Basket, The
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: +2

German war orphans, Brigitta (Amber Willenborg) and Helmut Brink (Robert Karl Burke) are taken in by Reverend Simms, (Tony Lincoln), doctor and pastor for the farming community of Waterville, Washington. But its 1918 and America is still at war with Germany. Nicholas (Jock MacDonald) and Bessie (Karen Allen) Emory lost a son to the war, which colors Nicholass view of Dr. Simms wards. While his son Tom (Eric Dane) is taken with Brigitta, his youngest befriends Helmut. But Nathan Emory (Brian Skala) reflects his fathers prejudice toward Helmut. Martin Conlon (Peter Coyote), the new teacher for the one-room school, introduces two new concepts to the students and the town, opera and basketball. He uses a German opera called The Basket to teach about wars effects and teamwork. And having played and coached basketball under its inventor, Dr. James Naismith, begins to teach the game to his students. A local salesman presents the opportunity to buy a new harvesting machine, which will greatly help the community, but the down payment is $500. Thats also the prize money for beating a professional basketball team in Spokane. But can Conlon teach the farm boys to play as a team in time? This compelling story will intrigue and inspire audiences, but limited distribution reduces chances for THE BASKET to score. But its worth looking for.

This outstanding film blends historical events with lessons about prejudice, forgiveness and teamwork. Because of the war with Germany, many in the community express distrust for the orphans. Nicholas even forbids his family to have anything to do with them. Nathan often picks on Helmut at school, which occasionally leads to a tussle. Brigitta is treated better but Nicholas is upset when Bessie agrees to let her help with sewing. A basketball game in his barn starts an accidental fire, causing him to blame the game and almost takes his boys off the team. Just as he lost his son to Germans, he learns the orphans parents were killed by American soldiers. And Helmut fixes his tractor which helps him see the children in a different light. Helmut also leads the class in the Pledge of Allegiance, which correct historically leaves out the phrase under God added several years later. Several mild crudities occur and gambling on the basketball game is shown in a positive light, but with few questionable elements, THE BASKET is heartily recommended viewing.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Distributor: North By Northwest Entertainment, Spokane, Washington, 509-324-2949

Crude Language: Several (7) times Mild
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: Once slang term jeez
Violence: Few times Mostly mild, few moderate (pushing and shoving, boys wrestle, elbow hits, knock downs during sport, explosions during warfare, shooting, gun threat)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Comment about what couple in opera are doing
Drug Abuse: Few times - Beer drinking and cigar/cigarette smoking
Other: Teacher uses opera and basketball to teach lessons, girl comments about basketball hitting Lords vehicle, ethnic prejudice overcome, gambling on sports condoned
Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Families, age 7and up

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