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.
See more »
Motion Picture Rating
Rated R for graphic depiction of drug addiction with related strong violence,sexuality and language
See all certifications »
Did You Know?
Popular misconception holds that River Phoenix
was set to play the lead before tragically dying on the L.A. sidewalk. This is not entirely accurate. Phoenix was a big fan of the book, and as the film version entered various stages of readiness he was always the front runner. However, prior to his death, he had declined the role due to a combination of feeling he was too old to play a 15 year old, and trying to broaden his range with more adult roles. See more
Supposedly set in winter, yet deciduous trees with green leaves are visible. See more
I saw this girl next to me who wasn't beautiful until she smiled.
Referenced in The Butterfly Effect
Written by Salvadore Poe
(as Paul DiBartolo), Adam Flax
Performed by Massive Internal Complications See more