1962 October 18

“The Connection” Banned in NYC


The film version of Jack Gelber’s play The Connection was banned in New York City on grounds of obscenity. However, it was announced on this day that the film would be screened the next night at the Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village. The Connection is a powerful drama about drug addiction, in which the cast of both the stage play and the film include recovering addicts. The language is exactly what you would expect from a group of junkies waiting for their “connection” to arrive.

The film includes the great jazz alto sax player Jackie McLean, who had had a problem with drugs. The Judson Memorial Church was the center of much political activism in New York City. The film was directed by Shirley Clarke, who directed several other independent and highly acclaimed films.

Watch the trailer for The Connection: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPp2I5qcCiw

Read the play: Jack Gelber, The Connection (1960)

Listen to the soundtrack album: Freddie Redd (with Jackie McLean), The Connection (Blue Note Records, 1960)

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