“If the story sounds as though it makes sense, it doesn’t…”
This was dated February but was probably on the stands while Times Square was still in theaters. EMI certainly expected it to be so, judging by the advertisement that appeared on page 162.
It’s almost identical to the ad that ran in Record Mirror, probably at the same time.
Page 177 contained a review of the movie by David Quinlan, accompanied by one of the photos Mick Rock doesn’t really remember taking of Robin. Mr. Quinlan’s review is typically fair for the time: it’s a bad movie that nevertheless has something genuinely affecting in it, rooted in “the gutsy performances of the girls themselves,” particularly Trini, bless his heart.
TIMES SQUARE (X). Despite a silly story that never begins to hang together, Times Square gets by on youthful raw energy, another pre-sold LP background score of new wave music, and the inter-relationship between its two young female stars, gravel-voiced Robin Johnson as the backstreets fifteen year-old and especially thirteen year-old Trini Alvarado, who gives a warm and understanding performance as the repressed daughter of an eager-beaver young politician. Committed for hospital observation under very different circumstances, the girls run away together and form a duo against society, calling themselves The Sleez Sisters. With the help of an independent-minded DJ (overplayed by Tim Curry), they become cult figures and, for a brief while, a national news item. If the story sounds as though it makes sense, it doesn’t in the actual relation of events on screen, which are pure fantasy (with treatment to match) and have no basis in real life, apart from the gutsy performances of the girls themselves, which at times make one care more than was probably the script’s intention. The music is a knock-out, and the end may find you groping furtively and reluctantly for a handkerchief. — D.Q. (Prod/Robert Stigwood, Jacob Brackman. Scr/Jacob Brackman. Dir/Alan Moyle. Ph/James A Contner. Technicolor. Ill mins. EMI. US 1980)
On page 178, we find that Mr. Quinlan gave Times Square 3 stars, and his colleague Rosemary Stirling gave it only one. Perhaps we should be glad she didn’t write the review the magazine printed. Perhaps it would have been interesting to see what she might have had to say about it.
Films Illustrated, Vol 10 No. 113, February 1981 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389) ; 29.7 x 20.9 cm; (contains:)
[Times Square movie advertisement], (advertisement, AAT ID: 300193993), p. 113
David Quinlan, “Times Square” (review (document), AAT ID: 300026480), p.177
[Review grid] (review (document), AAT ID: 300026480), p.178 (work)
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2 Responses to “Films Illustrated, Vol. 10 No. 113, February 1981”
Sorry if this is in wrong place but I couldn’t find an email address. Have been reading through all the posts and would like to add the following which may be of interest. I used to own a large film poster, it was yellow and black with the wording ‘Robin Johnson Face Of The 80’s’, it was a cinema advertising poster and not for general purchase, I can’t seem to find it mentioned anywhere on this site, unfortunately I no longer have it, I actually had it on my wall for around 20 years! Also regarding the soundtrack, I recall Suzi Quatro stating that she had been asked to write the whole soundtrack to the film but her songs were dropped with only the one included, the other songs were released on her album Rock Hard. Also I recall Chrissie Hynde on a kids TV show here in the UK urging people to boycott the film at the time of its release as it glamorised running away! Your original site won’t load so apologies if this has all been covered before.
Hi Mandy! If you still had that poster I’d offer you big money for it! Well, I’d offer something, I don’t have big money. But I’ll have to add it to the list of things I know are out there but have never actually seen. But no, I’ve never heard of it before now, thanks.
If Suzi had been asked to write the entire soundtrack, someone was putting one over on her. It was always supposed to be a compilation, like the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. It’s possible she was asked to write enough songs to fill one side of the soundtrack album, like the Bee Gees had done, but there were so many people involved in gathering the music that, well, it’s something I hadn’t heard before. I do know that David Bowie, The Clash, and Graham Parker were all asked, or at least considered, for contributions. and Tom Petty was announced as being on the soundtrack even though he wasn’t.
As for Chrissie Hynde, that’s news to me too, but not entirely surprising. I have at least one article yet to post conflating the film’s release with the problem of runaway teens in 1980 England. Robin is asked about it and she answers basically that anyone who can’t see that what happens in the movie isn’t real, or realistic, is just stupid.
But no, none of that has been covered. The “Original Site” (which should load fine, I don’t know why you couldn’t see it) is from maybe ten years ago and covers Robin’s entire career, but in far less depth than the blog. And I don’t keep an email address on the site because when I did, I got tons of spam. Easier to get in touch here or on Facebook, which is where most of the comments end up going. Thanks for posting a comment here! It makes me feel like someone’s actually reading this 🙂
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