Welcome To Times Square!
Yes, it’s America’s most brightly lit playground of fun for the entire family! Times Square is well lit, filled with upbeat tourist attractions and offers all of the big chain restaurants you expect when on vacation – it’s a street filled with fun!
Well, it is NOW – but New York’s Times Square wasn’t always so wholesome…here’s what it looked like just a few decades ago…
Now, thanks to HBO, James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal take you back to the gritty sidewalks of New York’s Times Square in the early 70’s in the new TV series, “The Deuce!”
This new series is getting a ton of great press.
Here is the trailer for “The Deuce!”
Maggie Gyllenhaal is getting a lot of attention for provocative photos from the set being released – apparently she leaves nothing to the imagination – but then again, this was a wild and crazy place – New York in the 70’s was as hot and dirty as hell!
This Wasn’t Your Mother’s Times Square!
Folks, these pictures are from Times Square in the 70’s and early 80’s – a seedy strip filled with movie houses that showed exploitation films 24 hours a day – that’s how the term “grindhouse” came to be: theaters that were grinding out cheap “dirty movies” all day and night…
I have posted many stories about this era in the history of Times Square…it’s fascinating because these movie theaters were as dangerous inside as the action onscreen!
They also showed films that weren’t being seen in your neighborhood theater – a never-ending assortment of sex, violence and nudity – what do I mean? Well, let’s look at five great examples of “grindhouse” cinema of the 70’s!
5 – “A Smell Of Honey A Swallow Of Brine”
One of the most exploitive posters you can imagine, this image showcases exactly what these films promised: dirty girls doing naughty things…
It didn’t matter that early films like this showed very little nudity – it was all part of the “come on” to lure young men into the theaters – these early films made wild claims in the posters that were never in the film itself:
“Violence! Liquor! Sex”
How funny is that? Here are more examples of this era of film at the end of the 60’s:
By the early 70’s, the “nudie cuties” had devolved into “roughies”, films with dark dark content – crimes against women, roaming bands of hoodlums, you get the idea – and here is one of the grittiest:
4- “The Candy Snatchers”
By 1973, the films were getting increasingly provocative, as evidenced by this poster – one of several “roughies” of the time – these films helped provoke violence inside the theaters as well – see more here:
The late 60’s and early 70’s was an era when lines of good taste were crossed, “mondo” films promised to take you to places where there were “no rules” – including parts of the US – these films were shocking, but presented with an “educational” objective:
3- “Hillbilly Brides!” In Flaming Hillbilly Color!
Yes, in order to show shocking material like this, the movies were presented as documentaries designed to expose you to the shocking world around you – this “hickploitation” was a great example, and here are more:
There was another category of film shown in Times Square: “Artsploitation” – these were European films films loaded with sex and nudity, but they were also artistic dramas, usually starring one legendary Actress:
2 – The “Queen Of Artsploitation” – Christina Lindberg!
She was known as the “Queen Of Arsploitation” – the iconic Christina Lindberg – click here to read all about her amazing career – and her influence on Quentin Tarantino:
By 1973, the films in New York’s Times Square were either exploitation, sexploitation, or all out hardcore sex films, all because of one movie that broke through all of the barriers:
1- “Deep Throat!”
This XXX-rated movie was banned, confiscated, or otherwise shut down across the country – until a court case involving New York opened the floodgates to XXX-rated movies!
Lina Lovelace became a star because of this movie, but her story was a sad one – captured in the movie starring Amanda Seyfried:
See the trailer to this bio-pic here:
Let me know if you plan to take a trip down, down, down to “the deuce!”
Categories: 70's Cinema, 70's Music, Action Films, Art, Blaxploitation!, Books / Media, British Cinema, Christina Lindberg, Cult Movies, Exploitation films, Film Fight Club, Film Noir, Foreign Films, Great Films, Grindhouse, Hollywood, Horror films, Independent Cinema, Memoirs, Movies, New York, Obscure Movies, Revenge Movies, Russ Meyer, Sexploitation Movies, Talent/Celebrities, TV Show, Uncategorized
I remember Times Square from 1972, 1973 & 1974. I spent summers with my Aunt who lived on the upper east side. In 1972 I was a 17 year old boy from a small farm town in South Carolina. My aunt had health issues and could not walk easily without being in pain so I had to explore NYC mostly on my own.
Times Square was where I went to watch Broadway shows in the evening and I was facinated with all the sleeze and debotchery. Never felt unsafe, ” the lord protects the young and fools ” so I guess I was doublely protected. Was always amused by the movie marquee titles for the porn movies and inquizitive about what might be happening in those peep show places.
The whole place was magicical to me. I for sure will be watching this show and thanks for the heads up on it being a worthwhile watch.
That looks like a good series, John. Shame I don’t have HBO, I will have to wait for the DVD.
‘Deep Throat’ was hilarious. More comedic than erotic, for sure.
Best wishes, Pete.
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A fascinating “time capsule” of a different time, Pete, that’s for sure!
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