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The Panic in Needle Park (1971)

R  |   |  Drama  |  1 June 1971 (France)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 10,558 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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(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Panic in Needle Park (1971)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Helen
Alan Vint ...
Hotch
Richard Bright ...
Hank
...
Chico
Michael McClanathan ...
Sonny
Warren Finnerty ...
Sammy
...
Marcie
...
Marco
Angie Ortega ...
Irene
...
Mickey
Paul Mace ...
Whitey
Nancy MacKay ...
Penny
Gil Rogers ...
Robins
...
DiBono
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Storyline

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 <evescho@cafe.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 June 1971 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Panique à Needle Park  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in The 52nd Annual Academy Awards (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

Specter of Bergman
27 December 2003 | by (Cleveland, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Director Jerry Schatzberg's style looks remarkably like Ingmar Bergman's in works like "Scenes From a Marriage." Using no music background only real life sounds, abrupt scene cutting and cross-cutting, highly realistic style, and copious closeups, the Bergman influence is apparent.

Schatzberg fashioned a piece that has a timeless look and feel. While Verdi Square (Needle Park) may not be quite as rich with denizens today and that W. 72nd subway exit not as peopled with thick crowds, it's still bustling mid-Manhattan--like no other place on earth.

And no better actor to play the street savvy slicker than Al Pacino in only his second film appearance. He, Kitty Winn and a host of sharp protogees from the Strasberg seminars breathe life into the scenario.

It remains one of Mr. Pacino's best efforts, and a film that paved the way for a new realism in gritty subject material.


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