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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.

Director:

Scott Kalvert

Writers:

Jim Carroll (novel), Bryan Goluboff (screenplay)
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2,745 ( 613)

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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 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 Monk ... Tommy (as Ben Jorgensen)
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:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 April 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Basketball Diaries See more »

Filming Locations:

Hoboken, New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,424,439
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stephen Lang was offered the role of Jim's Basketball Coach named "Swifty" in the script. Lang declined, citing the misrepresentation of the book in the script. The part was subsequently toned down as a result. See more »

Goofs

Although this movie is based on an autobiography of a person growing up in the 1960s, it appears that there has been no effort to portray that era in the movie. This is evidenced by the fashions, music, cars and backdrops used, none of which are from that era. The following items would be anachronisms if the movie were in fact set in the 1960s: - 1) only modern-era vehicles seen in outdoor scenes; - 2) numerous skyscrapers that didn't exist in background shots, including the Twin Towers; - 3) modern medical equipment used to treat cancer; - 4) Jim and Bobby are on post porn-littered 42nd Street and reminiscing about the time when the area was filled with adult businesses ... NYC mayor Giuliani had the district cleaned-up in the 1990's; - 5) Bobby refers to one porn movie with the title, The Sperminator, an obvious take from the 1984 blockbuster, The Terminator; - 6) A marquee sign in the background reports "Two US helicopters down over Iraq" in reference to the Gulf War in the early 1990's; - 7) During the basketball game where Jim and Mickey are too high to play, there are championship banners dated 1976 and 1988.; - 8) When the cops enter the ice cream store they are wearing 1990s style police uniforms. See more »

Quotes

Reggie Porter: Hey white boy! Are you ready for your beatin'?
Jim Carroll: Don't let your mouth get you into something your ass can't handle.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Jersey: Basketball Diaries (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Blind Dogs
Written by Kim Thayil (as Kim A. Thayil), Chris Cornell (as Christopher J. Cornell)
Performed by Soundgarden
Courtesy of A&M Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not just another kid/drug movie
10 February 1999 | by Boyo-2See all my reviews

This movie was Leonardo's first leading role, and he does great work as Jim Carroll. The movie cheats him from time to time, but he gives a consistent and believable performance. He is helped by an excellent supporting cast, especially Mark Wahlberg and Lorraine Bracco. Kids who think drugs are fun and games should see this movie, which gets extra credit for not glamorizing drugs.


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