“6”

Posted on 24th March 2017 in "Times Square"
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Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta during the filming of TIMES SQUARE (1980). The number and the stamp on the back imply that it was part of the UK Press Kit. The caption for photo 6 in the Press Kit reads:   15-year-old screen newcomer ROBIN JOHNSON stars as Nicky Marotta, a street-wise young runaway who, thanks to a radio DJ's patronage, is able to fulfil her fantasies of becoming a star of the "new wave".

6/7/8. 15-year-old screen newcomer ROBIN JOHNSON stars as Nicky Marotta, a street-wise young runaway who, thanks to a radio DJ’s patronage, is able to fulfil her fantasies of becoming a star of the “new wave”.

 

 

This, I believe, is one of the photos missing from my copy of the UK Press Kit. The photo caption sheet in the press kit lists photos 6, 7, and 8 as pictures of Robin all with the same caption, and my copy only has a 7 and 8. This photo has a tiny “6” inset on the front, and the back has the same black “TIMES SQUARE” stamp as the Press Kit photos. Add in the fact that this came from a memorabilia dealer in England, and I’m satisfied that it was originally part of the Press Kit package.

 

It’s the same image as TS-69-34A/4 from the US Press Material folder, printed with higher contrast and thus losing some detail, but cropped differently so it shows a little more of the area around Robin. We can now see Trini’s arm, the bottom of the guitar, and not quite enough more of the headstock to be sure whether this was before or after the “Rickenbacker” nameplate was removed. The same image was also used by ITC to promote the film, that one being cropped even closer.

 

 

[Times Square UK Press Kit photo 6]
black and white photographic print, 25.3 x 20.2 cm. (work);
1080 px (H) x 865 px (W), 96 dpi, 334 kb (image)

1980
inscription: [front] 6
[back:] [stamped, black:] TIMES SQUARE
[handwritten:] Robin Johnson | 96 | 429

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

New Musical Express, 24 January 1981

Posted on 13th March 2017 in "Times Square"
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Cover of NME 24-1-1981, featuring The Jam.  Issue has a review of "Times Square" on pp 14-15.

 

“No, this won’t do.”

 

Monty Smith’s review of Times Square is true to form, giving some light praise to Robin’s and Trini’s performances while tearing the movie itself to shreds. Although he does sometimes go a bit over the top with a particularly English-flavored cooler-than-thou sneering (“a real stiff for the kids, a would-be ‘punk’ epic, three years too late and twice as tasteless”), he does have a bead on exactly what’s causing the film’s problems (“they seem to have been stymied by the prerequisites of marketing… [that’s] what you get for your double album — sorry, film…”)

Review of TIMES SQUARE in New Muscial Express, 24 January 1981, Edit of Pages 14 and 15.  Text:  Page 14 — New Musical Express 24th January, 1981  In a desperate rebellious gesture, Robin Johnson prepares to plummet to the ground three and a half feet below. Behind the times Times Square Directed by Alan Moyle Starring Robin Johnson, Trini Alvarado and Tim Curry (EMI) SO AFTER Grease and Saturday Night Fever, the Stigwood outfit delivers a real stiff for the kids, a would-be 'punk' epic, three years too late and twice as tasteless. This time around, what you get for your double album — sorry, film — is a couple of teenage tearaways doing a bunk from a New York neurological hospital and setting up a squat by a derelict pier. That they are both eminently suitable cases for treatment seems lost on early-hours DJ Johnny LaGuardia, who takes up their cause. Publicly, he mocks the authorities' feeble attempts to find the two girls; privately, he's grooming them for their fifteen minutes of stardom. The Sleaze Sisters are born! And they're not so bad: Robin Johnson as 16-year-old Nicky Marotta is all foul-mouth and fiery temper ("I'm sure her childhood was a complete disaster but that's not the point," says one typically concerned adult), an abrasive-looking ragamuffin who happens to talk like Jimmy Durante; Trini Alvarado as 13-year-old Pamela Pearl is all capped-teeth and catatonic trances (she's the well brought-up one who keeps a diary), an angelic-featured kewpie-doll who could pass for the Mona Lisa's daughter. Believe it or not, they go together well. But Times Square falls apart as soon as Nicky and Pam hit the streets of the city so nice they named it twice. It's all very well plumping for life over TV, vitality over manners and slime over plastic, but I don't think the various pimps, winos, prostitutes and junkies they rub shoulders with would put too much faith in credentials as limp as these. And as for Tim Curry's extraordinary performance as DJ La Guardia ... the hoots of derision that greeted his every solemn utterance, his every knit of brow and pout of lip (denoting his concern for the girls' welfare), could not have been much less loud than those at the opening night of O'Toole's Macbeth. No, this won't do. The writer and director have both before been involved in 'proper' films (The King Of Marvin Gardens, Days Of Heaven, Outrageous, Montreal Main) but here they seem to have been stymied by the prerequisites of marketing. Not only with the soundtrack — and by all means chuck in songs as incongruous as those by Gary Numan and the Ruts, but Talking Heads' 'Life During Wartime' sits mighty uneasily with the feeble on-screen fairy tale — also with the risible climax in which scores of Sleaze Sister lookalikes emerge, lemming-style, from the surburbs for a free midnight gig, man: "We are one minute from history," says LaGuardia, and we all broke up again. Honestly, it's just like The Brady Bunch, but with swear words and a few chewns. Monty Smith

Behind the times

Times Square
Directed by Alan Moyle
Starring Robin Johnson,
Trini Alvarado and Tim Curry
(EMI)

SO AFTER Grease and Saturday Night Fever, the Stigwood outfit delivers a real stiff for the kids, a would-be ‘punk’ epic, three years too late and twice as tasteless.

This time around, what you get for your double album — sorry, film — is a couple of teenage tearaways doing a bunk from a New York neurological hospital and setting up a squat by a derelict pier. That they are both eminently suitable cases for treatment seems lost on early-hours DJ Johnny LaGuardia, who takes up their cause. Publicly, he mocks the authorities’ feeble attempts to find the two girls; privately, he’s grooming them for their fifteen minutes of stardom. The Sleaze Sisters are born!

And they’re not so bad: Robin Johnson as 16-year-old Nicky Marotta is all foul-mouth and fiery temper (“I’m sure her childhood was a complete disaster but that’s not the point,” says one typically concerned adult), an abrasive-looking ragamuffin who happens to talk like Jimmy Durante; Trini Alvarado as 13-year-old Pamela Pearl is all capped-teeth and catatonic trances (she’s the well brought-up one who keeps a diary), an angelic-featured kewpie-doll who could pass for the Mona Lisa’s daughter. Believe it or not, they go together well.

But Times Square falls apart as soon as Nicky and Pam hit the streets of the city so nice they named it twice. It’s all very well plumping for life over TV, vitality over manners and slime over plastic, but l don’t think the various pimps, winos, prostitutes and junkies they rub shoulders with would put too much faith in credentials as limp as these. And as for Tim Curry’s extraordinary performance as DJ La Guardia … the hoots of derision that greeted his every solemn utterance, his every knit of brow and pout of lip (denoting his concern for the girls’ welfare), could not have been much less loud than those at the opening night of O’Toole’s Macbeth.

No, this won’t do. The writer and director have both before been involved in ‘proper’ films (The King Of Marvin Gardens, Days Of Heaven, Outrageous, Montreal Main) but here they seem to have been stymied by the prerequisites of marketing. Not only with the soundtrack — and by all means chuck in songs as incongruous as those by Gary Numan and the Ruts, but Talking Heads’ ‘Life During Wartime’ sits mighty uneasily with the feeble on-screen fairy tale — also with the risible climax in which scores of Sleaze Sister lookalikes emerge, lemming-style, from the surburbs for a free midnight gig, man: “We are one minute from history,” says LaGuardia, and we all broke up again.

Honestly, it’s just like The Brady Bunch, but with swear words and a few chewns.

Monty Smith

The Box Office chart, with listings borrowed from our old friend Screen International, shows (what else?) Flash Gordon at the top.

Photo accompanying review of TIMES SQUARE in New Muscial Express, 24 January 1981, page 14.  Caption: In a desperate rebellious gesture, Robin Johnson prepares to plummet to the ground three and a half feet below.   Text:  Page 14 — New Musical Express 24th January, 1981  I

In a desperate rebellious gesture, Robin Johnson prepares to plummet to the ground three and a half feet below.

 

The photo accompanying the review seems to have been taken at the same time as TS-28-28/7, but as of this writing I don’t believe it appeared anywhere else but here.

 

 

Monty Smith, “Behind the times” (review (document), AAT ID: 300026480)
New Musical Express, January 24, 1981, pp. 14-15 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389)
17 in (H) x 11 in (W) (work);
1981-01-24 TS NME 24 Jan 1981 2012 scan ABBYY 12 – 0001_2_1080px.jpg (cover)
1080 px (H) x 699 px (W), 96 dpi, 437 kb
1981-01-24 TS NME 24 Jan 1981 pp 14-15 edit_1080px.jpg (edit of details from pp. 14 & 15)
1080 px (W) x 994 px (H), 96 dpi, 669 kb
1981-01-24 TS NME 24 Jan 1981image from p 14 800px.jpg (detail p. 14)
800 px (W) x 619 px (H), 96 dpi, 301 kb (images)

 

 

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
Screen_International_No_246_1980-06-21_p1_1080px.jpg
777 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 508 kb
Screen_International_No_246_1980-06-21_pp12-13_1080px.jpg
1080 x 1609 px, 96 dpi, 647 kb (images)

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


 

Record Mirror, January 24, 1981

Posted on 19th February 2017 in "Times Square"
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“All things vaguely sensible suddenly disappear in a puff of smoke.”

Cover of Record Mirror, January 24, 1981 featuring Jane Kennaway, "the voice of 1981"

Page 8 of the Jan. 24, 1981 "Record Mirror," containing a bad review of "Times Square."

 

 

Chris Westwood’s review of Times Square in the January 24, 1981, Record Mirror was sadly typical, finding it an unbelievable melodramatic mess that “tries too many things and pulls none of them off.” He sees some value in Tim Curry’s and Robin’s performances, but they’re not enough to save the film: “Robin Johnson battles aggressively to find some measure of meaning in life and the script… Her potential is possibly great, but it’s held down by ‘Times Square’, which looks as though it’s been made for the sake of making a movie.”

 

Review of "Times Square" from page 8 of the Jan. 24, 1981 "Record Mirror."  Text:  FILMS...FILMS...FILMS...FILMS...FI  TIMES SQUARE. Starring Tim Curry, Trini Alvarado, Robin Johnson. Director: Alan Moyle. (EMI).  PRE-PREVIEW buzzings led one to expect a sort of  Stigwoodian allusion to punk Woodstock, where in fact it's  nothing of the sort. Or any other sort for that matter — 'Times  Square' being a rather muddled mish-mash of an observation,  centering on a pair of female juveniles rejecting adulthood and  growing into it at the same time. Said juveniles (Trini Alvarado,  Robin Johnson) are seen setting up squat amongst the  seamier, slummier areas of New York, hustling for work at a  strip club and singing as the Sleez Sisters, dropping TV sets from great heights, becoming cult figures and — it seems —  the prime and only obsession of "meaningful" DJ Tim Curry  whose good intentions seem to do no good to anyone. All so much soap opera really, if well performed: Curry as  LaGardia is suitably nauseating (supporting the good bad  "guys" a la 'Vanishing Point'), whereas Robin Johnson battles aggressively to find some measure of meaning in life and the  script, her role here is something of a trash-novelist's-eye- view of rebel-punk. Her potential is possibly great, but it's  held down by 'Times Square', which looks as though it's been  made for the sake of making a movie. 'Times Square' never really goes anywhere — apart from  around in circles — because it's used up before it starts; as a  film aimed at the teenage market-place it offers neither the spice nor spectacle of 'Saturday Night Fever' or 'Grease'; as a  film about friendship (which it attempts to be) it dithers,  stumbles and only occasionally works; it tries too many things  and pulls none of them off. By the end we're faced with a rooftop jam session in Times  Square itself, where Robin Johnson's Nicky is suddenly elevated to the role of superstarlet, her embarrassing  rockspeak pronouncements bringing the salivating crowds to  boiling point. All things vaguely sensible suddenly disappear  in a puff of smoke. 'Times Square' is silly. It doesn't know what to say. If only  people would think about what to do with their allowances...  CHRIS WESTWOOD  ROBIN JOHNSON

This review distinguishes itself by being perhaps the only one ever to have absolutely nothing to say about Trini Alvarado.

FILMS…FILMS…FILMS…FILMS…

TIMES SQUARE. Starring Tim Curry, Trini Alvarado, Robin Johnson. Director: Alan Moyle. (EMI).

PRE-PREVIEW buzzings led one to expect a sort of Stigwoodian allusion to punk Woodstock, where in fact it’s nothing of the sort. Or any other sort for that matter — ‘Times Square’ being a rather muddled mish-mash of an observation, centering on a pair of female juveniles rejecting adulthood and growing into it at the same time. Said juveniles (Trini Alvarado, Robin Johnson) are seen setting up squat amongst the seamier, slummier areas of New York, hustling for work at a strip club and singing as the Sleez Sisters, dropping TV sets from great heights, becoming cult figures and — it seems — the prime and only obsession of “meaningful” DJ Tim Curry whose good intentions seem to do no good to anyone.

All so much soap opera really, if well performed: Curry as LaGardia is suitably nauseating (supporting the good bad “guys” a la ‘Vanishing Point’), whereas Robin Johnson battles aggressively to find some measure of meaning in life and the script, her role here is something of a trash-novelist’s-eye-view of rebel-punk. Her potential is possibly great, but it’s held down by ‘Times Square’, which looks as though it’s been made for the sake of making a movie.

‘Times Square’ never really goes anywhere — apart from around in circles — because it’s used up before it starts; as a film aimed at the teenage market-place it offers neither the spice nor spectacle of ‘Saturday Night Fever’ or ‘Grease’; as a film about friendship (which it attempts to be) it dithers, stumbles and only occasionally works; it tries too many things and pulls none of them off.

By the end we’re faced with a rooftop jam session in Times Square itself, where Robin Johnson’s Nicky is suddenly elevated to the role of superstarlet, her embarrassing rockspeak pronouncements bringing the salivating crowds to boiling point. All things vaguely sensible suddenly disappear in a puff of smoke.

‘Times Square’ is silly. It doesn’t know what to say. If only people would think about what to do with their allowances…
CHRIS WESTWOOD

The accompanying photo is TS-57-26/1 from the US Press Material folder and Press Book, also used on all the North American movie posters, and the soundtrack album and promotional materials, including the UK soundtrack sampler record cover.

Advertisement for the "Times Square" soundtrack album on page 32 of the Jan. 24, 1981 "Record Mirror."

 

 

On page 32, however, RSO gives a huge middle finger to the bad review of the movie by running a full-page ad for the soundtrack. In hindsight, we can see that was actually a huge middle finger to the film itself.

The cool thing about this ad is the top half devoted to a line drawing version of TS-82-30, which also appeared on the UK soundtrack sampler cover.

 

 

Chris Westwood, “Films – Times Square” (review (document), AAT ID: 300026480)
“Times Square – the double album soundtrack of the Robert Stigwood film” (advertisement, AAT ID: 300193993)
Record Mirror, January 24, 1981, pp. 8, 32 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389)
16 in (H) x 11 in (W) (work);
Record_Mirror_1981-01-24_p1_1080px.jpg (cover)
1080 px (H) x 798 px (W), 96 dpi, 461 kb
TS_Review_Record_Mirror_19810124_p8_layers_1080px.jpg (full page)
1080 px (H) x 736 px (W), 96 dpi, 502 kb
RJ_TS_Review_Record_Mirror_19810124_p8_1080px.jpg (detail of review)
1080 px (W) x 543 px (H), 96 dpi, 301 kb
TS_OST Ad_Record_Mirror_19810124_p32_1080px.jpg (full page ad)
800 px (W) x 741 px (H), 96 dpi, 425 kb (images)

 

©1980 Spotlight Publications Ltd

 

photoplay, Vol. 32 No. 1, January 1981

Posted on 6th January 2017 in "Times Square"
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Cover of Photoplay Vol. 32 No. 1, January 1981

The January 1981 photoplay featured a cover story on, what else, Flash Gordon.

It also contained a review of Times Square, attributed only to “M.B.”

Review of "Times Square" from Photoplay Vol. 32 No. 1. Text, by "M.B.": TIMES SQUARE Johnny LaGuardia...Tim Curry Pamela Pearl...Trini Alvarado Nicky Marotta...Robin Johnson David Pearl...... Peter Coffield Dr Huber...Herbert Berghof Dr Zymansky....David Margulies Rosie Washington...Anna Maria Horsford JoJo....Michael Margotta Simon....J. C. Quinn Roberto...Miguel Pinero Directed by Alan Moyle. Cert: “AA". Running time: 111 minutes. (Columbia-EMI-Warner) STORY — Nicky, a young punkette suffering from "anti-social behaviour", and Pamela, a misunderstood little rich girl who cracks up at one of her dad's political meetings, are room-mates in a psychiatric hospital. After a shaky start they become friends and decide to run away together. They steal an ambulance for their getaway and set up home in a derelict warehouse, just round the comer from Times Square. Following their plight is local DJ, Johnny LaGuardia. He encourages them as they rename themselves The Sleaze Sisters, sing a few anti-establishment songs, break up TV sets and cover Times Square in graffiti. They become cult heroines and organise a midnight rock concert in Times Square, but the police and Pamela's father are waiting. VERDICT — It's another of those movies about rebellious youth set to rock music. Sound familiar? Whereas Breaking Glass, Quad-rophenia and the like have managed to depict the subject fairly successfully. Times Square fails. It's too naive, the performances of the two girls are weak and even Tim Curry does little to liven up the proceedings. The soundtrack is reasonable, featuring music by The Pretenders, Roxy Music, Gary Numan and Joe Jackson. M.B.


M.B.’s review is atypical, not in that it likes the movie — spoiler, it doesn’t — but in that it goes out of its way to make the point that both Trini’s and Robin’s performances are “weak”. Most of the contemporary reviews were negative but they generally had praise for the girls’ performances.

TIMES SQUARE

Johnny LaGuardia…Tim Curry
Pamela Pearl…Trini Alvarado
Nicky Marotta…Robin Johnson
David Pearl…… Peter Coffield
Dr Huber…Herbert Berghof
Dr Zymansky….David Margulies
Rosie Washington…Anna Maria Horsford
JoJo….Michael Margotta
Simon….J. C. Quinn
Roberto…Miguel Pinero

Directed by Alan Moyle.
Cert: “AA”. Running time: 111 minutes.
(Columbia-EMi-Warner)

STORY — Nicky, a young punkette suffering from “anti-social behaviour”, and Pamela, a misunderstood little rich girl who cracks up at one of her dad’s political meetings, are room-mates in a psychiatric hospital. After a shaky start they become friends and decide to run away together. They steal an ambulance for their getaway and set up home in a derelict warehouse, just round the comer from Times Square. Following their plight is local DJ, Johnny LaGuardia. He encourages them as they rename themselves The Sleaze Sisters, sing a few anti-establishment songs, break up TV sets and cover Times Square in graffiti. They become cult heroines and organise a midnight rock concert in Times Square, but the police and Pamela’s father are waiting.

VERDICT — It’s another of those movies about rebellious youth set to rock music. Sound familiar? Whereas Breaking Glass, Quadrophenia and the like have managed to depict the subject fairly successfully, Times Square fails. It’s too naive, the performances of the two girls are weak and even Tim Curry does little to liven up the proceedings. The soundtrack is reasonable, featuring music by The Pretenders, Roxy Music, Gary Numan and Joe Jackson. M.B.

The accompanying photo is from the scene after the girls escape from the plainclothes detective chasing them through the Adonis Theater. I believe this is its first publication, but I think we’ll see a better quality version in the future.

Image of Nicky and Pammy, illustrating  "Times Square" review by "M.B.":

 

 

M.B., “At the Movies – Times Square” (review (document), AAT ID: 300026480)
photoplay, Vol. 32 No. 1, January 1981, p. 52 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389)
29.8 cm (H) x 21.3 cm (W) (work);
1981-01 Photoplay vol 32 no 1_p01_1080px.jpg (cover)
1080 px (H) x 848 px (W), 96 dpi, 628 kb
1981-01 Photoplay vol 32 no 1_p52_detail_1080px.jpg (review)
1080 px (H) x 292 px (W), 96 dpi, 193 kb
1981-01 Photoplay vol 32 no 1_p52_detail_2_800px.jpg (illustration detail)
800 px (W) x 738 px (H), 96 dpi, 311 kb (images)
 
photoplay ©1981 The Illustrated Publications Company Limited

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

 

Film Review, Vol. 31 No. 1, January 1981

Posted on 27th December 2016 in "Times Square"
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Cover of UK magazine containing feature artcle on "Times Square"

P. 3 (contents page) Relevant text: 22 TIMES SQUARE The adventures of two teenage girls (Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado) and the all-night Times Square radio personality (Tim Curry) who gives a boost to their dream of rock stardom.

22
TIMES SQUARE
The adventures of two teenage girls (Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado) and the all-night Times Square radio personality (Tim Curry) who gives a boost to their dream of rock stardom.

“With an off-beat beauty all her own, and an engaging rasping singing voice, Ms Johnson has enough female virility to fill many films yet, and is already pencilled in for the sequel to Grease.”

 

There’s no arguing with the fact that in January of 1981, the big movie in the UK was Flash Gordon.

 

Despite its title, Film Review didn’t contain an actual review of Times Square, but a promotional article. You can tell it’s not a review because it’s 100% positive.

 

Edit, 14 January 2017: After some consideration, I think this was actually a review, of sorts, and the author had seen the film before composing it. It’s a piece that appears in the next month’s issue of Film Review that’s an unabashed puff piece that might have been written by EMI’s publicity department. I still think this one was more promotion than review, though.

 

The first photo accompanying the article is worth the price of admission, though: a color shot of Robin, Trini, and Tim, taken at the same time as the black and white photo in the UK Press Kit. Also, to my knowledge the shot in the lower left corner, “Robin Johnson sings to her fans in her Sleaze Sisters apparel,” is making its first appearance. The remaining color photo was used as a lobby card, and the black and white photo on the following page is TS-72-8A/14 from the US Press Material Folder, which appeared in the AFD Campaign Pressbook, on the covers of the British and Japanese soundtrack sampler records, in US Magazine, in the Leader, and on one of the strange 2-photo 8x10s that misspelled Robert Stigwood’s name. So far, other than the portraits of Robin and Trini that were used on the soundtrack album cover and the US movie poster, this is the photo that most often helped promote the film.

The one thing the article has in common with most real reviews of the movie is that it ultimately focuses on Robin’s performance as the big reason to see it. It’s also the first mention of Robin’s next scheduled project, as the female lead in Robert Stigwood’s production of Grease 2. Remember that?

TIMES SQUARE

A thought-provoking tale of alienated teenages — their moods, their mad antics and their music

Two runaway teenage girls, a variety of New Wave rock music and a grimy, pristine backdrop of New York make up the ingredients of Times Square (an EMI release), Robert Stigwood’s latest offering to a youthful cinema-going public.

Robin Johnson, a spunky 15-year-old newcomer, plays with admirable bravado the central role of Nicky, a street urchin with destructive inclinations and a yen for musical stardom. In hospital for psychiatric tests, Nicky finds herself in the company of Pamela Pearl (played by Trini Alvarado — from Robert Altman’s Rich Kids), an introverted 12-year-old from a privileged background, also in for tests. Despite their opposing upbringings, the two run away together — from the System that oppresses them both — to lead an exuberant, retaliatory existence on the streets.

It is this slight story-line that makes up the canvas for a gritty but heart-warming story of today’s youth, their problems, their qualities, their understandable misgivings and denied intelligence. They make mistakes — like every young generation before them — but this breed is growing up faster than ever before.

Canadian director Alan Moyle, making his American film debut after a string of successful films and documentaries over the border, conjures up a realistic atmosphere to his scenes beyond the call of Hollywood duty — to the extent you sometimes feel you are watching the runaway duo for real.

Moyle cleverly intercuts his footage with shots of genuine Times Square coke snorters, back street alcoholics, Eighth Avenue prostitutes and pimps, and all the fun of the New York fair. For the climactic sequence he even managed to close 42nd Street’s “Deuce” (a notorious strip of theatres and porno cinemas) for the first time in New York film location history.

Between all this he concentrates his camera almost lovingly on the adventures of Johnson and Alvarado, who have meanwhile taken their anti-establishment hostilities one step further, adopting a dual identity and calling themselves The Sleaze Sisters Not without point!

Under this guise, wearing outrageous costumes pieced together from jumble outcasts and dustbin liners, they tear through the streets of New York begging for money, in their spare time levering tv sets — the ultimate symbol of the bourgeoisie — from the top storeys of Manhattan’s skyscrapers.

It is this singular prank that arouses the interest of the public, and in particular that of a late-night Times Square DJ, played with laid-back relish by England’s own Tim Curry, late of “The Rocky Horror Show”. Providing The Sleaze Sisters with even greater coverage on New York’s air waves, narrating their boardwalk escapades and even allowing them to sing their protests, DJ Johnny LaGuardia becomes the catalyst in Moyle’s story. Like the DJ Curry played on television in “City Sugar”, LaGuardia reaches out from the night to the receptive, confused soul of a young girl wanting, desiring an intimate liaison with an established anti-establishment voice. Here, Curry has two souls to contend with and, even though he is trying to help them and gain public sympathy (by this time the police are now hot on their trail), he is at the same time exploiting them, exploiting their isolation from society, the society which eventually they come to need.

So, Times Square turns out to be many things: an exciting, abrasive look at the uglier face of New York; a compassionate tale of two desperate runaways who find mutual friendship encountering a common enemy; and a musical featuring some of the finest New Wave sounds around, including contributions from The Pretenders, Lou Reed and Suzi Quatro.

But for all Moyle’s perspicacious and sensitive direction, it is young Robin Johnson’s performance that dominates the film. With an off-beat beauty all her own, and an engaging rasping singing voice, Ms Johnson has enough female virility to fill many films yet, and is already pencilled in for the sequel to Grease. □

Karen (DefeatedandGifted) posted her copy of these pages in March 2015.

 

 

Film Review, Vol. 31 No. 1, January 1981;
UK EMI Cinemas Ltd.;
magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389; 29.8 cm (H) x 21.3 cm (W) (work);
1981-01 Film Review Vol 31 No 1 p01_1080px.jpg (cover)
1981-01 Film Review Vol 31 No 1 p03_1080px.jpg (contents)
1981-01 Film Review Vol 31 No 1 p22_1080px.jpg (“TIMES SQUARE”)
1981-01 Film Review Vol 31 No 1 p23_1080px.jpg (“TIMES SQUARE”)
1080 px (H), 96 dpi (images)

 

Another UK Movie Ad

Posted on 17th December 2016 in "Times Square"
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Ad from a UK newspaper promoting "Times Square's" opening Text: NOW!  ABC  Shaftesbury Ave  Tel: 836 8861  Licensed Bar  DOLBY STEREO  STUDIO  OXFORD CIRCUS  Tel: 437 3300  DOLBY STEREO  SCENE LEICESTER SQ (WARDOUR ST)  Tel.439.4470  ABC  BAYSWATER  DOLBY STEREO  ABC  EDGWARE RD.  ABC  FULHAM RD.  TIMES SQUARE AA  "GO SLEAZE!" ...IN TIMES SQUARE  ROBERT STIGWOOD Presents "TIMES SQUARE"  Starring TIM CURRY·TRINI ALVARADO And Introducing ROBIN JOHNSON  Also Starring PETER COFFIELD·HERBERT BERGHOF DAVID MARGULIES·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  Released by COLUMBIA-EMI-WARNER Distributors Limited.  EMI  A Member of the THORN EMI Group. ALL OVER LONDON FROM SUNDAY AT ABC AND OTHER LEADING CINEMAS  (SEE LOCAL PRESS FOR DETAILS)This is almost identical to the ad from my last post, which appeared a in an unknown film magazine, but it promotes the film’s wide opening “All Over London from Sunday.” The previous ad has the premiere date, Thursday, 15 January, so it must have been published first. Either way, Times Square was probably out of all those theaters in two weeks’ time.

My notes say that this particular ad came from the Record Mirror, but they don’t say why they say that. All I have is the ad itself, and there’s nothing on it to indicate what page of what magazine it was cut from. I think the ad on the back may give a little weight to the argument, though.

From a January 1981 Record Mirror. Back of a movie ad for TIMES SQUARE.

If T.I.T.S was still in business, how many of these shirts would you buy, right now?

 

 

[“Times Square” UK movie advertisement]
advertisement, ID: 300193993, 29.1 cm (W) x 20.12 cm (H) (work);
1080 px (W) x 747 px (H), 96 dpi, 485 kb (image)

1981
Inscription:
NOW!
ABC
Shaftesbury Ave Tel: 836 8861
Licensed Bar
DOLBY STEREO
STUDIO
OXFORD CIRCUS
Tel: 437 3300
DOLBY STEREO
SCENE
LEICESTER SQ (WARDOUR ST)
Tel.439.4470
ABC
BAYSWATER
DOLBY STEREO
ABC
EDGWARE RD.
ABC
FULHAM RD.
ALL OVER LONDON FROM SUNDAY AT ABC AND OTHER LEADING CINEMAS
(SEE LOCAL PRESS FOR DETAILS)
TIMES SQUARE AA
“GO SLEAZE!” …IN TIMES SQUARE
ROBERT STIGWOOD Presents "TIMES SQUARE"
Starring TIM CURRY·TRINI ALVARADO And Introducing ROBIN KOHNSON
Also Starring PETER COFFIELD·HERBERT BERGHOF·DAVID MARGULIES
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
Released by COLUMBIA-EMI-WARNER Distributors Limited.
EMI A Member of the THORN EMI Group.

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

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UK Movie Ad

Posted on 7th December 2016 in "Times Square"
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UK magazine ad for "Times Square", 1981 Text: TIMES SQUARE AA  "GO SLEAZE!" ...IN TIMES SQUARE  ROBERT STIGWOOD Presents "TIMES SQUARE"  Starring TIM CURRY·TRINI ALVARADO And Introducing ROBIN JOHNSON  Also Starring PETER COFFIELD·HERBERT BERGHOF DAVID MARGULIES·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  Released by COLUMBIA-EMI-WARNER Distributors Limited.  EMI  A Member of the THORN EMI Group. FROM THURS. 15 JAN. ABC  Shaftesbury Ave  Tel: 836 8861  Licensed Bar  DOLBY STEREO  STUDIO  OXFORD CIRCUS  Tel: 437 3300  DOLBY STEREO  SCENE LEICESTER SQ (WARDOUR ST)  Tel.439.4470  ABC  BAYSWATER  DOLBY STEREO  ABC  EDGWARE RD.  ABC  FULHAM RD.

 

This ad promoting the movie’s opening has the same art as the one published previously in the Leader, but with the addition of the theaters it will be in. It’s essentially a black-and-white version of the quad poster, the top half of the painting by Cummins.

It appeared in a film magazine, but I don’t know which one. It’s on heavy magazine stock, not newsprint, and on the back is an ad for Seems Like Old Times, but unfortunately the portion of the page I have doesn’t have the name of the magazine or the page number.

 

 

[“Times Square” UK movie advertisement]
advertisement, ID: 300193993, 20 cm (W) x 14.3 cm (H) (work);
1080 px (W) x 768 px (H), 96 dpi, 434 kb (image)

1981
Inscription:
TIMES SQUARE AA
"GO SLEAZE!" …IN TIMES SQUARE
ROBERT STIGWOOD Presents "TIMES SQUARE"
Starring TIM CURRY·TRINI ALVARADO And Introducing ROBIN JOHNSON
Also Starring PETER COFFIELD·HERBERT BERGHOF
DAVID MARGULIES·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
Released by COLUMBIA-EMI-WARNER Distributors Limited.
EMI
A Member of the THORN EMI Group.
FROM THURS. 15 JAN.
ABC
Shaftesbury Ave
Tel: 836 8861
Licensed Bar
DOLBY STEREO
STUDIO
OXFORD CIRCUS
Tel: 437 3300
DOLBY STEREO
SCENE LEICESTER SQ (WARDOUR ST)
Tel.439.4470
ABC
BAYSWATER
DOLBY STEREO
ABC
EDGWARE RD.
ABC
FULHAM RD.

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

U.K. Lobby Cards (post 3 of 3)

Posted on 27th November 2016 in "Times Square"
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UK Lobby Card 7 of 8: Nicky is dragged from the studio. Color 8"x10" lobby card, 1981 Text: TIMES SQUARE AA Released by COLUMBIA - EMI - WARNER Distributors Limited. EMI A Member of the THORN EMI Group An EMI-ITC Production This copyright advertising material is licensed and not sold and is the property of National Screen Service Ltd. and upon completion of the exhibition for which it has been licensed it should be returned to National Screen Service Ltd. Printed in Great Britain.

 

Finally we get a couple photos with Robin front and center and facing the camera. The first is as Nicky is dragged from the WJAD studio screaming for Pammy. In the film, we see this entirely looking down from Johnny’s control room. That’s the leg of George Morfogen on the left, playing station manager Don Dowd. All his lines in the script were cut from the film,Nicky is dragged from the WJAD studio : frame from TIMES SQUARE (1980) but he got to deliver a sad nod when Johnny cuts Nicky’s live broadcast, and take Nicky’s guitar as JoJo and Simon drag her from the room. In the shot used in the film, the guitar faces the other way as he grabs it.

 

UK Lobby Card 8 of 8: The Concert in Times Square. Color 8"x10" lobby card, 1981: Pammy watches as Nicky sings "Damn Dog" atop the TImes Square Theater marquee. Text: TIMES SQUARE AA Released by COLUMBIA - EMI - WARNER Distributors Limited. EMI A Member of the THORN EMI Group An EMI-ITC Production This copyright advertising material is licensed and not sold and is the property of National Screen Service Ltd. and upon completion of the exhibition for which it has been licensed it should be returned to National Screen Service Ltd. Printed in Great Britain.

 

 

Pammy beams at Nicky atop the Times Square Theater marquee : frame from TIMES SQUARE (1980)

Pammy beams at Nicky atop the Times Square Theater marquee : frame from TIMES SQUARE (1980)

And here’s Pammy beaming as Nicky sings “Damn Dog” atop the Times Square Theater marquee. Of course nothing in the film is shot from quite this angle; the closest image has Pammy to the left instead of the right. In other similar shots, Nicky’s sweater sleeves are down instead of pushed up by her elbows.

I’ve mentioned previously that these images had been previously scanned and posted, with the lobby card text cropped out. The page on which they’re posted also includes several scans of images from the US Press Materials folder, also with the borders and text information cropped off. There are three color images (reproduced below) that share the dimensions of the UK lobby card images, which leads me to believe that they originally were UK lobby cards. That makes a total of 11 lobby cards, which is a strange number, so I also think there’s one more that’s yet to turn up.

 

 

[Robin Johnson as Nicky being dragged from the WJAD studio]
[Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado as Nicky and Pammy atop the Times Square Theater marquee]
Lobby cards (AAT ID: 300208593)
8 in (H) x 10 in. (W)
1981, Great Britain (works);
Times_Square_UK_Lobby_Card-7_auto_crop_1080px.jpg
1080 px (W) x 855 px (H), 96 dpi, 637 kb
Times_Square_UK_Lobby_Card-8_auto_crop_1080.jpg
1080 px (W) x 853 px (H), 96 dpi, 551 kb (images)

 

vlcsnap-2016-08-07-14h21m13s058.png
vlcsnap-2016-08-07-15h01m36s383.png
vlcsnap-2016-08-07-14h54m30s499.png

853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi (images)
frame captures from Times Square (1980)
captured 2016-08-07

 

MSDTISQ EC002 (262141_full.jpg)
1000 px (W) x 664 px (H), 300 dpi, 113 KB (image)
MSDTISQ EC001 (262140_full.jpg)
1000 px (W) x 667 px (H), 300 dpi, 83.3 KB (image)
MSDTISQ EC003 (262142_full.jpg)
1000 px (W) x 673 px (H), 300 dpi, 79.4 KB (image)
1979/1980
retrieved on 2014-10-25 from “Times Square.” Cineplex. Cineplex Entertainment LP, n.d.

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

U.K. Lobby Cards (post 2 of 3)

Posted on 17th November 2016 in "Times Square"
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Color 8"x10" lobby card, 1981  Text:  TIMES SQUARE AA Released by COLUMBIA - EMI - WARNER Distributors Limited. EMI A Member of the THORN EMI Group An EMI-ITC Production This copyright advertising material is licensed and not sold and is the property of National Screen Service Ltd. and upon completion of the exhibition for which it has been licensed it should be returned to National Screen Service Ltd. Printed in Great Britain.

 

This shot of Nicky joining in as Pammy dances at the Cleo Club appears to me to have been taken within seconds of TS-104-17A/7 from the US Press Materials folder, and this color 8×10, the purpose of which I still don’t know. (Its post is here.) Although the presence of Miguel Pinero and the various extras would seem to indicate all three were taken on the actual day of the shoot, they were shot either during a run-through or an unused take (or an unused portion of a used shot), as none of them match up to the action as shown in the film, even allowing for the different vantage points of the still and movie cameras.

 

Color 8"x10" lobby card, 1981 Text: TIMES SQUARE AA Released by COLUMBIA - EMI - WARNER Distributors Limited. EMI A Member of the THORN EMI Group An EMI-ITC Production This copyright advertising material is licensed and not sold and is the property of National Screen Service Ltd. and upon completion of the exhibition for which it has been licensed it should be returned to National Screen Service Ltd. Printed in Great Britain.

 

Another shot of Pammy and Nicky performing, or having just finished performing, “Your Daughter Is One” in the WJAD studio. It’s a shot we haven’t seen so far. The word “Rickenbacker” is clearly visible on the guitar’s headstock, so this photo belongs to the series of photographs from before it was removed (as it appears in the film) (yes, that’s from a different scene, but it’s the same guitar).

Color 8"x10" lobby card, 1981: Pammy and Nicky drop a television off the roof of a New York City building. Text: TIMES SQUARE AA Released by COLUMBIA - EMI - WARNER Distributors Limited. EMI A Member of the THORN EMI Group An EMI-ITC Production This copyright advertising material is licensed and not sold and is the property of National Screen Service Ltd. and upon completion of the exhibition for which it has been licensed it should be returned to National Screen Service Ltd. Printed in Great Britain.

Here Pammy and Nicky push their first television off a rooftop. A shot of them throwing their last one appeared in the songbook and inside the soundtrack album. In the film, Pammy doesn’t hold the box flap back, and Nicky is barely visible behind the box until after the TV is gone. Pammy and Nicky dropping their first television [Image 3 from the "Times Square" 2-sided poster] However, another shot that was obviously taken a split second after this one appeared way back as a tiny part of the collage that made up the double-sided promo poster. In that shot, the television is obviously on its way out of the box and down. Of course they didn’t really let the TV’s plummet to the street if it wasn’t shown happening in that shot), but it never occurred to me before now that not only did they catch them, they had to catch them completely intact right after they left the shot so they could be thrown off again in retakes. Either that, or part of the budget went for multiple identical junk television sets.

Pammy and Nicky throw their first television; frame from "Times Square" (1980)

 

 

[Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado as Nicky and Pammy in the Cleo Club]
[Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado as Nicky and Pammy in the WJAD studio]
[Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado as Nicky and Pammy drop a television]
Lobby cards (AAT ID: 300208593)
8 in (H) x 10 in. (W)
1981, Great Britain (works);

 

Times_Square_UK_Lobby_Card-4_manual_crop_1080px.jpg
1080 px (W) x 855 px (H), 96 dpi, 515 kb
Times_Square_UK_Lobby_Card-5_manual_crop_1080px.jpg
1080 px (W) x 855 px (H), 96 dpi, 592 kb
Times_Square_UK_Lobby_Card-6_manual_crop_1080px.jpg
1080 px (W) x 854 px (H), 96 dpi, 648 kb (images)

 

[Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado as Nicky and Pammy drop a television]
detail from [Double-sided promotional poster, outside] (image)
image 3 from 2-sided poster_800px.jpg
800 px (W) x 686 px (H), 96 dpi, 411 kb (image)

 

vlcsnap-2016-07-23-20h33m29s240.png
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 449 kb (image)
frame capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2016-07-23

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+