Hoop Dreams

Directed By: Steve James

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Product Overview

Two ordinary inner-city kids dare to dream the impossible - professional basketball glory - in this epic chronicle of hope and faith. Filmed over a five-year period, Hoop Dreams follows young Arthur Agee and William Gates as they navigate the complex, competitive world of scholastic athletics while striving to overcome the intense pressures of family life and the realities of their Chicago streets. The Criterion Collection is proud to present this landmark documentary chronicling two remarkable families who challenge the American dream.


Studio Home Vision/Public Media
SKU 40711694
UPC 715515016025
UPC 14 00715515016025
Format DVD
Release Date 11/15/2010
Rating Rating
African American Cinema
African American Culture
African Americans
Personal Triumph
Editors Note
Note One of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of all-time, HOOP DREAMS has become a model for how to construct a fact-based film, creating intimate and emotionally resonant portraits of its subjects while exploring the larger social issues that those subjects are negotiating with. The film focuses on William Gates and Arthur Agee, two teenagers from inner-city Chicago, and follows them for almost five years, the period where both enter and complete their high school careers. Both young men are talented basketball players, and as the title suggests, have their eyes on the college game and eventually the NBA as their best shot at escaping the poverty they grew up in. But as William and Arthur reach for their goal, they must contend with the pressing issues and difficulties of social class and racism, as well as the predatory practices of the basketball recruiters who entice the pair to attend their schools. In this way, HOOP DREAMS chronicles much more than just the individual experiences of two young men. It examines the larger problems that beset inner-city African-American families and how they cope with those difficulties through family support and friendship, as well as presenting a picture of the increasingly ruthless, big-business tactics of college and even high school sports. It remains a seminal documentary film, both affecting and thought provoking in its story of lives and dreams entangled by forces beyond their control.
Plot Summary
Summary The product of 5 years of filming and 250 hours of footage, this documentary premiered at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival where it won the audience award.| In Chicago's inner-city, 14-year-olds William Gates and Arthur Agee are high school basketball players who dream of making it to the NBA. This compilation follows four years in their parallel lives, as William and Arthur go through trials and triumphs, successes and setbacks both on and off the court.
Premiere "...A powerful and moving real-life story..." - Recommended 05/01/1995 p.134
Rolling Stone "...This unflinching masterwork is a heartfelt vision of sports and family values that will leave you cheering..." 11/03/1994 p.106
New York Times "...[This] fascinating, suspenseful film turns the endless revision of the American dream into high drama....[A] profound social tale..." 10/07/1994 p.C1
Entertainment Weekly "...Brutally poignant..." -- Rating: A 04/21/1995 pp.64-5,Ranked #7 in Entertainment Weekly's Top Ten DVDs Of The Year -- "Episodes of turmoil and triumph run rampant in this 1994 documentary..." 12/30/2005 p.126
Variety "...A prodigious achievement that conveys the fabric of modern American life, aspirations, and incidentally, sports in close-up and at length, HOOP DREAMS is a documentary slam dunk..." 02/14/1994
Film Comment "...Utterly, heartbreakingly lucid....Inspiring..." 11/01/1994 p.71-3
Sight and Sound "...There is something about the film's upfront rawness that pitches it engagingly somewhere between home movie and drama..." 04/01/1995 p.44-5
Wall Street Journal "[I]n addition to being a top-notch sports film, it's a sobering study of race, class and life in the inner city." 10/02/2009
Steve James
Name Gilbert,Peter
Link Search Link
Cast & Crew
Arthur Agee - Featuring
Ben Sidran - Musical Score
Catherine Allan, et al. - Producer
Emma Gates - Featuring
Frederick Marx - Writer
Peter Gilbert - Cinematographer
Sheila Agee - Featuring
Steve James - Director
Steve James - Writer
William Gates - Featuring
William Haugse - Editor
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1994
Catalog ID 1610
UPC 00715515016025
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 171 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
Standard  1.33:1 [4:3]
Oscar (1995) William Haugse, et al., Nominee, Best Film Editing
American Cinema Editors, USA (1995) William Haugse, et al., Winner, Best Edited Documentary
Directors Guild Of America, USA (1995) Steve James, Winner, Outstanding Directorial Achievement In Documentary/Actuality
MTV Award (1995) Steve James, Winner, Best New Filmmaker
Sundance Film Festival (1994) Peter Gilbert, et al., Winner, Audience Award
ReviewSource Washington Post
Review Hoop Dreams is the most powerful movie about sports ever made. Compiled from more than 250 ho
Reviewer Hal Hinson
ReviewRating 9
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review A film like Hoop Dreams is what the movies are for. It takes us, shakes us, and make us think
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 10
DVD, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Hi-fi Stereo
Product Attributes
Actor Gilbert,Peter
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone One of the best movies of the year!
Roger Ebert, Siskel & Ebert One of the best films...I have ever seen.

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