7.3/10
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185 user 41 critic

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
2,023 ( 20)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonardo DiCaprio ... Jim Carroll
Lorraine Bracco ... Jim's Mother
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 ... 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

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: And in the next life, father, I'M gonna have the PADDLE.
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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

Featured in Beyond Clueless (2014) 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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User Reviews

 
Best anti-drug movie I have ever seen
25 July 2000 | by ferreira0665See all my reviews

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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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:

$2,402,438
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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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