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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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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>

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Taglines:

Every punk on the block says it's not going to happen to them... but it does. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Details

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Release Date:

21 April 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Basketball Diaries  »

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Box Office

Gross:

$2,424,439 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A drug consultant was hired for authenticity and was present on set. DiCaprio outlined how to talk like a Junkie to the Los Angeles Times. "The voice: you go down an octave," DiCaprio explained. "Even when you raise your voice it's like you got this frog in your throat. It's not necessarily being tired and it's not necessarily like being drunk. It's sort of like your body becomes jelly and all your bones and everything become completely relaxed. You just feel at peace. Supposedly. I don't know. I've never done it. Right?" See more »

Goofs

When Jim's mother throws his trophy out of the window and the camera pans across to see it on the pavement, but you can see the actual one she threw behind Jim. See more »

Quotes

Pedro: Yo, you think that'll keep him out of Heaven?
Mickey: What are you, kidding me? Jesus Christ himself would of laughed at that, it was hillarious.
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Connections

Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Shootin' Hoops (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Catholic Boy
Written by Jim Carroll
Performed by Jim Carroll with Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam appears courtesy of Epic Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A comparison
13 May 2003 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I can't believe that Requiem For A Dream is on the top 250 list but this isn't. I never thought this movie would be so incredibly underrated! This was the only movie that made me completely swear off drugs. The characters are so young and vulnerable and you get to see them slowly fall into this world of drugs and violence and be completely swept away.

In Requiem For A Dream, the characters start out doing some harder drugs and you barely get to see where everything goes wrong, it just seemed to be like that all of a sudden. The characters aren't as likable and I thought it ended a bit abruptly leaving us no knowledge of what is to become of the characters. I have to give it props though for some brilliant scenes like when they all go into the fetal position at the end.

Basketball Diaries on the other hand gets you involved and attached to the characters. You get to watch them throw away their basketball careers and their lives. The part where Lewis is going through withdrawal is so real and horrible. And after he goes through all that pain, he throws it away and goes straight back to the drugs. This movie is so incredible, I really wish more people would see it and think the same.

Shay


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