The Basketball Diaries

April 21st, 1995


The Basketball Diaries

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Still of Leonardo DiCaprio and Lorraine Bracco in The Basketball DiariesStill of James Madio in The Basketball DiariesShannen Doherty at event of The Basketball DiariesLeonardo DiCaprio in The Basketball DiariesStill of Leonardo DiCaprio and Patrick McGaw in The Basketball DiariesStill of Mark Wahlberg in The Basketball Diaries

Film adaptation of street tough Jim Carroll's epistle about his kaleidoscopic free fall into the harrowing world of drug addiction...

Release Year: 1995

Rating: 7.1/10 (37,424 voted)

Critic's Score: 46/100

Director: Scott Kalvert

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, Marilyn Sokol

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...

Writers: Jim Carroll, Bryan Goluboff

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 - Iggy
Nick Gaetani - Referee #1
Alexander Chaplin - Bobo (as Alexander Gaberman)
Ben Jorgensen - Tommy
Josh Mostel - Counterman
Juliette Lewis - Diane Moody

Taglines: The true story of the death of innocence and the birth of an artist

Release Date: 21 April 1995

Filming Locations: Forest Hills High School, Forest Hills, Queens, New York City, New York, USA

Gross: $2,424,439 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Many links to The Sopranos - Lorraine Bracco (Dr Melfi) plays Jim's mom. Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti) plays the friend who dies of Leukemia. Vincent Pastore (Big Pussy) is the guy that gets spat on whilst on the ferry.

Continuity: 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.

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

User Review

A comparison

Rating: 10/10

I can't believe that Requiem For A Dream is on the top 250 list but this isn't. I never thought this movie would be so incredibly underrated! This was the only movie that made me completely swear off drugs. The characters are so young and vulnerable and you get to see them slowly fall into this world of drugs and violence and be completely swept away.

In Requiem For A Dream, the characters start out doing some harder drugs and you barely get to see where everything goes wrong, it just seemed to be like that all of a sudden. The characters aren't as likable and I thought it ended a bit abruptly leaving us no knowledge of what is to become of the characters. I have to give it props though for some brilliant scenes like when they all go into the fetal position at the end.

Basketball Diaries on the other hand gets you involved and attached to the characters. You get to watch them throw away their basketball careers and their lives. The part where Lewis is going through withdrawal is so real and horrible. And after he goes through all that pain, he throws it away and goes straight back to the drugs. This movie is so incredible, I really wish more people would see it and think the same.



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