8.3/10
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74 user 55 critic

Hoop Dreams (1994)

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

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Featured in The 50 Greatest Documentaries (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Original Lesson
Written by Ben Sidran, Ricky Peterson & Shock-G (as Greg Jacobs)
Featuring Shock-G (as Shock G & Humpty Hump)
© 1993 Bulldog Music (ASCAP), Pubhowyalike Music (ASCAP), Crazed Weasel Music (BMI)
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User Reviews

 
Objective and Quiet, but Powerful Statement to Represent Disadvantaged Youth in Urban America
11 March 2004 | by (Chiba City, Japan) – See all my reviews

"Basketball is a ticket out of ghetto." (William Gates)

"... nobody cares about you. You're a black, you're a young male... The only reason why you're here [Nike training camp] is so you can make their team win. And if the team wins these schools get a lot of money." (Spike Lee)

These phrases, which have persisted as common knowledge among the African-American community during last several decades, have become familiar to the non-hyphenated Americans in the 90s, thanks to the films such as Boyz N the Hood and He Got Game. Among them, Hoop Dreams, a documentary that follows two black youths during a five-year period, is the most objective and the most quiet, but the most powerful statement to represent the disadvantaged youth in urban America.

The film reveals the pattern they follow. Being deluded by the luxurious surface of pro sports, they neglect education and then ending up going nowhere. The community suffers the vicious cycle and their feelings that the system exploits them remain.

Kudos to the filmmakers for their insane amount of work. They must have gone through numerous negotiations to attend and film various scenes, such as family's private events, classrooms, academic counseling, recruiting sessions with college coaches, and surgery operation rooms.


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