Pammy’s Dancing Career Cut Short

Posted on 9th January 2015 in "Times Square"
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on RedditPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone

Uncropped 8x10 photograph of Trini Alvarado as Pamela Pearl in the movie "Times Square." The shot replicates, but does not duplicate, the shot as it appears in the film.
Despite recent appearances, this is a Robin Johnson site, not a Times Square site. But, for better or worse, there’s far more Times Square material out there than for the rest of her career combined. Plus, the vast majority of her fans (though not all) found her through Times Square. So I’ll be posting the occasional Times Square item that Robin isn’t in. And today, I’m also breaking my general rule about one item at a time, because these two are so close together in the film.Times Square Slide 63-25: Trini Alvarado as Pamela Pearl
 

The first is one of the 8″ x 10″ color prints on Kodak paper, and shows Pammy in the middle of demonstrating her new moves to another Cleo girl. The second is the second of the slides, and shows her reacting to seeing her father in the club. Again, they don’t match up to the shots used in the film, mostly because the POV seems to be standing directly behind where the other dancer is sitting. The first shot might conceivably have been taken during the actual take, but Trini’s hands and feet are in different positions in the second one than they appear in the film.
 

This scene is notable for containing one of the few appearances of the “Doomsday Book,” the giant ledger Pammy bought to document her and Nicky’s lives in a scene cut from the film, and which Nicky methodically burns page by page at the end. It’s visible lying on the keyboard in the first picture. It’s the one thing Pammy grabs as she runs out of the club.

That’s all I have to say about that. I’ve been unsuccessful so far in figuring out the location of whatever bar served as the Cleopatra. If I ever do work it out, you’ll be the first to know.

Here, for tradition’s sake, are the closest frames from the film:

David Pearl finds PammyPammy Takes a Walk on the Wild SideDavid Pearl finds Pammy

 

 

Times Square Color Production Still / “Walk on the Wild Side”
color photographic print, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work);
866 px (W) x 1080 px (H), 96 dpi, 595 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on back:] [handwritten:] 60-6A

 

Times Square slide 63-25
35mm color slide, 2 in (H) x 2 in (W) (including mount) (work);
727 px (W) x 1080 px (H), 96 dpi, 573 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on back:] [handwritten:] 60-6A

 

vlcsnap-2014-12-21-16h16m55s188.png
vlcsnap-2014-12-21-16h17m28s198.png
vlcsnap-2014-12-21-16h18m21s178.png

853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi (images)
frame captures from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-12-07

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Foxy Miss Pearl

Posted on 30th November 2014 in "Times Square"
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on RedditPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone

Color production photo from "Times Square" replicating but not duplicating the scene in which Pammy makes her debut as an exotic dancer. Inscription: on back: repeated stamp THIS PAPER / MANUFACTURED / BY KODAK, which was printed on Kodak photo paper between 1972 and 1989

“I’m not dancing topless.”

 

12-year-old Trini Alvarado enacts 13-year-old Pamela Pearl making her debut as an exotic dancer, thankfully not topless. There are other images of this scene that were taken at the same time and differ only slightly, but I only have them published in magazines, on lobby cards, or in promotional packages. This one is an unmarked 8 X 10 like the last few and next few photos. All the promotional shots of this scene have in common is, again, that they’re not the shot as it appears in the film.

Pammy dances for Nicky, not topless, in a frame captured from "Times Square" (1980)

 

 

 

This is the closest image from the film. (I hope I’m not boring you with this.)

Pammy, not topless dances for Nicky, in a frame captured from "Times Square" (1980)

 

 

 

It’s possible that the stills were shot while the movie camera was taking this reverse angle.

The screenplay is adamant that Pammy dances topless, and has her appear topless in a few other short scenes before and after. I think everybody is glad that Trini and her parents refused to let her do it. The change was probably a very late one, but even though it never fails to get a laugh when Roberto hires her anyway because “I like that. Class. Respect. That’s good for the club. Good for business,” it’s also the point where the film takes its deepest plunge into the dream-logic that permeates it, making it so emotionally affecting in ways that defy rational analysis. After all, no sense makes sense.

Or, it’s left over from another theme in the screenplay that’s almost gone from the finished film, in which it’s shown that there’s an underground community in Times Square that knows Nicky and is looking out for the runaways behind the scenes, like a surrogate family. Roberto is determined to hire Pammy no matter what, in order to help her and Nicky, and needs to come up with an excuse that will fool a desperate 13-year-old girl. This still ignores the potential legal jeopardy he’s putting himself into, so… we’re back in dream-world again.

Whatever you think of the film’s rationalization for Pammy stripping without taking off her clothes, in the long run at the very least it’s kept the movie from potentially becoming illegal to own or view in the United States. So I’m happy with it.

It also helps keep the film from devolving into just another exploitation flick. I personally believe that most (not all, but most) of the material that was cut from the film, that everyone is so sad about, would actually weaken the film were we to see it presented explicitly.

There’s a much richer and wittier look at the situation at DefeatedandGifted’s Times Square Fandom blog.

 

“Foxy Miss Pearl”
8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work) [w/o border 6.5 in x 9.625 in];
862 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 407 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on reverse:] [stamped:] THIS PAPER / MANUFACTURED / BY KODAK
 
vlcsnap-2014-10-19-14h07m31s167.png
vlcsnap-2014-10-19-14h04m10s248.png

853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi (images)
screen captures from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-10-19
 
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+