The Basket (1999)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  5 May 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 454 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 38 user | 14 critic | 16 from

A picturesque Pacific Northwest community raising its wheat and children in the midst of a nation reeling from World War I sets the stage for The Basket. In a time of pain and prejudice ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Conlon
Bessie Emery
Helmut Brink (as Robert Karl Burke)
Amber Willenborg ...
Brigitta Brink
Jock MacDonald ...
Nicholas Emery
Tom Emery
Nathan Emery
Casey Cowan ...
Samuel Emery
Tony Lincoln ...
Reverend Simms
Frederick Treadway
Jack Bannon ...
Elwon Bakly ...
Ben Emery
Joey Travolta ...
Charlie Cohn
Paul Hostetler ...
Old Helmut Brink


A picturesque Pacific Northwest community raising its wheat and children in the midst of a nation reeling from World War I sets the stage for The Basket. In a time of pain and prejudice woven against a background of beauty, The Basket ultimately points to triumph and hope in a changing America. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild violence and brief language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

5 May 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A varázskosár  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$61,300 (USA) (5 May 2000)


$609,042 (USA) (27 April 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (Alphacine)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Rich Cowan and director of photography Dan Heigh mention (DVD commentary) that shooting took 24 days (at around 09 mins) from late September to early October (at around 03 mins). Since the film debuted 6/5/1999 (at the Seattle International Film Festival) and has a 1999 copyright, it would have been shot in 1998. See more »


When we see the envelope Mr. Conlon is mailing (04:38), it shows the 2-letter state abbreviations for Washington and Massachusetts. These weren't adopted until 1963, when zip codes were introduced. More likely, the abbreviations would have been Wash. and Mass. See more »


[Tom tries to justify his going to war after his brother Ben dies of battle injuries]
Tom Emery: Ben told me all about the war.
Brigitta: And where is Ben now?
See more »

Crazy Credits

"You Name It" ... Mike Cassell Thanks to ... All the Babysitters See more »


The Basket Soundtrack
Composed by Don Caron
Performed by The Hungarian Symphony Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

true to the time and place
9 March 2008 | by (illinois) – See all my reviews

This was a video store closeout, and a remarkable find. The best part first. Having had relatives and in-laws who lived there in the time, this looks and feels real. The horse drawn harvester, to start with. The blue sky and tufts of clouds, the golden hills and pines - not fake at all - it's the northern Palouse in early fall. The attitudes of the people are just what I'd expect. Suspicious of anything new or foreign

  • Spokane was the IWW headquarters just prior to this period, and

dangerous radicals such as Joe Hill(strom) wandered all through the basin making trouble for the established citizenry. WWI had a huge effect on Northwest labor history, and the tension between loyalty and freethinking was strong. Yet there was also the great thirst for culture, and a pre-mass media naivete, in these places - a yearning for art perhaps inspired by living in the midst of great beauty. Finally, all those stark white houses, churches and schoolhouse sitting forlornly out in the wide open. The movie gets ALL of this right.

Sadly, there isn't much of a story to complement the pictures. The problem with small town life is that it was boring, and it's hard to find a believable story with a lot of drama that fits. Focused on the relationships only, this might have been something like A River Runs Through It or Napoleon Dynamite (both of which play against similar scenic backdrops). Focused on the sports story, perhaps Hoosiers. Focused on outsiders fitting in, perhaps Days of Heaven. But muddled all together, it comes out like a string of TV episodes, like Little House on the Prairie. Very melodramatic, with all the music swells and dramatic incidents that usually precede a commercial.

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