38 user 14 critic

The Basket (1999)

PG | | Drama | 5 May 2000 (USA)
A picturesque Pacific Northwest community raising its wheat and children in the midst of a nation reeling from World War I sets the stage for The Basket. In a time of pain and prejudice ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

5 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
... Martin Conlon
... Bessie Emery
... Helmut Brink (as Robert Karl Burke)
Amber Willenborg ... Brigitta Brink
... Nicholas Emery
... Tom Emery
... Nathan Emery
Casey Cowan ... Samuel Emery
Tony Lincoln ... Reverend Simms
Patrick Treadway ... Frederick Treadway
... Agnes
... Marcus
Elwon Bakly ... Ben Emery
Joey Travolta ... Charlie Cohn
Paul Hostetler ... Old Helmut Brink


A picturesque Pacific Northwest community raising its wheat and children in the midst of a nation reeling from World War I sets the stage for The Basket. In a time of pain and prejudice woven against a background of beauty, The Basket ultimately points to triumph and hope in a changing America. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild violence and brief language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:





Release Date:

5 May 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A varázskosár  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$1,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$61,300, 7 May 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$609,042, 29 April 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (Alphacine)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


At the Waterville "train station", director Rich Cowan and director of photography Dan Heigh mention (DVD commentary) that the locomotive didn't work, so the train couldn't move. Production designer, Vincent DeFelice, mentions in the featurette "Behind the Basket: Designing" that some of the horses that were to pull the Emerys' wagon as they meet the train were sent to a different location, so to stay on schedule the scene was shot with staff out of camera range pulling the wagon by hand. See more »


Betting on the point spread in a sporting event is a relatively modern invention, not in use at the time this film is set in. See more »


[Ben forces Brigitta to look at his leg, amputated due to WWII injuries]
Ben Emery: Look at it. Look at it! Germans like you did this to me.
Brigitta: No, soldiers like you did that.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"You Name It" ... Mike Cassell Thanks to ... All the Babysitters See more »


The Basket Soundtrack
Composed by Don Caron
Performed by The Hungarian Symphony Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

What a concept...using opera to teach zone defense
21 February 2008 | by See all my reviews

For a nation founded on high ideals of freedom and equality, we have often failed to practice what we preach, certainly in our relations with American Indians and black slaves and their descendants. Less well known are the feelings of distrust and even hatred we felt toward those who had a common ancestry to our bitter enemies in war, the Japanese of World War II and the Germanic people of World War I. Watching the screening of this film in my own Lidgerwood Presbyterian Church last week, I was reminded of how my maternal great-grandfather Jacob Eilmes, an immigrant from Austria, pretended to being Polish during WWI to escape the wrath of his Spokane neighbors. Set in a time and place of the U.S. and shot on location,ironically, not far from which a great many communities existed in real life, including in southern Lincoln County, Washington, where my own father's family lived after leaving Europe, "The Basket" weaves a story of a town disrupted by the simultaneous appearance of two orphans and an opera from Germany. Perhaps for dramatic effect, by the way, the story takes some literary license with historic facts. The flashbacks shown of American soldiers killing civilians in Germany could never have happened during the war because our ground troops never got out of France in that time. The orphans and opera have a huge impact on the whole town, accomplished primarily by the introduction of a game called basketball. Today in eastern Washington, especially the small farming communities like the one in this story, high school basketball is still the linchpin that brings townsfolk together, so this movie may be preaching to the choir to those of us who live in the same area depicted in this film. But even if you live in an area outside basketball-mad places like eastern Washington or the state of Indiana, you should enjoy this fine story, which won the 2001 Movie Guide Award for "best film for families." (These awards are also known as the Christian Oscars.) I stop far short of calling this the greatest movie ever made about intolerance rearing its ugly head in a small town, but it's still well worth the effort of buying the DVD or going to see it when it's next shown at your neighborhood library, church or other venue. Dale Roloff

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