The Connection
The Connection (1961)

A group on heroin addicts wax philosophically about life and death while waiting for their dealer to arrive. Film is an open look at the drug subculture and value system from an off Broadway play by Jack Gelber. Shown out of competition at… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
DVD Release Date: May 1, 2007
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Critic Score: 94% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Brody
New Yorker

The quartet of musicians, led by the pianist and composer Freddie Redd and the caustic-toned post-bop saxophonist Jackie McLean, perform brilliantly on-camera as they dramatize both the agonized wait and the needed high.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

The film retains the same beatnik wit that the play effectively distilled, as well as a few scary shocks.

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Sean Axmaker

Experimental theater meets cinéma verité with a self-aware sensibility: drama in documentary form.

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Andrew O'Hehir

A lean, mean saga of jazz, junk and rebellion.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

There is little about it to warrant the clamorous interest of the average moviegoer or to distinguish it as a significant piece of cinematic art.

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Sean Axmaker
Parallax View

It's experimental theater meets cinéma verité with a self-aware sensibility: a drama in documentary form.

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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly

[Clarke] gets at the inner truth of addicts - that they're pining for transcendence in the void.

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Time Out

Some creaky business with a Salvation Army sister recalls the piece's stage origins, but the music and the sense of 'dead time' retain a 'beat' authenticity.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

An uncompromising look at a group of drug addicts waiting in a Manhattan loft for a heroin fix.

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More reviews for The Connection

Flixster Audience Score: 90% Flixster User Reviews
Walter M.
As a fifty year old movie about a group of junkies waiting less than patiently for their next hit, "The Connection" surprisingly does not feel dated… More