In 1978, Martin Scorsese shot a documentary called “American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince” about his friend, a former Neil Diamond roadie and drug-addict best known for playing the small role of Easy Andy in “Taxi Driver.” Considered Scorsese’s “lost film,” the documentary was never released, though it lived on in bootleg copies.
In it, Scorsese interspersed home videos of Prince’s childhood with his narrations of his wild stories, including a particularly outrageous one about the time he plunged an adrenaline shot into the heart of a girl who had overdosed on heroin. The scene was made famous by Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” and Prince also tells the story in Richard Linklater’s “Waking Life.”
In a recently published video, one can hear Prince’s original version of the story that inspired Tarantino, alongside the famous scene it inspired, featuring John Travolta, Eric Stoltz, Rosanna Arquette, and Uma Thurman. In an interview with Prince from 2009 conducted by Linklater, he recalls the fateful moment: “I was stoned. I had to reach down really far and deep to get some control to go ahead and do that. Almost exactly like the film. I didn’t get finished hitting that plunger all the way down before she was up and wide awake. I, however, removed the needle…”
The whole thing is a fascinating part of cinema history, and a window into the creative processes of two great filmmakers. Check it out: