Manhattan-born director Jerry Schatzberg left TV commercials and fashion photography for feature films at precisely the right time: after the freak success of 1969's Easy Rider, the studios were scrambling for "personal statement" directors who could relate to the younger, hipper filmgoers. Making his big-screen debut 1970's Puzzle of a Downward Child, the story of an unhappy fashion model, Schatzberg didn't score with the critics until his second picture: Panic in Needle Park (1971), a bleak study of cocaine addiction starring Al Pacino. Pacino costarred with Gene Hackman in Schatzberg's next film, Scarecrow (1973), which in in many ways is an apotheosis of '70s alienation and confusion. Perhaps significantly, Schatzberg's critical following in the US rose and fell with the '70s; after 1979's Seduction of Joe Tynan, the trend in Hollywood shifted from small, introspective films to the Spielberg/Lucas blockbuster mentality. But Jerry Schatzberg never lost his European devotees, as witness the international success of 1989's Reunion.