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The Basketball Diaries (1995)

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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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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Jim Carroll
... Jim's Mother
Marilyn Sokol ... Chanting Woman
... Pedro
... Neutron
... Mickey
Roy Cooper ... Father McNulty
... Construction Worker (as Vinnie Pastore)
... Swifty
Jimmy Papiris ... Iggy
Nick Gaetani ... Referee #1
... Bobo (as Alexander Gaberman)
... Tommy (as Ben Jorgensen)
... Counterman
... 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 | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of the death of innocence and the birth of an artist 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:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 April 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Basketball Diaries  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,424,439
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Studio executives originally wanted the film to be set in Seattle, Washington. Director Scott Kalvert had read The Basketball Diaries when he was fifteen years old, and compared it to Catcher in the Rye. "Nobody really wanted to make the movie," Kalvert claimed. "Some wanted the locale changed to Seattle, because Seattle was cool. Someone wanted to change it so Jim wasn't the one involved in drugs, and I had a specific take on it." See more »

Goofs

When Jim, Pedro and Mickey steal the car to sell to Mickey's brother, Jim is smoking a cigarette which he takes a drag of then throws out the window. When Pedro nearly crashes the car he is smoking it again. See more »

Quotes

Jim Carroll: I saw this girl next to me who wasn't beautiful until she smiled.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

People Who Died
Written by Jim Carroll, Terrell Winn, Brian Linsley, Wayne Woods,
Stephen Linsley (as Steve Linsley)
Performed by The Jim Carroll Band
Courtesy of Earl McGrath Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A good adaption of a book of the tragic life of Jim Carrol
12 November 2003 | by See all my reviews

May I say, that I was impressed with this movie. It shows the truth of drugs and what they can do to you. After I saw this movie, I went out and found the book and read it. It's more sad then the movie, but still seeing Leonardo's performance is very effective.

Jim Carrol is a high school basketball player who once in a while gets stoned with his friends. But eventually he becomes brutally addicted to the drugs and looses everything he has worked for.

To Leonardo, you did good.

8/10


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