The Panic in Needle Park (1971)

In the dark corner of the city, they found light

Blu-ray, 1h 50min
Rating: 7.1
Votes: 16422
Languages: English
Country: USA
Director: Jerry Schatzberg

Plot outline

Follows the lives of heroin addicts who frequent "Needle Park" in New York City.


Follows the lives of heroin addicts who frequent "Needle Park" in New York City.

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. - E. Schofield

It's the upper west side of Manhattan in the area around Sherman Square, which is euphemistically called Needle Park for the propensity of intravenous drug use there. Bobby is a smaller time drug dealer and deludes himself that his own use is not an addiction. Helen is Marco's girlfriend, he one of Bobby's customers. It is through this connection that Bobby and Helen become friends, then more than just friends. Bobby exposes Helen to that drug use. Despite their continual declarations of love to each other and the want to get married, Bobby and Helen, by their actions, are more in love with heroin and the need to get the continual fix. Not having the temperament to keep a steady "traditional" job, Helen does whatever she needs to get the money for what has become her $80 per day fix. This fixation on the drugs for both Bobby and Helen may lead to an incompatible set of priorities, especially when the police get involved. - Huggo