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Battle of the Sexes (2017)

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The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.

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225 ( 91)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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Lauren Kline ...
Nancy Richey
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Fidan Manashirova ...
Judy Tegart Dalton
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Storyline

In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women's movement, the 1973 tennis match between women's world champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men's-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the BATTLE OF THE SEXES and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world. As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. The fiercely private King was not only championing for equality, but also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, as her friendship with Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough) developed. And Riggs, one of the first self-made media-age celebrities, wrestled with his gambling demons, at the expense of his family and wife Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue). Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis court, sparking discussions in bedrooms ... Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

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He made a bet. She made history.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and partial nudity | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

29 September 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La batalla de los sexos  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$515,450, 24 September 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$12,626,314, 10 December 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first time Danny Boyle has produced but not directed a film since 28 Weeks Later (2007). Boyle was originally set to direct, but had to leave due to scheduling conflicts with Steve Jobs (2015) and T2 Trainspotting (2017). See more »

Goofs

In two Los Angeles scenes in a glass elevator, a logo for consulting company KPMG is clearly visible on a building in the background, in the center of the frame. KPMG was created in 1987, when KMG merged with Peat Marwick. The building, now called KPMG Tower, was constructed in 1983. See more »

Quotes

Bobby Riggs: I'm the ladies number one. I'm the champ. Why would I lose?
Billie Jean King: Because dinosaurs can't play tennis.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Fox Searchlight Pictures and TSG Entertainment logos are redone in period-appropriate styles. See more »

Connections

References Aloha (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Me, Myself and I
Words and Music By Winfred L. Lovett
Performed by Norma Jenkins
Courtesy of Carnival Records
By Arrangement with Westwood Music Group
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User Reviews

 
Great serve for entertainment and equality
2 October 2017 | by See all my reviews

Battle of the Sexes is an old fashioned, sensitive, crowd pleasing film that never feels outdated. The only downside is how fact & fiction portrayed in Battle of the Sexes almost feels like a documentary.

As I was watching Battle of the Sexes, a part of me felt ashamed that attitudes towards women sports, equal pay and rights haven't made giant steps since 1973.

From the opening frames, Billy Jean King (beautifully played by Emma Stone) is fighting against US Lawn Tennis Association for equal pay; men's single prize money is $12,000 and women's single prize money is $1,200. Billy is asking for equal pay but the male bosses reject her plea; they believe the men's tennis has bigger names, higher quality and draws bigger crowds – despite woman's tennis games drawing the same crowds.

Battle of the Sexes isn't about tennis but the universal fight to be freed from the shackles of outdated societal values.

Directors Valerie Faris & Johnathan Dayton and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy use the well-worn underdog, sports template to winning effect; repellent villains, training montages, back room deals and typical last-minute setbacks are knowingly included (although this did happen in real life). Despite the sport movie clichés, the filmmakers manage to find space for moments of real sensitivity; Billy Jean's self-exploration or Bobby consoling his wife, the tension is felt on both sides.

Considering how many high-profile male politicians and public figures have been rightly criticised for their attitude towards women, the film could've taken the easy step to make bobby Riggs a real chauvinistic monster. Credit to Carell and Beaufoy for not descending Riggs into a caricature; he's clown, showman and compulsive gambler who you may perversely believe that he helped Women's Tennis Association in stature.

From the 16mm film stock, the sun-dried visuals and music choices; this is a wonderfully romantic film, embracing love in every form and wearing its modern-day parable with pride. Despite BOTS relevant themes, this never feels preachy or one-note while becoming an incredibly entertaining movie.

Whether you are voting yes or no in the current plebiscite, I have no doubt anyone watching Battle of the Sexes will be air punching their way to the end and hopefully feel the need to change the world. That's what great entertainment can do; make people unaware they're embracing an disagreeable ideal without realizing it.


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