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The Bad News Bears (1976)

PG | | Comedy, Drama, Family | 7 April 1976 (USA)
An aging, down-on-his-luck ex-minor leaguer coaches a team of misfits in an ultra-competitive California little league.

Director:

Michael Ritchie

Writer:

Bill Lancaster
Reviews
Popularity
2,665 ( 533)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Matthau ... Coach Morris Buttermaker
Tatum O'Neal ... Amanda Whurlitzer
Vic Morrow ... Roy Turner
Joyce Van Patten ... Cleveland
Ben Piazza ... Bob Whitewood
Jackie Earle Haley ... Kelly Leak
Alfred Lutter III ... Ogilvie (as Alfred W. Lutter)
Chris Barnes ... Tanner Boyle
Erin Blunt Erin Blunt ... Ahmad Abdul Rahim
Gary Lee Cavagnaro Gary Lee Cavagnaro ... Engelberg
Jaime Escobedo Jaime Escobedo ... Jose Agilar
Scott Firestone Scott Firestone ... Regi Tower
George Gonzales George Gonzales ... Miguel Agilar
Brett Marx Brett Marx ... Jimmy Feldman
David Pollock David Pollock ... Rudi Stein
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Storyline

First of a trilogy of films takes an unflinching look at the underbelly of little league baseball in Southern California. Former minor leaguer Morris Buttermaker is a lazy, beer swilling swimming pool cleaner who takes money to coach the Bears, a bunch of disheveled misfits who have virtually no baseball talent. Realizing his dilemma, Coach Buttermaker brings aboard girl pitching ace Amanda Whurlizer, the daughter of a former girlfriend, and Kelly Leak, a motorcycle punk who happens to be the best player around. Brimming with confidence, the Bears look to sweep into the championship game and avenge an earlier loss to their nemesis, the Yankees. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The coach is waiting for his next beer. The pitcher is waiting for her first bra. The team is waiting for a miracle. Consider the possibilities. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

7 April 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bad News Bears See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$42,349,782
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Glen Glenn Sound)

Color:

Color (Movielab)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The baseball field is Mason Park in Chatsworth, California. See more »

Goofs

After losing an air hockey match to Kelly, Amanda must go to a Rolling Stones concert with him. The movie takes place in 1976 yet The Rolling Stones did not play in or around the Los Angeles area until 1978. And that was at Anaheim Stadium. Their previous L.A. appearance was in July, 1975. See more »

Quotes

Coach Roy Turner: I'm not going to talk about winning. I'm going to talk about losing! Because if you guys lose this game, each and every one of you, you're going to have to live with it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

When the Paramount logo turns blue, the "Paramount" text extends beyond the dark blue area instead of staying inside the dark blue. See more »


Soundtracks

Carmen
Written by Georges Bizet
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Foul-mouthed comedy with good sportsmanship values
1 October 2009 | by Movie_Muse_ReviewsSee all my reviews

If any of the kids in "The Bad News Bears" were your child, or if you had any acquaintance with a youth sports coach even remotely like Morris Buttermaker, you'd be outraged and embarrassed. At the same time, the film delivers a message that all involved with youth sports probably couldn't hear enough of. In other words, do as "Bad News Bears" implies, not as it says or does and take the foul language and poor behavior at comedic face value only.

Walter Matthau stars as Buttermaker, an drunken former minor leaguer who coaches a little league team because his job as a pool cleaner isn't exactly lucrative. His job is to coach the Bears, a group of untalented misfits, most of whom have attitude problems. Basically from Buttermaker and the other adults involved in the league all the way down to the rebel kid, Kelly (Jackie Earle Haley), who tears up the field with his motorcycle, not a character has respect for another. Kids talk back to adults, adults yell at kids -- it's an ugly scene. How "Bears" redeems itself is something of a feat.

You can't deny "Bears" its heart. Every lesson there is to be learned from youth sports finds its way into this film. At the very beginning the Bears give up 20 runs in the first and forfeit. Quitting and adopting a counter attitude is present from then on. Then there's the balance between winning and playing the game, something many parents and coaches still lose sight of even today. Despite filling its cast with rotten blonde kids and insensitive adults, "Bears" sneaks this in naturally. The film nearly gets dramatic at times considering the extent to which the disrespect does become a serious part of the story.

So on one hand, you have a little blonde kid saying "Great, we have a team full of (insert racial slurs here) and now a girl!" and then you have examples of good sportsmanship winning out. It's tough to call "Bears" a family film or a kids film for that reason, but then again, some kids would really benefit from the values. Most of all parents of kids in youth sports need to see this movie as it really speaks at them.

As a comedy, a good chunk of that nastiness earns a good deal of laughs, especially when it involves the innocence of kids rather than the awfulness of the adults. If blurring the line between acceptable behavior in films and comedy is fine by you, "Bears" is as good a sports comedy as any. ~Steven C

Visit my site at http://moviemusereviews.blogspot.com


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