CineTV Contest: A Basketball Film with the Harlem Globetrotters

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The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island may seem like an odd choice for a movie about basketball, however, it is a basketball movie, and is a heck of a lot of fun to wtch. The trick is finding a copy to watch. This is the second time for me, and the first time for my bonnie Bride to watch this fun film, and, yeah, it is fairly fun, and a bit silly as well. But then, it is a Gilligan’s Island movie.

The Globetrotters with Dewey (Scatman Crothers) - screenshot from the film

The film features most of the original cast from the series, except Tina Louise was replaced by Constance forstnd in the role of Ginger. A darn shame, that. Meanwhile, the Globetrotters, played by the players themselves, led by their manager Dewey, played by the marvelous Scatman Crothers, play not one, but two games on the show. Jim Backus puts in an appearance at the end of the film, is role being covered by David Ruprecht as Thurston Howell the 4th, and Ruprecht does a credible job as the Howell’s son.

The general premise is that the Howells built a primitive style hotel-resort on the island, while the Globetroters’ plane crashes nearby and end up on the island. Once discovered on the island, they are invited to play a game for the Island Championship against the Castaways. You can probably guess the outcome of that game.

Meanwhile, a conniving rival of the Howell’s, J. J. Pierson (Martin Landau) is plotting to swindle the ownership of the island away from the Castaways with the aid of his scientist assistant Olga Schmitner (Barabara Bain), and it culminates in another game, this time between Pierson’s robots and the Globetrotters, which was being “broadcast live” from the island court around the world.

Globetrotters playing with coconuts - screenshot from the film

One of the best things about this film is seeing the Harlem globetrotters performing some of their fancy game play with coconuts. These guys are top talent athletes, so it was no wonder that they could do just as well with coconuts as with real basketballs.

Globetrotters versus Castaways - screenshot from the film

One reason I like this film, and why I chose it, was when I was a kid, way back in the day, I begged my mom to take me to see the Globetrotters play. She was against, mainly because she was a single parent, and money was very tight, but she finally relented, and took me to see them play. This was in the late ‘60s (either 1969 or 1970), when Curly Neal, who is in this film, was playing with the team, as was Geese Ausbie. I have to admit, though, Curly Neal and Meadowlark Lemon (who is not in the film) were very memorable for me.

Globetrotters versus Pierson's robots - screenshot from the film

A second reason is that my daughter, Little Miss, was introduced to the globetrotters via their many films made with Scooby-Doo, and, yes, a few years back, we went to see the Globetrotters play. What fun it is to see them play in person. They are a talented group of athletes, among the best in their field, as well as fine performers, and it is always a pleasure to see them play.

Gilligan and the skipper join the Globetrotters - screenshot from the film

Combining the Globetrotters with Gilligan’s Island give me the best of both worlds as I am a long time fan of both. Although not the best basketball film (I seriously thought about Space Jam, but my Bonnie Bride wanted to see this film) and not the best of the Gilligan’s Island movies, it s still a lot of fun, and brings back fond memories of both my childhood and fun times with my family.

Globetrotters helping Gilligan score - screenshot from the film

And what would a Globetrotters film be without their adoptive theme, “Sweet Georgia Brown” song running throughout the film, including a special treat with Scatman Crothers singing a few bars of the song early in the movie.

I think that’s a wrap for this time around. As I had to pull screenshots for this article from the film, and this film is so hard to find, I figure I should include the URL for where I found it –'s+Island.mp4

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omg i need to see this movie 🤣🤣🤣 i can't believe the real players were on the island playing

Thanks for sharing


It's not a great film, but it was fun to watch, and the Globetrotters really do rock!

I hope you like it.


You sure do love these guys, hehe.
Glad your mum later took you for you to have a first hand experience about it


yep, I could understand her reasoning when I was an adult, we didn't have money for fun things, so it was a real stretch for her to take me. Always grateful to her.



Sure... We won't understand everything as a kid anyway.

Always grateful to our parents