Times Square

1980

Drama / Music

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 43%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 75%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 1619

new york city punk rock runaway punk band mental hospital

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Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
May 26, 2022 at 05:07 PM

Director

Top cast

Trini Alvarado as Pamela Pearl
Tim Curry as Johnny LaGuardia
Elizabeth Peña as Disco Hostess
Anna Maria Horsford as Rosie Washington
720p.BLU
1019.35 MB
1280*690
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 50 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by aimless-46 8 / 10

I Love This Film

I must confess up front to a favorable bias toward "Times Square". Just before its release I recall seeing the trailer and being won over by the scene in the hospital where Nikki begins eating the flowers. Since this was only about 10 seconds into the trailer it is fair to say that I immediately connected with the film. The same trailer is included with the DVD and I was happy to see that my memory of the event was accurate. After seeing the actual feature I went out and bought the double album, which I still own.

I know more about films now than I did 25 years ago and thanks to the DVD commentary (by Director Allen Moyle and Robin Johnson-who played Nikki) I now know a lot about what went into the making of "Times Square". Unfortunately Robin's co-star Trini Alvarado (Pammy) was not available for the commentary. Although most viewers consider Nikki the central character, Nikki really needs Pammy to play off (much like Charlize Theron needs Christina Ricci's reaction shots in "Monster"), plus Pammy's scenes without Nikki are some of the best in the film and Pammy is the character who undergoes all the changes in the story, so you can't really say that one of them is more important than the other.

"Times Square" suffered the same fate that Orson Welles' "The Magnificent Ambersons" did 40 years earlier. The producers took control of the final cut, re-shot some scenes, deleted others, and released a version that did not reflect the director's vision. Apparently no one has ever been able to find the deleted footage for either film. Although "Times Square" was butchered even more than "Ambersons", it seems to have been less damaged. In part that is because the originally intended version would never have approached the perfection of the original "Amberson's". Perhaps more importantly, "Times Square" has a Haskel Wexler gritty documentary style that simply transcends the narrative elements of the story. So changes to the storyline could not take away from its basic ambiance nor from its preservation of the look of 1979 Times Square-something that was even then a ghost world.

Moyle now wishes he had not left the production after a dispute over including additional songs (so they could have a double album) because his continued presence would at least have had some damage control value. Producer Robert Stigwood ("Saturday Night Fever", "Saying Alive", "Jesus Christ Superstar", Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" ) was determined to release yet another of his musical exploitation films designed to make a lot of money on the soundtrack. This accounts for the inclusion of the completely inappropriate "Help Me" (The Bee Gees), the movie actually goes out on that song although they switch to something more appropriate midway through the credits.

The commercialization of the film also included dropping all obvious hints of a lesbian relationship between the two girls. This was probably a commercial mistake because a public controversy might have actually increased attendance. Ironically, if the lesbian angle had remained Moyle would have been accused of exploitation because it is really unnecessary for the storyline. Likewise the script changes needed when Alvarado refused to dance topless saved Moyle from looking like an exploiter.

While what survives has major continuity and character development issues, the core of the story may actually work better. Two emotionally damaged girls-polar opposites- bond and help each other. It ends with Altman's cool "Kansas City" twist where the seemingly weaker girl becomes protective of the tough girl.

I like the way that Pamela's father finally gets it and backs away, letting her continue to help Nikki until she feels that Nikki can continue without her. You first realize how strong and together Nikki has made Pammy by the end of my favorite montage sequence. After ordering her out, Nikki trashes their room, tries unsuccessfully to commit suicide, and completely breaks down at the radio station. Inter-cut with this is a shot of Pammy standing outside her father's home. At the station Nikki is screaming "Pammy" over and over as they agreed to do earlier in the film in moments of total despair. The audio of these screams is extended into the morning after establishing shot of their dock building. Johnny comes into the seemingly empty room and lifts the blanket revealing a peacefully sleeping Pammy sucking her thumb-she has returned to help Nikki.

Another highlight is the scene I already mentioned of Nikki eating the flowers in their hospital room. What makes this work is its point-of-view dynamic. Moyle artfully connects us to Pammy for the first time by allowing us to see Nikki from her POV. Later he places us back into Pammy's POV as Nikki non-verbally convinces Pammy to leave the hospital with her. The hospital exit scene only works credibility-wise because the first scene set us up for it.

Finally there is Nikki's "people dig dyin on me" line.

Reviewed by vertigo_14 6 / 10

Punk Movie Ethic: The Fabulous Revolt of the Spectacularly Alienated (spoilers)

Times Square is a film inspired by a young woman's diary found by director Allen Moyle. It was many years before I was finally able to obtain a copy of 'Times Square,' although I was ultimately disappointed with what has established itself as a steady cult classic (to no surprise) that represents the old days of real New York (filmed entirely on location) and the emergence of New Wave (not so much punk, despite the "official" synopsis).

Robin Johnson plays gutsy social street misfit, Nicky, who is placed in a hospital because, for some reason, "reasonable" doctors have attributed her crude behavior with some sort of mental defect. There, she befriends quiet, shy Pamela (Trini Alvarado) who is being tested by doctors in the hospital much to the urgings of her wealthy, but misunderstanding father who is unwilling to listen to Pamela and realize that she's just a normal kid that needs some attention and natural affection.

Nicky, never willing to be held down (as characterized by her "Feed Me/I'm A Dog" song later in the film), helps Pam bust out of their little prison to become street nomads, doing what they have to for cash. But, they become youth idols and popular rebels when Pam's father gets together his team of social workers and legal aid to track Pam down under the assumption that she has been kidnapped. With the help of Nicky and their assorted troublemaking around New York, Pam eventually breaks out of her shell while speaking back to her father through local radio DJ, Johnny LaGuardia (Tim Curry!), among other things.

It's the typical punk rock ethic movie, though not done quite as harshly nor probably as honestly as other punk rock ethic films have (such as Suburbia or the more light-hearted selections). That is, the tales of the misunderstood youth who try to vocalize their frustrations to the very people (usually some form of dogged authority such as parents or school officials or law enforcement) through some of revolt. Here, it happens to be a culturally motivated one. The story, then is nothing new, and could've been much more enjoyable, at least for me, if there was more variety within the story. As the movie progresses, it becomes too much about Nicky, and I know that this was obviously done for a reason--because while Pamela can reform to at least some sense of normal, this is something that Nicky has never really known (or no longer knows) and has no one else to turn to. Besides, her personality means that she would never acquiesce as easily as Pam did (although Pam had her reasons, too).

However, Tim Curry fans or cult classic fans, particularly those who enjoyed cult classics motivated by the punk/new wave culture themes of youth alienation and good-natured rebellion and alienation (like Suburbia, Repo Man, Rock N' Roll High School, Tokyo Pop, and, outside of this music-influenced genre, The Legend of Billie Jean), then this is at least worth giving a try.

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird 7 / 10

Surprisingly entertaining!

I watched the whole movie on YouTube and thought this is actually really entertaining. The critics complained about it being overblown. I disagree... The script is a bit patchy in places, same with the direction, but I've seen a lot worse, believe me. The soundtrack was what made this movie, it was fantastic. I prefer classical music, but this music was good because of the content and it was catchy.

The performances were really good also. Tim Curry is really cool as Johnny LaGuardia, who sort of succumbs to a change of heart. One minute he is all wild, then he is comforting Pamela. The girl who played Pamela was also convincing, though not as good as her co-star Robin Johnson, who was easily the best actress in the movie. Their scenes while corny at times were on the most part touching. When Nicki suffers a breakdown, I had tears in her eyes, because she was so convincing. Why is she no longer acting?

One thing that gets me mad, Why is the rating so low? It isn't actually that bad. Sure it mayn't be to everyone's taste but it is definitely the most underrated of the 1980s movies.

7/10 in respect to the players. Bethany Cox (I wish I could give it higher but I've only seen it once)

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