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The Basketball Diaries (1995)

A teenager finds his dreams of becoming a basketball star threatened after he free falls into the harrowing world of drug addiction.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Marilyn Sokol ...
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Roy Cooper ...
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Construction Worker (as Vinnie Pastore)
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Jimmy Papiris ...
Nick Gaetani ...
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Bobo (as Alexander Gaberman)
Ben Monk ...
Tommy (as Ben Jorgensen)
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Storyline

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 <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of the death of innocence and the birth of an artist See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic depiction of drug addiction with related strong violence,sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

21 April 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Basketball Diaries  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross:

$2,424,439 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first film with Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg. They would later appear together in The Departed. See more »

Goofs

When Jim is playing basketball and explaining how he plays and Pedro steals from the locker rooms, each time there is a point scored you can clearly hear the crowd cheering but visually the crowd is very calm. See more »

Quotes

Jim Carroll: You're growing up. And rain sort of remains on the branches of a tree that will someday rule the Earth. And it's good that there is rain. It clears the month of your sorry rainbow expressions, and it clears the streets of the silent armies... so we can dance.
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Soundtracks

Watusi Latin Boogaloo
Written by Joseph L. Altruda (as Joe Altruda)
Performed by The Joey Altruda Latin Explosion
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Every teenaged kid should watch this film!
24 August 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

If the U.S. government wanted to win the "war on drugs", all they had to do was show this film in every high school in America ... a lot cheaper than running the D.E.A., I reckon. There are other films which could fit into this group; "Midnight Express" comes to mind. During the short time that I spent living in Toronto, I saw a shocking number of people whose lives were destroyed by drugs. I believe that the real root of the drug pandemic lies in the fact that young people don't understand the nature of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. I take my hat off to Leo. He is a much better actor than people give him credit for being.


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