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The Panic in Needle Park (1971) Poster

Trivia

There is no music in this movie whatsoever.
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Francis Ford Coppola showed this film to Paramount executives in order to convince them that Al Pacino was suitable for the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).
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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.
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Was banned in the UK for four years because of its graphic depiction of drug-taking.
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Robert De Niro read for the part of Bobby but Jerry Schatzberg had already decided on Pacino.
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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.
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The studio notes reported that makeup man Herman Buchman studied the "track" marks on the arms of hospital patients and victims in morgues and achieved an authentic look for the actors by using a liquid called Flexible Collodian. In scenes in which actors appear to inject themselves, a registered nurse was on set, serving as a technical advisor.
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Al Pacino's first leading role.
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Film debut for Kitty Winn.
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Mia Farrow was considered for Helen.
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The name Needle Park was the then-nickname of Sherman Square on Manhattan's Upper West Side near 72nd Street and Broadway. It received this nickname due to being a frequent hangout place for drug addicts.
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Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne visited Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, during the recording of the album Waiting For The Sun as he was considered for the role of Bobby, but went with Pacino instead.
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Pacino's performance in this film made Francis Ford Coppola choose him for the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather.
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The film was based on a novel by James Mills, which had been based on Mills's two-part pictorial essay in the 26 February and March 5, 1965 issues of Life magazine.
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After the film screened at the Cannes Film Festival, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, asked director Jerry Schatzberg if he was into the hard stuff. When Schatzberg told him he wasn't, Richards asked how he could have made a film about it. Schazberg told Richards that he could probably make a film about a woman having a baby, but, he couldn't do that either.
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Ned Rorem composed a score for the film that was ultimately removed from the final cut (the isolated score is included as a special feature on the Blu-ray).
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As noted in the onscreen credits, the film was shot entirely in New York City. According to the film's studio production notes, portions were shot at Needle Park and the Upper West Side area of New York City, at Riverside Park, in a New York City prison and hospital ward, on the Staten Island Ferry, and in the East Village.
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According to a November 1967 Hollywood Reporter news item, film rights for the novel were purchased by Avco Embassy Pictures and, according to a March 1969 Variety news item, the film rights were later bought by producer Dominick Dunne, whose brother and sister-in-law, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion wrote the screenplay.
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Al Pacino and Jerry Schatzberg's first film together.
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Richard Bright and Al Pacino are also in The Godfather Part 1 & 2.
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