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Label:
Name: TWILIGHT TIME
Number: TWILIGHT221-BR

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$49.90 
THE PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK (1971) (BLU-RAY)
Starring:  Joe Santos, Al Pacino, Kitty Winn, Alan Vint, Richard Bright, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Raul Julia, Paul Sorvino
Directed By:  Jerry Schatzberg
Composed By:  Ned Rorem

“A total triumph. Gritty, gutsy, and vivid to the point of revulsion, it is an overpowering tragedy about urban drug addiction. Director Jerry Schatzberg in only his second film becomes a major talent, while Al Pacino and Kitty Winn are terrific as a heroin-doomed couple.” – Variety

“Bleak and intimate…Shot in a loose, semi-improvised style, the film strains for physical details…yet it is the offhand emotional moments that linger.” – Fernando F. Croce, Slant Magazine

Al Pacino made his extraordinary starring début as Bobby, a fast-talking, hustling junkie in The Panic in Needle Park (1971), directed by Jerry Schatzberg from a screenplay by the distinguished screenwriting team of Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne. Roaming a grim stretch of New York’s Upper West Side, Bobby hooks up with a relative innocent, Helen (Kitty Winn), and as she joins him in addiction, their doomed romance becomes the fulcrum around which this gritty slice-of-life drama turns.

LANGUAGE: English
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.85:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
1971 / Color
109 MINUTES
RATED PG

Special Features: Isolated Score Track (featuring Unused Music Composed and Conducted by Ned Rorem) / Panic in the Streets of New York / Writers in Needle Park / Notes on Ned Rorem’s Unused Score / Original Theatrical Trailer

Limited Edition of 3,000 Units

  
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Reviews and Comments: (1)
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Posted by Mark Turner on October 23, 2017 4:00 PM
I’ve heard people talk about New York City as if it were the greatest place on Earth. Woody Allen has made films that portray the city as the most attractive location there is. And yet my memories of the city from various TV series and films never lends itself to a location I’d want to visit or spend time in. It was movies like this one that did little to endear the city to those who’ve never been there and probably did damage to the tourist trade there.

In his first lead role in a major motion picture Al Pacino stars as Bobby, a low level thief and junkie who lives day by day on the streets of New York. He meets Helen (Kitty Winn) through a mutual friend and artist named Marco (Raul Julia), Helen’s now ex-boyfriend who’s about to leave the country for a while. This leaves Helen homeless with no friends to turn to. Except that Bobby takes a liking to her and invites her to stay with him.

But Bobby is a full on junkie, stealing in order to get a fix, get high and tune out. His is a world of fellow junkies who bond together in one apartment or another until they can no longer pay the rent since the money goes towards feeding their addiction.

Eventually Helen wants to know what it’s like and shoots up as well. At first upset by the situation Bobby eventually finds that it bonds the two of them closer together. Both promise to kick the habit but those days never come. Instead they live a life that takes them to the lowest of lows. Worse yet is that the city is dry at the moment with drugs shipments cut off after a number of arrests, thus the title of the film, a panic that drugs are nowhere to be found.

The movie follows the pair’s lives as they continue to go lower and lower, occasionally trying to claw their way up but then failing miserably. The tragedy of their lives should have made this movie one to show teens who might consider drug use. It is a sad world they live in due to their addictions. And New York City has never looked as filthy or degraded as in this film.

The story itself is only slightly interesting as somber and dark as it is. What most will want to see this film for is to watch the young Pacino elevating what could have been a low budgeted film role into something more. It would be just a year later that he would break out in THE GODFATHER but hints of what was to come can be seen here.

Twilight Time presents the film as always in the best print possible. Extras are plentiful this time around and include an isolated score track featuring unused music composed and conducted by Ned Rorem, a featurette called PANIC IN THE STREETS OF NEW YORK, a featurette called WRITERS IN NEEDLE PARK, Notes on Ned Rorem’s unused score and the original theatrical trailer. As always copies are limited to just 3,000 so pick one up if you’re interested.

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