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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 ... 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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,396, 16 October 1994

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 late Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert both championed this film on their television show and were both clearly and visibly upset when the film was not chosen or even considered as a 1994 Best Picture Contender or even in the Best Documentary Category. What made them upset was the way the voting process went about which was caused the Entertainment Weekly article which ran in July 1995, which featured the proof that they both personally felt that the film was completely snubbed for what they felt was a group of people who were only interested in "talking heads" or "old documentary stock footage" which ran no longer than 90 minutes or longer which were pretty much the same as other documentaries that had come out before and when Hoop Dream was released. The other complaint which played out as further proof was that the Documentary branch of the Oscars, were mostly people who were volunteers who had no Chairperson who only had time to watch as many of these types of films within a certain time frame during the day which also led to the films' quick dismissal as those voters gave it a low score on purpose when many critics and other voters gave it the highest score possible and would've been an Oscar contender in which many have stated would've won for Best Documentary had this not happened. This lead to serious reform within the Documentary Branch within months after the controversy. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

Thanks to Marshall High School and Coach Luther Bedford. This Chicago Public high school is dedicated to academic excellence for all its students. The Hoop Dreams Fund will be used to help Marshall's graduating seniors attend college. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Lisa Simpson, This Isn't Your Life (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Fast Break
Written by Ben Sidran, Ricky Peterson & Tony Mosley
Featuring Tony Mosley (as Tony M.)
© 1993 Bulldog Music (ASCAP) & St. Paul Music (ASCAP)
See more »

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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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