Times Square Press Folder

Posted on 30th March 2015 in "Times Square"

At least that’s what it was called when I got it. It’s only a folder though in the sense that it’s folded, not that it contained something else like the press kits which have pockets to hold papers and photos. This is just a big piece of heavy glossy stock, folded over.


It’s not really a “press” folder, either. It looks like promotion to theater owners, to get them to book the film. I’m not an authority on film publicity; if you know a technical term for this kind of object, please leave a comment!

One thing is for sure, though — this was created, like the articles in my last few posts, before the advertising campaign had been designed. The outside is an extremely cool yet rather anonymous collage of Times Square by night, and most of the photos inside are not the ones used later for publicity. The background image is a collage of the collage with a photo that will turn up in black and white in the press kit. The last image at the bottom right is a cropped version of the one I talked about here, which got used a lot. The shot of the concert in Times Square and the close-up of Nicky will both later appear in the Songbook, I think. The close-up of Tim Curry looks like it was taken a second before or after the photo that was printed in black and white in The Aquarian and Prevue. The other pictures may be unique to this folder.

Ironically, the image of the girls with the “Times Square-42nd St.” sign superimposed over them was, as we’ve seen, taken on the corner of 8th Avenue and 50th Street.

The text… well, judge for yourself. It misspells Nicky’s name “Nikki.” Lots of people do that, sure, but, but, no. She spells her first name “Nicky.” The film isn’t even out yet, and it looks like someone may be worried she’s not girly enough.

ROBERT STIGWOOD
PRESENTS
TIMES SQUARE

AFD
Associated
Film Distribution

Robert Stigwood, whose multimedia touch produced such movie-record super hits as “Grease”… “Tommy”… “Saturday Night Fever”… and “Jesus Christ Superstar”… will now usher in a new wave of youthful excitement:
TIMES SQUARE

Set in the neon nerve center of young New York. Crammed with colorful, careening characters. Ablaze with the light of a million midnight suns. Tuned to a furious rock beat… amps up… full power on. The new wave. It’s called:
TIMES SQUARE

It’s about the most rollicking runaways since Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Pammy Pearl… bright… pretty… shy of love… from a Fifth Avenue penthouse overlooking the park. Nikki Marotta… tough… funny… hooked on dreams… from the mean streets of the east Village.

They’ve ridden a wild river called 42nd Street. Now, they’re hiding on the exciting, eccentric, busy dizzy, dangerous island that’s Times Square.

Half the city is hunting for them. The other half is cheering for them… to stay “lost.” The only one who knows their whereabouts is all-night disc jockey Johnny La Guardia, perched in a skyscraper studio, playing their song. And he won’t tell.

Because any moment now… Pammy and Nikki will reappear as the spectacular “Sleaze Sisters”… to stop traffic… live their dreams… and turn on the whole town.
TIMES SQUARE

It’s a dazzling youth-market-musical that will pack theatres this October… like TIMES SQUARE on New Year’s Eve.
Get in on the action…
TIMES SQUARE

©1980 Associated
Film Distribution

By popular demand (meaning Deb asked), here are close-ups of the inside pictures. Their actual size is pretty close to the thumbnails below, so the gallery will give a good view of the individual pixels.

 

 

“Robert Stigwood presents Times Square”
12 in (H) x 18 in (W) (folded) (work);
1080 px (W) x 718 px (H), 96 dpi, 525 kb (outside image)
1080 px (W) x 721 px (H), 96 dpi, 647 kb (inside image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Post edited on 4 April 2015 to add the detail image gallery.

The Concert in Times Square

Posted on 26th January 2015 in "Times Square"

I’m breaking my rule of one picture per post again, but these are so similar to each other it seemed silly to stretch them out over three posts. These are the last of the Kodak 8 x 10’s: three shots of Robin atop the Times Square Theater marquee. In the first one, you can see not only Robin’s safety cable, but Trini’s as well, along with a couple crew members keeping an eye on them. You might think it’s JoJo and Simon from WJAD, but in the film they can be clearly seen sitting on the Apollo Theater’s marquee with the Blondells. These guys are production safety deputies.
 

The Times Square Theater seems to be cursed. It’s the one property on New 42nd Street that no one has been able to do anything with. Plans are continually being made, a tenant is announced, and then nothing happens. At least the facade is visible now; for years it was completely hidden behind a canvas shroud announcing the opening of a Marc Ecko store, which needless to say never opened. At the heart of Times Square is the plan by Pammy’s father to clean up Times Square, and that actually happened less than ten years later… now, every property in Times Square is actively serving a thriving tourist trade… except the Times Square Theater, which remains empty.

The Facade of the Times Square Theater, April 20 2014

The facade of the Times Square Theater, April 20 2014

In my opinion, its best use would be as an Alamo Drafthouse, screening the kind of repertory films that used be in small theaters all over the city until the little cinemas that showed them closed one by one. But odds are there’s no way to make such a venture sufficiently profitable in that space, since it apparently isn’t sufficiently profitable in no end of less desirable properties. Part of the problem is that apparently the Times Square Theater has no back entrance; directly behind it, along 43rd Street, was the auditorium of the Apollo Theater (now the Lyric), whose entrance ironically ran through the front of the Times Square Theater (confused yet?). What this means is, the only way to load in and out is through the front on 42nd Street, making it very difficult to work with, especially as a performance venue. (All this information comes from the Wikipedia pages for the Times Square and Apollo Theaters, and the sources linked there as references.)
 

With that in mind… towards the end of the film, Pammy drags Nicky out of the radio station (to the faint strains of “Help Me!”), and around the block to the rear entrance to her father’s offices. This is quite clearly on 43rd Street, where it should be;Nicky and Pammy head west on 43rd St between Broadway and 8th - frame capture from "Times Square" (1980) behind them we can see the sign of the Strand HotelThe Concert in Times Square - frame capture from "Times Square" (1980) which was located at 206 West 43rd Street. Later we get a clear shot establishing that the “Times Square Renaissance” project has taken over the Apollo Theater, so the door Pammy and Nicky go in does indeed lead into the Apollo. The Blondells and the WJAD people load in the Blondells’ equipment through a pair of large theater doors that are not the door Pammy got in through, and are not on 42nd Street, so it’s safe to assume they’re the main theater exit from the Apollo (the kind of doors the Times Square Theater does not have), and they go through the Pearl offices and up to the Apollo’s marquee. But how did Nicky and Pammy get into the Times Square theater next door, unseen by the growing crowd in the street, and at what point did JoJo or Simon… well, there was room for a great
Apollo Theater's back doors - frame capture from "Times Square" (1980)Paul Blondell and JoJo carry equipment through the Times Square Renaissance offices - frame capture from "Times Square" (1980)little shot where someone setting up equipment on the Apollo marquee tosses a wired microphone over to the Times Square marquee.

No, despite the Apollo’s lobby running through the Times Square’s facade, these are two separate buildings, only one of which opens onto 43rd Street. While there may possibly be some emergency door between the two, really the only way Pammy and Nicky could get to the Times Square Theater’s marquee is with the magic powers they used during their escape through the Adonis Theater, materializing from roof to roof and walking through buildings that are next to each other but not actually connected.
 

Or, maybe I should “just repeat to yourself ‘It’s just a show, I should really just relax.'” But where’s the fun in that?
 

And now, the closest frames from the film.


 

One last thought… Nicky first appears out of a crowd of people, walking west on 42nd Street, right in front of the Times Square Theater and past the entrance to the Apollo. At the end of the film, she leaps from the marquee of the Times Square Theater, heads west on 42nd, and disappears into a crowd of people just past the entrance to the Apollo. This is of course because Nicky doesn’t really exist: she’s a spirit of the city, a personification of the visceral life in 42nd Street Johnny is always talking about, called into being to help Pammy, and when her job is done vanishing back into the street until she’s needed again. I need more sleep.

 

 

[Pammy Watches Nicky Sing Atop the Times Square Theater Marquee]
color photographic print, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work) [w/o border 6.5 in x 9.5 in];
857 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 628 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on back:] [photo paper stamped] THIS PAPER / MANUFACTURED / BY KODAK

 

[Nicky Marotta on the Times Square Theater Marquee]
color photographic print, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work) [w/o border 6.5 in x 9.5 in];
866 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 624 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on back:] [photo paper stamped] THIS PAPER / MANUFACTURED / BY KODAK

 

[Nicky on the Times Square Theater Marquee]
color photographic print, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work) [w/o border 6.5 in x 9.5 in];
862 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 631 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on back:] [photo paper stamped] THIS PAPER / MANUFACTURED / BY KODAK

 

The Facade of the Times Square Theater, April 20 2014
1000 px (W) x 599 px (H), 72 dpi, 386 kb (image)
Photo by Sean Rockoff

 

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853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi (images)
frame captures from Times Square (1980)
captured 2015-01-04

 

vlcsnap-2014-11-04-20h17m48s255.png
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 882 kb (image)
frame capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-11-04

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

“34”

Posted on 17th January 2015 in "Times Square"

Here we have an 8″x10″ black and white print showing Nicky leaping into the air at the start of the concert in Times Square (as opposed to her leaping into the air at the end of the concert). Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta leaps into the the air, beginning her performance at the conclusion of "Times Square" (1980). It has a tiny number “34” printed onto its front. The back bears a stamp reading “TIMES SQUARE,” a handwritten “34” in black ink, and in blue ink a different hand has written “Robin Johnson, Trini Alvarez.” It’s probably safe to say the last was added by a memorabilia dealer who wasn’t too familiar with the movie.

 

This moment in the film is comprised of two shots: one of her kneeling and starting the jump, the other of her in the air and landing. In the frame that would Nicky leaps into the air - the closest frame from the film to B&W still 34match this exact moment, her head is facing the other way and mostly out of the shot. Don’t believe me? Here it is:

 

This photo is in black and white. An almost identical shot that looks like it was taken a fraction of a second later was published in color in a German magazine in 1982. This leads me to speculate (as I may have before, but I can’t be bothered to check now) that all these photos were taken in color, and some were distributed in black and white… for newspaper reproduction? To save money on printing costs? — or that some of them at least are edited movie frames from unused takes. I doubt this though because there’d be a lot more motion blur in them. You can see the blur in the frame capture above, while the still is sharp.

 
And that’s really all I have to say about this. Sorry to disappoint you. But I will leave you with one question… Take a look at that frame capture from the movie, and tell me: what color is Nicky’s sweater? Whatever your answer, we’ll continue to ask that question for a couple more weeks at least.

 
What’s that? You want to see the picture in the German magazine? I told you, that was published in 1982. It’s barely 1980 here. Hold your horses.

 

Times Square Production Still 34
black and white photographic print, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work);
863 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 451 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: 34 at bottom right
[On back:] [stamped, black:] TIMES SQUARE
[handwritten, black:] 34
[handwritten, blue:] Robin Johnson, Trini Alvarez

 

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

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Pammy’s Dancing Career Cut Short

Posted on 9th January 2015 in "Times Square"

Uncropped 8x10 photograph of Trini Alvarado as Pamela Pearl in the movie "Times Square." The shot replicates, but does not duplicate, the shot as it appears in the film.
Despite recent appearances, this is a Robin Johnson site, not a Times Square site. But, for better or worse, there’s far more Times Square material out there than for the rest of her career combined. Plus, the vast majority of her fans (though not all) found her through Times Square. So I’ll be posting the occasional Times Square item that Robin isn’t in. And today, I’m also breaking my general rule about one item at a time, because these two are so close together in the film.Times Square Slide 63-25: Trini Alvarado as Pamela Pearl
 

The first is one of the 8″ x 10″ color prints on Kodak paper, and shows Pammy in the middle of demonstrating her new moves to another Cleo girl. The second is the second of the slides, and shows her reacting to seeing her father in the club. Again, they don’t match up to the shots used in the film, mostly because the POV seems to be standing directly behind where the other dancer is sitting. The first shot might conceivably have been taken during the actual take, but Trini’s hands and feet are in different positions in the second one than they appear in the film.
 

This scene is notable for containing one of the few appearances of the “Doomsday Book,” the giant ledger Pammy bought to document her and Nicky’s lives in a scene cut from the film, and which Nicky methodically burns page by page at the end. It’s visible lying on the keyboard in the first picture. It’s the one thing Pammy grabs as she runs out of the club.

That’s all I have to say about that. I’ve been unsuccessful so far in figuring out the location of whatever bar served as the Cleopatra. If I ever do work it out, you’ll be the first to know.

Here, for tradition’s sake, are the closest frames from the film:

David Pearl finds PammyPammy Takes a Walk on the Wild SideDavid Pearl finds Pammy

 

 

Times Square Color Production Still / “Walk on the Wild Side”
color photographic print, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work);
866 px (W) x 1080 px (H), 96 dpi, 595 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on back:] [handwritten:] 60-6A

 

Times Square slide 63-25
35mm color slide, 2 in (H) x 2 in (W) (including mount) (work);
727 px (W) x 1080 px (H), 96 dpi, 573 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on back:] [handwritten:] 60-6A

 

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853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi (images)
frame captures from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-12-07

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

“Damn Dog”

Posted on 24th December 2014 in "Times Square"

8"x10" color print of Robin Johnson performing "Damn Dog" - shot not as it appears in the film

Left to right: Trini Alvarado, Robin Johnson, Artie Weinstein, Paul Sass. Just beyond the periphery: Billy Mernit


Back to the 8 x 10 Kodak prints… here’s another shot of Robin as Nicky dressed up as Aggie playing “Damn Dog” in the Cleo Club, and as always, there’s no frame in the film that matches up. The frame I’ve chosen is the only one where Robin has both hands on her guitar, is singing into the mic, and most importantly Artie has his hand up spinning his drum stick. But, not only is the shot framed entirely differently and from a different position, Robin isn’t even facing the same direction, and may not be singing the same word.Aggie Doon (Nicky Marotta [Robin Johnson]) perfoms "Damn Dog" - Frame capture from "Times Square" (1980)

 

“Aggie Doon.” In the commentary audio track on the 2000 Anchor Bay DVD, Robin asks director Allan Moyle why they went with that name, and he doesn’t remember. I seem to remember hearing something about Nicky using a pseudonym because, after all, she’s wanted by the police, but I don’t remember where it was I came across that idea. That doesn’t really make sense, though, since Pammy is dancing under her own real name. The screenplay doesn’t explain it either.

 

"Times Square" Screenplay by Jacob Brackman, 1979, p. 77
 

Also on the commentary track, in the previous scene where Nicky reads her poem to Pammy, Moyle claims that Robin wrote part of it, and she’s gobsmacked because although she was writing and performing poetry at the time of the commentary’s recording, she has no recollection of contributing to “Damn Dog.” The reason for that is simple: she didn’t. The poem she recites in the film is almost word-for-word the poem Jacob Brackman wrote in the early draft of the screenplay, months before she was discovered; and unless she changed her name to Norman Ross, she didn’t contribute any of the changes made when it was turned into the song."Damn Dog, by Billy Mernit, Jacob Brackman, and Norman Ross"

What’s my point? I guess it’s that Allan Moyle, bless ‘im, is something of an unreliable narrator when it comes to the making of Times Square.

 

More importantly, though… if Robin isn’t Norman Ross, then who is?
 Norman Ross (left), co-writer of "Damn Dog" and "Your Daughter is One," playing guitar. Photo provided by Billy Mernit.


“Norman was one of my closest friends and was the backbone of my band for many years – a stellar guitarist. He was the soul of rock’n’roll incarnate. He died a number of years ago due to a lifetime of wretched excess.

“Specific to ‘Damn Dog,’ he’s responsible for the guitar phrasing of its signature lick – that ‘Dat-DAT-dut! Da-DAH-da-da-da…’ figure, which was in a sense Norman channeling Keith Richards. (The lyrics are Jacob’s with some revisions/additions of mine, and the melody and chord structure is me.)”

— Billy Mernit

 

If you’re here reading this odds are the chords that kick off “Damn Dog” are burned permanently into your brain. If you play guitar you’ve had a bash at them more than once. They mean something to you in a visceral way. Can you imagine “Damn Dog” without that lick? Can you imagine “Times Square” without a song featuring that lick? Norman Ross created this specific thing without which the effect and the affect of the movie would have been immeasurably diminished. There’d be something missing from your life and you’d never know it.
 

It’s a shame he’s not around so we could express our appreciation directly, but at least we can now keep his name alive whenever we hear “Damn Dog” start up.
 

I dedicate this to Norman Ross, and all the other dinosaurs that got kicked outta the band.

 

 

“Damn Dog, 60-6A”
color photographic print, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work);
866 px (W) x 1080 px (H), 96 dpi, 491 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on back:] [handwritten:] 60-6A

 

vlcsnap-2014-12-07-13h01m02s187.png
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 737 kb (image)
frame capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-12-07

 

TIMES SQUARE, p. 77
Screenplay by Jacob Brackman
1979

 

“TIMES SQUARE” Songbook, p. 47 (detail)
800 px (W) x 194 px (H) (image)

 

Norman Ross in Action
329 px (W) x 632 px (H), 72 dpi, 100 kb (image)
Photo courtesy Billy Mernit
provided 2014-12-15, edited 2014-12-21

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

Foxy Miss Pearl

Posted on 30th November 2014 in "Times Square"

Color production photo from "Times Square" replicating but not duplicating the scene in which Pammy makes her debut as an exotic dancer. Inscription: on back: repeated stamp THIS PAPER / MANUFACTURED / BY KODAK, which was printed on Kodak photo paper between 1972 and 1989

“I’m not dancing topless.”

 

12-year-old Trini Alvarado enacts 13-year-old Pamela Pearl making her debut as an exotic dancer, thankfully not topless. There are other images of this scene that were taken at the same time and differ only slightly, but I only have them published in magazines, on lobby cards, or in promotional packages. This one is an unmarked 8 X 10 like the last few and next few photos. All the promotional shots of this scene have in common is, again, that they’re not the shot as it appears in the film.

Pammy dances for Nicky, not topless, in a frame captured from "Times Square" (1980)

 

 

 

This is the closest image from the film. (I hope I’m not boring you with this.)

Pammy, not topless dances for Nicky, in a frame captured from "Times Square" (1980)

 

 

 

It’s possible that the stills were shot while the movie camera was taking this reverse angle.

The screenplay is adamant that Pammy dances topless, and has her appear topless in a few other short scenes before and after. I think everybody is glad that Trini and her parents refused to let her do it. The change was probably a very late one, but even though it never fails to get a laugh when Roberto hires her anyway because “I like that. Class. Respect. That’s good for the club. Good for business,” it’s also the point where the film takes its deepest plunge into the dream-logic that permeates it, making it so emotionally affecting in ways that defy rational analysis. After all, no sense makes sense.

Or, it’s left over from another theme in the screenplay that’s almost gone from the finished film, in which it’s shown that there’s an underground community in Times Square that knows Nicky and is looking out for the runaways behind the scenes, like a surrogate family. Roberto is determined to hire Pammy no matter what, in order to help her and Nicky, and needs to come up with an excuse that will fool a desperate 13-year-old girl. This still ignores the potential legal jeopardy he’s putting himself into, so… we’re back in dream-world again.

Whatever you think of the film’s rationalization for Pammy stripping without taking off her clothes, in the long run at the very least it’s kept the movie from potentially becoming illegal to own or view in the United States. So I’m happy with it.

It also helps keep the film from devolving into just another exploitation flick. I personally believe that most (not all, but most) of the material that was cut from the film, that everyone is so sad about, would actually weaken the film were we to see it presented explicitly.

There’s a much richer and wittier look at the situation at DefeatedandGifted’s Times Square Fandom blog.

 

“Foxy Miss Pearl”
8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work) [w/o border 6.5 in x 9.625 in];
862 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 407 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on reverse:] [stamped:] THIS PAPER / MANUFACTURED / BY KODAK
 
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853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi (images)
screen captures from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-10-19
 
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

Pammy and Nicky Escape (again)

Posted on 22nd November 2014 in "Times Square"

Pammy and Nicky, running from a cop, burst out onto the street in this production photo replicating, but not duplicating, a shot from "Times Square" (1980).
 
Another 8×10 color print marked as Kodak paper from the 1970s-80s on the back. Normally when printing an 8×10 the image would be enlarged to fill the 8-inch dimension, cropping out about 2 inches of the longer dimension, but these photos are printed to show the entire exposure. I would say that was to emulate the aspect ratio of the movie, except that as we’ll see some of the photos were shot portrait style and not landscape.

This one has 9-34A written in dark marker on the back. Many of these photos have numbers in a similar format written on them, and most if not all the distributed publicity stills have numbers like that printed on them, so I’m assuming it’s an official designation from the production, although what exactly it means, I don’t know. If you know, please, tell me!

A frame from "Times Square" (1980)

If you’re familiar with Times Square, you know this shot instantly. Except, as I’ve been pointing out, it isn’t. The shot in the film is framed differently — the still camera is a few feet to the right of the movie camera — and the girls are never quite in those positions relative to the door opening. This is the closest frame I can find. Comparing the two, my completely unsubstantiated guess is that the photo was shot during a rehearsal or an early take, and the shot used in the film came after Trini and Robin were given the direction to be a little more wild and really fling themselves out of the door. They look rather calm in the photograph.

So the next question is, where are they? You know what, why don’t I take this opportunity to try retrace their steps for the entire sequence?

Nicky and Pammy try the 3-card monte hustle - frame grab from "Times Square" (1980)Nicky and Pammy try the 3-card monte hustle - frame grab from "Times Square" (1980)
 

The three-card monte game is on the west side of Broadway just south of 47th Street. In several shots, we can see the Castro Convertibles showroom on the ground floor of 2 Times Square, and the 47th St. street sign, so this part is unquestionably one of the few sequences that actually takes place within the Square and not on the Deuce.

Nicky and Pammy run from a plainclothes detective - frame grab from "Times Square" (1980)

When the cop identifies himself, the girls take off north and sprint left around the corner, so they’re now on the south side of 47th headed west towards 8th Avenue.

Nicky and Pammy run from a plainclothes detective - frame grab from "Times Square" (1980)
Now things get a little fuzzy. There are two problems with identifying locations here: the first is that the camera is moving so fast most potentially identifiable objects are blurred, and the second is that not only have all the businesses changed in the last 34 years, but many buildings in the area have been razed to the sub-basement level and entirely new structures now stand in their places. So with that in mind… they come around another corner, turn left again and cross the street. Assuming they were still on 47th, they’re now heading south. But, the next block west of Broadway is 8th Avenue which runs north, and they’re running with the traffic, not against it. They must have run two blocks on 47th, turned onto 9th Ave., and are now headed towards 46th Street. (It doesn’t look like either avenue to me, though.)

On the other hand… perhaps instead of jumping into the future the amount of time it would have taken them to run the length of the block, we’ve jumped back in time about five seconds, and this is the girls coming around the corner we just saw them disappear behind. That would put them back on 47th headed for 8th. Yeah, let’s go with that.
 

Nicky and Pammy run from a plainclothes detective - frame grab from "Times Square" (1980)
 
Still running in the direction of the traffic, on the right side of what I’m still assuming is 47th street, and there’s a sign behind them that sure looks like it says “Seventh Ave.” That would be a ways behind them, on the other side of Broadway, so it makes sense that we’re now looking east on 47th.

Nicky and Pammy run from a plainclothes detective - frame grab from "Times Square" (1980)
 
Still running with the traffic, but now on the left side of the street, with a police car in pursuit as well as the plainclothes cop. And we know they’re about to run into the Adonis Theater, so they’re on 8th Avenue and in this frame about to cross 50th Street, headed north. One street block and three avenue blocks have been edited out, but after all “Innocent, Not Guilty” is only two minutes and 18 seconds long.
Nicky and Pammy run from a plainclothes detective - frame grab from "Times Square" (1980)
 

And things get a little weird again: they run through the theater, up into the balcony, manage to get up to the roof, climb down a fire escape that looks like it’s on an outside wall, then down one on an inside-of-the-block wall from the roof of a different building than the one the cop who was directly behind them is on (whew), and then we’re back at the top of this post as they burst out of the big doors back onto the street.

Nicky and Pammy run from a plainclothes detective - frame grab from "Times Square" (1980)Nicky and Pammy run from a plainclothes detective - frame grab from "Times Square" (1980)

And they’re almost exactly where they were in the last post! They go to the corner and down into the 8th Avenue subway, which puts them at the same intersection they ran past on their way to the theater. They’re now around the corner from where they were, on 50th Street with 8th Avenue behind them. Those are the gated windows of O’Brien’s Corner on the left, and we can see the tail end of one of the parked yellow cabs they’d run past a moment before. Luckily, the cops in the car that followed them to the theater seem to have lost interest in the chase, to be replaced by a guy in a beret staring directly into the camera.

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If I stop to think about it though, it doesn’t seem likely they’d be able to go into the third or fourth building on a block and find their way out a service entrance of an entirely different building around the corner. There must have been a lot of unlocked doors in their path, which would be ironic since the emergency fire exits from the theater itself were locked. This isn’t the only time we see people get in and out of a building through an entrance that’s geographically close but not actually attached to it. With any luck I’ll remember to tell you about the other one.

The sequence works, though. It feels right. It makes perfect sense if you don’t study it too closely; then you start to see things that could not possibly happen, except maybe in a dream. Which is also true of the film as a whole.

Map of Nicky and Pammy's escape route

 

9-34A (“Pammy and Nicky Escape Again”)
8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work) [w/o border 6.5 in x 9.625 in];
867 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 445 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on reverse:] [handwritten in black marker:] 9-34A
[stamped:] THIS PAPER / MANUFACTURED / BY KODAK

 
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853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi (images)
screen captures from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-11-08
 
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

42nd & 6th

Posted on 6th November 2014 in "Times Square"

Nicky and Pammy walk the streets in this black and white print of a color publicity photo for "Times Square," which depicts a scene not actually in the film.

 

 

So: the girls are east of Times Square and headed for it. They’ve already traded clothes, and are on foot. In the film, this happens after they’ve been on the subway in those outfits, except they’re on their way to “the hideout” (as it’s called in the script). The hideout is described in the script as being a pier on the Hudson River near 42nd Street, but Pier 56 as it appears in the film is actually closer to 14th Street, and the walking we see in the film looks to have been shot there in the meatpacking district back when meat was actually packed there. We never see Nicky and Pammy walking through a populated city street in those outfits.

o-TIMES-900

 

Wait… they’ve just come out of the subway, on their way to the hideout, and are now walking to 14th Street? That doesn’t make any sense; why get off the train when they still have 30 blocks south to go? The thing is, this is maybe the second most heavily edited part of the film, the first being the sequence immediately before this one, where they cut and dye each other’s hair on the Jersey side of the river, which was eliminated entirely. The shot in the film on the subway doesn’t happen in the subway in the script, it happens on the street. These photos are the beginning of the scene which was almost totally removed, in which Nicky goes to her father for help.

"Times Square" Screenplay p. 49

All of these pictures which were ultimately only used for publicity purposes were originally shot from this page, in which the girls emerge from the subway and go to a Nedick’s, looking for someone who might know where Roger Marotta is, and then continue on their way. The scene in the film on the subway originally happened out on the street after Nicky realizes her dad won’t be able to help them find a place to stay. In the script, her saying to Pammy “We are going to do everything ourselves” is a direct reaction to her father’s inability to help. In the film, it’s a statement of general opposition to the world, and in my opinion, it may be less realistic, but it’s more powerful. Take that, original cinematic vision! The scene on the subway is all that remains of the sequence, and as I said, it wasn’t written as happening on the subway.

If you looked real closely, and I’m sure you did, you noticed that in this script Pammy christens them The Sleaze Sisters. (Nicky comes up with the phrase “Sleaze Sister” on the previous page.) There’s no dialogue written in the script when they find the junk-filled trunks in the pier. This would seem to indicate that either the excised riverside scene was heavily rewritten before it was shot — sadly since it’s long lost there’s no way to compare it with the pages — or that the “exploring the pier” scene was rewritten after the riverside scene had been shot and cut.

My main purpose on this site is to show pictures of Robin Johnson and place them in some sort of context, not to analyze Times Square to hell and back. There are others who can do that much better than I. But I will throw in a little here and there, just to get you talking amongst yourselves, hopefully. With that in mind, here’s a tiny peek into the mindset of the film’s creators: note that at the top of the screenplay page, our two protagonists, having abandoned civilization, achieve “an effect of … savage beauty” by darkening their skin. Make of that what you will. At least the beta carotene pills seem to have been dropped from the script before filming, otherwise we’d have all been wondering for years not only what happened to their hair, but where’d they get the tans.

M8DTISQ EC001
The first shot above is a black-and-white print. The photo was taken in color, as it was published that way many times, but I haven’t found a primary source image for it. And it bugs me, because as you can see this color version I found on the Web actually shows more of the image. Why it was printed in black-and-white, I don’t know. It’s one of a number of prints I believe to be contemporary with the film, as they all bear the stamp on the back “THIS PAPER MANUFACTURED BY KODAK,” which was used on Kodak photo paper from 1972 to about 1989. Some have numbers written on the back, but nothing to give a clue as to what they were for originally. Some are in black-in-white, some are color. The one thing they have in common is that they depict a shot from the film without actually being from that shot. Even when you take into account that the photographer wasn’t standing in the same spot as the movie camera, the things and people in the frame are in different positions. “What exactly do you mean?” I hear you ask. Well, since this particular photo is an exception, as it’s a shot not in the film at all, you’ll have to wait till next time for a demonstration.
Nicky and Pammy walk to the pier - frame capture from 'Times Square' DVD

 

 

 

But, here’s the closest shot in the film. It’s several blocks west and a long way south.

 

 

“Nicky and Pammy on the Street”
8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work);
863 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 535 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on reverse:] [handwritten:] Times Square
[stamped:] THIS PAPER MANUFACTURED BY KODAK

 
o-TIMES-900-300×199.jpg
900 px (W) x 598 px (H), 300 dpi, 140 KB (image)
1979/1980
retrieved on 2014-05-01 from Brooks, Katherine. “12 Films That Pay Homage To Punk Rock Girls.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc., 1 May 2014. Web.
 
TIMES SQUARE, p. 49
Screenplay by Jacob Brackman
1979

 
TIMES SQUARE, from left, Robin Johnson, Trini Alvarado, 1980, ©Associated Film .
1000 px (W) x 685 px (H), 300 dpi, 113 KB (image)
1979/1980
retrieved on 2014-10-22 from “Times Square.” Cineplex. Cineplex Entertainment LP, n.d. Web.
 
vlcsnap-2014-10-18-18h53m27s204-300×168.png
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 922 KB (image)
screen capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-10-18
 
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+