Eight drug addicts are waiting for their connection in a New York apartment belonging to Leach. Jim Dunn, a budding filmmaker, has agreed to pay for the fix if the addicts will allow him to film the connection scene. After the men get their shots, they talk Dunn into trying heroin in order to understand the subject "first hand." He becomes ill and while sleeping, Leach takes an overdose that puts him into a coma. Dunn recovers, with the aid of the connection, and writes off the film as a failure. Written by
This film was held up for release after the Board of Regents of the Motion Picture Division of New York State's Dept. of Education viewed the film and refused to grant it a license to be commercially shown. This was mostly due to the repeated use (seven times) of a four-letter word that rhymes with "hit" and is used as a slang synonym for heroin. The film was judged obscene but opened without a license anyway at the D.W. Griffith Theater on October 3, 1962, only to receive several bad reviews from the major NY film critics. Director Shirley Clarke sued and a month later, the highest court in the state reversed the decision of the Board of Regents. However, the reputation of the film was already damaged and to this day, it has never recouped its original $167,000 budget. See more »
Man, I believe anything that's illegal is illegal because it makes more money for more people that way.
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I first saw this movie in 1963 by hassling the cashier into selling me a ticket though I was under 18. I can't remember what I expected, but it was so interesting to me that I came back with a couple of underage friends--and got in again. This is a very sophisticated film not only for its time, but for now. There is no surprise ending or plot twist, but the use of the film-within-a-film allows the characters to relate to the outside world even though all the action takes place within one studio apartment. And what they have to say makes as much sense now as it did then. This is a film that could be re-shot with a minor change of clothing style and would look and sound cutting edge.
While "Traffic", in its glossy, artfully edited, mainstream way, explores the glossy, mainstream life of at least some drug traffickers, "The Connection", in its gritty, black-and-white, hand-held way, explores the gritty, hand-held life of at least some of the customers.
I would recommend this film for anyone who is interested in serious exploration of the drug culture. For people who think "Trainspotting" too mainstream--or at least too narrow in approach. "The Connection", too, is narrow, but it helps round out the picture begun by "Traffic" and"Trainspotting".
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