Dolly No. 128, June 1981

Posted on 15th January 2018 in "Times Square"
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“I love to sing but whether people like to hear me, is another matter.”

The cover of Dolly No. 128, June 1981 teasing story "Robin Johnson - From High School to Hollywood"

 

 

 

Times Square was a distant memory in the US in June 1981, when Dolly No. 128 came out in Australia. Alison Gardner’s interview with Robin covers little new ground, repeating Robin’s discovery on the steps of Brooklyn Tech and her then-still upcoming movie projects, although it does add a few little terrific tidbits like the fact that her discoverer wasn’t part of the Times Square production staff; the date she was officially cast; and that the first thing she was asked to do was lose five pounds. And most tantalizing, that there were the beginnings of plans for her to record an album, to be made between Grease 2 and her third film.

 

 

 

 

 

An article about Robin in the Australian magazine Dolly (#128, June 1981).  This is pages 56 & 57, containing four color photographs not published elsewhere.  Text:  Robin Johnson - from high school to Hollywood  Seventeen-year-old Robin is every girl's dream come true ... She was "discovered" and turned into a star. One day Robin was watching films, the next day she was in them. How did it happen? Alison Gardner asked her  Bnow, 17-year-old Robin Johnson, star of the film Times Square, should need no introduction ... Even if you haven't seen the film yet, you can't possibly have missed all of the press coverage Robin received when she visited Australia a few months ago. Robin was big news in all of the papers, who were keen to tell her story and, on TV talk shows, where Robin was invited for a chat, interviewers couldn't get a word in edgeways as she recounted her rise to stardom. You see, it wasn't so much Robin's part in Times Square that everyone was interested in but how she got the part in the first place. Before Times Square, Robin had never acted in her life, not even in a school play. Now she has a three-film contract with the Robert Stigwood Organisation in America and her second film — due to start shooting later this year — is the follow-up to Grease. Robin has the female lead part opposite Andy Gibb. Stories of shy young girls being plucked from the streets and made into Hollywood stars have filled reels and reels of film but Robin's discovery — which would make a great film itself — isn't quite so saccharine-sweet. To begin with, Robin is not shy — as I soon found out when I met her. I am not the first journalist to comment on Robin's ability to talk ... and talk ... and talk, seemingly without ever pausing for breath. Robin herself knows she talks a lot but shrugs it off as if to say "So what? It's no crime". It certainly isn't a crime, not if you talk like Robin Johnson. Oh, her English isn't perfect but then, if you lived in Brooklyn (New YYork) yours wouldn't be, either. Her voice is deep and a bit hoarse and her hands fly everywhere as she speaks, which made it necessary for me to sit well away from her as we talked. But Robin is a rare species from the acting world because she is in¬teresting to talk to and totally unin¬hibited; she is witty, intelligent, cheeky, polite and great fun. She seemed to treat her sudden fame a bit like a new toy and she was having great fun playing with it ... Travelling around the world to promote Times Square gave Robin great joy and she was ready and willing to answer any questions I asked her. So, first off, how did she — a high school kid whose closest contact with showbiz was as part of the audience at the movies — get the part of the rough-and-ready Nicky Marotta? "Well, it's very conveniently Hollywood," Robin said, sounding almost disgusted with this fact. "I was literally discovered on the steps of my high school by a talent-scout. "I was standing outside the school with a friend and I heard this guy say to me: 'Would you be about 16?' I said: 'You talking to me?' I mean, what a way to approach someone! There are not too many things that are weird for New York but that's weird. "Anyway, he asked me again if I was about 16 and when I told him I was, he told me about this advertisement that was in a paper called The Village Voice for auditions for the film, Times Square. He said he thought I would be right for the part of Nicky Marotta. At first I thought the guy was a nut but he talked in detail about the film for an hour and I figured he couldn't be making it all up. "In the end, he gave me a card with a phone number on it and said if I was interested I was to phone the following Monday and ask to speak to Jake — who turned out to be the producer and screen-writer." Robin hasn't seen the guy who "discovered" her, since. She later found out that he wasn't connected with the casting for Times Square. "He hasn't even come asking for his 10 per cent fee and I'm surprised about that," Robin said. Anyway, Robin called the number that Monday and her life has never been the same since. "Before this I had never thought about acting as a career," Robin told me. "Maybe in a wild thought, like 'Gee, it would be nice to be an actress' but never seriously. Me? In a movie? You've got to be kidding. ►Dolly (incorporating Beaut) No.128, June 1981, p. 58 - 3rd page of an article about Robin Johnson - right column only (advertisements cropped out)  Text:  lose and everything to gain. I had the summer holidays stretching out in front of me and nothing to do so I was looking for ways to keep busy." Well, the auditions certainly kept Robin busy, not just for a day or a week, either . . . There was over 2000 girls auditioning for the part of Nicky Marotta but, by the end of the summer and after 20 different auditions, Robin was told she had the part. "On August 24, 1979," Robin announced, her voice taking on a very dramatic tone, "the casting agency called me and said: 'You've got the part. Now lose 4kg and we'll talk about it next week'. So, that was it — that's why I'm sitting here talking to you." The fact that Robin did get the part, that the film has been a huge success, that she — the gum-chewing, fast-talking kid from Brooklyn — has been marked as a talent to watch in the future has not knocked her off-balance one little bit. She is not, she says emphatically, impressed by Hollywood. She doesn't even like it there. "In Los Angeles the people are so laid-back, they're half dead!" Robin said. "I like the work I'm in now but I'm not overwhelmed by the people I meet and the places I get to visit. "Anyone who hasn't been involved in films thinks it's glamorous . . . But what's so glamorous about being in the Hudson River in the middle of winter? That's where I had to be for one of the scenes in Times Square! You can get typhoid and pneumonia from that! It was only 10 degrees — I thought I had frost-bite!" However, before Robin got involved in the film business, there was a lot she didn't know herself. "It's so complicated," she told me. "I didn't know that actors had to do scenes over and over again. It's a bit hard to do the same scene 15 times because it loses spontaneity. But I had a ball making the film. "I don't think I could settle in a nine till five job after this. It's so interesting. Before all of this I wanted to be a lawyer. I would have graduated from school and gone to college but now those plans have been pushed into the background." Robin's third film, which she will make after filming the sequel to Grease, has not been decided on yet. To keep her busy, though, there may be an album. "I love to sing but whether people like to hear me, is another matter," Robin said, smiling. Acting is another love of Robin's now and something that she says she didn't find very hard, despite her lack of practical experience. "I didn't think about what I was doing, I just did it," she told me. "That I didn't have to change my accent or mannerisms for the part helped, too," Robin added. Robin saw a few similarities between herself and Nicky Marotta, the main one being their rebelliousness. "All teen-agers are rebellious at some stage but I think I am permanently rebellious," Robin laughed. "I don't like authority. I can take it from my mother but no one else. "In the film, Nicky likes to do outrageous things and I have done some things like that — although not quite to Nicky's extreme. I'm more stable than Nicky is and more secure, too. I have a great family life." Unlike Nicky, too, Robin's future is definitely rosy. True, she isn't any Brooke Shields or Tatum O'Neal but then that's their problem, not Robin's . . . She has lots of talent and a style all her own and I think it's going to take her a long, long way.

Robin Johnson – from high school to Hollywood

Seventeen-year-old Robin is every girl’s dream come true … She was “discovered” and turned into a star. One day Robin was watching films, the next day she was in them. How did it happen? Alison Gardner asked her

 
By now, 17-year-old Robin Johnson, star of the film Times Square, should need no introduction … Even if you haven’t seen the film yet, you can’t possibly have missed all of the press coverage Robin received when she visited Australia a few months ago.

Robin was big news in all of the papers, who were keen to tell her story and, on TV talk shows, where Robin was invited for a chat, interviewers couldn’t get a word in edgeways as she recounted her rise to stardom.

You see, it wasn’t so much Robin’s part in Times Square that everyone was interested in but how she got the part in the first place. Before Times Square, Robin had never acted in her life, not even in a school play. Now she has a three-film contract with the Robert Stigwood Organisation in America and her second film — due to start shooting later this year — is the follow-up to Grease. Robin has the female lead part opposite Andy Gibb.

Stories of shy young girls being plucked from the streets and made into Hollywood stars have filled reels and reels of film but Robin’s discovery — which would make a great film itself — isn’t quite so saccharine-sweet.

To begin with, Robin is not shy — as I soon found out when I met her. I am not the first journalist to comment on Robin’s ability to talk … and talk … and talk, seemingly without ever pausing for breath. Robin herself knows she talks a lot but shrugs it off as if to say “So what? It’s no crime”.

It certainly isn’t a crime, not if you talk like Robin Johnson. Oh, her English isn’t perfect but then, if you lived in Brooklyn (New York) yours wouldn’t be, either. Her voice is deep and a bit hoarse and her hands fly everywhere as she speaks, which made it necessary for me to sit well away from her as we talked. But Robin is a rare species from the acting world because she is interesting to talk to and totally uninhibited; she is witty, intelligent, cheeky, polite and great fun.

She seemed to treat her sudden fame a bit like a new toy and she was having great fun playing with it … Travelling around the world to promote Times Square gave Robin great joy and she was ready and willing to answer any questions I asked her. So, first off, how did she — a high school kid whose closest contact with showbiz was as part of the audience at the movies — get the part of the rough-and-ready Nicky Marotta?

“Well, it’s very conveniently Hollywood,” Robin said, sounding almost disgusted with this fact. “I was literally discovered on the steps of my high school by a talent-scout.

“I was standing outside the school with a friend and I heard this guy say to me: ‘Would you be about 16?’ I said: ‘You talking to me?’ I mean, what a way to approach someone! There are not too many things that are weird for New York but that’s weird.

“Anyway, he asked me again if I was about 16 and when I told him I was, he told me about this advertisement that was in a paper called The Village Voice for auditions for the film, Times Square. He said he thought I would be right for the part of Nicky Marotta. At first I thought the guy was a nut but he talked in detail about the film for an hour and I figured he couldn’t be making it all up.

“In the end, he gave me a card with a phone number on it and said if I was interested I was to phone the following Monday and ask to speak to Jake — who turned out to be the producer and screen-writer.”

Robin hasn’t seen the guy who “discovered” her, since. She later found out that he wasn’t connected with the casting for Times Square. “He hasn’t even come asking for his 10 per cent fee and I’m surprised about that,” Robin said.

Anyway, Robin called the number that Monday and her life has never been the same since.

“Before this I had never thought about acting as a career,” Robin told me. “Maybe in a wild thought, like ‘Gee, it would be nice to be an actress’ but never seriously. Me? In a movie? You’ve got to be kidding.

“But when I thought about it I figured I might as well phone. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I had the summer holidays stretching out in front of me and nothing to do so I was looking for ways to keep busy.”

Well, the auditions certainly kept Robin busy, not just for a day or a week, either . . . There was over 2000 girls auditioning for the part of Nicky Marotta but, by the end of the summer and after 20 different auditions, Robin was told she had the part.

“On August 24, 1979,” Robin announced, her voice taking on a very dramatic tone, “the casting agency called me and said: ‘You’ve got the part. Now lose 4kg and we’ll talk about it next week’. So, that was it — that’s why I’m sitting here talking to you.”

The fact that Robin did get the part, that the film has been a huge success, that she — the gum-chewing, fast-talking kid from Brooklyn — has been marked as a talent to watch in the future has not knocked her off-balance one little bit. She is not, she says emphatically, impressed by Hollywood. She doesn’t even like it there.

“In Los Angeles the people are so laid-back, they’re half dead!” Robin said. “I like the work I’m in now but I’m not overwhelmed by the people I meet and the places I get to visit.

“Anyone who hasn’t been involved in films thinks it’s glamorous . . . But what’s so glamorous about being in the Hudson River in the middle of winter? That’s where I had to be for one of the scenes in Times Square! You can get typhoid and pneumonia from that! It was only 10 degrees — I thought I had frost-bite!”

However, before Robin got involved in the film business, there was a lot she didn’t know herself.

“It’s so complicated,” she told me. “I didn’t know that actors had to do scenes over and over again. It’s a bit hard to do the same scene 15 times because it loses spontaneity. But I had a ball making the film.

“I don’t think I could settle in a nine till five job after this. It’s so interesting. Before all of this I wanted to be a lawyer. I would have graduated from school and gone to college but now those plans have been pushed into the background.”

Robin’s third film, which she will make after filming the sequel to Grease, has not been decided on yet. To keep her busy, though, there may be an album.

“I love to sing but whether people like to hear me, is another matter,” Robin said, smiling.
Acting is another love of Robin’s now and something that she says she didn’t find very hard, despite her lack of practical experience.

“I didn’t think about what I was doing, I just did it,” she told me. “That I didn’t have to change my accent or mannerisms for the part helped, too,” Robin added.

Robin saw a few similarities between herself and Nicky Marotta, the main one being their rebelliousness.

“All teen-agers are rebellious at some stage but I think I am permanently rebellious,” Robin laughed. “I don’t like authority. I can take it from my mother but no one else.

“In the film, Nicky likes to do outrageous things and I have done some things like that — although not quite to Nicky’s extreme. I’m more stable than Nicky is and more secure, too. I have a great family life.”

Unlike Nicky, too, Robin’s future is definitely rosy. True, she isn’t any Brooke Shields or Tatum O’Neal but then that’s their problem, not Robin’s . . . She has lots of talent and a style all her own and I think it’s going to take her a long, long way.

Most of the articles in the magazine have a photographer credit. This one doesn’t, which is unfortunate, since the four photos of Robin accompanying the article never appeared anywhere else. At first I thought they might come from the same source as the Mirrorpix shots from March 1981, but on closer examination, I don’t think so. Her outfits are less baffling and more just 1980s in style, and most telling, the shape of her eyebrows is entirely different.

Alison Gardner has at least two other articles in this issue of Dolly, so it would seem she was one of the main staff writers, if not the main one. She vividly describes what it’s like to talk to Robin in person, but also mentions that Robin had been in Australia several months before. While it’s possible Dolly had a travel budget big enough to cover a round trip flight to New York for a story billed sixth on the cover, I think it’s more likely that the interview was actually a few months old.

But if there’s one big takeaway from this, it’s that Robin seems to have made a bigger splash in Australia than anywhere else in the world.

 

 

Alison Gardner, “Robin Johnson – from high school to Hollywood” (article), AAT ID: 300048715)
Dolly (incorporating Beaut), No. 128, June 1981, pp. 56-58 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389)
20.2 (W) x 27.8 cm. (H), 100 pp (work);
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Dolly (incorporating Beaut) ©1981 Sungravure Pty Ltd

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

 

The Australian Women’s Weekly, Vol. 48 No. 45, April 15, 1981

Posted on 13th December 2017 in "Times Square"
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Australian entertainment magazine featuring article on Robin Johnson.

 

The April 15, 1981 Australian Women’s Weekly featured Larry Hagman on the cover, a pin-up poster of Adam and the Ants on the inside back cover, and an interview with Robin on page 119. The interview goes over much the same ground as most of the previous interviews she gave: her discovery on the steps of Brooklyn Tech, her working relationships with Trini Alvarado and Tim Curry, her outspoken behavior towards all and sundry while her mom waits in the next room… This interview is maybe most notable for mentioning a television appearance on The Don Lane Show in Melbourne. I don’t suppose anyone managed to record it, back in 1981…?

 

Australian Women's Weekly, Vol 48 No. 45, April 15, 1981, p. 119 Text: Good times for Robin She’s brash, talks non-stop, chain-smokes and is the most unlikely 15-year-old movie star. Robin Johnson, who shot to stardom in the movie Times Square, is New York-born and lives not far from Times Square. Like most teenagers of the area, she’s worldly-wise and a little over-powering. “Discovered” on the steps of her school, Brooklyn High, by a talent scout who gave her the usual line about looking for someone just like her for a movie, Robin wrinkled her nose in disgust. “He gave me a number to call and it led to a screen test. I really don’t know why I rang. At the time I’d thought he was such a jerk,” Robin says. But Robert Stigwood was impressed with Robin’s personality and signed her to star in a total of three movies during the next 18 months. “There is a sequel to Grease which I’ll be doing with Andy Gibb, but it definitely won’t be a Son Of Grease or anything. It’s a sequel, but with entirely new characters, and I won’t be an Olivia Newton-John clone,” she says. The third movie is “still being shopped for” but Robin is happy to sit back and wait for it. After all, promoting her first film has taken her all over the world and she contentedly talks and talks, with her mum tactfully sitting in the next room safely out of earshot. Raising a daughter as outgoing as Robin hasn’t been easy — her mother has no say over the cigarettes or the hours Robin keeps. When she appeared on The Don Lane Show in Melbourne, even Don sat stunned while Robin alternately flicked her hair back and made outrageous remarks about the film industry or her life in general. And then there was the time she had dinner with a group of business executives to promote her movie. Promote she did — Robin talked louder and faster than anyone else. “My sister is a lot quieter than I am,” she giggles. “She doesn’t hang around the streets as much as I and some of my friends do, but we get along really well. “The movie Times Square is a little unrealistic in that Trini Alvarado (who plays Pamela Purl in the movie) and I are never approached, assaulted or mugged in any of the scenes where we walk the streets,” Robin says. “But at home, we really have to protect ourselves. You’ve got to at least have a knife on you, to use if need be.” Tim Curry, one of Britain’s top actors, who recently starred in the ABC-TV series Will Shakespeare, played the crazed disc jockey Johnny La Guardia in Times Square. How did Robin enjoy working with the classically-trained actor? It seems an uncomfortable question, and Robin paused. “He was terrific you know. Tim’s a method actor and, whereas Trini and I would clown around between takes, he’d keep to himself. “I sometimes got the impression he thought we were real silly through the movie and he’d snap at us, but that was usually before a difficult scene. Afterwards, he’d be nice and friendly and we got on fine. “The kids at school were fascinated by him because he’s something of a cult figure because of his role in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. “But he’s a real straight guy, you know, and I consider him a real friend,” Robin says. Life for Robin will not really change even if she is recognized every time she gets a bus or catches the subway in New York. She is happy to work in films, but will finish her education because “it’s important. Our school is pretty rough — racism is a terrible problem — but I’ve always kept my head down and done my work. I’m conscientious and I like to do well.” - FIONA MANNING Above left: The reflection of a misunderstood rebel, Nicky Marotta (played by Robin Johnson) in Times Square. Above: Robin is almost as brash off-screen as she is on. THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S WEEKLY - TV WORLD - APRIL 15, 1981 119

Good times for Robin

She’s brash, talks non-stop, chain-smokes and is the most unlikely 15-year-old movie star. Robin Johnson, who shot to stardom in the movie Times Square, is New York-born and lives not far from Times Square. Like most teenagers of the area, she’s worldly-wise and a little over-powering.

“Discovered” on the steps of her school, Brooklyn High, by a talent scout who gave her the usual line about looking for someone just like her for a movie, Robin wrinkled her nose in disgust.

“He gave me a number to call and it led to a screen test. I really don’t know why I rang. At the time I’d thought he was such a jerk,” Robin says.
But Robert Stigwood was impressed with Robin’s personality and signed her to star in a total of three movies during the next 18 months.

“There is a sequel to Grease which I’ll be doing with Andy Gibb, but it definitely won’t be a Son Of Grease or anything. It’s a sequel, but with entirely new characters, and I won’t be an Olivia Newton-John clone,” she says.

The third movie is “still being shopped for” but Robin is happy to sit back and wait for it.

After all, promoting her first film has taken her all over the world and she contentedly talks and talks, with her mum tactfully sitting in the next room safely out of earshot.

Raising a daughter as outgoing as Robin hasn’t been easy — her mother has no say over the cigarettes or the hours Robin keeps.

When she appeared on The Don Lane Show in Melbourne, even Don sat stunned while Robin alternately flicked her hair back and made outrageous remarks about the film industry or her life in general.

And then there was the time she had dinner with a group of business executives to promote her movie. Promote she did — Robin talked louder and faster than anyone else.

“My sister is a lot quieter than I am,” she giggles. “She doesn’t hang around the streets as much as I and some of my friends do, but we get along really well.

“The movie Times Square is a little unrealistic in that Trini Alvarado (who plays Pamela Purl in the movie) and I are never approached, assaulted or mugged in any of the scenes where we walk the streets,” Robin says.

“But at home, we really have to protect ourselves. You’ve got to at least have a knife on you, to use if need be.”

Tim Curry, one of Britain’s top actors, who recently starred in the ABC-TV series Will Shakespeare, played the crazed disc jockey Johnny La Guardia in Times Square. How did Robin enjoy working with the classically-trained actor? It seems an uncomfortable question, and Robin paused. “He was terrific you know. Tim’s a method actor and, whereas Trini and I would clown around between takes, he’d keep to himself.

“I sometimes got the impression he thought we were real silly through the movie and he’d snap at us, but that was usually before a difficult scene. Afterwards, he’d be nice and friendly and we got on fine.

“The kids at school were fascinated by him because he’s something of a cult figure because of his role in the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

“But he’s a real straight guy, you know, and I consider him a real friend,” Robin says.

Life for Robin will not really change even if she is recognized every time she gets a bus or catches the subway in New York. She is happy to work in films, but will finish her education because “it’s important. Our school is pretty rough — racism is a terrible problem — but I’ve always kept my head down and done my work. I’m conscientious and I like to do well.”

– FIONA MANNING

Photo of Robin Johnson from Australian Women's Weekly, Vol 48 No. 45, April 15, 1981, p. 119.  Caption:  Robin is almost as brash off-screen as she is on..

 

 

 

The other notable thing about this article are the accompanying photos. There are very few promo photos from Times Square where the subject is looking directly at the camera, but these are two of them. One is a close-up of Robin in costume for the chase-through-the-Adonis-Theatre scene, which as far as I know was never published anywhere else. (I would love to see it uncropped; it wouldn’t surprise me if Trini was standing right next to her.)

 

Photo of Robin Johnson from Australian Women's Weekly, Vol 48 No. 45, April 15, 1981, p. 119, possibly from a deleted scene from TIMES SQUARE. Caption: The reflection of a misunderstood rebel, Nicky Marotta (played by Robin Johnson) in Times Square.

 

 

 

The other will appear later in the Japanese program book, cropped and in black and white. While it may simply be a publicity photo, I suspect it’s evidence of another sequence shot and cut from the film: the 1979 screenplay includes a scene of Nicky in a holding room, performing in front of an observation window that could easily have been redressed as a one-way mirror. Robin had described improvising a scene in front of a one-way mirror as being part of her audition, in an interview in Seventeen magazine.

I think the similarity in the titles between this and the Paul Wilson column segment in the April 1981 photoplay is a coincidence.

 

 

Fiona Manning, “Good times for Robin” (article), AAT ID: 300048715)
Australian Women’s Weekly, Vol. 48 No. 45, April 15 1981, p. 119 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389)
28.3 cm (H) x 21.5 cm (W) (work);
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The Australian Women’s Weekly ©1981 Australian Consolidated Press Ltd

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Three photos from March 1981

Posted on 27th September 2017 in "Times Square"
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I know nothing about these photos, except that they date from March 1981, and that they’re owned by Trinity Mirror and are part of the Daily Mirror Mirrorpix archive. In my opinion, they’re similar in style to photos that were published in Australia and presumably taken during her visit there, leading me to speculate that these came from the same source. Also in my opinion, they’re not the most flattering photos of Robin, which leads me to speculate further that that’s why they were never published.

Previously unpublished though they may be, they still have a home in the Mirrorpix archive, which licenses their use through the Alamy stock photo company. Fine upstanding citizen that I am, I have purchased a license to display them to the world on this website for the next five years, which surprisingly makes them perhaps the most expensive items in my collection — all the more so since they’re not actually part of my collection. We’ll see what happens in five years.

The images themselves raise one huge question: what on earth were they thinking?

(Click the “Become a Patron” button to help keep these lovelies online!)

 

 

B4WFXT, B4WFXX, B4WFXP [3 photos of Robin Johnson from the Mirrorpix archive], March 1981
Reproduced under license from Alamy Stock Photo

[Displayed images have been resized and color-corrected.]
 
Credit: Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy Stock Photo

 

TIMES SQUARE IS MUSIC OF THE STREETS

Posted on 23rd July 2017 in "Times Square"
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Australian promotional sticker, front, 1981

 

WHAT: A yellow-orange, red, and black sticker, 2¼ inches in diameter, with text reading “Times Square is music of the streets.”

WHERE: Australia. The tag line on the Australian posters was “Times Square is the music of the streets.” The sticker omits the first “the.” Also, where the phrase is in a graffiti-like style on the poster, the sticker uses the distressed typewriter font on black strips from the soundtrack album. The orange and red background also replicates the design of the album cover. This would appear to be a crossover promotional item linking the soundtrack to the film in Australia.

WHEN: Presumably early 1981.

WHO: If it’s pushing the soundtrack, RSO. The sticker itself doesn’t say.

WHY: God only knows.

 

 

Times Square is music of the streets
Australia : sticker : AAT ID: 300027221 : 2.25 in. diam. : 1981 (work);
Times_Square Australian Daybill 1981_1080px.jpg
1080 x 1072 px, 96 dpi, 659 kb (image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

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.