Watch Now: BORN TO WIN
In Born to Win we follow J (played by George Segal), a drug user who spends his days circling Times Square, waiting for his next fix. He is accompanied by his friend Billy Dynamite (Jay Fletcher), the two of them working as mules for a local dealer named Vivian (Hector Elizondo). One day, while stealing a car, J meets the car owner Parm (Karen Black). They fall in love, which motivates J to try and get clean, something he attempted to do several times, but ultimately failed. With a star-studded roster of actors—including Paula Prentiss and Robert De Niro in supporting roles—the movie offers a unique way of looking at junkies and the culture that surrounds addiction, with a mixture of drama, comedy and slapstick.
Speaking of De Niro, the actor almost got fired several times during production because he stole every scene he was in, thereby overshadowing the movie’s leads. David Scott Milton got the idea for his feature screenwriting debut while he was working at a diner he owned in Manhattan. Plenty of addicts would frequent his locale, so Milton decided to use what they had told him about their lives. He and Ivan Passer, co-writer and director, decided to interview all those less fortunate souls and the result ended up being Born to Win.