8.3/10
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Hoop Dreams (1994)

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A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.

Director:

Steve James
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Gates ... Himself
Arthur Agee ... Himself
Emma Gates Emma Gates ... Herself - William's Mother
Curtis Gates Curtis Gates ... Himself - William's Brother
Sheila Agee ... Herself - Arthur's Mother
Arthur 'Bo' Agee Arthur 'Bo' Agee ... Himself - Arthur's Father
Earl Smith Earl Smith ... Himself - Talent Scout
Gene Pingatore Gene Pingatore ... Himself - High School Basketball Coach
Isiah Thomas ... Himself - Professional Basketball Player
Marlyn Hopewell Marlyn Hopewell ... Herself - High School Guidance Counselor (as Sister Marlyn Hopewell)
Bill Gleason Bill Gleason ... Himself - Television Reporter
Patricia Weir Patricia Weir ... Herself - President: Encyclopedia Brittanica
Marjorie Heard Marjorie Heard ... Herself - High School Guidance Counselor
Luther Bedford Luther Bedford ... Himself - High School Basketball Coach
Aretha Mitchell Aretha Mitchell ... Herself - High School Guidance Counselor
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Storyline

This documentary follows two young African-Americans through their high school years as they perfect their skills in basketball in the hopes of getting a college scholarship and eventually play in the NBA. Arthur Agee and William Gates both show great potential and are are actively recruited as they look to enter high school. They start off at the same high school but unable to pay an unexpected bill for tuition fees, Arthur has to withdraw and go to the local public high school. The film follows them through their four years of high school and their trials and tribulations: injuries, slumps and the never ending battle to maintain their grades. Through it all, their hoop dreams continue. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An Extraordinary True Story.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for drug content and some strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 October 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Basquete Blues See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$7,830,611

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,830,611
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally intended to be a 30-minute PBS special about multiple players on a single basketball court. After 5 years, the filmmakers had shot 250 hours of footage, which was trimmed down to 3 hours. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Announcer: Welcome to the 38th Annual NBA All Star game from Chicago Stadium.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to the St. Joseph High School community and Coach Gene Pingatore who agreed to participate in a not for profit Kartemquin Educational film telling William and Arthur's stories. Today, St. Joseph, with a 39% minority enrollment, remains committed to the dream of a better life for all. Awarding need based financial aid to 40% of its students, St. Joseph with limited resources continues to maintain its academic excellence. A Hoop Dreams Fund has been set up to provide academic scholarships. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 30 for 30: No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Walking the Walk
Written by Ricky Peterson, Ben Sidran & Paul Peterson
Featuring Ricky Peterson
© 1993 Bulldog Music, St. Paul Music (ASCAP), Crazed Weasel Music (BMI)
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User Reviews

 
Documentary film-making at its best
30 November 2004 | by ill_behaviorSee all my reviews

It runs for three hours but it feels much less, such is the power that this documentary holds. Absorbing, you get sucked in and the film has this grip on you.

If Reality TV is your thing, I'd seriously give this film a go, then you can stop watching Reality TV and start to recognise, understand and prioritise real-world situations that actually matter, like racism, poverty, drug abuse, peer pressure and well, dreams.

You'll fall in love with the characters, and there's even a bad-guy for us to boo. You can sometimes question the manipulative techniques on display, but the film is actually not as guilty as some, the makers have a genuine affection for their subjects and do as much as they can within the rules of documentary to help them out without compromising their objectivity.

Be that as it may, this film should be compulsory viewing for many younger audiences, as it shows you exactly how real life differs from the garbage that passes for representation of youth on TV and in film today.

I really can't say enough about the need for more films like this, the fact that the Academy Awards were changed because of the strength of this film goes some way to showing you exactly how powerful it is.


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