Fotogramas No. 1650, March 25, 1981

Posted on 14th January 2021 in "Times Square"

Cover of Fotogramas no. 1650; March 25, 1981; Periodical; 30.2 x 21.5 cm; a Spanish film magazine containing an article on TIMES SQUARE (1980)

 

 

Two months before Times Square opened in Spain, the film magazine Fotogramas ran the same kind of promotional article we’ve seen in Mexico, Thailand, and Germany. The article contains nothing new, but four of the six stills from the film never appeared anywhere else as far as I know, including an almost unrecognizable close-up of Robin. It’s a shame they weren’t printed better.

TIMES SQUARE

EL MUSICAL DE LAS “TEEN-AGERS”

«Times Square» es el corazón de Manhattan, la isla donde se asienta parte de la fantástica urbe neoyorkina. También es el nombre del último musical producido por Robert Stigwood, en cuyo currículum profesional hay títulos teatrales como «Hair», «Jesús Christ Superstar», «Pippin», «Oh! Calcuttal», «Evita» y «Sweeney Todd», y cinematográficos como «Jesús Christ Superstar», «Tommy», «Fiebre del sábado noche», «Grease» y «Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band». Toda una garantía a la hora de presentar este último musical «Times Square».

La historia de la película puede reducirse a unas líneas: Nicky Marotta (Robín Johnson) y Pamela Pearl (Trini Alvarado) son dos adolescentes rebeldes, la primera un producto de la calle y la segunda de una familia influyente. Juntas escapan de sus habitaciones en un hospital psiquiátrico, se hacen con una ambulancia y comienzan una serie de aventuras salvajes en el corazón de Nueva York. Estas tienen su eco en la información que a través de toda una noche va dando el disc jockey Johnny Laguardia (Tim Curry), quien a través de las ondas las va animando convirtiéndolas en pequeñas celebridades de la noche a la mañana. Su escapada tiene una conclusión dramática en la fachada de un cine de Times Square, mientras desde la calle cientos de sus seguidores les rinden, identificados, su tributo.

En estos tiempos en que los «soundtracks» de películas se encuentran entre los discos más populares del mercado, el doble álbum de «Times Square» destaca como una antología de canciones interpretadas por algunos de los mejores artistas del «rock» de nuestros días: Suzi Quatro, The Pretenders, Roxy Music, Gary Numan, The Talkin Heads, Joe Jackson, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, The Ramones, Robín Gibb, etcétera.

A destacar también la presencia en el reparto del film de Trini Alvarado y Tim Curry. La primera, uno de los talentos juveniles a tener en cuenta del cine americano, debutó en «Rich Kids», un film producido por Robert Altman que dirigió Robert M. Young, el autor de «Short Eyes» y «Alambrista». Desgraciadamente y pese a lo interesante de su trabajo, nadie se ha acordado aún de distribuir este largo-metraje de Young en nuestro país. Volviendo a Trini, la chica es de origen portorriqueño, aunque de padre español. Profesionalmente se inició junto a sus padres, él guitarrista y ella bailarina, en una troupe flamenca antes de rebelarse como actriz en la obra «Runaways».

Tim Curry es más conocido entre nosotros. De su breve filmografía nos ha llegado al menos «The Rocky Horror Picture Show», donde interpretaba al protagonista, el loco y travestido «doctor».

Robín Johnson, 16 años, la coprotagonista femenina junto a Trini Alvarado, es una cara totalmente nueva que debuta en este film de Alan Moyle. Fue descubierta por un cazatalentos de la productora de Stigwood en las escalinatas de la Brooklyn Technological High School. Hasta entonces nunca había pasado por su cabeza la idea de dedicarse al cine.

TIMES SQUARE

THE MUSICAL OF THE “TEENAGERS”

“Times Square” is the heart of Manhattan, the island where part of the fantastic New York City sits. It is also the name of the latest musical produced by Robert Stigwood, in whose professional curriculum are theatrical titles such as “Hair”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Pippin”, “Oh! Calcutta!”, “Evita” and “Sweeney Todd”, and movies such as “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Tommy”, “Saturday Night Fever”, “Grease” and “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band”. A guarantee when presenting this latest musical “Times Square”.

The story of the film can be reduced to a few lines: Nicky Marotta (Robín Johnson) and Pamela Pearl (Trini Alvarado) are two rebellious teenagers, the first a product of the street and the second from an influential family. Together they escape from their rooms in a psychiatric hospital, steal an ambulance and begin a series of wild adventures in the heart of New York. These are echoed in the information that through the entire night is given by the disc jockey Johnny Laguardia (Tim Curry), who through the airwaves is cheering them on, turning them into little celebrities overnight. Their escape has a dramatic conclusion on the marquee of a cinema in Times Square, while from the street hundreds of their followers pay them, now identified, their tribute.

In these times when the “soundtracks” of movies are among the most popular albums on the market, the double album of “Times Square” stands out as an anthology of songs interpreted by some of the best artists of current rock: Suzi Quatro, The Pretenders, Roxy Music, Gary Numan, The Talking Heads, Joe Jackson, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, The Ramones, Robin Gibb, and so on.

The cast also includes Trini Alvarado and Tim Curry. The first, one of the young talents to take into account of American cinema, debuted in “Rich Kids, a film produced by Robert Altman, directed by Robert M. Young, the author of “Short Eyes” and “Alambrista”. Unfortunately and despite the interest of his work, no one has yet agreed to distribute this full-length film of youth in our country. Returning to Trini, the girl is of Puerto Rican origin, although with a Spanish father. Professionally she started with her parents, he a guitarist and she a dancer, in a flamenco troupe before breaking out as an actress in the play “Runaways”.

Tim Curry is better known to us. From his brief filmography we have at least “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, where he played the protagonist, the crazy transvestite “doctor”.

Robín Johnson, 16, the female co-star with Trini Alvarado, is a totally new face who debuts in this film by Alan Moyle. She was discovered by a scout from the Stigwood production company on the steps of Brooklyn Technological High School. Until then, the idea of working in films had never crossed her mind.

 

 

Times Square : el musical de las “teen-agers” (article (AAT ID: 300048715));
Fotogramas No. 1650, March 25, 1981, Spain (monthly (publication) (AAT ID: 300311879))
30 x 21.5 cm; 64 p. (work);
Fotogramas no 1650 1981-03-25 cover 1080px.jpg
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(images)
 

 

©1981 FOTOGRAMAS
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

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Times Square promotional t-shirt, c. October 1980

Posted on 5th December 2020 in "Times Square"

TIMES SQUARE promotional t-shirtTIMES SQUARE promotional t-shirt, back

 

 

 

Never sold at retail, as far as I can determine, this t-shirt would have been distributed to radio stations and theater owners to be given away as prizes along with free tickets and passes like the buttons were, or perhaps just as gifts for the DJs to make them a bit more inclined to play songs from the soundtrack and maybe mention there was a movie involved, like the mirror had been.

 

 

 

Either way, this was the extent of the Times Square clothing line. I used to have two more of these, both size “small” (and thus impossible for me to even consider wearing), one without the “I’m a damn dog!” on the back. One I gave to a friend, I think, and the other just disappeared over the years. Another friend once told me that she’d found a sweatshirt with these same decorations, but I never saw it for myself.

 

This one is a “large”, and I don’t know if it’s shrunk over the years, or if t-shirt sizes are just more generous than they used to be, but I generally wear a “medium” nowadays and this “large” shirt fits me like a spandex superhero costume. Not completely unflattering, as long as I don’t breathe in or sit down, but bloody difficult to take off without stretching it out of shape.

 

The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed there’s no Robin content in this post. I am 100% certain she never owned one of these, and would never have been caught dead wearing one.

 

 

[TIMES SQUARE promotional t-shirt] (T-shirt AAT ID: 300209903)
black ; cotton ; size Large ; 65 cm long x 42 cm wide
text on front: TIMES SQUARE™ | AFD | ©1980 Associated Film Distribution
text on back: “I’M A DAMN DOg!”
934 px (W) x 1080 px (H), 96 dpi, 235 KB (image of front)
960 px (W) x 1080 px (H), 96 dpi, 268 KB (image of back)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

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Times Square trailer, U.S. version

Posted on 17th October 2020 in "Times Square"
“Words cannot express the sheer unbelievability of this …”

 

I’m nowhere near ready to post this. I wanted to have the best possible picture, and a post that had something a little more weighty to say about it… but it’s the 40th anniversary of Times Square’s general release today, and the 4K Blu-ray we were told was coming hasn’t appeared… so, happy anniversary.

As far as I know, with the exception of a select few people (myself not among them), this hasn’t been seen since Times Square’s initial run on cable TV. Starting about a minute in, it’s a very different edit from the later UK trailer that appeared on the Anchor Bay DVD in 2000. The most important difference is, this one contains the only surviving bit of the legendary lost footage, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it second of Nicky and Pammy splashing in the Hudson River on the Jersey side, with the George Washington Bridge in the background. I vividly remember watching every showing of Times Square on HBO, wondering how I kept missing that scene… it took years to figure out.

This also doesn’t quite match up to my memory of the trailer as I saw it on HBO, so it’s possible there was a special cable edit too… but it’s more likely that my memory of 39 years ago isn’t entirely trustworthy, especially since I’ve established that Times Square wasn’t shown on HBO in 1981. It was on The Movie Channel.

I may upload an improved version of this at some point, with some actual discussion about it. But for now, I give you the American trailer for Times Square:

 

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

comments: 1 » tags: , , ,

Robin Johnson, signing autographs, late 1980

Posted on 17th October 2019 in "Times Square"

Robin Johnson signing autographs, approximately late 1980

 

 

“I’m convinced that if I do this long enough, I’ll have to start laying low in public, to endure the intrusion of strangers asking for autographs. I deeply admire Bette Midler, but I would never dare to ask her for an autograph; I wouldn’t bother her with nonsense like that.”
     — Robin Johnson, August 1981

 

 

 

Okay, this is the last item I’ve yet found dating from Times Square’s theatrical run, which started 39 years ago today.

I’ve been unable to find out anything about the photographer David Loar.

 

 

 

 


[Robin Johnson signing autographs], [approximately October-December 1980] : color slide, AAT ID: 300128366 : 35mm
inscription: [on mount] [printed on screen side:] COLOR TRANSPARENCY
[stamped on view side:] © DAVID LOAR
HOLLYWOOD PHOTO
[handwritten in pen:] Robin Johnson
[3?] (work)
1980_35mm_slide_David_Loar_01_1080px_a.jpg
1080 px (H) x 749 px (W), 96 dpi, 216 kb (image)
 
© David Loar
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Times Square newspaper movie ad negatives, 1980

Posted on 22nd January 2019 in "Times Square"

Exactly what it says on the label – four pieces of black-and-white film apparently used to print newspaper ads with, dating from October 1980 or shortly before.

The seller of these items thought they were for printing posters, but the images are of such low quality, and black-and-white, that even though they don’t quite match up to any of the ads offered in the American campaign pressbook, they’re obviously made for newspaper use. They look pretty good here, though:

The first is just the film’s title; the second adds Trini and Robin’s faces from the poster, side-by-side; the third uses the image from the poster including Tim Curry on Nicky’s badge; and the fourth reproduces almost the entire poster. You can tell they’re American ads, produced fairly early on, since on the second-largest, Tim Curry is given top billing (as he has in the movie) and Robin, although pictured, isn’t mentioned. As we’ve seen, by the time the film had passed through Europe towards the Pacific, Robin had become the first name associated with it.

 

Negative of newspaper ad for TIMES SQUARE (1980).  Text:  In the heart of Times Square a poor girl be- comes famous, a rich girl beomes courageous and both become friends.  TIMES SQUARE  ROBERT STIGWOOD Presents "TIMES SQUARE" Starring TIM CURRY · TRINI ALVARADO Also Starring PETER COFFIELD · HERBERT BERGHOF · DAVID MARGULIES And Introducing ROBIN JOHNSON AFD™ RSO® Associated Film Distribution R

 

 

[ Four Times Square newspaper advertisement negatives
USA : black-and-white negatives : AAT ID: 300128343 : 1.9 x 9.6 cm.; 4.4 x 9.9 cm.; 8.4 x 9.8 cm.; 13 x 9.8 cm. : 1980 (works);

Times_Square_newspaper_ad_negatives_unreversed.jpg
946 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 425 kb
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1080 x 778 px, 96 dpi, 374 kb
Times_Square_newspaper_ad_negative_4_of_4_negative.jpg
1080 x 769 px, 96 dpi, 380 kb

 
photos ©2019 Sean Rockoff
 
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Bravo, No. 21, Germany, May 19, 1982

Posted on 9th January 2019 in "Times Square"
Bravo No. 21, May 19, 1982, German pop culture magazine
Article promoting TIMES SQUARE in Bravo No. 21, May 19, 1982, a German pop culture magazine. Text: Jetzt im Kino: TIMES SQUARE IHR KONNT UNS ALLE MAL Ein irrer Film mit heißer Musik über die ausgeflipptesten Teenager von New York Die 16jährige Nicky Marotta (Robin Johnson) und die 13jährige Pamela Pearl (Trini Alvarado) liegen zusammen im Zimmer eines New Yorker Krankenhauses. Beide sollen auf ihren Geisteszustand untersucht werden. Nicky, weil sie eine notorische Streunerin ist; Pamela, weil ihr Vater, ein ehrgeiziger Politiker, mit ihr nicht mehr klarkommt. Eines Tages überredet Nicky Pamela zur Flucht. Im Nachthemd entwischen sie aus dem Krankenhaus, schnappen sich einen Krankenwagen und brausen los. In einem alten Schuppen am Times Square, einem der berühmtesten und berüchtigtsten Plätze New Yorks, finden sie Unterschlupf. So beginnt der Film „Times Square“ (in Deutschland hat er noch den Untertitel „Ihr könnt uns alle mal“). Die beiden Mädchen finden ihr „freies“ Leben herrlich. Sie tragen die ausgefallensten Klamotten, hören pausenlos heiße Musik und jobben abends in einer Kneipe. Nicky, die gut Gitarre spielt, singt mit einer Band,| Pamela arbeitet als Go-go-Girl. Natürlich hat Pamelas Vater alle Hebel in Bewegung gesetzt, um seine Tochter zu finden. In den Fall hat sich auch der beliebte Discjockey Johnny LaGuardian (Tim Curry, der Dr. Frank N. Furter aus der „Rocky Horror Picture Show“) eingeschaltet. Er ist so eine Art Thomas Gottschalk. Ihm vertrauen die Teens, wenn er täglich am Mikrofon zu ihnen spricht. Johnny findet die beiden und verspricht, ihnen zu helfen. So dürfen die Mädchen ein von Nicky komponiertes Lied über den Sender singen. Die jugendlichen Hörer sind begeistert. Johnny erzählt ihnen die Geschichte der beiden Ausreißerinnen. Nicky und Pamela werden auf ihre Art zu „Heldinnen“. Einer der Höhepunkte des Films ist die Aufforderung von Nicky und Pamela, dem Götzen „Fernsehen“ abzuschwören. Und Hunderte machen mit: Zum Entsetzen der Eltern werfen die Teenager die Fernseh-Apparate einfach auf die Straße. Doch die beiden Mädchen sehen bald ein, daß ihr Leben so nicht mehr weiterlaufen kann. Und wieder erweist sich der Discjockey Johnny als Retter. Er organisiert für Nicky ein Konzert auf dem Dach eines Kinos. Aus allen Richtungen New Yorks strömen die Kids in gleicher Aufmachung wie Nicky und Pamela zum Times Square. Das Konzert, obwohl von der Polizei nicht genehmigt, wird ein Riesenerfolg. Nicky ist ihrem Traum, ein Rock- Star zu werden, nähergekommen. Pamela kehrt zu ihrem Vater, der eingesehen hat, daß auch er viele Fehler gemacht hat, zurück. Die beiden Hauptdarstellerinnen sind Neulinge. Nicky (Robin Johnson) wurde von der Schule weg engagiert, Pamela (Trini Alvarado) drehte bereits einen Film. Toll natürlich Tim Curry. Die Musik stammt unter anderem von Suzi Quatro, Pretenders, Roxy Music, Gary Numan, XTC, Ramones und Robin Gibb von den Bee Gees. Text: Peter Raschner Auf dem Dach eines Kinos gibt Nicky ihr erstes, umjubeltes Rock-Konzert Wutenbrannt stürzt sich Pamelas Vater auf Disc-jockey Johnny Die 13jährige Pamela Pearl jobbt als Go-go-Girl, nachdem sie zu Hause ausgerissen ist Nicky (rechts) und Pamela träumen von einer Rock-Karriere -- Disc-Jockey Johnny (rechts) hilft ihnen dabei Nicky und Pamela auf dem Times Square. Sie sind in dieser Gegend bekannt wie bunte Hunde

May 1982, and Times Square was about to have its final premiere, in West Germany. Why did it take this long, over a year and a half after its initial premiere, and a year after the rest of Europe had seen it? I have no idea. But someone still had hope for the movie, as shown by the two-page spread in Bravo, featuring the same sort of excited plot synopsis published in Filmstar No. 3, Sonido No. 56 and Film Review Vol. 31 No. 2.

 

 

 

The big picture across the two pages was last seen in the February 1981 Movie 81 and on the Japanese movie poster. The picture on the top left of page 34 was the top middle image on the Mexican movie poster. The center photo on page 34, of Mr. Pearl attacking Johnny, is I think making its first appearance here. We last saw the bottom photo in the Japanese souvenir program book and flyer, and on a British lobby card. On page 35, the shot of Johnny at the mic was also a British lobby card, and appeared in Movie 81. And the bottom photo was also a British lobby card, last seen in Joepie No. 365 in March 1981, and first seen in the “Robert Stigwood Presents Times Square” folder from sometime in 1980 well before the movie’s release.

Here’s the text by Peter Rauscher in German, followed by my attempt at a translation.

Jetzt im Kino: TIMES SQUARE
IHR KONNT UNS ALLE MAL

Ein irrer Film mit heißer
Musik über die ausgeflipptesten
Teenager von New York

Die 16jährige Nicky Marotta (Robin Johnson) und die 13jährige Pamela Pearl (Trini Alvarado) liegen zusammen im Zimmer eines New Yorker Krankenhauses. Beide sollen auf ihren Geisteszustand untersucht werden. Nicky, weil sie eine notorische Streunerin ist; Pamela, weil ihr Vater, ein ehrgeiziger Politiker, mit ihr nicht mehr klarkommt.

Eines Tages überredet Nicky Pamela zur Flucht. Im Nachthemd entwischen sie aus dem Krankenhaus, schnappen sich einen Krankenwagen und brausen los. In einem alten Schuppen am Times Square, einem der berühmtesten und berüchtigtsten Plätze New Yorks, finden sie Unterschlupf.

So beginnt der Film „Times Square“ (in Deutschland hat er noch den Untertitel „Ihr könnt uns alle mal“). Die beiden Mädchen finden ihr „freies“ Leben herrlich. Sie tragen die ausgefallensten Klamotten, hören pausenlos heiße Musik und jobben abends in einer Kneipe. Nicky, die gut Gitarre spielt, singt mit einer Band,| Pamela arbeitet als Go-go-Girl.

Natürlich hat Pamelas Vater alle Hebel in Bewegung gesetzt, um seine Tochter zu finden. In den Fall hat sich auch der beliebte Discjockey Johnny LaGuardian (Tim Curry, der Dr. Frank N. Furter aus der „Rocky Horror Picture Show“) eingeschaltet. Er ist so eine Art Thomas Gottschalk. Ihm vertrauen die Teens, wenn er täglich am Mikrofon zu ihnen spricht.

Johnny findet die beiden und verspricht, ihnen zu helfen. So dürfen die Mädchen ein von Nicky komponiertes Lied über den Sender singen. Die jugendlichen Hörer sind begeistert. Johnny erzählt ihnen die Geschichte der beiden Ausreißerinnen.

Nicky und Pamela werden auf ihre Art zu „Heldinnen“. Einer der Höhepunkte des Films ist die Aufforderung von Nicky und Pamela, dem Götzen „Fernsehen“ abzuschwören. Und Hunderte machen mit: Zum Entsetzen der Eltern werfen die Teenager die Fernseh-Apparate einfach auf die Straße.

Doch die beiden Mädchen sehen bald ein, daß ihr Leben so nicht mehr weiterlaufen kann. Und wieder erweist sich der Discjockey Johnny als Retter. Er organisiert für Nicky ein Konzert auf dem Dach eines Kinos.

Aus allen Richtungen New Yorks strömen die Kids in gleicher Aufmachung wie Nicky und Pamela zum Times Square. Das Konzert, obwohl von der Polizei nicht genehmigt, wird ein Riesenerfolg. Nicky ist ihrem Traum, ein Rock- Star zu werden, nähergekommen.

Pamela kehrt zu ihrem Vater, der eingesehen hat, daß auch er viele Fehler gemacht hat, zurück.

Die beiden Hauptdarstellerinnen sind Neulinge. Nicky (Robin Johnson) wurde von der Schule weg engagiert, Pamela (Trini Alvarado) drehte bereits einen Film. Toll natürlich Tim Curry. Die Musik stammt unter anderem von Suzi Quatro, Pretenders, Roxy Music, Gary Numan, XTC, Ramones und Robin Gibb von den Bee Gees.

Text: Peter Raschner

Auf dem Dach eines Kinos gibt Nicky ihr erstes, umjubeltes Rock-Konzert

Wutenbrannt stürzt sich Pamelas Vater auf Disc-jockey Johnny

Die 13jährige Pamela Pearl jobbt als Go-go-Girl, nachdem sie zu Hause ausgerissen ist

Nicky (rechts) und Pamela träumen von einer Rock-Karriere — Disc-Jockey Johnny (rechts) hilft ihnen dabei

Nicky und Pamela auf dem Times Square. Sie sind in dieser Gegend bekannt wie bunte Hunde

In theaters now: TIMES SQUARE
YOU CAN ALL (KISS OUR ASSES)

A crazy film with hot
music about the freaky
teenagers of New York

16-year-old Nicky Marotta (Robin Johnson) and 13-year-old Pamela Pearl (Trini Alvarado) lie together in the room of a New York hospital. Both to have their mental health examined. Nicky because she is a notorious stray; Pamela because her father, an ambitious politician, can’t handle her any more.

One day Nicky persuades Pamela to escape. In their nightgowns they escape from the hospital, steal themselves an ambulance and zoom off. In an old shack in Times Square, one of the most famous and most notorious places in New York, they find shelter.

So begins the film “Times Square” (in Germany it also has the subtitle “You can all […] our […]”). Both girls find their “free” life wonderful. They wear outrageous clothes, listen to hot music nonstop and in the evening work in a bar. Nicky, who plays guitar well, sings with a band; Pamela works as a go-go girl.

Naturally Pamela’s father has pulled out all the stops to find his daughter. On this case the popular disc jockey Johnny LaGuardian (Tim Curry, Dr. Frank N. Furter from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”) is also involved. He is a Thomas Gottschalk type. The teens trust him when he speaks daily through the microphone to them.

Johnny finds them both and promises to help them. So the girls sing a song composed by Nicky over the radio. The young listeners are inspired. Johnny tells them the story of the runaways.

Nicky and Pamela become in their own way “heroines.” One of the highlights of the film is the call of Nicky and Pamela to renounce the idol “television.” And hundreds join in: to the horror of their parents the teenagers simply throw their television sets to the street. But both girls soon see that their life cannot continue this way. And again Johnny the disc jockey comes to the rescue. He organizes a concert on the roof of a cinema for Nicky.

The Kids stream from all areas of New York to Times Square in outfits identical to Nicky and Pamela. The concert, although not authorized by the police, becomes a huge success. Nicky has come closer to her dream to become a rock star.

Pamela returns to her father who has realized that he also has made many mistakes.

Both leading actresses are newcomers. Nicky (Robin Johnson) was hired away from her school, Pamela (Trini Alvarado) previously made a film. Of course Tim Curry is terrific. The music is by, among others, Suzi Quatro, Pretenders, Roxy Music, Gary Numan, XTC, Ramones and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.

Text: Peter Raschner

On the roof of a cinema Nicky gives her first rock concert performance

Pamela’s father falls furiously on disc jockey Johnny

13-year-old Pamela Pearl works as a go-go girl, after she has run away from home

Nicky (right) and Pamela dream of a rock career – disc jockey Johnny helps (right) them at it

Nicky and Pamela in Times Square. They are known in this neighborhood as colorful dogs

I think that last caption might be better translated as “they are well known to the locals,” but I had a hard enough time rendering the German subtitle into colloquial and printable English.  

Would you like to know more?

Movie 81 No. 2, February 1981
Times Square movie poster, Japan, June 1981
Guerreras de Nueva York (Times Square movie poster, Mexico, 1981)
Times Square Program Book, Japan, June 1981, pages 14-19 (post 3 of 5)
U.K. Lobby Cards (post 2 of 3)
U.K. Lobby Cards (post 1 of 3)
Joepie, No. 365, March 15, 1981
Times Square Press Folder

 
 
Bravo No. 21, May 19, 1982, Germany (monthly (publication) (AAT ID: 300311879))
28 x 21.1 cm. (work);
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Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+
 

Times Square Hits US Cable TV, October 1981

Posted on 15th December 2018 in "Times Square"

Robin Johnson's head shot for TIMES SQUARE, in costume as Nicky Marotta, photographed by Yoram Kahana, printed in 1981 for the film's showings on The Movie Channel. Text: THE MOVIE CHANNEL ROBIN JOHNSON is an uninhibited product of the streets who sets New York City on edge as a wild runaway from authority in "Times Square." See it in October on THE MOVIE CHANNEL.

ROBIN JOHNSON is an uninhibited product of the streets who sets New York City on edge as a wild runaway from authority in “Times Square.” See it in October on THE MOVIE CHANNEL.

 

A year after its brief run in theaters, Times Square made it to HBO, and I watched it every single time it ran. This was before my family had a VCR, but my dad had access to a Sony Porta-Pak open-reel video recorder, and I recorded the movie across four reels, during four broadcasts, in glorious black-and-white, and watched it many times over the next few years, until I went off to college and the Porta-Pak went back to wherever it came from. I do still have the reels, but nothing to play them them on, assuming there’s still a signal on them. There’s a slim possibility that the American trailer is also on one of those reels: it was used to promote the movie on HBO, and I remember poring over the movie every time I saw it wondering how I kept missing the scene where Nicky and Pammy were splashing each other in the river.

The only thing inaccurate about the above is, although I and everybody else I’ve spoken to who also watched those cable screenings remember vividly that it was on HBO, the only evidence I’ve ever found indicates that it was actually The Movie Channel. And so far, I’m also the only one willing to admit that my memory may be faulty on that one detail. Times Square fans can be obstinate.

This photo is TS-57-26/1 from the US Press Material folder, with The Movie Channel’s logo replacing AFD’s on the now slightly expanded white border. The caption is edited from the one supplied with that photo, over a year before. After all the variants and previously unseen promotional photos that came out as Times Square was released around the world, its television debut was promoted with one of the first shots ever released.

 

 

[TS-57-26 Movie Channel variant]
black-and-white photograph, AAT ID: 300128347
US, 1981 ; 8″ x 10″ (work)
1981-10 Head shot Movie Channel variant_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 865 px (W), 96 dpi, 345 kb (image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Filmstar, Vol. 1 No. 6, Thailand, October 1981

Posted on 3rd December 2018 in "Times Square"

Cover of a movie magazine from Thailand containing article on Robin Johnson  Text:  Fortnightly Friend of the Film Buff  FILMSTAR Volume 1 No. 6 / October 1, 1981  Special A new Bond girl FOR YOUR EYES ONLY  Free Color Poster  12.

 

 

 

 

I would think that by October of 1981, a year after its initial release in New York, and two or three months after its Thai release, Times Square would have long since closed in Thailand and become a distant memory. But that didn’t stop Filmstar magazine from running an article promoting Robin herself, very much like the interviews with Robin published during her publicity tour nine months previous.

ROBIN JOHNSON
A quick-witted likeable young lady

Do you still remember Nicky, a quick witted rebelliously likable young girl from Times Square? If you are also someone who fell in love with that Nicky, here is a tiny reminiscence that she is happy to share. Even though it is not going to be as exciting as in the film, I bet you wouldn’t mind learning from her.

Nicky is Robin Johnson, 17 year old teenager from Brooklyn. Her accent is clearly a unique and gravelly Brooklynese when she speaks. When we met her, Robin Johnson’s hair was still chopped in a shaggy cut. “It would be too expensive to go to a beauty shop and have it stripped out.” she says, “And it would take hours. I’ll just wait till it grows back in the real way.”

Robin still remembers the role of Nicky so well even though a year has passed by. She and Trini Alvarado are friends on and off screen. Trini wants to be a song-writer. Robin, a rock singer — finally, she does give a street concert in Times Square.

“I love rock.” Robin says. “Van Halen. Led Zeppelin. Music makes you feel good — and sometimes sad. I remember the song called Damn Dog so well. It’s not punk. I hate punk music, the real punk that comes from England—The Clash. Sex Pistols. They’re maniacs: they want to die. I don’t mind New Wave so much. It has the same kind of roots, but it’s mellower.”

Robin starts to giggle when she thinks about one scene in the movie. “I’m really very wild-looking. I wear a mask like the Lone Ranger and a blue turtleneck sweater with blue glitter tights and a plastic-garbage-bag belt!”

Acting in the film was the first job Robin ever had. “That matures you. learning how to work and deal with people. Being street-smart helps in making a movie. There are certain rules you pick up— when to keep your mouth shut, when to do certain things. It’s like being in a different neighborhood — some people might give you a hassle, but if they do. you should keep your mouth shut, even if you get mad, and just walk the other way and get out of there. I learned responsibility. You become more considerate. I liked everybody I worked with except two out of a hundred. One woman really gave me a fit — she was such a big complainer. she must have gotten a B.A. in complaining! After a while. I just avoided her except when I absolutely had to work with her. ‘What am I going to get upset for?’ I asked myself. ‘I’m the one you see on the screen.’”

Robin goes to Brooklyn Tech high school. “I never get along with my teachers,” she says. “I’m rebellious. I don’t like people in authority.”

Robin remembered a casting scout, who arranged for Robin to go to an audition in Manhattan. That audition feels like it wrecks her brains. Back then, in her head she thought “I just wanted to go home to sleep but my friend Cindi was with me, and she says. ‘No. no. no. you’ve got to go. “I had to fill out a sheet with height, weight, eye color, hair color—stuff like that. Then, they’re putting me on tape, inside the studio room I was sitting there like a dummy and read the script. I don’t know why they have chosen me but I got a part in Times Square.”

“It’s a nice feeling to be picked out of so many.” Robin says. “People call me a natural talent, but what I say to that is that the character I play is very close to me so that my actions are natural. It’s easy to play someone like yourself.”

Around her neck, she wears a couple of gold chains. One has her birth sign. Gemini, dangling from it; the other, a tiny round gold circle, contains a diamond chip. “Trini and I were given diamonds by the crew at a party when the movie was finished,” Robin explains, her eyes wide. “When I saw the Tiffany bag it came in. I said. ‘My God!’ I put it on, and I haven’t taken it off since.”

I managed to have this article translated professionally by Joy Busai (whose website, www.thaienglishhq.com, unfortunately seems to be down at the moment), and she noticed that it seemed itself to be an almost word-for-word translation into Thai of Robin’s interview in Seventeen Magazine from October 1980. While it got me a discount on the translation, it was something of a disappointment to find that one of the last contemporary Times Square articles contained absolutely nothing new.

Photo roundup: Page 40 is cropped from the image used most prominently for a UK lobby card.

Bottom left on p. 41 is the shot published in Playboy, Vol. 28 No. 1, January 1981. Top to bottom at right: a shot of the final concert previously used on the UK soundtrack sampler; Nicky cutting Pammy’s hand, with a boom microphone front and center, as seen in the Japanese souvenir program book; a previously-unpublished, as far as I know, full frame from the film showing the extra empty space at the top; and a shot of Robin as Nicky that accompanied her October 1980 interview in Seventeen, which itself was translated into Thai in the issue of Filmstar three months before this one.

Page 41, top left, is the Yoram Kahana shot that first appeared, again as far as I know, in Movie 81 No. 2. Directly below is UK publicity still 21. Below that, captioned “ROBIN”, is TS-69-34A/4. To its right is a shot taken within seconds of the UK lobby card but itself seems to be making its first appearance here. To the right is TS-82-30/4, and finally at the bottom right is another frame from the film with extra space at the top and bottom.

See also:

U.K. Lobby Cards (post 1 of 3)
UK Promo Photos 4, 13, and 21, 1980-81
Times Square Press Material folder (post 4 of 5)
U.K. Lobby Cards (post 3 of 3)
Times Square Press Material folder (post 5 of 5)

 

 

Times Square (article, AAT ID: 300048715)
Filmstar Vol. 1 No. 6, 1 October 1981, pp. 40-42 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389)
25.9 x 18.9 cm. (work);
Filmstar_v1_n6_19811001_p 01_layers_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 795 px (W), 96 dpi, 490 kb
Filmstar_v1_n6_19811001_p 40_layers_1080px.jpg
235 px (H) x 776 px (W), 96 dpi, 458 kb
Filmstar_v1_n6_19811001_p 41_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 782 px (W), 96 dpi, 515 kb
Filmstar_v1_n6_19811001_p 42_1080px.jpg
688 px (H) x 774 px (W), 96 dpi, 479 kb
(images)
 

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Filmstar, Vol 1 No. 3, Thailand, August 1981

Posted on 9th November 2018 in "Times Square"

Cover of movie magazine from Thailand with article about TIMES SQUARE (1980)

 

 

 

By August 1981, Robin might already have figured out that neither she nor Andy Gibb were going to get a call telling them when to report to the Grease 2 set. Most of the world had already forgotten about Times Square. But it wasn’t quite over yet.

 

Thailand’s Filmstar magazine devoted four pages and the back cover to the upcoming release of Times Square. I tried and failed to get a professional translation of the article. Google Translate makes nearly as bad a hash of Thai as it does Japanese, but from what I can make out, this is a purely promotional article summarizing the plot, like the articles in Sonido No. 56 and Film Review Vol. 31 No. 2.

 

The caption and drawing on page 63, the first page of the article, are from the European movie poster, and the photo of Pammy and Nicky is TS-72-8A/14, the most-used photo of the girls together.

The image from the poster also appears on page 64, above UK Press Kit photo #4 of Tim Curry. The large photo of Robin, as far as I know, made its first appearance here. As she’s looking directly into the camera, I suspect it was taken at the same time as this pre-take shot, but since the background is cut out there’s just as good a chance it was taken at Pier 56.

The large image of Trini on page 65 looks to be from the same origin as that photo of Robin. Based on what I can make out of the lighting, I tend to think it’s from the outside location. It’s the only photo I’ve seen of Trini in that costume where she isn’t holding the boom box. The inset of the cops pushing Nicky into the back seat is another previously, and as far as I know, otherwise unpublished publicity still. The only matching shots in the film are from the opposite side of the car, and the film camera’s setup from this reverse angle is several feet to the left.

The shot of Robin as Nicky as Aggie Doone singing “Damn Dog” in the Cleo Club is yet another photo making its first appearance. But not its last… there’s a slightly better version yet to come.

So, amazingly, the Times Square publicity campaign was nearing its end, yet the places it was being published were being furnished with new material, despite it being highly unlikely that the local audiences would have seen any of the already-used photos. Unless, perhaps, the EMI/AFD publicity departments had decided that what they’d been doing was failing, and if they could only find the right photos, they could turn Times Square into a hit in the next country…

The back cover of Filmstar was a reproduction of the collage first published in Screen International No. 246 in June 1980 and used in February 1981 as the Australian movie poster, with the addition of Robin’s name in English. If there’s one thing all the local contemporary film publicity outlets agreed on, it’s that Robin herself was the most marketable aspect of the movie.
 

TIMES SQUARE Robin Johnson poster on the back cover of a movie magazine from Thailand

Posts mentioned above but not linked to:

Times Square Press Material folder (post 4 of 5)
Times Square UK Press Kit (post 2 of 4)
On Location
Times Square Program Book, Japan, June 1981, pages 20-24 (post 4 of 5)
Times Square Australian Daybill

 

 

Times Square (article, AAT ID: 300048715)
Filmstar Vol. 1 No. 3, 15 August 1981, pp. 63-66 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389)
25.9 x 18.9 cm. (work);
Filmstar Vol 1 No 3_front_cover_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 789 px (W), 96 dpi, 553 kb
Filmstar Vol 1 No 3_p63_1080px_2.jpg
235 px (H) x 787 px (W), 96 dpi, 474 kb
Filmstar Vol 1 No 3_p64_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 774 px (W), 96 dpi, 428 kb
Filmstar Vol 1 No 3_p66_1080px.jpg
688 px (H) x 771 px (W), 96 dpi, 514 kb
Filmstar Vol 1 No 3_back_cover_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 777 px (W), 96 dpi, 679 kb
(images)
 

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

More stills from the UK series

Posted on 28th October 2018 in "Times Square"

TIMES SQUARE (1980) publicity still, black and white 8"x10", #41 from the UK series  Text:  [on front:] 41  [on back:] [stamp:]  TIMES SQUARE  [in Hebrew and English] STILLER FILM LTD. L.A. [illegible] PHONES [illegible] TEL-AVIV  [handwritten]  [Times Square) [in Hebrew]  41  (41?) [in Hebrew?]

 

I nearly passed over this lot of five black and white stills, except it had one photo I’d never seen. Rather than try to haggle for just the one photo, I bought the lot, and I’m glad I did, because they’re all from the UK series, three of them were new numbers, and the others are slightly different again from the previous copies I have.

 

This shot is number 41, and the highest number I’ve yet found. (I have 18 of them.) It’s the one I thought I’d never seen, but I was wrong: it was published on the back of the “Times Square Trailer” UK soundtrack sampler record sleeve.

 

The other four are numbers 20, 23, 34, and 40.

 

 

All five have borders, where most of the series are printed full-bleed, all the way to the edges. Number 20 is the third copy and the third variant I’ve found. The first had the number printed to the right, against the grey background. The second was cropped more generously at the bottom, and had the number against the black of Nicky’s coat, but cut off at the bottom.. This one is cropped like that second version, and has the number in almost the same place, but up a few millimeters so it can be seen clearly. It also looks like it’s the exact same number stuck on the print – the handwriting looks identical in all three. I suppose this is obvious to anyone who works in movie promotion, but I am not one of those people — it would seem that whenever they needed more copies of an image, they dug out the negative, stuck on the number, and ran off a few prints, and every run ended up slightly different from every other.

 

Number 23 is TS-82-30/4, but cropped more generously at the top and bottom and more narrowly on the left and right. Number 34 is a second copy of the first photo I ever found from this series, but it’s printed much lighter, washing out Pammy’s face, and the number has moved from just to the left of the neon “Q” in “TIMES SQUARE” to inside the curve at the right. And number 40 is TS-42-11A/2, printed lighter with higher contrast, and cropped more generously at the left and bottom. Although it seems obvious now, seeing this is the first time I’ve realized that this shot, along with this one and this one, were taken as Robin was kneeling on top of the theater marquee, and the blurred lights behind her are the street below.

TIMES SQUARE (1980) publicity still, black and white 8"x10", from the UK series  Text:  [on front:] 23  [on back:] [stamp:]  TIMES SQUARE  [in Hebrew and English] STILLER FILM LTD. L.A. [illegible] PHONES [illegible] TEL-AVIV  [handwritten]  [Times Square) [in Hebrew]  (photo number?)

 

These prints were distributed in Israel by Stiller Film Ltd., whose partially visible stamp on their backs indicates that they had a local office in Tel Aviv. The prints also have the TIMES SQUARE stamp found on the backs of many, but not all, of the UK series, and what I believe is Times Square in handwritten Hebrew.

 

Pages referred to but not linked directly above:

Times Square Press Material folder (post 5 of 5)
Blast from the Past
Times Square Blue
Times Square UK Press Kit (post 4 of 4)
UK Promo Photo #29

 

 

20
black-and-white photograph, AAT ID: 300128347
UK ; 8″ x 10″ (work)
UK still 20_1080px.jpg
863 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 362 kb (image)

23
black-and-white photograph, AAT ID: 300128347
UK ; 8″ x 10″ (work)
UK still 23_1080px.jpg
867 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 353 kb (image)

UK still 23 back b_1080px.jpg
860 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 169 kb (image)

34
black-and-white photograph, AAT ID: 300128347
UK ; 8″ x 10″ (work)
UK still 34_1080px.jpg
865 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 374 kb (image)

40
black-and-white photograph, AAT ID: 300128347
UK ; 10″ x 8″ (work)
UK still 40_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 864 px (W), 96 dpi, 309 kb (image)

41
black-and-white photograph, AAT ID: 300128347
UK ; 8″ x 10″ (work)
UK still 41_1080px.jpg
868 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 331 kb (image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+