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The Basket

46 customer reviews

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(Dec 11, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Peter Coyote (E.T., Erin Brokovich) and Karen Allen (The Perfect Storm) star in this touching family drama about the unifying power of basketball in a community torn apart by war. Both a riveting sports film and a tale of triumph over adversity, The Basket is "a hoop dream movie with a whole lot of heart" (Dallas Morning News)! In 1918, when the wheat-farming townspeople of Waterville, Washington, welcome home their first wounded son from WWI, they'restruck by the harsh reality of war. And just as bigotry and hatred toward two German orphans dividethe close-knit community, a new schoolteacher, Martin (Coyote), rolls into town with some strange ideas and an even stranger leather ball. Through the brand-new game called basketball, Martin strivesto bring harmony to the town...before it tears itself apart!

The Basket, set in the United States during World War I, is a quiet family film about tolerance and basketball. German orphans Helmut and Brigitta are adopted by the pastor in the tiny farming town of Waterville, Washington. The people of Waterville are suspicious--both of the new "Huns" in town and new schoolteacher Mr. Conlon (Peter Coyote). Conlon sets the town abuzz by teaching (gasp!) German opera and showing his students a new game from the east called basketball. Can the small-town hayseeds beat the juggernaut team, the Spokane Spartans? Will Helmut get to play? And what about that new tractor everybody wants? The Basket doesn't generate quite the excitement of, say, Hoosiers, but it is not a bad movie at all and is beautifully shot, to boot. It's also a great way to teach kids that it isn't as easy as you might think to spot the bad guys. --Ali Davis

Special Features

  • Deleted scenes with optional commentary
  • Behind "The Basket" - A collection of 6 mini-featurettes on the making of the film
  • Outtakes

Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Coyote, Karen Allen, Robert Burke, Amber Willenborg, Jock MacDonald
  • Directors: Rich Cowan
  • Writers: Rich Cowan, Frank Swoboda, Don Caron, Tessa Swoboda
  • Producers: Dave Holcomb, Dave Tanner, Frank Swoboda
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: German (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: December 11, 2001
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005QW5Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,331 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Basket" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jim Nendel on October 17, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
The Basket is one of those films which causes you to think and yet allows you to walk away from the theatre glad that you spent the time and money to see it. Peter Coyote and Karen Allen do a wonderful job in their roles in this film set in Eatern Washington. The film is a great choice for those with families as the material is not objectionable in the least and yet has the ability to capture the audience with stunning cinematography and a plot which intracately weaves in and out throughout the movie. This film has the feel of a classic foreign film and does not provide easy answers to every question it raises. It also has a wonderful story line concerning the early development of the game of basketball which portrays that development accurately and yet retains the fun that sports films tend to characterize. The local actors called on to play the Spokane team are wonderful and led by their captain (played by Scott McQuilkin) they add great vitality to the film. Most of the viewing public were shortchanged in the limited release of this film, due to heavyweight Hollywood blockbusters which hog the screens across the country. Now with its video and DVD release The Basket has an opportunity to allow viewers to see one of the top movies to come out in 1999. Having seen this movie in the theatres in Spokane I have been awaiting its video debut. Enjoy it, it is a great movie.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Tim Drake VINE VOICE on October 5, 2001
Format: DVD
Starring Peter Coyote and Karen Allen, The Basket tells the story of a new schoolteacher in Waterville, Washington during World War I. He uses the unlikely subjects of opera and the new game of basketball to help two sibling German orphans who are facing discrimination by others in the town. The film is at once a drama, a sports film, and has some light-hearted moments. It is a wholesome and uplifting film.
The production quality is superb and the scenery is quite breathtaking. The film also contains an original soundtrack, produced in part by individuals from Spokane.
This is a film which all ages can enjoy. The basketball game's final scene is a moving display of sacrifice you won't soon forget.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By BetterNot on November 2, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I can only review what I saw in the movie theater last year. The VHS and DVD are not available to the public yet (today is 11/1/01). Anyone here who claims to rate the DVD obviously has a beef with the producers or something.
The simple fact is "The Basket" won every top family entertainment awards and also beat-out the best Hollywood could offer. It is Dove Foundation Approved for Family Viewing. "The Basket" tells a great story set in the Pacific Northwest in 1918 during WWI. It combines an Original German Opera with the invention of a new game called 'Basket Ball.' Its a drama about team-work and a community coming together during tough times. Opera fans, sports fans, Peter Coyote fans, Karen Allen fans, 'Why-Can't-Hollywood-Make-Good-Movies-Anymore' fans have alot to love about this movie. Thanks, "BetterNot"
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By American_History_Rocks on December 14, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Forgive me to indulge myself with my appreciation for this film and its excellent representation on rural farm life during the WWI era. While the film is about a rural farming community in the Pacific Northwest, because of its brilliantly historical likeness to many small farm communities in this era it is a symbolic story of American farm life in the early 20th Century.
The film places itself somewhere in the late summer through early fall of 1918 (before the Influenza outbreaks in October 1918 [for the Pacific Northwest region]) and before the Armistice in November 1918. The central characters are two orphan refugees from Germany who are sent to live with the local preacher/doctor. The townspeople of course didn't wholly welcome their new-orphaned neighbors. The movie plays itself out between the one-room schoolhouse and the farm families and their struggles to cope with social, cultural, and economic strains resulting from the times and the war.
The "war to end all wars" was a blessing and a curse to American farmers. This film represents both ends of the spectrum. Sadly, WWI proved more of a curse than a blessing. Farmers, if they planned and timed themselves well, without throwing themselves into debt, could make a substantial amount of money on wheat and other agricultural related products. For most farmers, however, the war brought about extreme labor shortages, increased inflation, increased debt and greater reliance on mortgages. Socially and culturally the war brought about unchecked patriotism that resulted in hostilities towards German Americans and German war refugees, increased censorship and generally, an increased role of the Federal Government. The war took its greatest toll on farm families (and communities) who sent they young "doughboys" to war.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Roland R. Painter on January 11, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I originally saw this film on a flight to Germany last April. I guess you can't tell a book by it's cover, so when I saw the title "The Basket", I thought it couldn't be all that good. I put my book down, put on the head phones and was immediately drawn into the story and the characters. By the end, I was thoroughly impressed and noted that this film had to be one of the best I'd seen in years. It's such a great story, the music was great, and the scenery was fantastic. Since last April, I've been patiently waiting for the CD to come out, now that I have it, I've watched it a dozen times. I'll be watching for more films by Rich Cowan.
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