times square

Welcome To Times Square!

New York’s Times Square is one of America’s greatest tourist destinations: a big, bold playground filled with family fun!

But New York’s Times Square wasn’t always so wholesome. Here’s what it looked like just a few decades ago…classic 42nd street

Welcome To “The Deuce!”

This was New York’s 42nd street in the 70’s – a nonstop cesspool of “grindhouse” movie theaters showing nothing but exploitation day and night.

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!


James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal star in this new series, which captures this time of huge cultural change in film.  Here’s how movies were shown on 42nd street in the 70’s:


These pictures are from Times Square in the 70’s say it all – it was 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…

vintage grindhouse 42nd street

These films weren’t being seen in your neighborhood theater – it was a never-ending unspooling of sex, violence and nudity, with titles like this:

A Smell of Honey A Swallow of Brine _1966_

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.

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:

last house on the left

Last House On The Left was a sea change in horror – but it fit the mood and tone of “The Deuce” perfectly.

I can’t wait to see The Deuce on HBO, since this new series is getting a ton of great press.

Here is the trailer for The Deuce!