The Pop Culture Information Society...

These are the messages that have been posted on inthe00s over the past few years.

Check out the messageboard archive index for a complete list of topic areas.

This archive is periodically refreshed with the latest messages from the current messageboard.

Check for new replies or respond here...

Subject: Times Square--the movie

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 08/29/06 at 12:46 pm

A cult movie from 1980 that documents some of the now-deceased
old Times Square.  I recommend it highly:

This topic got started as an off-topic discussion on the Hurricane Katrina thread, so I decided to move it over here!

oo..that was great!featuring 'walk on the wild side' by lou reed.. 8)

Scene at "The Cleo Cub."  That's when her daddy finds her.  First he has to smack Johny LaGuardia (Tim Curry) around to find out where she is.  The whole soundtrack is great.  The problem the guy who wrote the screenplay didn't like how it came out.  Allan Moyle, the writer, objected to the cutting of the overt lesbian stuff.  I mean, the film was depicting minors, so I don't blame the producers.  Who wants trouble?  However, the final cut was a bit ham-handed, so some of the scenes jump with nonsequiturs.  Moyle also didn't like Robert Stigwood (RSO records) getting on board.  Stigwood was still smokin' hot because of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack selling 35 million copies.  So Stigwood pushed for and got a double-album soundtrack.  Times Square didn't get one-tenth the box office receipts of SNF, and the soundtrack couldn't have sold more than 100,000 copies, tops.  I don't know that it's ever been released on CD, but it's worth searching out on vinyl.  Sometimes a producer overriding a screenwriter's wishes can yield good things.  Moyle wanted a consistently gritty, punky soundtrack.  Thus Roxy Music ("Same Old Scene) and Gary Numan ("Down in the Park") wouldn't have made the cut.  Both songs (along with XTC, Talking Heads, The Cure, and Joe Jackson) contribute to the New Wave atmosphere that was just as relevant in 1980 NYC as the "Punk" one.
All the songs on the soundtrack are great.  There is one that should have been left off, "Help Me," by Robin Gibb.  It might have been a contractual obligation.  The Bee-Gees made both the SNF soundtrack and RSO records.  Anyway, it was a duet with Marcy Levy, who was cool. 

Subject: Re: Times Square--the movie

Written By: KKay on 08/29/06 at 12:49 pm

OK.. now you're in my realm. saw it tons of times. got it via netflix last year, again!  love it. love the old city, love the bad acting, and the soundtrack can't be beat.

i remember in the 80s there were open auditions for the film...they went all thru the city- a friend of mine went to try out.

I have had my LP of the soundtrack since the film came's falling apart. 
But now i'm off to sing "damn dog"..

good topic!

Subject: Re: Times Square--the movie

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 08/30/06 at 12:53 pm

Say "a Methodist Episcopal."

This one's for Brian Jones and all the other dinosaurs that got kicked out tha' band 1-2-3-4...

The story goes they saw Robin Johnson smoking a Kool on a Brooklyn stoop and pretty much cast her on the spot.
She played a tough little Brooklyn broad so well...because she was a tough little Brooklyn broad!

Then there was Trini Alvarado's character, the nice girl from the rich family, who shows the bigotry and hypocrisy of "the suburbs."  You can hear her speech on the Sleaze Sisters "Your Daughter is One" --
Pamela: "Yes, father dear, you wanna make Times Square as cold as your icy eyes?  Why do you wanna punish people who aren't like you?  You know, at home I've heard you use  these following words: spic, n*gg*r, f*g, and psycho.  Well, I just want you to know, your daugher is one!"
Pamela & Nicky (singing): SPIC, N*GG*R, F*GGOT, BUM....YOUR DAUGHTER IS ONE!

It's the righteous teen thing, a holdover from the sixties.  I was a little young for it when it came out, but I got to see it anyway at our local second run theater.  I was 12, but I got in even though it was rated R.  That was just prior to the fascist Reagan pop culture crackdown.  People weren't so uptight about that stuff.  Remember liberal America?  I don't think you could get "Times Square" released today, even in the toned-down version that was the final cut.
A lot of the themes went over my head, but I realized what they were all about a few years later when I was a teen in trouble!*

I say "Times Square" ranks as "cult film" because of the bad acting in conjunction with the great atmosphere.  Also for the amateurish writing/directing which portrays a sort of "snapshot" of a subculture.  This is what the makers of Napoleon Dynamite were deliberately aiming at!

I don't have a turntable anymore, so I bought a mint copy of the soundtrack at a used record store, burned it onto CD-R, and donated the original to my radio station.  I didn't know if college students nowadays would look twice at it, but it turns out there's a lot of interest in classic punk and  new wave.  A couple of young women who weren't even born when the film came out used the TS soundtrack on their show many times last year, I was glad to see!

You should be able to find the soundtrack online at least.  I know I've seen it for sale various places.  I wouldn't pay more than $25.00 for it.


*For instance, when I was hospitalized as a troubled teen, I knew a girl just like Nicky.  She was on the girls' unit  downstairs.  It was one of those cushy private hospitals that drained all your parents' insurance money, and did nothing for you.  We became friends.  We had nothing in common.  She was a delinquent with a record for stealing, assault, hard drugs and alcohol, and perpetual defiance of authority...any authority!  All I did was ditch school a lot, dress weird, and act despondant.  I mentioned the S-word to my counselor once, and that's what got me in there.  I used to talk to her whenever I got the chance.  There was never romantic interest on either side.  I think she just liked me because I saw how badly she was hurting and I wasn't out to screw her over.  I was a little bit afraid of her.  She was one of those tough girls who weighed about 98 pounds but could kick your ass before you even saw it coming!  One time Carolyn ("Nicky," if you will) escaped.  The cops hauled her back to the hospital.  I watched out a window as these two thugs yanked her out of the cruiser, she yelled something at one of them, and they body-slammed her on the hood of car.  Horrifying.  The staff pumped her full of drugs and secluded her for a couple of days.  Next time I saw her, I mentioned the police brutality, and she just said, "Eh, the pigs always do that sh*t."  Jesus, the one time I got busted with pot, I was so scared I practically cried!
I lost touch with Carolyn after I was discharged.  About a year later, I got the phone call.  A friend of hers said quietly, "Max, you're not going to like this, but Carolyn died last Saturday, suicide, she got some Seconal and drank a bottle of vodka..."  Barbiturates and alcohol.  That'll do it.  It was so sad, but I couldn't call it unexpected.  The poor kid just didn't have a chance.


A teensploitation movie the Right would still approve of today is "Hardcore."  This also ranks as a "cult movie," but in the "major motion picture-so-bad-it's good" sub-genre.  In the case of "Hardcore" (1979), George C. Scott plays the big hero as the father (Jake Van Dorn) frantically trying to rescue his teenage daughter, Kristen, who has been kidnapped and brainwashed by sadistical perverts who are going to use Kristen in their next "snuff" movie.  The "snuff" film is an urban legend kept alive to this day by anti-pornography militants.  Scott had played Patton, plus his "Hardcore" character is a Christian fundamentalist.  So, it's the good Christian conservative against the "snuff" movie sickos!

Subject: Re: Times Square--the movie

Written By: Tia on 09/10/06 at 4:27 pm

watching it now...

Subject: Re: Times Square--the movie

Written By: SweetAlice on 09/10/06 at 4:48 pm

Time Square is so different now. The big coporations moved in and pushed all the grittiness out. Its much cleaner and safer now but not half as interesting as it used to be.    :\'(

Subject: Re: Times Square--the movie

Written By: Tia on 09/10/06 at 4:58 pm

i totally agree, it's really depressing now, all big brothered out... picadilly circus in london is totally the same now, it's exactly the same.

Subject: Re: Times Square--the movie

Written By: SweetAlice on 09/10/06 at 6:26 pm

i totally agree, it's really depressing now, all big brothered out... picadilly circus in london is totally the same now, it's exactly the same.

Yeah, its more like a New York City theme Park now and unfortunately its happening all over the city. The East Village is totally ruined too. New York University is buying up all the old buildings and turning them into school housing.

There was a really cool old theater in the East Village called The Palladium, that was a night club when I first moved to NYC. It was quite grand and beautiful on the inside but the a-holes at NYU bought the building and instead of preserving the historic structure, they demolished it and built an ugly modern dormitory, which they named the Palladium. It makes me sick just thinking about it.

I prefer the old gritty dangerous New York over the new and 'improved" one.

Subject: Re: Times Square--the movie

Written By: Tia on 09/11/06 at 4:08 pm

finished times square. good flick! thanks for the recommendation. i love buddy pictures, but i was afraid it would end like thelma and louise.

it was sorta like a punked out "ghost world."

they've got a director's commentary too, with the director and the woman who played nicky. turns out the director got fired and the distributor recut the movie, to make them less lesbianny and just make the movie less provocative.

Check for new replies or respond here...