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The Basketball Diaries (1995)

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0:31 | Trailer
A teenager finds his dreams of becoming a basketball star threatened after he free falls into the harrowing world of drug addiction.

Director:

Scott Kalvert

Writers:

Jim Carroll (novel), Bryan Goluboff (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,659 ( 473)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonardo DiCaprio ... Jim Carroll
Lorraine Bracco ... Jim's Mother
Marilyn Sokol Marilyn Sokol ... Chanting Woman
James Madio ... Pedro
Patrick McGaw ... Neutron
Mark Wahlberg ... Mickey
Roy Cooper ... Father McNulty
Vincent Pastore ... Construction Worker (as Vinnie Pastore)
Bruno Kirby ... Swifty
Jimmy Papiris Jimmy Papiris ... Iggy
Nick Gaetani Nick Gaetani ... Referee #1
Alexander Chaplin ... Bobo (as Alexander Gaberman)
Ben Jorgensen Ben Jorgensen ... Tommy
Josh Mostel ... Counterman
Juliette Lewis ... Diane Moody
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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 | Plot Synopsis

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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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

After Jim rejects Swifty's advance and shoves him to the wall, the amount and position of the blood on Swifty's face changes between subsequent shots. See more »

Quotes

Mickey: I'll tell you what, if our school was this nice I would go there more than once a week.
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Alternate Versions

This film was passed uncut with an 18 rating in the UK in 2000. It was previously cut by 47 seconds by the distributor. The cuts were to the dream sequence where kids are shot in school, which was removed by the distributor in response to the Dunblane massacre. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Chase Australia: Episode #2.45 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Catholic Boy
Written by Jim Carroll
Performed by Jim Carroll with Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam appears courtesy of Epic Records
See more »

User Reviews

 
DeCaprio Was Brilliant
6 July 2004 | by DigitalPhreakerSee all my reviews

It pisses me off when people say that 'Basketball Diaries' is a rip-off of 'Requiem for a Dream.' The stupidity of the uneducated. It was interesting though seeing the similarities to both films, but that is besides the point.

I was one of those people who thought that Leonardo DeCaprio was just a washed up 'Teen Beat' cover boy. All of that because of 'Titanic.' I really hate to admit that now that I have seen the majority of his work. The first time I really began changing my mind was in 2002 when he starred in both 'Gangs of New York' and 'Catch Me if You Can.' What got me thinking is that both Scorsese and Spielberg aren't the type of directors to hire an actor just because they have a teenage fanbase and also, DeCaprio's performances in both were excellent.

But, it wasn't until recently that I changed my mind completely and realized just how much of an under-appreciated actor he is. He has done films like 'The Beach,' 'Basketball Diaries,' and more, all of which received high acclaim, but because of 'Titanic,' people won't give him a seconds glance. And he was great in 'Titanic.'

Honestly, I doubt that there is any other actor out there who could've done a better job as Jim Carrol. Hell, even Mark Whalberg did a great job. He is another under-appreciated actor.

If you are one of the many people who say that they won't see 'Basketball Diaries' because of Leo, don't be so judgmental. He made the movie so wonderful. It is an excellent film and he is an excellent actor.

9/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 April 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Basketball Diaries See more »

Filming Locations:

Hoboken, New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$765,335, 23 April 1995

Gross USA:

$2,381,087

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,381,087
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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