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The Panic in Needle Park (1971)

Al Pacino , Kitty Winn , Jerry Schatzberg  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Al Pacino, Kitty Winn, Alan Vint, Richard Bright, Kiel Martin
  • Directors: Jerry Schatzberg
  • Writers: James Mills, Joan Didion, John Gregory Dunne
  • Producers: Dominick Dunne, Roger M. Rothstein
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: June 19, 2007
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A9QK6E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,710 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Panic in Needle Park" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Fullscreen and Widescreen Features

Editorial Reviews

Pacino shows he can play a junkie, too. He and Kitty Winn play small-time crook and good girl gone bad who get hooked on heroin, and begin the long downhill slide. One of the best drug abuse films of the early 70's.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still one of the Best November 8, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I hadn't seen this flick since it's original release. I've been waiting a looonnng time for it to come out on DVD. In my opinion it is STILL the most realistic, gritty, depressing, and believeable portrayal of the lifestyle of heroin junkies ever put on film. I worked in law enforcement and had an up-front and personal view of the kinds of people this movie was about. The only truer depiction would have to be an on the scene filmed documentary. They rarely make movies as good as this one these days.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsory For Anbody Thinking of Using June 26, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was a little taken aback by the film's "PG" rating. Drug use is treated frankly, there's some strong language and fleeting nudity. But then I thought why shouldn't young people of a certain age see this film. They are the most vulnerable in being ensnared into the drug culture and maybe they should heed the film's cautionary message. I also found the timing of this film's release, 1971, interesting because it comes at a time when the drug culture was in full bloom and we were only a few years removed from "Easy Rider". The selling point is, of course, Al Pacino who is nothing short of amazing as the small-time thief who goes from pecking to full-blown addiction. I thought this was more Kitty Winn's picture, though. Her character could be anybody's daughter who for reason's unknown takes up a serious drug habit. The film is essentially a love story between Pacino and Winn's characters. I couldn't decide whether the love between the two brought a little light to their dismal straits or that they were enabling each other into a worse addiction. For obvious reasons the film's message is timeless because, unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world. Pacino and director Jerry Schatzberg would later collaborate on another seventies gem, "Scarecrow", that is well worth checking out.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Al Pacino's first starring role, a stunning debut. April 8, 2007
Thirty-six years (1971) after it came out it is finally being released on DVD. This stark and grim film was heavily criticized by critics mostly because of its brutal and honest drug content. Filmed on location in New York City, THE PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK, marked the real beginning of what was to become the amazing career of one of the greatest actors to ever grace the screen the legendary Al Pacino. Great movie that I am happy is finally making its way to video. The movie had been released in Europe for some time but never in the United States that is until now. I will definitely be purchasing this underrated movie classic that for years has become among die-hard Pacino fans one of his most sought after movies ever. To the studio that finally thought about releasing this movie after so many years of waiting I thank you kindly.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honesty rarely hurts this much... September 19, 2008
There are few films that are truly able to capture what it feels like to be addicted. Probably the film that comes the closest and is the most compelling (albeit most disturbing) is `Requiem for a Dream'; at least in my humble opinion. The little known gem that is `The Panic in Needle Park' comes very close though, for like `Requiem for a Dream', `The Panic in Needle Park' strips everything bare and delivers a very harsh reality to the viewer, exploring the depths that some will stoop to just to find their next fix.

`The Panic in Needle Park' tells the story of Bobby, a young heroine addict who falls in love with Helen, a sweet and innocent young girl who is taken up by Booby's apparent bad boy persona. He is new and interesting and unlike anyone she's ever really known before. Sure, she's been around drugs but she's never really been exposed at such an alarming rate until she met Bobby. Soon she becomes are addicted as he is, getting in and out of trouble with the cops as she peddles for Bobby, buys for Bobby and scores with Bobby. Bobby's brother Hank isn't much help, for while he isn't as addicted as Bobby, his criminal activities leave him just as bad an influence. As the film spirals towards its conclusion the lives of these two lovers become more and more disjointed and frantic and the panic sets in and the addiction takes over.

The film is grim (no where near as grim as `Requiem for a Dream' so don't worry too much) and it's gritty delivery makes each and every scene seem as if it is really taking place (the lack of any musical soundtrack helps add a layer of reality to the film). The performances really elevate the film as well, drawing the audience into the mental states of these star-crossed and ill-fated individuals.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get This Movie! September 14, 2005
By tacks31
This film is a classic that is long overdue on DVD. Al Pacino makes a stunning debut. This is an intense drama whose gritty and accurate reflection of drug addiction will not easily be forgotten. Pacino's portrayal so impressed Francis Ford Coppola that he cast the new actor in The Godfather.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece! July 13, 2007
This is Pacino's first movie and he scores a knockout his first time out. This film was made when hollywood still invested it's time and money in acting and true film making instead of today's tabloid celebrity pretty faces and CGI. Kitty Winn does an outstanding job and you feel as though you are watching a documentary about heroin addicts because her portrayal and performance is so spot on and genuine. This is what film making is about. It tells a story in a gritty and honest fashion and the characters pull you in. You will not see films made like this today, so do yourself a favor and grab a copy of this DVD.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't care for it at all.
You would think Al Pacino would be wasn't. Sad to say I don't recommend it to anyone!!!! Love Al but hated the movie.
Published 2 months ago by no1advice
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Portrayals of Heroin Addiction
After watching the film I questioned why it is not talked about more. It is a stark, honest film with great photography of early 70's NYC Upper West Side. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Blue Leaves
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Godfather" future Alums
keep an eye out for other future "Godfather" alums: Richard Bright and Paul Sorvino!

I couldn't believe after I read more about why this film is so special, that I did... Read more
Published 7 months ago by warparty
4.0 out of 5 stars A young Pacino
A must have for the Al Pacino fan. Raw and gritty but so is the topic it covers. A fine start to a talented actor!
Published 10 months ago by N. M. Thurber
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for any Al Pacino fan!
Hello movie lovers! i have to say that this movie is a Must have for any Al Pacino fan! it is a great add to your collection. Read more
Published 15 months ago by crazy lady
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
Live a few blocks on West 72nd Street from this famous park. There is a Chipotle across the street now, and lots of students. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Charles A. Mitchem
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie is one of the best
I saw this movie when it first came out in theaters and happened to think of it today. I am very happy to see that the DVD is available and I am buying one. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mykola
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and gritty movie about drug addiction
This is probably one of my favorite movies. I adore it. I think the way they filmed it was actually pretty good because of the realistic feel of it. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Derek
4.0 out of 5 stars The PAL edition!
Anyone looking into purchasing this film should know that the version listed here on AMAZON as "NEW Panic In Needle Park: Special (DVD)" is from Britain and is in PAL format. Read more
Published on January 30, 2012 by Sambson
5.0 out of 5 stars For early Pacino films, he is at his best in this one!
This is such a very powerful and eye opening movie and a real true gem as nothing like it has been made or duplicated since. Read more
Published on September 26, 2011 by Antonio Sanders
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