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

Posted on 3rd December 2018 in "Times Square"
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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+

 

Times Square movie poster, Thailand, 1981

Posted on 21st November 2018 in "Times Square"
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TIMES SQUARE movie poster from Thailand, 1981. Possibly unauthorized.  Text (translated from Thai):  ONE GIRL GROWS TOUGH, ANOTHER BECOMES COURAGEOUS THESE TWO JOIN TOGETHER TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF THEIR REBELLIOUS LIVES         Presented by  Oriental Artist Treasury of Entertainment  ROBIN JOHNSON TRINI ALVARADO TIM CURRY  TIMES SQUARE ‘TWO’  NOW BEING SHOWN AT                                      ON  (Flyer inserts in the newspaper today) Printed in Thailand by The Siam Offset Co., Ltd. Tel 2860359 By Surat Pukkavesh, Printer/Advertiser               2864074

 

 

 

Movie posters in Thailand are an art form unto themselves. Google “Thai movie posters” and you will go down a rabbit hole you may take days to emerge from. Thai film distributors discard the authorized promotional materials and commission original painted montages in glorious colors. Some of the pages I looked at seemed to say that this practice ended in the 1990s… if so, we are all the poorer for it. But luckily for us, Times Square got the Thai treatment in 1981. The artist went a little heavy on Nicky’s eye shadow, but I can forgive this since the overall poster is so spectacular.

 

 

Unlike the Japanese materials I posted earlier, I hired a translator for the Thai items: Joy Busai at Thai English Headquarters — I can’t recommend her highly enough. (Although, her website seems to be down now, and my attempts to contact her to translate the article in my previous post went unanswered.) Here’s what the poster says in English:

 

ONE GIRL GROWS TOUGH, ANOTHER BECOMES COURAGEOUS
THESE TWO JOIN TOGETHER TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF THEIR REBELLIOUS LIVES

Presented by
Oriental Artist
Treasury of Entertainment

ROBIN JOHNSON
TRINI ALVARADO
TIM CURRY

TIMES SQUARE
‘TWO’

NOW SHOWING AT _____ ON _____

(Flyer inserts in the newspaper today)
Printed in Thailand by The Siam Offset Co., Ltd. Tel 2860359
By Surat Pukkavesh, Printer/Advertiser 2864074

The only thing missing is the artist’s name. I think that’s a signature there in the lower right, but I’m not sure.

As in Mexico, Robin again gets top billing, and Tim Curry third. The Thai promoters may have been the first to have the insight that led them to give Times Square the secondary title, “Two”.

 

 

Times Square : “Two”
Thailand : poster : AAT ID: 300027221 : 77.9 x 55.7 cm : 1981 (work);
Times_Square_movie_poster_Thailand_1981_1080px.jpg
773 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 555 kb (image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

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

Posted on 9th November 2018 in "Times Square"
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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+