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

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself
...
Himself
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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

An Extraordinary True Story.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 October 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Basquete Blues  »

Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$7,830,611 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the locations used in the movie are either gone or substantially different. The neighborhood around the Cabrini-Green housing project, where one of the players lived, underwent "gentrification" soon after the film wrapped. The baseball field has been replaced by luxury condos and a shopping complex. The last Cabrini-Green apartment building was demolished in May 2011. See more »

Quotes

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

Thanks to the St. Joseph High School community and Coach Gene Pingatore who agreed to participate in a not for profit Kartemquin Educational film telling William and Arthur's stories. Today, St. Joseph, with a 39% minority enrollment, remains committed to the dream of a better life for all. Awarding need based financial aid to 40% of its students, St. Joseph with limited resources continues to maintain its academic excellence. A Hoop Dreams Fund has been set up to provide academic scholarships. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sports Jeopardy!: Episode #2.25 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Face
Written by Ben Sidran
Featuring Bob Malach & Ben Sidran
© 1993 Bulldog Music (ASCAP)
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User Reviews

 
Documentary film-making at its best
30 November 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

It runs for three hours but it feels much less, such is the power that this documentary holds. Absorbing, you get sucked in and the film has this grip on you.

If Reality TV is your thing, I'd seriously give this film a go, then you can stop watching Reality TV and start to recognise, understand and prioritise real-world situations that actually matter, like racism, poverty, drug abuse, peer pressure and well, dreams.

You'll fall in love with the characters, and there's even a bad-guy for us to boo. You can sometimes question the manipulative techniques on display, but the film is actually not as guilty as some, the makers have a genuine affection for their subjects and do as much as they can within the rules of documentary to help them out without compromising their objectivity.

Be that as it may, this film should be compulsory viewing for many younger audiences, as it shows you exactly how real life differs from the garbage that passes for representation of youth on TV and in film today.

I really can't say enough about the need for more films like this, the fact that the Academy Awards were changed because of the strength of this film goes some way to showing you exactly how powerful it is.


44 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Are the critics crazy, or am I?? haverpopper4
the guy who introduced arthur to st joseph neighborly
ACT Math? tylerh1701
I wanted them to make it.. juelzhickz-1
Ebert's Review ccow4140
other players throughout the movie bsl05
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