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Hoop Dreams (1994)

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A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.


Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Emma Gates ...
Herself - William's Mother
Curtis Gates ...
Himself - William's Brother
Herself - Arthur's Mother
Arthur 'Bo' Agee ...
Himself - Arthur's Father
Earl Smith ...
Himself - Talent Scout
Gene Pingatore ...
Himself - High School Basketball Coach
Himself - Professional Basketball Player
Marlyn Hopewell ...
Herself - High School Guidance Counselor (as Sister Marlyn Hopewell)
Bill Gleason ...
Himself - Television Reporter
Patricia Weir ...
Herself - President: Encyclopedia Brittanica
Marjorie Heard ...
Herself - High School Guidance Counselor
Luther Bedford ...
Himself - High School Basketball Coach
Aretha Mitchell ...
Herself - High School Guidance Counselor


This documentary follows two young African-Americans through their high school years as they perfect their skills in basketball in the hopes of getting a college scholarship and eventually play in the NBA. Arthur Agee and William Gates both show great potential and are are actively recruited as they look to enter high school. They start off at the same high school but unable to pay an unexpected bill for tuition fees, Arthur has to withdraw and go to the local public high school. The film follows them through their four years of high school and their trials and tribulations: injuries, slumps and the never ending battle to maintain their grades. Through it all, their hoop dreams continue. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An Extraordinary True Story.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for drug content and some strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 October 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Basquete Blues  »

Box Office


$700,000 (estimated)


$7,830,611 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When the film failed to be nominated for Best Documentary, even though it was nominated for Best Film Editing, Entertainment Weekly ran a story about how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences selected documentary nominations. Most of the voting members were not documentary filmmakers, and many worked against nominating the film. As a result, the rules were changed to allow documentary filmmakers to vote in that category. See more »


[first lines]
Announcer: Welcome to the 38th Annual NBA All Star game from Chicago Stadium.
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Crazy Credits

Thanks to Marshall High School and Coach Luther Bedford. This Chicago Public high school is dedicated to academic excellence for all its students. The Hoop Dreams Fund will be used to help Marshall's graduating seniors attend college. See more »


Referenced in Siskel & Ebert: Remembering Gene Siskel (1999) See more »


Washington & Lee Swing
Written by Thornton W. Allen (as Thorton W. Allen), Clarence Aaron 'Tod' Robbins (as C.A. Robbins) & M.W. Sheafe
Used by permission of EMI Robbins Catalog Inc.
All Rights Reserved
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User Reviews

My favorite film of all time!
15 December 1999 | by (Venice Beach, CA.) – See all my reviews

This gets my vote for the best movie of all time!! I know, it sounds crazy to say that about a documentary, but to me, this film has more drama, truth, realism & emotion than a thousand Hollywood movies put together. I've seen it over 30 times, and it never ceases to gladden my heart to see Arthur & William's story. The scene where Arthur's mom receives her diploma from nursing school has to be one of my all time favorites. For me, this is one of the rare three-hour movies that I never wanted to end. 10/10.

25 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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