. The painting of a frightfully gaunt Nicky, signed by “Cummins” (about whom I’ve been unable to find any information), was used for all the UK movie advertising, and for several of the other European posters. The film title and “‘Go Sleaze! …in Times Square” tagline are in a jagged faux-handwriting that’s probably supposed to look like graffiti, but doesn’t.

The small inset photos are the same ones used as insets on the inside of the UK Press Kit. The photo of Tim Curry is #4 from that Press Kit, previously published in The Aquarian in April 1980 and the September-October 1980 Prevue. The one of Robin and Trini is TS-22-11, or 1, from the UK Press Kit, depending on which copy I’ve pulled out first. The posters and ads that used this painting didn’t all use the same photos as the insets.

"Times Square" Screenplay by Jacob Brackman, 1979, 129 pp  Text:  1 EXT THE STARSHIP DISCOVERY NIGHT The hot ethnic nightclub on 42nd Street, near Port Authority. Flashily dressed kids mill around the door. NICKY, a dark skinny while girl dressed in a man's leather jacket and a biker's cap, walks through the area, ignoring the others. Her.air is deliberate She is about 16. She pulls a laundry cart. The camera follows NICKY around to the back of the club. She tries the door. It is locked. Very loud music is coming through the wall. NICKY unpacks a guitar, a frayed speaker-amp and a radio cassette player from the cart. Lashed into the cart is an old car battery to power it all. She starts playing along with the band inside the club. What she lacks in skill she makes up in imagination. Soon she is taking solo licks and posing for an imaginary audience. The music from inside flares as the back door of the club opens and an angry black ROADIE shouts to her. ROADIE What the fuck do you think you're doing? She ignores him. She juts her jaw out defiantly. He walks over, We can hear you inside. Get outta here. NICKY Do you own this land I'm standing on? Do you fuckin' own the airwaves around here? NICKY continues playing. Another man joins the first. 2nd ROADIE This is a restricted area. We're asking you politely to disappear. CONTINUED
Nicky is first described in the 1979 screenplay as a “dark, skinny white girl.” We know Robin didn’t fit Allan Moyle’s original idea of what his Nicky looked like, winning the part through sheer charisma and making it hers. It’s possible that Cummins was working from a combination of photos of Robin and earlier descriptions of Nicky, coming up with this angry, and hungry, creature of the streets.

 

 

Times Square UK one-sheet movie poster
one-sheet poster, AAT ID: 300196848
27″ (W) x 40″ (H)
Inscription:
"GO SLEAZE!" …IN TIMES SQUARE
CUMMINS
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
Distributed by EMI Films Limited. EMI A Member of the THORN EMI Group.
PRINTED IN ENGLAND BY W. E. BERRY LTD. BRADFORD
(work)
1981 UK Poster_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 734 px (W), 96 dpi, 396 kb (image)

 

TIMES SQUARE, p. 1
Screenplay by Jacob Brackman
1979

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+