The Panic in Needle Park (1971)

R  |   |  Drama  |  1 June 1971 (France)
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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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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


God help Bobby and Helen. They're in love in Needle Park. 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?


Mia Farrow was considered for Helen. 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 »


Marco: You've been through some changes since I saw you. Now you wanna wipe all that out. You could, if you wanted to.
See more »


Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! Part 2 (2006) 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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Best portrayal of heroin addiction in film. littleghost-873-525817
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