Times Square Australian Daybill

Posted on 12th July 2017 in "Times Square"
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Small movie poster for TIMES SQUARE featuring a Mick Rock photo of Robin Johnson. Text: TIMES SQUARE IS THE MUSIC OF THE STREETS TIM CURRY © 1980 Butterfly Valley N.V. GD FILM DISTRIBUTORS EMI M ROBERT STIGWOOD Presents “TIMES SQUARE”  Starring TIM CURRY • TRINI ALVARADO  And Introducing ROBIN JOHNSON  Also Starring PETER COFFIELD • HERBERT BERGHOF  DAVID MARGUUES • 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 Featuring the Music of Suzi Quatro • The Pretenders • Roxy Music • Gary Numan • Marcy Levy & Robin Gibb  Talking Heads • Joe Jackson • The Ramones • Lou Reed • Patti Smith Group ... And More! Robert Burton Printers Pty.

 

According to IMDb, Times Square opened in Australia on February 6, 1981. Robin and her mother went there to continue RSO/EMI’s publicity tour, and I’m pretty sure she made a brief but strong impression on Australian television discussing her discovery and career-to-come. As this was just before the home consumer video recording market took off, none of those appearances survive as far as I know.

Strangely, all the interviews she gave to magazines seem to have been published well after she would have returned to America, making them useless as promotion for Times Square.

The daybill is essentially the same as the ad that ran in Movie 81. There was also a full-size poster, with again the same basic design, which I don’t have.

A pressbook similar to the American one but more elaborate was distributed in Australia. I’ve seen photos of it but not found a copy.

 

 

[Times Square daybill]
Australia : poster : AAT ID: 300027221 : 75 x 32 cm. : 1981 (work);
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1080 x 475 px, 96 dpi, 314 kb (images)

 

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

 

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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. 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
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©1980 King Publications Ltd
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+


 

Times Square UK Press Kit (post 4 of 4)

Posted on 19th August 2016 in "Times Square"
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Here are the last photos from my copy of the UK Press Kit. They don’t have numbers that would match them up with the enclosed caption sheet, so I have doubts as to whether they were actually a part of it.

Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnson, in an unnumbered print from the "Times Square" UK press kit.  At first glance this looks like a collage but lightening the image gives the appearance that it is actually the two of them together.  Other photos of Robin in that outfit were taken by Mick Rock, so it's almost certain that this is a Mick Rock photo.  None of the captions on the caption sheet match up with the image.  The caption list omits numbers 9 and 10; however, there are three unidentified photos in this copy of the press kit.

 

This is the Mick Rock photo of Robin that appeared on the contents page of Film Review, Vol. 30 No. 10, October 1980. At first I thought that it was a collage of that and a photo of Trini, but I tried lightening up the background and it does indeed appear that they’re standing in the same room, on the same floor. Also, if you crop the photo to remove Trini, you lose a bit of Robin’s elbow, and that’s exactly how the Film Review version appears. What I’m getting at is, this is apparently a photograph of Trini Alvarado taken by Mick Rock.

 

 

Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnson atop the Times Square Theater marquee at the climax of the film, in an unnumbered print from the "Times Square" UK press kit. None of the captions on the caption sheet match up with the image. The caption list omits numbers 9 and 10; however, there are three unidentified photos in this copy of the press kit.

 

 

Trini and Robin atop the Times Square Theater marquee. This photo is labelled TS-22-32 in the style of the US publicity photos.

 

 

Trini Alvarado, Robin Johnson, and Tim Curry in a rare glamor shot, outside on or near Pier 56, in an unnumbered print from the "Times Square" UK press kit. The photo is identified by a code that matches the US publicity photos style, TS-88-29A. None of the captions on the caption sheet match up with the image. The caption list omits numbers 9 and 10; however, there are three unidentified photos in this copy of the press kit. Two of them (including this one) have US-style code numbers.

TS-88-29A, another of those rare publicity photos that doesn’t try to depict a scene from the film, although it obviously comes from the day they shot the scene where Johnny gets Pammy kicked out of the “hideout”. There was at least one other shot taken that day of these three smiling for the camera, which was printed in color in an Australian magazine in 1981, and later on the sleeve of the Japanese laserdisc in 1986.

UK "Times Square" publicity photo stamp (back of UK Press Kit Photo #7)

Back of UK Press Kit photo #7


The backs of these three photos are blank. The rest of the photos in the UK Press Kit are stamped “TIMES SQUARE” on the back.

An identical stamp is on the back of this photo I posted about previously, which just happens to have a tiny UK Press Kit-style “34” printed into it. It would seem there was a series of UK photos that numbered at least up to 34, and which were stamped on the back with the movie title. This doesn’t mean, however, that they were all used… there’s probably at least a 2 and a 6 floating around somewhere, to match up with the caption sheet, but there’s no reason to think there was ever a 9, 10, or anything between 11 and 34. I can hope, though… it’s been quiet lately but “new” items still turn up from time to time.

One problem with the stamp, though, is that it also appears on the back of the second copy of Photo #1, the one with the US-style number on it. It seems as though it, and the smaller pasted-in number are good indicators that a given print was made and used in the UK, but I don’t think we can conclude anything else from it.

To finish things off, here are the two versions of the shorter profile of Robin. Again, the version on “Times Square” letterhead appears to have been “translated” into British English, “there’s an ad” into “there was an advert” and so on. I doubt Robin has ever said “advert” in her life. (The text below is the “British” version.)

ROBIN JOHNSON (Nicky Marotta)

Before spending twelve weeks in front of the “Times Square” cameras, the closest Robin Johnson ever came to a film set was when “The Wanderers” shot a scene in her Brooklyn neighbourhood. In fact, 15 year-old Robin had had no previous acting experience when, as a result of a five-month nationwide search, she was discovered by a talent scout outside Brooklyn High School. “He told me there was an advert in the paper for a girl about l6, slenderish, blonde hair and street—tough,” Robin recalls. “So he gave me a number to call. I just did it for a kick. I didn’t expect nothin’ out of it.”

A native of Brooklyn, Robin is blessed with an incredible amount of energy, awareness and photogenic appeal – as well as a very distinctive voice. Her “street toughness” is no surprise, since she describes her own Brooklyn neighbourhood as “not rough rough – like you gotta carry a knife on you. You just got to watch out for yourself.”

1.65m (five-feet five inches) and 52kg (115 pounds), Robin has green eyes and naturally blonde hair which was dyed several shades of red for the role. Like her screen counterpart, she is a devout rock enthusiast whose favourites include Led Zeppelin, The Wh0 and The Rolling Stones.

Before filming ”TIMES SQUARE”, Robin’s ambition was to become a commercial artist, but now she is already a seasoned performer and will be featured singing on the soundtrack album released by RSO Records.

TIMES SQUARE is an EMI Films presentation distributed in the United Kingdom by Columbia-EMI-Warner, in North America by AFD (Associated Film Distribution) and throughout the rest of the world by EMI Films Limited.

 

 

TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo_a
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black and white photographic prints, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (works);

1980
inscriptions: [none]; TS-22-32; TS-88-29A
TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo_7 back
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ROBIN JOHNSON (Nicky Marotta) p. 1
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ROBIN JOHNSON (Nicky Marotta) p. 1-2
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Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Soundtrack Ad, Melody Maker, November 15, 1980

Posted on 11th May 2016 in "Times Square"
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“AFTER ALL THE MOVIE ALBUMS RELEASED THIS YEAR
COMES THE DEFINITIVE ROCK SOUNDTRACK FROM THE
FORTHCOMING ROBERT STIGWOOD FILM ‘TIMES SQUARE'”

Soundtrack ad for TIMES SQUARE, teasing the film, from the November 15, 1980 Melody Maker, featuring the Mick Rock photo of Robin Johnson from the back of the album.  Text:  MELODY MAKER, November 15, 1980 - Page 21 AFTER ALL THE MOVIE ALBUMS RELEASED THIS YEAR COMES THE DEFINITIVE ROCK SOUNDTRACK FROM THE FORTHCOMING ROBERT STIGWOOD FILM "TIMES SQUARE" This Double Album Feartures Music From THE PRETENDERS  THE RAMONES LOU REED THE RUTS PATTI SMITH GARY NUMAN THE CURE JOE JACKSON XTC TALKING HEADS ...and many more And as a forthcoming single The Coupling Of The Previously Unreleased track by XTC "TAKE THIS TOWN" b/w "BABYLON'S BURNING" by THE RUTS TIMES SQUARE Also on the album ROXY MUSIC's current hit "SAME OLD SCENE" FILM TO BE RELEASED THROUGH E.M.I. FILMS. ALBUM AVAILABLE ON R.S.O. RECORDS AND TAPES. RSO

 

 

 

 

Even as Times Square was opening and closing in the United States, the mighty RSO promotion machine was hard at work in the United Kingdom, as this full-page ad for the soundtrack shows. Running on page 21 of the November 15 Melody Maker, it featured a newsprint-style blowup of Mick Rock’s photo of Robin from the back of the album. Although it teased the impending release of the movie, it didn’t give a date for it. (The UK opening would be January 15, 1981; perhaps that date hadn’t been decided on yet. Or, maybe the movie marketing people and the record marketing people weren’t on speaking terms.)

 

 

Times Square The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack/RSO. Melody Maker 15 Nov. 1980: 21. (work);
TIMES_SQUARE_Soundtrack ad, Melody Maker Nov 15 1980 p 21_1080px.jpg, 1080 px (H) x 813 px (W), 96 dpi, 507 KB (image)
Text:
MELODY MAKER, November 15, 1980 – Page 21
AFTER ALL THE MOVIE ALBUMS RELEASED THIS YEAR
COMES THE DEFINITIVE ROCK SOUNDTRACK FROM THE
FORTHCOMING ROBERT STIGWOOD FILM “TIMES SQUARE”
This Double Album Feartures Music From
THE PRETENDERS
THE RAMONES
LOU REED
THE RUTS
PATTI SMITH
GARY NUMAN
THE CURE
JOE JACKSON
XTC
TALKING HEADS
…and many more
And as a
forthcoming single
The Coupling Of The
Previously
Unreleased
track by XTC
“TAKE THIS TOWN”
b/w
“BABYLON’S BURNING”
by THE RUTS
TIMES
SQUARE
Also on the
album ROXY MUSIC’s
current hit
“SAME OLD SCENE”
FILM TO BE RELEASED THROUGH E.M.I. FILMS.
ALBUM AVAILABLE ON R.S.O. RECORDS AND TAPES. RSO

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Film Review, Vol. 30 No. 10, October 1980

Posted on 1st February 2016 in "Times Square"
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“‘I’d sung in a choir when I was 12,’ Robin chirps…”

 

Film Review, Vol. 30 No. 10, October 1980 page 1

 

 

 

 

Assuming that any periodical dated October probably hit the stands in September, here’s a British magazine devoting an entire page to Robin, a month before Times Square’s premiere, and four months before it would open in the UK.
 

 

Film Review Vol 30 No 10 Oct 1980 p8, the first half of "Two New Arrivals on the New Wave of Music", dealing with Hazel O'Connor and <em>Breaking Glass</em>Full page advertisement for "Breaking Glass" (1980)
 

The article is the second half of a two-page spread entitled “Two New Arrivals on the New Wave of Music.” The first arrival is Hazel O’Connor, whose film Breaking Glass opens on September 21st according to an ad on page 41 (another reason to think the magazine was out before then).
 

 

The photo of Robin that accompanies the article is this one, which I believe to have been taken by Mick Rock at the same session that produced the shot appearing on the back cover of the soundtrack album. The photo on the magazine’s contents page is also from that same session. This may have been the only time they saw print.

The article isn’t attributed to any author. I can’t speak to the Hazel O’Connor portion, but the Robin half was composed entirely through clever editing of the press materials we’ve already seen, to make it look like an original interview. Here’s the text as it appears in the article; compare it with Robin’s bio in the Press Kit. (Robin doesn’t “chirp” in the Press Kit.)

THE NEW WAVE OF MUSIC

America’s ROBIN JOHNSON in ‘Times Square’

R08IN JOHNSON also plays a rock star in a film bursting with New Wave sounds, this time an American film — the forthcoming Times Square — but unlike Hazel O’Connor (see opposite) Robin is still only in her mid-teens.

Director Allan Moyle, formerly an actor in films like Joe, Outrageous! and Montreal Main, searched high and low for his young star. With the assistance of an army of talent scouts, Moyle went to youth centres and punk clubs and even placed advertisements in newspapers in the hope of finding his leading lady.

A prospector finally spotted 15-year-old Robin smoking a sly cigarette on the steps of Brooklyn’s Technological High School. Despite the absence of any formal theatrical training — “I’d sung in a choir when I was 12” Robin chirps — Moyle signed her up immediately for the demanding role of Nicky Marotta, a 15-year-old street “delinquent” who dreams of becoming a rock star.

“We were looking for someone who was Nicky,” Allan Moyle explains, “but Robin’s definitely not that doomed child. Luckily for the picture she’s brought a lot more humour to the character than I had originally envisioned. Robin’s youthful innocence and energy buoy what might have been too much of a downer.”

Times Square, the first of four New York-based, multi-million dollar films to be produced by Robert Stigwood — already laughing all the way to the bank with Grease and Saturday Night Fever — is a contemporary drama about two very opposite youngsters yearning for the same dream: success at the top of the rock ‘n’ roll ladder. With a strong musical soundtrack performed by the likes of Patti Smith, Talking Heads and Tom Petty, Times Square takes over where Fame left off. and with a budget of $5½ million is the first New Wave-influenced film backed by a major studio.

“I was standing on the stoop at Brooklyn’s Technological High,” Robin recalls, “when a man gave me this card and said to call the number if I was interested in being in a movie. Well I just thought ‘Oh. another wise guy’, but gave it a shot.” The part of Nicky, a rebellious and spunky runaway, turned out to be a tougher role than young Miss Johnson had envisaged, calling for an intensive programme of voice lessons, singing tutorial and dance and movement classes, as well as performing on the roof of a 42nd Street theatre marquee, getting dumped in the polluted waters of the Hudson River (in December!) and having to chew a mouthfull of roses. “That was pretty disgusting. I’d never tasted flowers before,” Robin scowls.

Robin Johnson is a pretty girl displaying a keen sense of fun, as well as being both witty and talented. She also took to the rigours of film-making like a true professional.

But films aren’t the beginning and end-all of Robin’s life. “I hope Times Square does well, but it’s not the answer to my life, though I loved meeting and working with so many wonderful people. And I’d like to work with Allan again.” Let’s hope for our sakes that Times Square is the success Robin deserves.

Times Square is an EMI film co-starring Tim Curry as an all-night disc jockey and Trini Alvarado (from Robert Altman’s Rich Kids) as the timid 12-year-old whom Robin befriends.

I think that was the final mention of Tom Petty’s association with the movie.

Film Review was published by EMI Cinemas Ltd. Times Square was an EMI film in the UK, so perhaps it’s not surprising that their magazine would create an article from their own publicity materials. That’s what they’re for, after all.

Finally, here’s a better look at the photo from the contents page:Detail of the Mick Rock photograph of Robin Johnson from page 3 of Film Review, Vol. 30 No. 10, October 1980

Karen (DefeatedandGifted) wrote about this article in October 2011.

 

 

Film Review, Vol. 30 No. 10, October 1980;
UK EMI Cinemas Ltd.; 29.8 cm (H) x 21.3 cm (W) (work);
Film Review Vol 30 No 10 Oct 1980 p1_1080px.jpg (cover)
Film Review Vol 30 No 10 Oct 1980 p3_1080px.jpg (contents)
Film Review Vol 30 No 10 Oct 1980 p3_detail2_1080px.jpg (detail of contents page)
Film Review Vol 30 No 10 Oct 1980 p8_1080px.jpg (“Two New Arrivals on the New Wave of Music”)
Film Review Vol 30 No 10 Oct 1980 p9_1080px.jpg (“Two New Arrivals on the New Wave of Music”)
Film Review Vol 30 No 10 Oct 1980 p41_1080px.jpg (ad for Breaking Glass)
1080 px (H), 96 dpi (images)

 

 

From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack TIMES SQUARE (songbook)

Posted on 24th December 2015 in "Times Square"
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Songbook containing the sheet music of the songs comprising the soundtrack to the movie "Times Square" Cover text: From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack TIMES SQUARE A Robert Stigwood Production Featuring Music Of SUZI QUATRO, THE PRETENDERS, ROXY MUSIC, GARY NUMAN, MARCY LEVY & ROBIN GIBB, TALKING HEADS, JOE JACKSON, XTC, THE RAMONES, ROBIN JOHNSON & TRINI ALVARADO, THE RUTS, D.L. BYRON, LOU REED, DESMOND CHILD & ROUGE, GARLAND JEFFREYS, THE CURE, PATTI SMITH GROUP, DAVID JOHANSEN

 

… is exactly what it sounds like, a squarebound book collecting the sheet music for all the songs appearing on the Times Square soundtrack album. This of course excludes “Dangerous Type” by The Cars, which although heard for quite a bit longer in the film than some of the other songs (“Grinding Halt” and “Pretty Boys” spring to mind), wasn’t included on the record and so didn’t make it into the songbook.

 

The cover looks unfinished, somehow… it’s the album cover extended vertically, but in my opinion the Times Square logo should have been enlarged… there’s just too much empty space there in the middle. Most interestingly, though, it’s not just the album cover, it’s the UK album cover, without Nicky’s Johnny LaGuardia pin. This continues on the inside: the first few pages of the songbook are larger versions of the photos that appear on the inner gatefold of the record cover, and again, it’s the set as they appear on the UK edition. Tim Curry is nowhere to be seen, his photograph replaced with a group of sign-wielding Sleez Girls. The song listing also contains the same typo as the UK album cover. The no-prize for identifying it is still unclaimed.

 

The pictures in the songbook are cropped differently from the ones in the album, generally showing more at the top and bottom and less on the sides. This is most visible in the tv-dropping shot, and in the Sleez Girls shot, where the songbook version loses entirely the girls holding the “I’m a Monster” and “T.V. Sucks” signs. The exception is the Times Square Theater marquee shot, which shows more of all four sides in the songbook.

For your convenience, here’s the text that appears in near-unreadable blue type on pages 3 and 4:

[Page 2]

TIMES SQUARE a contemporary drama with music, stars the brightest new talents of
Tim Curry, British performer best known for “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” Trini
Alvarado, who scored a remarkable screen bow in Robert Altman’s “Rich Kids,” and
introduces Robin Johnson, a dynamic 16-year old Brooklyn actress and singer in her
film debut.

TIMES SQUARE depicts the misadventures of two rebellious teenage girls, one from
an affluent environment, the other a product of the streets. Together, they flee from
their room in a neurological hospital, commandeer an ambulance and begin a series of
wild and bizarre escapades with their behavior reported by an all-night disc jockey,
played by Tim Curry, who urges them on as their antics turn them into minor media
celebrities. Dubbed “The Sleez Sisters,” their flight from authority of any kind is
climaxed in a nerve-tingling dramatic conclusion atop the marquee of a Times Square
theater as hundreds of their teenage followers below cheer in tribute.

[Page 3]

The TIMES SQUARE soundtrack is one of the most exciting ever compiled. It presents
a unique anthology of original songs written expressly for the film plus rock classics by
major contemporary artists from both England and the United States. Featured artists
are Suzi Quatro, The Pretenders, Roxy Music, Gary Numan, The Talking Heads, Joe
Jackson, Patti Smith, XTC, Garland Jeffreys, The Cure, Lou Reed, The Ramones, The
Ruts, Desmond Child and Rouge, Marcy Levy and Robin Gibb, D.L. Byron and David
Johansen. “Rock Hard,” “Help Me!,” “Pretty Boys,” “Take This Town,” “Damn Dog,”
“Flowers of the City,” and “Your Daughter Is One” are just some of the original titles
from the film.

Rock classics include “Walk On The Wild Side,” “Life During Wartime,” “I Wanna Be
Sedated,” and an amazing new rendition of the Supremes’ hit “You Can’t Hurry Love.”

The motion picture and the brilliantly compiled soundtrack recording portray the
colorful and restless segment of a young, contemporary generation and its music.

Unfortunately, the printing of the photos in the songbook isn’t all that great. The record cover versions of the photos can be seen in the US Soundtrack post; the Tim Curry-replacing Sleez Girls photo can be seen in the UK Soundtrack post.

 
If you’re hoping to see the sheet music here, sorry; there are some things that would almost certainly be an indefensible violation of copyright and which I will not post here, such as the actual soundtrack music, the entire film, and, yes, any song’s complete sheet music, let alone the entire songbook. I will post one page of it, just as an example. As I’ve noted before, the first page of the sheet music to “Damn Dog” is one of the few places that Norman Ross’ writing credit appears. The first four measures therefore are his riff.

 

Finally… one last longing look at the magnificent photo by Mick Rock that adorns the back cover of the album and songbook. As I noted last time, there are three other photos I know of where Robin is in that outfit, holding that particular Kent guitar. Mr. Rock has not as yet replied to my inquiry about them.

Photograph by Mick Rock of Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta from the back cover of the songbook containing the sheet music of the songs comprising the soundtrack to the movie "Times Square"

Merry Christmas!

 

 

From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack TIMES SQUARE; songbook (AAT ID: 300026432), 9 in (W) x 12 in (H); 90 pp. (work); front and back covers, pp 1-9, 47 displayed

 

©1980 Chappell & Co.

 

Forward Into The Past

Posted on 15th December 2015 in "Times Square"
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Back issues of Screen International are surprisingly hard to come by. That’s why I’m posting this so far out of the chronological order I’ve been trying to adhere to… I didn’t have this until last week (as of this writing). And I don’t even have the entire issue; I just have the upper left corner of page 44, but that’s enough. This “People and Places” column comes from the 8-15 March 1980 issue, and so takes the place of the April 23 Aquarian article as the earliest published piece of Times Square publicity I know of (not counting the article from Radio and Records, for which I don’t know the actual date).

[EDIT, January 29, 2017: I now have a full copy of the issue, Screen International No. 231. Yay.]

Clipping from page 44 of Screen International, 8 March 1980, containing photo of Robin Johnson with caption.  Text:  ROBIN JOHNSON (left) makes her debut in producer Robert Stigwood’s new film “Times Square".  The 15-year-old New Yorker was literally discovered standing outside her school!

The photo is a cropped version of the one used in Photoplay’s “Last Word” column in May, although severely cropped. I find it interesting that the one fact used to try to generate interest in the film is not about the film itself, but is the earliest description of Robin’s “discovery” on the steps of Brooklyn Tech.

Robin would indeed be 15 for another month and a half after this article saw print.

A much more impressive piece of publicity from Screen International is the two-page center spread from the 21-28 June, 1980 issue, which I don’t have, but fortunately for all of us is in Karen Dean (DefeatedandGifted)’s collection and is on display at her Times Square Fandom blog:

Scan by Karen Dean - original file at https://defeatedandgifted.wordpress.com/2011/01/29/ts_rj_centrefold/

It was published squarely between the above-mentioned “Last Word” column and the Northeast Ohio Scene article, and as Karen notes, a full seven months before Times Square’s UK release.

This fully-realized piece of art, Nicky overlaid on a Times Square collage, was only ever used here and, nine months later, as the Australian movie poster. (That poster was reproduced on the inside insert of the 2000 Anchor Bay DVD, and the image is on the cover of the current UK DVD release.)

The photo of Robin came from the same session that produced this shot and the shot on the back cover of the soundtrack album. The Kent guitar — a cheap replacement for the cheap guitar used in the movie — is a dead giveaway.

The album photo is one of the few that has a credit.

Mick Rock.

I think it’s safe to assume Mick Rock took all the “Kent” photos. It’s tantalizing to think that there may exist one or several rolls of photographs of Robin, in that outfit, against a black background, taken by Mick Rock.

 

 

“People and places,” Screen International, 8-15 March 1980, p. 44, 1980; article (AAT ID: ID: 300048715), 7 5/8 in (H) x 6 3/4 in (H) [portion of page] (work); 800 px (H) x 606 px (W), 96 dpi, 191 kb (image)
inscription:
ROBIN JOHNSON (left) makes her debut in producer Robert Stigwood’s new film “Times Square”.
The 15-year-old New Yorker was literally discovered standing outside her school!

 

ts_screeninternational_jun80_RJnet_shrunk_version.jpg (image): reduced-size version of ts_screeninternational_jun80.jpg (image), digital image of Screen International (London, UK, n. 246, pp 12-3) (work), from Dean, Karen. “Times Square / Robin Johnson Centrefold!” “Times Square” Fandom. N.p., 29 Jan. 2011. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

 

Nicky Marotta in Limbo

Posted on 8th December 2014 in "Times Square"
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Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta, 1980 B&W publicity photograph

Black limbo, that is. This photo isn’t one of the “Kodak paper” series, but I’m going through these photos in the order they’d appear in the film (since I don’t know the order in which they were shot), and this one comes next. Except…

You know how I’ve been saying the pictures are from alternate takes that don’t actually appear in the film? This one doubles that. Triples. First, there’s no background. This is one of the very few shots taken only for publicity and not at a recognizable shooting location. Robin is wearing the Aggie Doon costume, so she’s dressed for the world premiere of “Damn Dog” at the Cleo Club, but she’s carrying her cheap Kent that she lost when she was arrested in the opening scene, and not the expensive Rickenbacker she plays with the Blondells. Also, her hair isn’t slicked back like Elvis like it is in the film. This is a glamor shot of Nicky, nothing more, nothing less.

This photo shoot produced at least four shots: this one; another which along with this one was published in Film Review in October 1980; the image that was used on the Australian movie poster and is currently on the UK DVD; and the picture on the back cover of the soundtrack album. (I’ll get to those in time.)

The back of this photo has crop measurement marks indicating the actual size of the picture. My guess is that was to help in laying out whatever page someone may have been planning to print it on, but I don’t really know.

Frame capture from "Times Square" (1980), brightened considerably to try to enhance detail in the guitar Nicky's playing

I’ve lightened all hell out of this dark alley to try to see the guitar better.


The most interesting thing to me about this picture is, that’s NOT Nicky’s guitar. In all the photos from this shoot, the Kent’s big K logo is plainly visible, it has one pickup in the lead position close to the bridge, and the fretboard has big rectangular inlays. The guitar she plays in the film, however, has no logo, has one pickup in the rhythm position closer to the neck, and the fretboard has little round dot inlays. The pickguard is also a vastly different shape, as is the body itself, and the tuning peg for the B string is missing. It’s a cheap beat-up guitar all right, but it might not even be a Kent. (If you can identify it, please chime in.)

 
 

“Nicky with Her Kent”
8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work);
862 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 338 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on reverse:] [handwritten in blue ink:] D+P. EAST 170 mm deep x 115 mm wide PA77
[handwritten in black ink:] ROBIN JOHNSON. 20
[stamped in black:] DEREK AND PAT EAST COLLECTION

 
vlcsnap-2014-11-22-19h40m55s213-enhanced.jpg
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 343kb(image)
frame capture from Times Square (1980)
captured and enhanced 2014-11-22
 
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+