7.1/10
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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:

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

When the screenplay for the film was submitted to the MPAA for a ratings evaluation, the board declared that it would receive an X rating for the language alone. The final film was rated R. See more »

Goofs

When Bobby kicks the young john out of the hotel after robbing him Helen is loosely using the towel to cover her breasts. In the next shot the towel is wrapped neatly around her. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! Part 2 (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great portrayal of a relationship between two drug addicts.
5 August 2004 | by jacob_ostergaardSee 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.


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