7.3/10
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The Basketball Diaries (1995)

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:
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Marilyn Sokol ...
Chanting Woman
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Roy Cooper ...
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Construction Worker (as Vinnie Pastore)
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Jimmy Papiris ...
Iggy
Nick Gaetani ...
Referee #1
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Bobo (as Alexander Gaberman)
Ben Monk ...
Tommy (as Ben Jorgensen)
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Counterman
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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

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Release Date:

21 April 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Basketball Diaries  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross:

$2,424,439 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To prepare for his role, Leonardo DiCaprio hung out in Greenwich Village and went to a poetry reading with Carroll. See more »

Goofs

The NBA ball signed by the players would not have been around at that time. Spalding didn't start manufacturing the NBA ball until 1982 or 1983. See more »

Quotes

Jim: [Walks up to Swifty] Don't worry, Swifty, I won't rat you out.
[Walks up to Father McNulty]
Jim: And in the next life, Father, I'm gonna have the paddle!
[Walks out]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Shootin' Hoops (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Star
Written by Ian Astbury, Billy Duffy (as William Duffy)
Performed by The Cult
Courtesy of Beggars Banquet Records, Ltd.
(except for USA, Beggars Banquet Records, Ltd. / Sire Records)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not just another kid/drug movie
10 February 1999 | by See 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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