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
I'd like to clear up this jazz/heroin confusion (ignorance) that may stop you from watching this great film. Leach is the connection to Cowboy, and Cowboy is the connection to a dealer. The IMDb plot summary says that Cowboy is bringing "the connection" back to Leach's house, but he is really just bringing heroin. The fact that some of the people waiting for heroin are jazz musicians doesn't mean all jazz musicians were addicts, although most of the good ones were. With that said, I would advise any bee-bop fan to watch this film just for the amazing, and sole, footage of Blue Note heavies Jackie McLean and Freddie Redd. You will most likely also like the free-jazz directorial treatment of what was originally a stage play. The film also deserves credit for it's honest portrayal (in 1961!) of heroin addiction, neither glamorizing nor condemning it. The only problem I had was the slightly over-theatrical styles of some of the actors. Overacting did become the Leach character, however: "OHHH, MY BOIL!!!" If you liked "The Incident" or "The Pawnbroker," you'll like this one.
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