Monthly Film Bulletin, Vol. 47 No. 562, November 1980

Posted on 31st May 2016 in "Times Square"

Cover of the November 1980 Monthly Film Bulletin, Vol. 47 No. 562, published by the British Film Institute   Photo of Jack Nicholson in "The Shining"  Text:  November 1980 bfi  MONTHLY FILM BULLETIN VOL. 47 NO. 562 FEATURE FILMS Alternative Miss World, The	207 And Give Us Our Daily Sex/Malizia erotica .......	216 Attack of the Phantoms	207 Awakening, The	208 Babylon .......	208 Battle Beyond the Stars	209 Big Brawl, The......................209 Blue Lagoon, The	.	210 Chuquiago .	.	.210 Clones of Bruce Lee, The/Shen-Wei San Meng-Lung	...	221 Come Play with Me 2 .	211 Dark Intruder, The .	211 Death Ship .......	212 Dérobade, La/The Life .	.	.	212 Dressed to Kill .	.	.	.	213 El Salvador Revolution or Death 213 Fog, The............................214 He Knows You're Alone	214 Hunter, The .	....	215 Kiss Meets the Phantom see Attack of the Phantoms	207 Last Embrace	216 Last Feelings/L'Ultimo sapore dell' aria ........	224 Life, The/La dérobade .	.212 Lupa mannara, La/Werewolf Woman 216 Malizia erotica/And Give Us Our Daily Sex .	.	.	.	.216 Mary Millington 1946-1979 Pro-logue/Mary Millington's True Blue Confessions .	.217 Mountain Men, The	217 Nurse Sherri........................218 Poseban Tretman/Special Treatment 218 Prom Night..........................218 Sauve qui peut (La Vie)/Slow Motion .......	219 Scandal in the Family/Scandalo in famiglia—grazie zio .	.	.	.	220 Scandalo in famiglia—grazie zio/ Scandal in the Family	220 Scandinavian Erotica	220 Semaine de vacances, Une/A Week's Holiday..........................220 Shen-Wei San Meng-Lung/The Clones of Bruce Lee	221 Shining, The	221 Slow Motion/Sauve qui peut (La Vie) ........	219 Special Treatment/PosebanTretman 218 Swedish Nympho Slaves/Dîe teuflischen Schwestern .	222 Teuflischen Schwestern, Die/ Swedish Nympho Slaves	222 That Sinking Feeling ...	223 Times Square ......	223 Ultimo sapore dell'aria, L'/Last Feelings .......	224 Week's Holiday, A/Une semaine de vacances ......	220 Werewolf Woman/La lupa mannara 216 Wholly Moses!	.	224 Willie & Phil ...... .	225 RETROSPECTIVE Germania, anno zero/Germany Year Zero ........	225 Germany Year Zero/Germania, anno zero ....	  225 Paisà ........	226 Stromboli/Stromboli, terra di dio .	227 Stromboli, terra di dio/Stromboli 227 50p
Pictures, but not of Robin. What a cheap post.


Robin is mentioned quite a bit though in Gilbert Adair’s surprisingly positive and intellectual review, about which Karen (DefeatedandGifted) has written a much more incisive piece than I could ever hope to. So I suggest you just click that link and read it.


Karen opens, however, by saying “Due to its format and very small typeface, I won’t scan this review…” I have no such compunctions. Here is what it looks like. But she’s right: it’s two long, dense paragraphs in a tiny font. I’ll add the text in a more readable form if I get enough requests to do so, which I won’t. Check Karen’s blog for the important parts of what it actually says.


Tantalizingly, the exhaustive list of the film’s credits ends with “111 mins. Original running time—113 mins,” perhaps the first ever indication that there’s something missing.



Adair, Gilbert. “Times Square.” Rev. of Times Square. Monthly Film Bulletin Nov. 1980: 223-24. Print.


Monthly Film Bulletin Copyright © The British Film Institute, 1980


Gene Siskel Times Square review, November 19 1980

Posted on 21st May 2016 in "Times Square"

No pictures this time. Sorry. I’ll make it up to you eventually.

Gene Siskel reviewed Times Square on page 6 of Section 3 of the November 19 Chicago Tribune. He gave it two stars, and those two stars were Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado. No, he didn’t literally say that, but his review was typical of the reviews at the time: the film was unrealistic and disjointed, a rehash of the typical rebellious youth picture made dangerous by portraying Times Square as a safe place for kids, but was somewhat redeemed by the terrific performances of Robin and Trini.

I don’t have a physical copy of this review, but I thought it was important enough to include. The online Tribune archives contain a scanned copy. Here’s the text, which will maybe be a little easier to read, until someone makes me take it down:

Sleazy script renders ‘Times Square’ unreal

By Gene Siskel
Movie critic

“TlMES SQUARE” is a standard teen age rebellion movie set to a New Wave beat. The film’s parents are awful; the deejay is the only one who understands.

“Times Square” is the story of two young girls, one wealthy and WASP-ish, the other poor and Italian. They find each other in the same New York neurological hospital, where they both — rather improbably — are undergoing tests for brain damage.

The poor girl, who dresses very punk, is a ward of the state; the wealthy girl, whose father is a city planning comissioner out to purge Times Square of its criminal element, is a sweet little thing who dresses demurely.

Why is the rich girl being tested for brain damage? The only reason the film supplies is that she embarrassed her father at a public meeting at which his Times Square plan was being discussed. Since when does a parent respond to whining by having a child subjected to a CAT scan? When the whining occurs in a movie designed to appeal to youngsters.

BUT THAT ISN’T the biggest lie of “Times Square,” which producer Robert Stlgwood has envisioned as the punk-rock answer to his ‘“Saturday Night Fever.”

No, the biggest lie is that these two girls successfully run out of their hospital room, drive across Manhattan in a stolen ambulance, and establish living quarters in a deserted pier. By day and night they wander New York’s fabled 42d Street, between 7th and 8th avenues, a street that in reality is packed with grubby movie theaters, pimps, prostitutes, and junkies. They write plaintive, punk songs about the trials of adolescence and stage a culture protest by throwing TV sets from the roofs of buildings. Calling themselves the Sleeze Sisters, their anti-authority attitude is exploited by a New York disk jockey (Tim Curry, better known as Dr. Frank N. Furter in the cult hit “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”).

In reality, such waifs most likely would not survive 42d Street, and no doubt parents of children who see this movie will be alarmed at its message, which is nothing less than, “Leave home and come to New York.”

OF COURSE, it’s precisely that kind of message that has sold youth movies, and “Times Square” is no different. It’s just that as city violence has escalated, it’s tougher to ignore the reality of the situation.

Having said all that, there are some things to admire in “Times Square.” Both young actresses (Trini Alvarado as the rich girl, and Robin Johnson as the punk) are excellent in portraying two sides of youthful rebellion. They only look silly when the script requires them to be.

And there’s a special moment when they sing together in the deejay’s studio a virulent, anti-adult rock number. The language of the song is as foul as can be, and the righteous energy of youth is displayed with intimidating power. To see that one scene in “Times Square” is to see a classic rite of passage.

“Times Square” may catch on with today’s young people; and if it does, they won’t be seeing anything that their parents haven’t seen and applauded in their own youth. The punk attitude is not new; only its clothes and 4- and 10-letter words are fresh. Rating: 2 stars.

Two days before that, Roger Ebert reviewed Times Square for the Chicago Sun-Times. He also gave it two stars for essentially the same reasons, but begrudgingly liked it even more than had Siskel: “Of all the bad movies I’ve seen recently, this is the one that projects the real sense of a missed opportunity-of potential achievement gone wrong,” he said. “Why did I still keep thinking it had promise? Mostly because of the screen presences of the two young actresses who were able to suggest more about their characters than the screenplay provides. … ‘Times Square’ is filled with ideas for a movie, but they’ve just never been organized into a movie.”

He’s right, of course: Times Square is an uncomfortable mash-up of two different movies, Allan Moyle’s runaway girls and Robert Stigwood’s New Wave rebellion. The rushed, forced melding of the latter with the former (with Robin as the secret ingredient) created magic, but in the form of a fatally flawed film.

Ebert’s review is online in its entirety on his website.



Siskel, Gene. “Sleazy Script Renders ‘Times Square’ Unreal.” Rev. of Times Square. Chicago Tribune 19 Nov. 1980, sec. 3: 6. Chicago Tribune Archives. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
Ebert, Roger. “Times Square.” Rev. of Times Square. Chicago Sun-Times 17 Nov. 1980: n. pag. Ebert Digital LLC. Web. 2 Apr. 2016.



Soundtrack Ad, Melody Maker, November 15, 1980

Posted on 11th May 2016 in "Times Square"

Soundtrack ad for TIMES SQUARE, teasing the film, from the November 15, 1980 Melody Maker, featuring the Mick Rock photo of Robin Johnson from the back of the album.  Text:  MELODY MAKER, November 15, 1980 - Page 21 AFTER ALL THE MOVIE ALBUMS RELEASED THIS YEAR COMES THE DEFINITIVE ROCK SOUNDTRACK FROM THE FORTHCOMING ROBERT STIGWOOD FILM "TIMES SQUARE" This Double Album Feartures Music From THE PRETENDERS  THE RAMONES LOU REED THE RUTS PATTI SMITH GARY NUMAN THE CURE JOE JACKSON XTC TALKING HEADS ...and many more And as a forthcoming single The Coupling Of The Previously Unreleased track by XTC "TAKE THIS TOWN" b/w "BABYLON'S BURNING" by THE RUTS TIMES SQUARE Also on the album ROXY MUSIC's current hit "SAME OLD SCENE" FILM TO BE RELEASED THROUGH E.M.I. FILMS. ALBUM AVAILABLE ON R.S.O. RECORDS AND TAPES. RSO





Even as Times Square was opening and closing in the United States, the mighty RSO promotion machine was hard at work in the United Kingdom, as this full-page ad for the soundtrack shows. Running on page 21 of the November 15 Melody Maker, it featured a newsprint-style blowup of Mick Rock’s photo of Robin from the back of the album. Although it teased the impending release of the movie, it didn’t give a date for it. (The UK opening would be January 15, 1981; perhaps that date hadn’t been decided on yet. Or, maybe the movie marketing people and the record marketing people weren’t on speaking terms.)



Times Square The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack/RSO. Melody Maker 15 Nov. 1980: 21. (work);
TIMES_SQUARE_Soundtrack ad, Melody Maker Nov 15 1980 p 21_1080px.jpg, 1080 px (H) x 813 px (W), 96 dpi, 507 KB (image)
MELODY MAKER, November 15, 1980 – Page 21
This Double Album Feartures Music From
…and many more
And as a
forthcoming single
The Coupling Of The
track by XTC
Also on the
album ROXY MUSIC’s
current hit


Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+


New York Magazine, Vol. 13 No. 43, November 3, 1980

Posted on 1st May 2016 in "Times Square"
“Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnson, the teenage stars of Times Square, show us their offscreen style.”

This article is another of the few things I collected at the time of the movie, since there was (and still is) no official merchandise, and none of the surplus publicity materials had yet filtered out to the public… not that I would have had any idea where to look. A movie ad, I cut from the local paper. This… I’m not proud of it, but, it wasn’t my copy of the magazine. In fact, I have no idea why I was looking at it. I must have found out the article was there, although I have no idea how. Anyway, I cleverly opened the staples, removed these pages, and reassembled the magazine (a talent I’ve since developed into an art form in the service of good, not evil). I still don’t have a full copy of the magazine — that’s why I’m not reproducing the cover or the contents page (which is where the quote above comes from), and why the pictures on the second page are a little messed up: these pages lived inside my copy of the soundtrack album, and aged badly over the years. They’re actually very yellow now. Who knew I’d still have them and would want to scan them thirty-odd years later?

Two Girls
Trini Alvarado is thirteen. She neither smokes nor drinks nor swears. Robin Johnson is sixteen. She has, on occasion, been known to do all of these things. Trini is a familiar face. We’ve seen her on Broadway in Runaways and onscreen in Rich Kids. Robin has never acted before. She was “discovered” by a casting scout on the steps of Brooklyn Tech.
An unlikely pair? Perhaps. But the two, who become fast friends in Robert Stigwood’s 42nd Street fantasy Times Square, have also become friends in real life.
The characters they portray—Pamela Pearl, the shy, sheltered, vulnerable daughter of a New York City official, and Nicky Marotta, an angry, outrageous, vulnerable street kid— survive by their wits in the shadowy world of Times Square, eventually becoming minor celebrities as the singing “Sleaze Sisters.” “The story is ridiculous,” says Trini, “yet so full of great human friendship and warm feelings!”
As these pages show, each girl has a personal sense of style. But their taste is tame compared with the hot couture they wear onscreen—a surreal New York-bag lady-goes-to-Disneyland amalgam of thrift-shop rejects, torn doilies, long johns, even belted plastic garbage bags, all designed by Bob DeMora. “I would never step out in Woodside looking like that,” says Trini.
During the filming, the stars’ outré outfits often provoked remarks from prostitutes. But the worst thing, they say, was having to keep up with their schoolwork. Between shots, they studied with a tutor, in a trailer on Times Square. Did their nerves ever wear thin? “Me and Trini,” says Robin, “we got pissed off at each other very little.” —Caterine Milinaire

Such good friends: Facing page, Trini Alvarado (top, and bottom left) wears a mauve cotton jumpsuit ($84) and a crocheted mauve vest trimmed with matching fur ($185). Robin Johnson sports a hand-knitted beige wool sweater flecked with colors and balls of fur ($185) over beige wool knickers dotted with pink and brown ($140). All from Nancy & Co. (986 Madison Avenue, near 77th Street).
The entertainers: Above left, Domingo Alvarado, the flamenco guitarist at Torremolinos Restaurant, serenades his daughter, who is wearing a pale-gold, soft leather camisole ($250) with blond lace-over-georgette mid-calf pants ($150), both by Adri; by special order at Bergdorf Goodman. Crocheted necklace by Susan Stevens is $15 at Serendipity 3 (225 East 60th Street). “My mother was a flamenco dancer,”
Trini says, “and from her costumes I learned to appreciate the posture a close-fitted torso can give you.” Star and stripes: Above right, for dancing, exercising, or winter layering, a black Danskin leotard; $25 at Lee Baumann (38 East 8th Street).
Test pattern: Center left, Robin dresses up a sweatshirt with clear silicone arrowheads that can be arranged in any configuration, then pinned in place ($9 a dozen). Black-and-gold pyramid earrings are $30. Both by Two Ten Design, at Sharon Bovaird (927 Madison Avenue, near 73rd).
Red, red Robin: Left, this red union suit, similar to one she wore in Times Square, is $25.95 at Kreeger & Sons (16 West 46th Street). Sheepskin slippers, $25 at Berek (265 West 37th). “I am definitely a street kid,” says husky-voiced Robin, “a weekend street kid.”

Denby, David. "Movies." The last part of Mr. Denby's column is a scathing review of "Times Square."  Text:  Times Square, A true atrocity, is about two teenage girls—one rich and beautiful (Trini Alvarado), the other poor and tough (Robin Johnson)—who meet in a hospital and go on the lam together in the Times Square area. Dressing up in  bag-lady fashions, the two girls, who call themselves “the Sleaze Sisters,” live in an abandoned pier off 42nd Street and work in a scummy club, dancing and losing their inhibitions, and all of that. The point of view of the  screenplay by Jacob Brackman is that sleaze is life-affirming because it’s not safe and bourgeois. But it turns out that Brackman and director Alan Moyle beg every issue in this social parable by turning Times Square into a  harmless hangout—sort of a cross between Sherwood Forest and Disneyland. This evil, lying little fantasy has been photographed in ugly color, and a mess of mediocre rock music has been draped across it like mozzarella on lasagna.  If the producer, Robert Stigwood, sells soundtrack albums with this movie, he should set up a fund for every girl mugged, raped, or battered in Times Square. 84 NEW YORK/NOVEMBER 3, 1980


Caterine Millinaire’s article couldn’t do a better job of promoting the girls and the movie. Ironically, on the back of the sheet containing page 78 is page 84, which has on it the last part of David Denby’s film review column, in which he totally eviscerates Times Square. While his criticism was not entirely unwarranted, he was one of the few reviewers to not acknowledge Robin’s performance.

A cleaner, clearer digital version of the entire issue is here.



Millinaire, Caterine. “Two Girls.” New York 3 Nov. 1980: 78-79;
Denby, David. “Movies.” Rev. of Times Square. New York 3 Nov. 1980: 84. (works);
New York 198011030002_p78_1080px.jpg, 1080 px (H) x 806 px (W), 96 dpi, 449 KB;
New York 198011030002_p79_1080px.jpg, 1080 px (H) x 807 px (W), 96 dpi, 448 KB;
New York 198011030004_layers_1080px_detail.jpg, 481 px (H) x 260 px (W), 96 dpi, 111 KB (images)


New York ©1980 New York Media LLC
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+