Louise the monkey and Trini Alvarado’s tits

As I said in my previous post, Times Square is a text that is famous for its (supposedly) disjointed narrative. In analyses and reviews of, and references to Times Square, contemporary readers frequently refer to omissions in the text. For many, this tarnishes what was apparently a “pure vision” of the text.

In other words, people almost always see omission or elision as a bad thing. I think this follows from a common cultural misreading of Freud, to whit, that “repression is always bad,” rather than that which allows us to sublimate our primary drives, to attain “civilization.” This is also similar to claims that “political correctness” dangerously prevents people from saying what they “feel” — as if that is always a “good thing” — rather than think about what comes out of their mouths, and the ideology that puts those words there in the first place.

But like the Canon itself, a text — any text — is made up as much by what is excluded as it is by what is included. So let’s look at what was excluded from the final cut. For comparison, I refer to the screenplay (you fans know which one and from where). I don’t know which version of the screenplay this is, but some of it was filmed and later excised, so I will assume it is a late version.

That’s right: Johnny La Guardia had a pet monkey. Look, as a tacker I enjoyed Lancleot Link, Secret C.H.I.M.P. as much as the next person. When I grew up and re-watched an episode, I felt sick. Here’s a sentence you’ve probably never read before: Monkeys belong where monkeys live, not in films. And to quote Nicky Marotta, “I mean it, bitch!”

From animal exploitation to one that is sadly just as common, exploitation of young women, and especially of their bodies.

“But DefeatedandGifted!”, I hear you cry, “‘exploitation’ is such a heavy charge!” Well, it is. With only a single example…
But wait! There’s more!

It’s certainly a screenplay that has an interest in Nicky, and especially Pammy, getting their kit off. I don’t know why, but these are the scenes that apparently establish that Nicky and Pammy are — or “will be,” as Allan Moyle says in the DVD commentary — lesbians. (Strangely, I can tell that they are when they meet each other, just like I can tell that I am one, even with my clothes on. Spooky, huh?) This interest that I will not call prurient is perhaps exemplified in the scene in which Pamela first dances at the Cleo Club. This is how the scene is written:

In the DVD commentary on the Anchor Bay release of Times Square (Allan Moyle and Robin Johnson, 2000), director Allan Moyle says of the scene: “In the story, this bad girl, Nicky, pimps her little friend, and gets her a job dancing topless. . . . the powers that were, including God in this case, spoke [and] decided that Trini would not be topless.” He opines that the scene’s editing is bad, and ends by joking, “Now take it off, Trini, it’ll be great!”

OMG! A teenage proto-lesbian with her top ON!


In this case, the “powers that were,” God, Trini Alvarado’s family, or Trini Alvarado herself, are the better part of valour. Because I for one do not need to see Trini Alvarado’s 12 year old tits. As well as making it feel so very wrong, unwholesome, and possibly illegal in some States to watch Times Square, it would make research on the film well-nigh impossible. During my web journey to find as many references as possible to the film, I have found i) a clip of Trini Alvarado smoking (in Satisfaction, 1988) on what I can only call a women-smoking fetish site, ii) a clip from The Perez Family (1995), featuring Trini and other female cast-members, on a foot fetish site (it even helpfully lists actors with a crib sheet, as in whether you can see their soles, toes, or something called “half-soles”) AND a discussion of Patti Smith’s “Pissing in a River” — on a piss fetish site. (Did I forget to mention the site only featured women? I shouldn’t have.) To each his own. But not in that film, and not with Trini Alvarado. Or Robin Johnson.

So there you have it kids, your cautionary tale of the day: sometimes, scenes should be removed, or not filmed at all. And sometimes people should just shut the fuck up.

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About DefeatedandGifted

If you have any comments, anecdotes or images regarding Times Square fandom, please email me at defgif@gmail.com
This entry was posted in Allan Moyle, Cultural Studies, Fandom, Lesbian Representation, Pamela "Pammy" Pearl, Popular Culture, Queer Spectatorship, Robin Johnson, Times Square (1980) movie, Trini Alvarado. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Louise the monkey and Trini Alvarado’s tits

  1. Justina Johnson says:

    I don’t have any copy of the script and it has been ages since I’ve seen the film.

    I read all your blogs and I’m simply overwhelmed by them. Your intensity, your thoroughness and your focus.

    I promise to send more accolades your way, so you don’t feel lonely.

    Keep up the great work!

  2. Justina, if you haven’t seen Times Square in ages, then you should certainly revisit it. Appreciation for this wonderful film increases with time, and I’m thrilled that it is finally having its “moment.” It’s such a rich text in its negotiation of gender, sexuality, and identity; it looks and sounds great; and contains the greatest performance in cinema. And it’s a wonderful place to return to.
    No need for more accolades but please drop in any time, Justina, because YOU ROCK!

  3. Hans says:

    Yes I am responding to a 4 year old post! I just found your blog and i love this movie too. If you are still here to answer, do you know where I could get a copy of the script? I would like to read the whole thing and see what Robert Stigwood did to this wonderful film.
    thx
    Hans,

  4. Pingback: Robin Johnson » Blog Archive » Foxy Miss Pearl

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