When it was released in the early '60s, Shirley Clarke's controversial jazz & junkies film The Connection got shut down by New York police after just two screenings. Adapted from Jack Gelberg's 1959 play (he also wrote the script), The Connection is about a group of eight anxious addicts who agree to let a team of documentary filmmakers film them in a Manhattan loft while they wait for their pusher to arrive.
While the film garnered rave reviews at Cannes (even the conservative American trade journal Variety noted that it would be a hit in “enlightened spots”), it faced a withering censorship battle back in the States that delayed its release by a year and a half. But the film's musical score helped keep it alive: an album was released, and jazz fans collected the LP that was all that was generally available of this mysterious movie which featured acclaimed saxophonist Jackie McLean. Shirley Clarke's feature debut remains a milestone of cinema verite and Jazz film.
"A lean, mean saga of jazz, junk and rebellion." -Salon.com