Film adaptation of street tough Jim Carroll's epistle about his kaleidoscopic free fall into the harrowing world of drug addiction. As a member of a seemingly unbeatable high school basketball squad, Jim's life centers around the basketball court and the court becomes a metaphor for the world in his mind. A best friend who is dying of leukemia, a coach ("Swifty") who takes unacceptable liberties with the boys on his team, teenage sexual angst, and an unhealthy appetite for heroin -- all of these begin to encroach on young Jim's dream of becoming a basketball star. Soon, the dark streets of New York become a refuge from his mother's mounting concern for her son. He can't go home and his only escape from the reality of the streets is heroin for which he steals, robs and prostitutes himself. Only with the help of Reggie, an older neighborhood friend with whom Jim "picked up a game" now and then, is he able to begin the long journey back to sanity. Written by
Mark Fleetwood <email@example.com>
Every punk on the block says it's not going to happen to them... but it does.
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Motion Picture Rating
Rated R for graphic depiction of drug addiction with related strong violence,sexuality and language
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Did You Know?
Stephen Lang was offered the role of Jim's Basketball Coach named Swifty in the script. Lang declined citing the misrepresentation of the book in the script. The part was subsequently toned down as a result. See more
Although this movie is based on an autobiography of a person growing up in the 1960s, it appears that there has been no effort to portray that era in the movie. This is evidenced by the fashions, music, cars and backdrops used, none of which are from that era. The following items would be anachronisms if the movie were in fact set in the 1960s:
- 1) only modern-era vehicles seen in outdoor scenes;
- 2) numerous skyscrapers that didn't exist in background shots, including the Twin Towers;
- 3) modern medical equipment used to treat cancer;
- 4) Jim and Bobby are on post porn-littered 42nd Street and reminiscing about the time when the area was filled with adult businesses ... NYC mayor Giuliani had the district cleaned-up in the 1990's;
- 5) Bobby refers to one porn movie with the title, The Sperminator, an obvious take from the 1984 blockbuster, The Terminator;
- 6) A marquee sign in the background reports "Two US helicopters down over Iraq" in reference to the Gulf War in the early 1990's;
- 7) During the basketball game where Jim and Mickey are too high to play, there are championship banners dated 1976 and 1988.;
- 8) When the cops enter the ice cream store they are wearing 1990s style police uniforms. See more
[Walks up to Swifty
Don't worry, Swifty, I won't rat you out.
[Walks up to Father McNulty
And in the next life, Father, I'm gonna have the paddle!
Referenced in The Butterfly Effect
I've Been Down
Written and Performed by Flea
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, Inc. See more