A gruelling but highly responsible film about the influence of heroin on a New York street romance. Schatzberg moves with considerable force over the urban territory of Midnight Cowboy, using hand-held cameras and a sustained editing rhythm to convey the couple's gradual descent into hell as mercilessly as he shows the needles entering his characters' veins (in close-up). Pacino, as the boy, proves that he didn't need Coppola to make him act, but Kitty Winn is less satisfactory, and the film is finally subject to an iron law of diminishing returns after its plot plumbs the depths and can find nothing to do except batter us some more. In fact, the anti hard drugs message comes on so strong and so realistically that the British censor's ban (lifted in 1975) seems positively malicious: it's precisely this kind of suppression of information which results in junkie mythologies. (From the novel by James Mills).
Theatrical Release: July 13th, 1971
DVD Review: 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 5.9 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Mono), DUB: French (Mono)|
|Subtitles||English, Spanish, None|
version on opposite side
Fox is a very good DVD production company and the image on The Panic in Needle Park is clean and true to its original intent. Colors are a bit dull (faded) but detail is acceptable. Although it is advertised on Amazon as being two-disc, it is actually the Open Matte version on one side and the widescreen (1:85:1 anamorphic) on the opposite side - both are single-layered and progressive. There are optional English or Spanish subtitles and audio choices for original mono or 2.0 channel stereo. There is also a mono French DUB option.
There are no extras save the theatrical trailer.
The film is shocking in its realism (actually refused a certificate in the UK for four years because of its graphic depiction of drug-taking). Pacino is excellent as is Kitty Winn (some may remember her from The Exorcist). The film has the gritty feel of the 70's and Schatzberg's direction is quite compelling - giving the production an honest and occasionally compassionate aura. Strongly recommended - great value for the money (it is less than $10)!
Full Frame (Open Matte) version on side B - TOP vs. Widescreen version on Side A - BOTTOM