Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Can any Al Pacino movie really be forgotten? I think this--his first--is a bit.
Almost scary enough to be a cautionary tale. Pacino and Winn play two lovers who get caught up in heroin addiction in New York in the early seventies. Pacino went from this to the THE GODFATHER. A highly realistic film, so seldom done now. Seventies movies always rock for me. Winn went on to obscurity.

I wonder if this film is more often talked about than watched.


Anonymous said...

Patti - I remember hearing about this film, but have never seen it. Hmmmm... I ought to.

Anonymous said...

My brother in law Buddy had a small role in this as well as in HI MOM, PUTNEY SWOPE and WHERE'S POPPA. I really need to look at it again to see if I can spot him.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I wonder how many people in NY have been in a movie or play or two. Even as extras.

George said...

PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK showed what the future would be like. As you point out, Patti, they don't make movies like this much any more.

J F Norris said...

I've seen this... a very long time ago. Pacino was so good and watchable in his youthful heyday. I can't really take him in anything since he made SCENT OF A WOMAN. "Hoo-ha!"

I can only remember Kitty Winn as the secretary in THE EXORCIST - a thankless role for someone so talented. Her list of credits also tells me she was in a particuallry good TV movie based on Barbara Michaels' (aka Elizabeth Peters) novel AMMIE, COME HOME called The House that Would Not Die. Apparently Kitty Winn got married and gave up acting. She was happy with her decision because she preferred raising her family to acting.

Todd Mason said...

I have it sitting on my DVR, awaiting my first viewing of it since I was about ten, and flabbergasted by it and its subtle bleakness (as it seemed to me then). Watching a lot of Angry Young Kitchen Sinks about then.

Indie films kinda move in this direction, but are only rarely secure enough to avoid a melodramatic hook (which my fuzzy memory suggests this one didn't have too much beyond what any addiction movie might offer).

Rick said...

I love this film. Both leads are sensational.

BTW, while I have read in multiple reference books that this is Pacino's film debut, it isn't. It's his first lead role.
Two years before in 1969 he had a very small part (he was thirteenth-billed per IMDb) in the Patty Duke coming-of-age-in-the-big-city film ME, NATALIE.

He was pretty memorable in it. enough so that I recognized him immediately when I saw THE PANIC IN NEEDLE in first release.

Great pick, Patti.

Charles Gramlich said...

Not sure if I saw this one.

Kelly Robinson said...

I've heard a lot ABOUT it, but I've never actually seen it.