It's a hot summer day in 1933 in South Philly, where 12-year old Gennaro lives with his widowed mom and his ailing grandpa, who sits outside holding tight to his last quarter, which he's ... See full summary »
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film was banned in June 1971 by the BBFC, before being released with an 'X' rating in November 1974. A cut version, short of 57 seconds, was passed with an '18' rating on New Year's Eve 1987 for video release. In April 2002, however, a version of the film was passed with an '18' rating by the BBFC, and all it's previous cuts were waived. See more »
"The Panic in Needle Park" is an incredibly unpleasant film...which is what you'd expect about a film that centers around two heroin addicts living in New York. So, if you are looking for a film to make you smile or a good date film, do NOT see this movie! In fact, that is the biggest problem with the picture...most folks won't wanna see two people slowly destroying themselves. Most folks watch films to be entertained. Now I am NOT saying it's a bad film and it might be a good one to show teens, as it shows how wretched a life hooked on drugs can be...though there are a few more recent films which make drug use seem a lot more unpleasant, such as the brilliant but hard to watch "Requiem for a Dream".
The film has very little in the way of plot. It simply shows two addicts who are in love, Bobby and Helen (Al Pacino and Kitty Winn), as they slowly degenerate...sinking lower and lower and lower through the course of the movie. At first, Bobby is very glib...and fun to be with and Helen seems rather innocent. Naturally, this doesn't last and both sink deeper and deeper into their habit. Bobby claims he's a 'chipper' (a casual user who is not addicted) but after a while he's dealing and overdoses. Helen begins turning tricks to buy their next fix.
Unpleasant, to be sure, but mostly realistic. When they shot up, it looks real...and the language is street language...nasty and crude. But the only problem I saw is that both LOOKED healthy through the course of the film and the makeup could have been better...enabling them not only to act like addicts but to look more like them. Well made but I am strongly warning you...it's not a movie for kids or for the squeamish.
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