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Basketball Diaries

The Basketball Diaries

5.0 8
Director: Scott Kalvert

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jimmy Papiris, Nick Gaetani


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Very loosely based on the memoir of the same name, The Basketball Diaries transposes the late '60s adolescence of writer/artist Jim Carroll to some unspecified time period at least 15 years later, further confusing the timeframe with three decades of rock music, some by Carroll himself. Jim (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his Catholic school chums are on the hottest


Very loosely based on the memoir of the same name, The Basketball Diaries transposes the late '60s adolescence of writer/artist Jim Carroll to some unspecified time period at least 15 years later, further confusing the timeframe with three decades of rock music, some by Carroll himself. Jim (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his Catholic school chums are on the hottest basketball team in New York, but their friend Bobby (Michael Imperioli) languishes in the hospital with leukemia. In-between typically boyish adventures, Jim scribbles in his notebook and experiments with sex and drugs. His group of friends begins to disintegrate after coach Swifty (Bruno Kirby) not only makes a pass at Jim, but also catches him and his pals using drugs on the court and kicks them off the team. Out of school and on the streets, Jim turns tricks, betrays friends, robs stores, and deals drugs to feed his heroin addiction. Not even the efforts of former addict Reggie (Ernie Hudson) can cure Jim. Mark Wahlberg appears as one of Jim's basketball and drug buddies, while Carroll himself makes a memorable cameo as an addict who describes the almost Catholic rituals of shooting heroin.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Palm Pictures / Umvd
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Interviews with cast and director; Jim Carroll interview and poetry reading

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Leonardo DiCaprio Jim Carroll
Jimmy Papiris Iggy
Nick Gaetani Referee
Bruno Kirby Swifty
Lorraine Bracco Jim's Mother
Alexander Gaberman Bobo
Ernie Hudson Reggie Porter
Ben Jorgensen Tommy
Akiko Ashley Stripper
Patrick McGaw Neutron
Cynthia Daniel Winkie
Juliette Lewis Diane Moody
Brittany Daniel Blinkie
Erik "Panther" Betts Drug Dealer #1
Joyce R. Korbin Mugging Victim
Lawrence Barth Referee #2
Gary Iorio Policeman
Jim Carroll Frankie Pinewater
John Hoyt Billy the Bartender
Manny Siverio Pino
Tom Fitzpatrick Subway John
Vincent Pastore Construction Worker
Marilyn Sokol Chanting Woman
James Madio Pedro
Mark Wahlberg Mickey
Roy Cooper Father McNulty
Josh Mostel Counterman
Michael Imperioli Bobby
Manny Alfaro Manny
Barton Heyman Confessional Priest
Toby Huss Kenny
William Webb Juju Johnson
John Vennema Mr Rubin
Michael Rapaport Skinhead
Doc Dougherty Policeman

Technical Credits
Scott Kalvert Director
Chris Blackwell Executive Producer
Jay Carrado Stunts
Paul Clay Sound/Sound Designer
Bob Colletti Stunts
Dana Congdon Editor
David Phillips Cinematographer
David C. Dean Asst. Director
Dan Genetti Executive Producer
Bryan Gloumboff Screenwriter
Bryan Goluboff Screenwriter
Diane Hammond Makeup
Liz Heller Producer
Paul Hellerman Producer
Kathie Hersch Producer
Don Hewitt Stunts
Danny Cosmo Higginbottom Stunts
Avy Kaufman Casting
John Bard Manulis Producer
Jim McConkey Camera Operator
Todd Michael Stunts
Christopher Nowak Production Designer
Phil Oetiker Camera Operator
Karyn Rachtman Musical Direction/Supervision
Graeme Revell Score Composer
Gina G. Riggi Makeup
David C. Robinson Costumes/Costume Designer
Jon Rothstein Stunts
William Sarokin Sound/Sound Designer
David Shumbris Stunts
Brian Williams Musical Direction/Supervision
Harriet Zucker Set Decoration/Design


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The Basketball Diaries 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
goodgirl2 More than 1 year ago
A young boy who suffers from serious drug problems this movie teaches us all a lesson don't do drugs a very good movie i enjoyed it and Leo i liked to in the movie! very good movie it was!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film is an excellent portrait of a real life problem occurring all over the world. Having its ups and downs this truly is something everyone should see.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is by far the best movie i've ever seen...and it has certainly become my favorite movie of all times. It gives a sense of feeling to all those teenagers in the world suffering from the same thing.I recommend people to watch this movie and it will definitely catch your attention.Its an awesome movie for all ages and an educational movie as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was around 15 when i first saw this movie and was moved by it. Based on the life of musician/poet Jim Carroll, who fought a near-fatal battle with heroin, the movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg. Growing up in New York City, Jim Carroll and his friends were riding high being one of the best high basketball teams in New York and Jim being an aspiring writer. After flirting with the darkside of various drugs, Jim finds himself kicked out of school and home and takes to the streets doing whatever he can to feed his addiciton to heroin. As most drug addicts do, Jim hits rock bottom but i will stop here as to not spoil the ending.
ian16 More than 1 year ago
the movie itself was great and it relates me a lot to my real life
Gonzo84 More than 1 year ago
I remember watching this in-depth look into a world of teenagers and drugs after I graduated High School. I'd never seen a film about drug abuse in this matter up to that point. It was a bit of a stunning shocker for myself, I couldn't really even think after the film was over and didn't know what my reaction should be. The story is just too gritty sometimes, where the scenes and the acting are a bit extreme, but that's the whole point. It's one of those true and honest stories about addiction and nothing up to that point in time even came close to capturing such a thing til this film was released. It's to this day, one of Leo's greatest roles. Even though his true real break-out hit came after this with Romeo and Juliet, but I think his earlier work with not only this feature, but also This Boys Life shows that Leo is a force to be reckon with. He's got so much talent. Titanic kind of sunk my appreciation for him, but after that film, he kept releasing very interesting and exciting films. It's not often that you come across a Teen-Idol who drew more press for his looks than his acting that was so unappreciated and under-rated. He was one of those rare child actors who took on tough roles and continues to do so to this day, but this film really shows DiCaprio's limits as an actor and at such a young age, he really gives it his all. The story is something for everybody to watch at least once, but watch with caution. I didn't know it was about drug addiction, I just knew it was one of the most controversial films to come out, especially after the Columbine Shootings. Even though that there have been countless films after this feature that have come out throughout the years, some brilliant, some just pointless, but none the less, if I ever wanted to show somebody a dipiction of what a real true-to-life addiction is like and scare the piss out of them, this would be the film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film should be shown to all teenagers. I am 16 and i watched this movie about a week ago and my complete view of drugs and alchol have changed. I think that that movie can save and help people. All should watch.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago