Times Square Blue

Posted on 4th February 2015 in "Times Square"
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Promotional slide "18-5" of Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta at the conclusion of "Times Square" (1980) This is the last of the… well, what should I call them? The objects that have no publication information printed on them, or aren’t contained in some other package (although some of them turn up again later that way). Although… there’s at least one more image that fits that definition coming, the difference being that it wasn’t created by the production company.

It’s also the last of the slides. Well, no, that other image I mentioned above is also a slide. We’ll get to that in good time.

And when I say “the last of the” anything, I mean the last ones I have. I know there’s more out there, because I’ve seen them on the Web. At some point I’ll collate and re-post those too.

This slide has 18-5 written on the mount, and shows Nicky as she looks during the final concert scene. Another photo taken at the same time was printed in black and white and used in the US Press Kit. The lights behind her would seem to indicate that she’s on street level, and I know there’s at least one photo of Robin and Trini on the street in the outfits they wear in the final sequence, even though in the film they’re never both on 42nd Street dressed like that.

So this picture was taken either before she went up to the marquee, or after she came down. (Or, I suppose, during a break in the filming, but it would have had to be one long enough for her to come all the way down and go all the way back up. Doesn’t really matter. Moving on.) When the time came to get the image ready for posting, I was struck by how blue her sweater was, especially since I remembered it being a sort of sea-green. In the stills, it certainly looked greenish, although they were a little yellowed with age themselves. So I went to the film and compared it with frames like these:

So, yeah, green… I figured something had gone screwy with my original scan of the slide, and altered the color balance so that the sweater matched the bluish-green in the film. It was surprisingly easy, which I took to be proof that I was right, and then I went to find the “closest frame from the film” which I knew (since the slide is just a headshot and doesn’t represent a moment from the movie) took place in the previous scene, before her costume change and makeup touch-up… and there was this:

Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta, resigned to her fate - frame grab from "Times Square" (1980)

Bright royal blue. I looked in some of the magazines that published photos from this scene… some were green, some were blue… Did she change into an identical sweater of a different color? Was it just a costume or continuity error? As we’ll see in the next post (I think), at least some of the footage from the concert was destroyed by the processing lab… was there a reshoot with the wrong sweater? Well, none of the above… thanks to the last few posts, I’ve been through the concert scene way too many times, and for every shot where the sweater looks green, there are two where it looks blue. And worse, there are no shortage of shots like this one:

Nicky leaps into the air - the closest frame from the film to B&W still 34

Blue on one side, sea-green on the other. I dug out the actual slide and had another look at it, and my scan was accurate: the sweater was pure blue. Under proper controlled lighting, it’s blue. But anywhere else, out on the street, running back and forth under the neon lights of Times Square, it changes color and looks more or less greenish. It’s a case of wool vs. film and there’s no clear winner.

There is a series of minor continuity errors in the concert scene: if you watch it too closely, the sweater’s sleeves jump up and down Nicky’s arms several times of their own accord. But it’s not really changing color. The blue in the slide above is the sweater’s true color. I’m pretty sure.

 

 

18-5
2 in x 2 in (including mount) (work);
1080 px (H) x 730 px (W), 96 dpi, 758 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [written on slide mount:] 18-5

 

vlcsnap-2015-01-11-17h30m33s45.png
vlcsnap-2015-01-11-17h44m25s253.png

853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi (images)
frame captures from Times Square (1980)
captured 2015-01-114

 

vlcsnap-2015-01-04-16h18m45s184.png
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 882 kb (image)
frame capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2015-01-04

 

vlcsnap-2014-05-04-17h40m40s228.png
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 848 kb (image)
frame capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-05-04

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

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