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FILMMAKERS SHOOT AND SCORE IN 'THE BOYS OF 2ND STREET PARK'.

Byline: Valerie Kuklenski Staff Writer

WHEN RECALLING his childhood friends, public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most  executive Dan Klores could have put his memories into fictional form and stood back as a studio hack morphed it into some weird cross between an urban ``Stand by Me'' and ``Big Chill 2: The Early Years.''

Fortunately he realized early on that, in this case, the friends themselves and their storytelling abilities make for pretty good drama and comedy. He conducted 80 hours of filmed interviews and put together a documentary, ``The Boys of 2nd Street Park,'' which makes its TV premiere at 8 p.m. Sunday on Showtime.

The story starts around 1960, when the six subjects Klores and Ron Berger Ron Berger was an American college and professional football player. A defensive end, he played college football at Wayne State University, and played professionally in the American Football League and National Football League for the Boston/New England Patriots.  focused on were beginning to congregate in their lower Brooklyn park Brooklyn Park, city (1990 pop. 56,381), Hennepin co., SE Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis; chartered as a city 1969. Manufacturing includes machinery, wood and metal products, tools, feeders, and medical and pharmaceutical supplies. , a few steps from the boardwalk and the beach, for assorted outdoor amusements. Most were sons of immigrants, all sons of hard-working lower-middle-class families making do in cramped apartments. The boys found camaraderie and escape in basketball and before long were playing after dark and even when the court was covered with snow.

By high school they were uniformed teammates, applying their scrappy, self-taught style of play to the polished floors of school gyms. Now in their mid-50s, they can recall in vivid detail a big game that got away.

College in the '60s was a major turning point for most Americans, and these men are no exception. They talk frankly of their drug experimentations (which became powerful habits for some) and their licentious li·cen·tious  
adj.
1. Lacking moral discipline or ignoring legal restraint, especially in sexual conduct.

2. Having no regard for accepted rules or standards.
 love lives.

Klores wisely interviewed them individually, eliciting honest comments and just the right amount of tattling tat·tle  
v. tat·tled, tat·tling, tat·tles

v.intr.
1. To reveal the plans or activities of another; gossip. See Synonyms at gossip.

2. To chatter aimlessly; prate.

v.tr.
. If any were inclined to gloss over Verb 1. gloss over - treat hurriedly or avoid dealing with properly
skate over, skimp over, slur over, smooth over

do by, treat, handle - interact in a certain way; "Do right by her"; "Treat him with caution, please"; "Handle the press reporters gently"
 their romantic failings, Klores also gave camera time to one man's ex-wife who, in her way, speaks for other women left in their wake.

It's not all feel-good material. There are the changes wrought by Vietnam, for those who went and those who stayed home, and recollections of the drug-related slaying of their friend Lee. And Steve and Bernie talk wistfully about children they lost to illness.

The production is backed with a nice assortment of tunes that set moods and time-stamp scenes. The best part is tracks like Frankie Lymon's ``Little Bitty Pretty One,'' Donovan's ``Sunshine Superman,'' Grand Funk's ``We're an American Band'' and the Impressions' ``It's All Right'' haven't been overused in other period films.

``The Boys of 2nd Street Park'' is captivating cap·ti·vate  
tr.v. cap·ti·vat·ed, cap·ti·vat·ing, cap·ti·vates
1. To attract and hold by charm, beauty, or excellence. See Synonyms at charm.

2. Archaic To capture.
, not because their circumstances were so exceptional, but because they were so like so many others. It's a time capsule for boomers.

Valerie Kuklenski, (818) 713-3750

valerie.kuklenski(at)dailynews.com

THE BOYS OF 2ND STREET PARK - Three and one half stars

What: Documentary about a handful of guys who grew up together near New York's Coney Island Coney Island (kō`nē), beach resort, amusement center, and neighborhood of S Brooklyn borough of New York City, SE N.Y., on the Atlantic Ocean.  and built lasting friendships on their neighborhood basketball court.

Where: Showtime.

When: 8 p.m. Sunday.

In a nutshell: The lives of six 50-something buddies of filmmaker Dan Klores make a compelling microcosm of American life in the '60s and '70s.

RETURN ENGAGEMENTS

Showss coming back tonight for another season

8 p.m.

``The Wonderful World of Disney: Remember the Titans'' (ABC ABC
 in full American Broadcasting Co.

Major U.S. television network. It began when the expanding national radio network NBC split into the separate Red and Blue networks in 1928.
) - The true story of an African-American coach (Denzel Washington) and his high-school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit. (PG).

``48 Hours Investigates'' (CBS (Cell Broadcast Service) See cell broadcast. ) - An investigation into a murder-suicide case in Tacoma, Wash.

9 p.m.

``Hack'' (CBS) - Olshansky (David Morse) helps a young man who is being hunted by a pair of corrupt federal agents for having witnessed the scene of their murderous rampage.

Saturday Movie: ``Jerry Maguire'' (NBC NBC
 in full National Broadcasting Co.

Major U.S. commercial broadcasting company. It was formed in 1926 by RCA Corp., General Electric Co. (GE), and Westinghouse and was the first U.S. company to operate a broadcast network.
) - When a sports agent (Tom Cruise) has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent with the only athlete (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) who stays with him. (R).

10 p.m.

``The District'' (CBS) - Mannion (Craig T. Nelson Craig T. Nelson (born Craig Richard Nelson on April 4, 1944 in Spokane, Washington) is an American actor. He has appeared in numerous motion pictures. He starred in three television shows, Coach, Call to Glory and The District. ) returns to Washington, D.C., with his sights set on getting his job back.

- Compiled by Jaime Spangrude

CAPTION(S):

photo, box

Photo:

Dan Klores, foreground, and Ron Berger focus on Brooklyn-born friendships forged by basketball that continue to the present day in ``The Boys of 2nd Street Park.''

Box:

RETURN ENGAGEMENTS (see text)
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Title Annotation:Review; U
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 27, 2003
Words:697
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