Times Square


1h 51m 1980
Times Square

Brief Synopsis

Two runaway teenage girls, from opposite sides of the track, become media stars and develop their own rock band through their connection with a Times Square radio disc jockey.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Drama
Release Date
1980

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 51m

Synopsis

Two runaway teenage girls, from opposite sides of the track, become media stars and develop their own rock band through their connection with a Times Square radio disc jockey.

Crew

Trini Alvarado

Song Performer

Leslie Bloom

Set Decorator

Jacob Brackman

Song

Jacob Brackman

Screenplay

Jacob Brackman

Producer

David Byrne

Song

D L Byron

Song Performer

Mike Chapman

Song

Desmond Child

Song

Desmond Child

Song Performer

Nicky Chin

Song

Anthony Ciccolini

Sound Editor

Barbara Claman

Casting

James A Contner

Director Of Photography

Robert De Mora

Costume Designer

Louis Digiaimo

Casting

Lamont Dozier

Song

Karen Eifert

Costume Supervisor

Bryan Ferry

Song

Paul Fox

Song

Lou Fusaro

Unit Manager

James V Gartland

Key Grip

Norman Gay

Sound Editor

Robin Gibb

Song Performer

Robin Gibb

Song

Judi Goodman

Hair

David Goodnoff

On-Set Dresser

Bernard Hajdenberg

Sound Editor

Gloria Hauser

Production Coordinator

Kate Hirson

Sound Editor

Brian Holland

Song

Alan Hopkins

Assistant Director

Chrissie Hynde

Song

Joe Jackson

Song Performer

Joe Jackson

Song

Michael Jacobi

Sound Editor

Garland Jeffreys

Song

Garland Jeffreys

Song Performer

John Jennings

Song

David Johansen

Song

David Johansen

Song Performer

Robin Johnson

Song Performer

Michael Kirchberger

Editor

Les Lazarowitz

Sound

Marcy Levy

Song Performer

James Lovelett

Stunt Coordinator

Betsy Maturo

Assistant Editor

Kevin Mccormick

Executive Producer

Sandy Mcleod

Script Supervisor

Billy Mernit

Song

Allan Moyle

From Story

John Nicolella

Executive Producer

Gary Numan

Song

Gary Numan

Song Performer

Bill Oakes

Associate Producer

Ric Ocasek

Song

Malcolm Owne

Song

Andy Partridge

Song

Dan Perri

Titles

Tom Priestley

Editor

Suzi Quatro

Song Performer

Lou Reed

Song Performer

Lou Reed

Song

Harvey Rosenstock

Sound Editor

Jerry Ross

Sound Editor

Norman Ross

Song

Dave Ruffy

Song

Robert Sciretta

Sound

Greg Sheldon

Sound Editor

Margery Simkin

Casting

Patti Smith

Song Performer

Patti Smith

Song

Alex Stevens

Stunt Coordinator

Judith Stevens

Production Manager

Robert Stigwood

Producer

Ron Stigwood

Location Manager

Elaine Stundell

Production Coordinator

Julie Tanser

Sound Editor

K Tolhurst

Song

Tom Tonery

Props

Leanne Unger

From Story

Robert E Warren

Assistant Director

Blue Weaver

Music

Blue Weaver

Song

Josh Weiner

Photography

Peter Paul Wrona

Makeup

Stuart Wurtzel

Production Designer

Film Details

MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Drama
Release Date
1980

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 51m

Articles

Times Square


Far more famous in its day for the omnipresent double soundtrack LP than as an actual film, this engaging story of friendship (and implied romance) between two teenaged girls and bandmates preceded the more famous Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1980) by two years in the all-girl punk cinematic sweepstakes. Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnson star as two young New Yorkers under observation for mental conditions who escape to the world of Times Square with the backdrop of punk band that plays a pivotal role in their lives. Top-billed Tim Curry (who shot his role in two days) appears as a DJ, but the film belongs to its young stars who engaged in a more obvious love story in director/co-writer Allan Moyle’s original cut. The priceless footage of Times Square in its seedy prime and the barrage of classic songs by the likes of Suzi Quatro, The Cure, Patti Smith and The Ramones are highlights of the production, which was intended as another youth-oriented hit for producer, music manager and stage musical titan Robert Stigwood, who had produced hits with his recent Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Grease (1978) for his company RSO. Though not a hit for RSO (which suffered several setbacks afterwards as well), the film became a staple on home video and TV enough to ensure a small but dedicated cult following.

by Nathaniel Thompson

Times Square

Times Square

Far more famous in its day for the omnipresent double soundtrack LP than as an actual film, this engaging story of friendship (and implied romance) between two teenaged girls and bandmates preceded the more famous Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1980) by two years in the all-girl punk cinematic sweepstakes. Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnson star as two young New Yorkers under observation for mental conditions who escape to the world of Times Square with the backdrop of punk band that plays a pivotal role in their lives. Top-billed Tim Curry (who shot his role in two days) appears as a DJ, but the film belongs to its young stars who engaged in a more obvious love story in director/co-writer Allan Moyle’s original cut. The priceless footage of Times Square in its seedy prime and the barrage of classic songs by the likes of Suzi Quatro, The Cure, Patti Smith and The Ramones are highlights of the production, which was intended as another youth-oriented hit for producer, music manager and stage musical titan Robert Stigwood, who had produced hits with his recent Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Grease (1978) for his company RSO. Though not a hit for RSO (which suffered several setbacks afterwards as well), the film became a staple on home video and TV enough to ensure a small but dedicated cult following.by Nathaniel Thompson

Times Square (1980) - Times Square


When Canadian filmmaker Allan Moyle moved to New York City in the late 70s, he bought a second hand couch to furnish the seedy 42nd St. loft apartment he shared with writer Leanne Unger. Unbeknownst to him, a teenage runaway had tucked her private journal into the sofa cushions. When Moyle discovered the journal, he couldn't stop wondering about the anonymous girl whose scribbling and doodles hinted at an unbalanced, street-smart, magnetic personality. That mystery runaway inspired Moyle, Unger, and co-writer Jacob Brackman to create the character "Nicky Marotta", one half of the runaway duo "The Sleaze Sisters" on the run in Times Square (1980).

Nicky (Robin Johnson) is vastly different than Pamela (Trini Alvarado): She's fearless and impulsive where Pamela, the neglected daughter of a self-absorbed politician, is sensitive and anxious. There's no way the two girls would ever cross paths, until Nicky fakes a seizure to avoid being arrested and ends up in the same hospital where Pamela's been taken for neurological tests. She tries to intimidate her roommate with crazy stunts, like eating the rosebuds out of Pamela's get-well-soon bouquet, but Pamela is secretly impressed, writing poems like "Your ribs are my ladder, Nicky/I'm so amazed." When Nicky busts out of the hospital, Pamela escapes with her, and the two embark on a charmed existence as runaways in the decadent, electric atmosphere of Times Square, while iconoclastic late night radio personality Johnny LaGuardia (Tim Curry) cheers on their exploits from the airwaves.

Although the thirteen year old Alvarado, the daughter of a flamenco musician father and dancer mother, had previous film and theater credits, Robin Johnson was an acting newcomer. She was spotted loitering - and smoking - outside Brooklyn Tech High School by a talent scout who asked the throaty-voiced teenager, "Are you sixteen?" Invited to audition in Manhattan, the Park Slope native won the role over three thousand other contenders, by improvising the kind of tantrum Nicky would throw while being observed behind a two-way mirror in a juvenile facility. (Johnson shrugged off claims of having natural talent by saying "It's easy to play someone like yourself.") The actresses got along well during the location shoot in Times Square, although both endured catcalls from local prostitutes because of the eccentric, punkish costumes their characters wore.

Moyle, an independent filmmaker who had never made a big studio movie before, was given a $20 million budget by Australian music mogul Robert Stigwood through his multimedia conglomerate RSO. Part of RSO's interest in the project were the punk and new wave songs (by performers like Patti Smith, The Pretenders, Talking Heads and XTC ) that were threaded through the movie, as well as the original tunes "Damn Dog" and "Your Daughter Is One" (a song hinting at the lesbian aspect of Nicky and Pamela's partnership.) RSO's marketing strategy always included releasing soundtrack albums in conjunction with its movies, a safety net that paid off big in the case of Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Grease (1978), two albums still in the top ten best-selling soundtracks of all time.

However, RSO was nervous not only because the company was barely solvent after the colossal flop Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978), but because their cash cow The Bee Gees had just sued them for mismanagement and were seeking $200 million in restitution. Not willing to release a movie without the insurance policy of a saleable soundtrack, RSO insisted Moyle cram in more songs. Moyle protested, claiming rightly that the film's continuity would suffer, but to no avail. Surviving promotional photos are all that's left of scenes that probably included the tantrum that won Johnson her role, as well as other scenes rumored to clarify a lesbian relationship between the girls. (Moyle was so frustrated by the struggle to retain his movie's integrity that it's rumored a stress-related condition made all his hair fall out.)

Despite a formidable $6 million promotional campaign and wide release in twenty-five cities, Times Square died at the box office, earning not only critical scorn but moral outrage for daring to suggest, as David Denby of New York magazine put it, that sordid 42nd street was a "harmless hangout" for fun-loving teenage girls. (Denby went as far to demand Stigwood donate all profits from the resulting double-disc soundtrack album for this "evil, lying little fantasy" of a movie to finance a fund "for every girl mugged, raped, or battered in Times Square.") However, this flawed film has been rediscovered in recent years by a cult audience, not only New Wave fans in love with its time capsule soundtrack, but Lesbian audiences enthralled by butch sexpot Nicky and the passionate relationship only hinted at between the two runaways.

Producers: Jacob Brackman, Robert Stigwood
Director: Alan Moyle
Screenplay: Alan Moyle, Leanne Unger (story); Jacob Brackman
Cinematography: James A. Contner
Music: Blue Weaver
Film Editing: Tom Priestley
Cast: Tim Curry (Johnny LaGuardia), Trini Alvarado (Pamela Pearl), Robin Johnson (Nicky Marotta), Peter Coffield (David Pearl), Herbert Berghof (Dr. Huber), David Margulies (Dr. Zymansky), Anna Maria Horsford (Rosie Washington), Michael Margotta (JoJo), J.C. Quinn (Simon), Miguel Pinero (Roberto).
C-111m.

by Violet LeVoit

Resources:

"Arrivals" Us Magazine, December 23, 1980
"Spotlight Close Up: Robin Johnson." Seventeen, October 1980
"Two Girls" New York, November 3, 1980
Denisoff, R. Serge, William D. Romanowski. Risky Business: Rock In Film. Transaction Publishers, 1991
RobinJohnson.net

Times Square (1980) - Times Square

When Canadian filmmaker Allan Moyle moved to New York City in the late 70s, he bought a second hand couch to furnish the seedy 42nd St. loft apartment he shared with writer Leanne Unger. Unbeknownst to him, a teenage runaway had tucked her private journal into the sofa cushions. When Moyle discovered the journal, he couldn't stop wondering about the anonymous girl whose scribbling and doodles hinted at an unbalanced, street-smart, magnetic personality. That mystery runaway inspired Moyle, Unger, and co-writer Jacob Brackman to create the character "Nicky Marotta", one half of the runaway duo "The Sleaze Sisters" on the run in Times Square (1980). Nicky (Robin Johnson) is vastly different than Pamela (Trini Alvarado): She's fearless and impulsive where Pamela, the neglected daughter of a self-absorbed politician, is sensitive and anxious. There's no way the two girls would ever cross paths, until Nicky fakes a seizure to avoid being arrested and ends up in the same hospital where Pamela's been taken for neurological tests. She tries to intimidate her roommate with crazy stunts, like eating the rosebuds out of Pamela's get-well-soon bouquet, but Pamela is secretly impressed, writing poems like "Your ribs are my ladder, Nicky/I'm so amazed." When Nicky busts out of the hospital, Pamela escapes with her, and the two embark on a charmed existence as runaways in the decadent, electric atmosphere of Times Square, while iconoclastic late night radio personality Johnny LaGuardia (Tim Curry) cheers on their exploits from the airwaves. Although the thirteen year old Alvarado, the daughter of a flamenco musician father and dancer mother, had previous film and theater credits, Robin Johnson was an acting newcomer. She was spotted loitering - and smoking - outside Brooklyn Tech High School by a talent scout who asked the throaty-voiced teenager, "Are you sixteen?" Invited to audition in Manhattan, the Park Slope native won the role over three thousand other contenders, by improvising the kind of tantrum Nicky would throw while being observed behind a two-way mirror in a juvenile facility. (Johnson shrugged off claims of having natural talent by saying "It's easy to play someone like yourself.") The actresses got along well during the location shoot in Times Square, although both endured catcalls from local prostitutes because of the eccentric, punkish costumes their characters wore. Moyle, an independent filmmaker who had never made a big studio movie before, was given a $20 million budget by Australian music mogul Robert Stigwood through his multimedia conglomerate RSO. Part of RSO's interest in the project were the punk and new wave songs (by performers like Patti Smith, The Pretenders, Talking Heads and XTC ) that were threaded through the movie, as well as the original tunes "Damn Dog" and "Your Daughter Is One" (a song hinting at the lesbian aspect of Nicky and Pamela's partnership.) RSO's marketing strategy always included releasing soundtrack albums in conjunction with its movies, a safety net that paid off big in the case of Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Grease (1978), two albums still in the top ten best-selling soundtracks of all time. However, RSO was nervous not only because the company was barely solvent after the colossal flop Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978), but because their cash cow The Bee Gees had just sued them for mismanagement and were seeking $200 million in restitution. Not willing to release a movie without the insurance policy of a saleable soundtrack, RSO insisted Moyle cram in more songs. Moyle protested, claiming rightly that the film's continuity would suffer, but to no avail. Surviving promotional photos are all that's left of scenes that probably included the tantrum that won Johnson her role, as well as other scenes rumored to clarify a lesbian relationship between the girls. (Moyle was so frustrated by the struggle to retain his movie's integrity that it's rumored a stress-related condition made all his hair fall out.) Despite a formidable $6 million promotional campaign and wide release in twenty-five cities, Times Square died at the box office, earning not only critical scorn but moral outrage for daring to suggest, as David Denby of New York magazine put it, that sordid 42nd street was a "harmless hangout" for fun-loving teenage girls. (Denby went as far to demand Stigwood donate all profits from the resulting double-disc soundtrack album for this "evil, lying little fantasy" of a movie to finance a fund "for every girl mugged, raped, or battered in Times Square.") However, this flawed film has been rediscovered in recent years by a cult audience, not only New Wave fans in love with its time capsule soundtrack, but Lesbian audiences enthralled by butch sexpot Nicky and the passionate relationship only hinted at between the two runaways. Producers: Jacob Brackman, Robert Stigwood Director: Alan Moyle Screenplay: Alan Moyle, Leanne Unger (story); Jacob Brackman Cinematography: James A. Contner Music: Blue Weaver Film Editing: Tom Priestley Cast: Tim Curry (Johnny LaGuardia), Trini Alvarado (Pamela Pearl), Robin Johnson (Nicky Marotta), Peter Coffield (David Pearl), Herbert Berghof (Dr. Huber), David Margulies (Dr. Zymansky), Anna Maria Horsford (Rosie Washington), Michael Margotta (JoJo), J.C. Quinn (Simon), Miguel Pinero (Roberto). C-111m. by Violet LeVoit Resources: "Arrivals" Us Magazine, December 23, 1980 "Spotlight Close Up: Robin Johnson." Seventeen, October 1980 "Two Girls" New York, November 3, 1980 Denisoff, R. Serge, William D. Romanowski. Risky Business: Rock In Film. Transaction Publishers, 1991 RobinJohnson.net

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall September 1980

Released in United States Fall September 1980

Released in United States June 1991

Shown at New York International Festival of Lesbian and Gay Film June 7-23, 1991.

Released in United States June 1991 (Shown at New York International Festival of Lesbian and Gay Film June 7-23, 1991.)