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The Panic in Needle Park (1971)

PG | | Drama | 1 June 1971 (France)
Follows the lives of heroin addicts who frequent "Needle Park" in New York City.

Director:

Jerry Schatzberg

Writers:

James Mills (book), Joan Didion (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Bobby
Kitty Winn ... Helen
Alan Vint ... Hotch
Richard Bright ... Hank
Kiel Martin ... Chico
Michael McClanathan ... Sonny
Warren Finnerty ... Sammy
Marcia Jean Kurtz ... Marcie
Raul Julia ... Marco
Angie Ortega Angie Ortega ... Irene
Larry Marshall ... Mickey
Paul Mace ... Whitey
Nancy MacKay Nancy MacKay ... Penny
Gil Rogers Gil Rogers ... Robins
Joe Santos ... 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 1971 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Panique à Needle Park See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,645,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

(at around 15 mins) When Bobby asks Helen to do him a favor, his hand changes position between being under his hair on his forehead and being on top of his hair. See more »

Quotes

Hank: Come on, Bobby, don't try to bull shit me... man. Cut your habit back.
Helen: He's only chipping.
Hank: I chip. He uses - at fifty bucks a day. That's two bills a week. And this is just the beginning of the panic. Where's the money gonna come from Bobby?
Bobby: Huh?
See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally rated "R" in the U.S. upon its release, some profanity and drug use was cut from the film to be re-rated "PG". The "R" rated version was released on video but is now out of print and extremely rare. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Interior. Leather Bar. (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Haven't seen anything similar for years
6 January 2003 | by bakovljevSee all my reviews

The film is a real throwback to the 1970's. It captures the pervasive feeling of nihilism perfectly well, particularly on the subject of drugs.

The not so great colour and sound strangely add to the experience in making the film seem more documentary than a tale of two young people caught in the vortex of addiction.

Pacino and Winn both play remarkably believable leads.

It may not be an uplifting experience to watch the film, but in watching it, you cannot help feeling that it's a privilage to watch such mastery of directing and acting.


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