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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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 »
And in the next life, father, I'M gonna have the PADDLE.
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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 »
This is a very good depressing movie. But, you can't make a good anti-drug movie without making it depressing. DiCaprio is brilliant. Arnie from What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Richard from The Beach, and Jim Carroll from the Basketball Diaries are about Leo's deepest characters. He is an excellent actor. The scenes that get you the most are the withdrawal scenes, and everytime he confronts his mother in the movie. This movie deserves a 10
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