Hoop Dreams (1994)

PG-13  |   |  Documentary, Drama, Sport  |  14 October 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 17,656 users   Metascore: 98/100
Reviews: 74 user | 50 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

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 18 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Hoop Reality is the sequel to the 1994 documentary "Hoop Dreams" and explores what happened during the last decade from where "Hoop Dreams" left off. It follows the original basketball hero... See full summary »

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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 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 »


Featured in MST3K Little Gold Statue Preview Special (1995) See more »


In This Very Room
Words & Music by Ron & Carol Harris
© 1979 Ron Harris Music (ASCAP)
All Rights Reserved.
All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. Used by Permission.
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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.

23 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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