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The Panic in Needle Park (1971)

Al Pacino , Kitty Winn , Jerry Schatzberg  |  PG |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 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: Multiple Formats, 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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A9QK6E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,815 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
29 of 31 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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24 of 29 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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14 of 16 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars RAW, HUNGRY, LEAN, UNPOLISHED PACINO!!--PRE-GODFATHER!! November 10, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This movie was originally released in 1971, a year before Al Pacino would soar
to superstardom in the now iconic GODFATHER and it's sequels.
This movie, "Panic In Needle Park" was actually based on an off-broadway play
in which Pacino played this character along with his then girlfriend, Kitty Winn,
who also plays in this movie as his love interest as well.
By the time Pacino did this, his first film, he had already did plenty of plays and
recieved a few prestigious theatre accolades, so he was already known as a very special
up & coming talent in New York City film circles.
What you get here is a raw, hungry, lean and unpolished Pacino playing
a small time theif/hustler and heroin junkie who eeks his way out in the
rough & tumble streets of dirty early 70's NYC by any means he can!
He meets and befreind's a woman, played by his then girlfriend, Kitty Winn,
who is kind of green to the ways of the streets, but she is soon seduced by heroin
and Pacino's character's gritty charm, and soon both of them spiral into an abyss
of addiction, street life, sex, some violence, and Pacino's character is so low
that he even pimps out his girlfriend a few times to get money for drugs!
After a bad incident involving a cute puppy, the Staten Island Ferry, and the Hudson River,
she finally wakes up and sees that her boyfreind isn't her knight in shining armour,
but an opportunistic, drug-crazed, desperate sleaze-ball who would sell his grandmother
for a hit of heroin! She agrees with undercover cops who have her on prostitution charges
to have him set up and arrested in exchange for her freedom.
It works, and he is apprehended and serves time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 8 days ago by lborrego
4.0 out of 5 stars DVD
Al Pacino's first and finest film.
Published 1 month ago by Suzanne Schaefer
3.0 out of 5 stars Al Pacino plays a great role as do all the characters
The movie is realistic. Al Pacino plays a great role as do all the characters. My only complaint was that it was lacking action and slow. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jeremiah L. Olson
5.0 out of 5 stars Know any junkies?
Well get ready to meet a few...

We get a cold slice of the seedier side of 1970s New York right about when Gotham was approaching rock bottom. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Edward K.
4.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing grime of drug milieu
Like a lot of American early 70s films we get the downside of the 60s high,the documentary fall out from 60s dreams. Read more
Published 3 months ago by technoguy
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 8 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 10 months ago by Blue Leaf
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 13 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 17 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 22 months ago by crazy lady
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