IMDb > The Children of Times Square (1986) (TV)

The Children of Times Square (1986) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

The Children of Times Square -- A baby-faced teenage runaway is suddenly confronted with the pimps and drug dealer who prey on the desperate newcomers to New York City. He gets sucked into dealing drugs and feels that he has finally found a new family until his gang gets into a war with a rival gang and his friends get killed. He realizes that he has been only living a lie.


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Curtis Hanson (written by)
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Release Date:
3 March 1986 (USA) See more »
An alienated teenage boy runs away from home and ventures to New York City where he falls in with a gang of juvenile delinquents working as drug dealers and pickpockets for a shady crime boss. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
3 nominations See more »
(5 articles)
American Hero | Review
 (From ioncinema. 12 December 2015, 8:00 AM, PST)

Runner Runner Review
 (From The Hollywood News. 25 September 2013, 1:00 AM, PDT)

Top 5: Fictional Nuns
 (From Blogomatic3000. 16 October 2012, 5:01 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Better than most cautionary tales of the troubled teen. (spoilers) See more (3 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Howard E. Rollins Jr. ... Otis Travis

Joanna Cassidy ... Sue Roberts
David Ackroyd ... Peter Roberts

Larry B. Scott ... Skater
Jason Bernard ... Lt. Devins

Danny Nucci ... Luis Sotavento
Silvana Gallardo ... Lizette Sotavento (Luis' mother)
Brandon Douglas ... Eric Roberts

Griffin O'Neal ... Rick

De'voreaux White ... C.J.

Mars Callahan ... Brian (as Gregory 'Mars' Martin)
Annie Oringer ... Debbie
Selma Archerd ... Welfare Worker
Guy Christopher ... Detective

Yasmine Delawari ... Carla
Cecilia García ... Social Worker

Jacob Vargas ... Alberto

Terry Wills ... David, Businessman #1

Michael Ashe

Ernie Lively (as Ernie Brown)

R.D. Call
John Capodice ... Businessman #2
Nick Discenza

Ami Dolenz
Jacob Donner

Courtney Gains ... Punk who robs Brian
Chris Irrizarry
Eric King
Deborah Levin

Edwin Lugo

Clayton Prince
Nancy Renee

Michael Lopez (as Michael Rich)
Roberto Román ... Trini
Edie Marie Rubio
Bo Rucker
Richard Sassin
Tony Scott
J.W. Smith
Bruce Smolanoff

Joe Spinell ... Street Vendor
Anthony Trujillo
David Wagner ... Bradley
Stan Yale
Jack Yates

Directed by
Curtis Hanson 
Writing credits
Curtis Hanson (written by)

Produced by
Charles W. Fries .... executive producer
Marcy Gross .... producer
Ann Weston .... producer
Irv Wilson .... co-producer
Original Music by
Michael Shrieve 
Cinematography by
Robert Elswit 
Film Editing by
Ray Daniels 
Production Design by
Bryan Ryman 
Set Decoration by
Jerie Kelter 
Costume Design by
Lesley Neufeld  (as Lesley Nicholson)
Makeup Department
RaMona Fleetwood .... makeup artist (as RaMona)
Robert Hallowell II .... hair stylist (as Robert Hallowell)
Production Management
Mel A. Bishop .... production manager
William P. Owens .... executive production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ephraim 'Red' Schaffer .... first assistant director (as Red Schaffer)
Bruce Solow .... second assistant director
Art Department
Verna Bagby .... construction supervisor
Wayne Frost .... assistant set decorator
Terry Haskell .... property master
Sound Department
Kay Denmark .... cable puller: New York
Steve Nelson .... sound mixer
Jean Coulter .... stunt coordinator (as Jeannie Coulter)
Camera and Electrical Department
Mike Connors .... key grip
Kim Heath .... grip
Krishna Rao .... first assistant camera (as Kris Rao)
John Zumpano .... gaffer
Casting Department
Judith Holstra .... casting: Los Angeles
Marcia Ross .... casting: Los Angeles
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Helen P. Butler .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
William Essary .... assistant editor
Location Management
Tim Healey .... location manager
Music Department
John Fresco .... music supervisor
John Mick .... music editor
Transportation Department
Benjamin Rivera .... driver
Myron P. Shepherd .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Connie Papineau .... script supervisor
Paul Van Zyl .... production assistant

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
94 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:


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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
Better than most cautionary tales of the troubled teen. (spoilers), 19 March 2006
Author: Pepper Anne from Orlando, Florida

The 80s was the primal decade for assorted cautionary tales about the delinquent teen, the victimized teen, and the troubled teen, inspiring a slew of dated after-school specials that most of us were forced to watch at some point in high school. This one, however, was done much better than most (and is even less so burdened by dated appearance, dialogue and more).

Brandon Douglas, somewhat of an 80s-bit part sitcom regular, plays 14 year old Eric who runs away to the romanticized Times Square after confrontations with his step-father who makes it clear he doesn't want much to do with the boy. His mother tries to stick up for the boy in instances, but ultimately defers parenting authority to the idiotic step-father, so Eric decides that since he's ultimately unwanted, he's ready to head out on his own into parts of New York city where the lonely teen seeking affection finds solace in the false securities and affections of all the wrong people--hustlers, drug dealers, etc. Eric befriends a young drug runner who's part of a disciplined gang called 'The Leopards,' run by a fast-talker named Otis, the only adult these kids seem to be able to trust. He promises security, family, and money for all who obey the rules and successfully do their part in dealing cocaine. And all the while, Eric's mother is frantically searching the city in search of her runaway son (played very well by Joanna Cassidy).

There is another story that shares some of the spotlight, that of a struggling single mother and her three young children. Danny Nucci plays the oldest, Luis, who is tired of seeing his mother working so hard to provide for he and his young sisters. So, when their apartment burns down and they're moved from a shelter to a hotel, it is not long before he finds a fast, but dangerous way of making money: The Leopards. Though we switch from Eric's position to Luis position in an almost rhythmic pattern, the story is largely centered on Eric.

I'm not sure how true to life some of these depictions are. This story seems to move rather quickly and in some instances, it doesn't look like Eric or Luis exhibit much judicious forethought about the situations they find themselves in such as when they're asked whether they want to join The Leopards. It's taken to a level that models somewhat 'Chain of Gold,' the Joey Lawrence/John Travola movie made a few years after this.

But, it does its best to add particular doses of reality. There is hardly much cheesiness, and it does make it's seriousness clear, especially during the latter half of the film when the kids find themselves in more trouble than they bargained for. And it doesn't end on a sappy, unrealistic high note where the mother's love for her son and the comfort of family is realized for all.

There's lot of 80s favorites here, cast-wise. Brandon Douglas and Joanna Cassidy, as mentioned before. Plus a young Danny Nucci; Larry B. Scott (of Revenge of the Nerds); and Ami Dolenz among other familiar faces. Worth trying if you can find it.

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