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The Panic in Needle Park (1971)

R  |   |  Drama  |  1 June 1971 (France)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 10,653 users  
Reviews: 61 user | 50 critic

This movie is a stark portrayal of life among a group of heroin addicts who hang out in "Needle Park" in New York City. Played against this setting is a low-key love story between Bobby, a ... See full summary »



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Title: The Panic in Needle Park (1971)

The Panic in Needle Park (1971) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Vint ...
Richard Bright ...
Michael McClanathan ...
Warren Finnerty ...
Angie Ortega ...
Paul Mace ...
Nancy MacKay ...
Gil Rogers ...


This movie is a stark portrayal of life among a group of heroin addicts who hang out in "Needle Park" in New York City. Played against this setting is a low-key love story between Bobby, a young addict and small-time hustler, and Helen, a homeless girl who finds in her relationship with Bobby the stability she craves. She becomes addicted too, and life goes downhill for them both as their addiction deepens, eventually leading to a series of betrayals. But, in spite of it all, the relationship between Bobby and Helen endures. Written by E. Schofield <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In the dark corner of the city, they found light See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 June 1971 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Panique à Needle Park  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jerry Schatzberg turned down the script when he was offered it by the production company. He was then re-approached when Al Pacino took an interest in the project. He agreed then to direct on the condition that Pacino could star, however ironically it then became difficult to find a studio that would back the project with a newcomer like Pacino. See more »


[45:50] Boom microphone (and camera) visible in the upper right hand corner near the end of the stick ball game. See more »


Irene: I ain't no robber. I'm a prostitute.
See more »


Referenced in Planting the Seeds of Evil (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

A great portrayal of a relationship between two drug addicts.
5 August 2004 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

This movie is not for people with sensitive nerves. Its harsh realism is very breathtaking, at times almost overwhelming. It concentrates in showing what drug addiction does to people in a relationship and succeeds in doing that. That's also the reason for its timelessness and artistic value.

Al Pacino and Kitty Winn, who plays the two main characters, Bobby and Helen, are very realistic in showing the ups and mostly the downs in the life of a drug addict. Especially the way they at times put their craving for drugs above each others needs.

The first time I saw the film I was 15. It was shown at my school and it made a very strong impression on me, especially its portrayal in the miserable life of a drug addict. I can therefore, among other things, recommend it as a preventive film for young people.

42 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Forget R, how is this rated PG even now? GCD1
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this film view addiction the way it is krillin1212
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Best portrayal of heroin addiction in film. littleghost-873-525817
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