The Panic in Needle Park

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Jerry Schatzberg
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
  1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
110 min


( subway train approaching )

( subway train passing )

( train brakes squealing )

( doors open )

( passengers chattering )

( doors close )

( train horn blares )

(ON SPEAKER) 42nd street.

( doors close )

(ON SPEAKER) 34th Street. Penn Station.


It hurt.

Did they treat you all right?

The place was dirty.

Well, sure, baby.

It was a-It was a free scrape.

It was a favor.

Can't expect Columbia Presbyterian.

No more favors.

Smoke a joint?

I told you to smoke a joint.

He said it was illegal.

The chick is sick.

She's all right.

You gonna play with your brushes,

or you gonna pay me?

- How much?

- $50.

- Come on!

- What are you talking about? You said you had it yesterday.

Well, yesterday was yesterday.

- Today's today, right?

- Right.

I'm splitting.

Okay. Okay, $50. Okay.

I know a guy. He owes me 100.

All right.

Is it any good?

I don't know.

I don't use it.

What do you want me to tell you, Marco?

It's from Tangiers? It's from Tangiers.

- Okay, I'm gonna get my coat.

- Okay.

What's the matter?

You all right?

What, are you cold?


Put this over you.

When I'm around,

I'll pick it up sometime.

- Okay, let's go.

- Okay.

I'll be back soon.

- Marco! Who did that?

- She did.

Oh, yeah?


All right,

how do you spell Reeves?



You a member of Blue Cross?

No, I'm not a member

of the Blue Cross.

- Member of any other medical plan?

- Jesus, I'm bleeding.

Look, I have to have

this information for my records.

Three pads in 10 minutes.

Oh, can I help you?

Uh, no. I'm going over to 424.


Oh, well, visiting hours happen to be over.

Come back tomorrow, okay?

Aw, that's my sister.

She's sick.

- I just flew in from Jersey City.

- Well, tomorrow at 2:00.

- 2:

- Right. 2:
00 to 5:00.


What are you doing here?

I come, uh, for my scarf.

- Oh.

- Remember?


Um, how did you know I was here?

I know a guy down the hall in one

of the rooms, and he told me.

Said there's this terrific-looking

chick in room 424, I thought I'd come and take a look.

You seen Marco?

Yeah, Marco.

He split.

He, uh...

He had a gig somewhere.

Well, you know them artists.

They're always splitting.

Hey, how'd you get in here?

I got my ways.

Um, what are you gonna do?

Where you gonna go?

I'm gonna go home.


Where's home?

Fort Wayne.


I did time there.

No, I-it's Indiana.

- Indiana?

- Mm-hmm.

I did time there too, I think.

Yeah. Indiana.

Did time all over.

Hey, uh, I lost your scarf.

- Blew right off of my head.

- Terrible.

I tell you what. To make up for it,

you can draw a picture of me.

- I Can?

- Sure.

- You're a great artist.

- You!

- I said visiting hours are over.

- That's right. You told me that.

- Time to leave.

- I was just saying good-bye to my sister.

- And there are no planes from Jersey City, either.

- Oh, there are.

There's a helicopter,

lands on the Pan Am building.

Then a limousine takes you down.

It's terrific.

You're a wonderful dancer.

You know that?


( laughing )

( no audible dialogue )


( hooting )

- Give my best to your old lady.

- Okay, I'll do it.

You're everywhere.

My scarf.

- You know I been in KY twice?

- KY?

KY. Lexington.


Another thing.

I've been in jail eight times.

Don't congratulate yourself

on my time.


Ten times?

How's 12 times?

I can't impress you.

- I told my brother about brother Hank.

- You did?


He's gonna love you, man.

Only he better not love you too much

'cause I'll kick his ass.

You don't have to worry about money either.

I got plenty of that.

- Yeah?

- Yeah.

I got nothin', man.

- Hey, we'll take a little trip. Want to take a trip?

- Mm-hmm.

- Ever been to Philadelphia?

- No.

Neither have I.

- What do you want to go to Philadelphia for?

- What?

You know, I never had an old lady around before.

They tie you down.

- You don't have to have one now.

- Don't say that.


He didn't like

responsibility much.

- Who?

- Marco.

- You stuck on him or something?

- No.

Well, proves you ain't dumb.

- Who's this?

- Me.

He the father of that kid?


Marco who.

I guess so.

That's some answer.

You really got a place?

Nah. Not a regular place.

I got a lot of places.


Listen, you wanna do me a favor?

Just keep walking. Go ahead.

Don't look back. I'll be right back.

Just keep going.

- Merry Christmas.

- What are you gonna do with it?

- It's yours. Go ahead. I don't have a place for it.

- I don't even have a...

...come on. Take it.

How's it feel to steal something?

Twelve dollars.

This is UHF.

You get everything on here.

You want Chicago,

you get Chicago.

You get Turkey, I hear,

on this thing.

Come on.

I'll give you $15, okay?


I'm a dope addict.

I heard that before.

Give me something new.

I'm a sex-crazed dope fiend.

Come on. Here. I'll give you $20, huh?

Twenty dollars!

- I'm dying from the dope, Esther.

- And I'm dying from hunger.

Go already,

will you, please?

( laughing )

Twenty-five dollars.

Twenty-three dollars.

Two dollars for the sandwiches.

- How you feel?

- Mmm.

What was it like

where you come from?

I mean,

when you was a kid growing up.

It was all right.

- I was born and went to school.

- Hmm. That's good.

I had a mother and a father

and a little brother and a lawn.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Joan Didion

Joan Didion (born December 5, 1934) is an American journalist and writer of novels, screenplays, and autobiographical works. Didion is best known for her literary journalism and memoirs. In her novels and essays, Didion explores the disintegration of American morals and cultural chaos; the overriding theme of her work is individual and social fragmentation.At the peak of Didion's career, her writing was recognized for its significance in defining and observing American subcultures for mainstream audiences. In 1968, The New York Times referred to her early work as containing "grace, sophistication, nuance, [and] irony." In 2005, she won the National Book Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Biography/Autobiography for The Year of Magical Thinking. She later adapted the book into a play, which premiered on Broadway in 2007. In 2017, Didion was profiled in the Netflix documentary The Center Will Not Hold, directed by her nephew Griffin Dunne. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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