Although he has “Born To Win” tattooed on his arm, heroin addict ‘J’ (George Segal) has lost everything and must spend his days roaming the heartless streets of New York City, looking for his next fix. J wants desperately to end his dependency on drugs and start a new life, but he is completely trapped by his addiction. In order to support his $100-a-day habit, he eventually turns to committing petty crimes and running “errands” for local drug dealer Vivian, a.k.a. The Geek (Hector Elizondo). During an attempted car theft, J meets the free-spirited Parm (Karen Black), and finding they have much in common, the two begin a dubious relationship. Meanwhile, a hardened NYC police detective (Robert DeNiro) and his partner (Ed Madsen) want to take down The Geek, and they force J to help them, no matter what the cost.