An aging, down-on-his-luck ex-minor leaguer coaches a team of misfits in an ultra-competitive California little league.

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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:
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Cleveland
Ben Piazza ...
Bob Whitewood
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Ogilvie (as Alfred W. Lutter)
Chris Barnes ...
Erin Blunt ...
Gary Lee Cavagnaro ...
Jaime Escobedo ...
Scott Firestone ...
George Gonzales ...
Brett Marx ...
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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

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At last, a picture of kids as they really are. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

|

Release Date:

7 April 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La chouette équipe  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Glen Glenn Sound)

Color:

(Movielab)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kristy McNichol was originally offered the role of Amanda; after successfully auditioning, the producers told her when they would begin filming and to start preparing, but McNichol says over one weekend they changed their minds and she got the disappointing call they were giving the role to Tatum O'Neal. See more »

Goofs

During the championship game, the player's shadows alternate between being cast towards the outfield and towards the first base line. See more »

Quotes

Kelly: [after getting cold shoulder from everyone] Hey does anyone mind if I warm up too?
Tanner Boyle: We didn't think you needed anybody but yourself to play catch with!
Kelly: Just cool it, runt.
[they start fighting]
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Sports Jeopardy!: Episode #1.38 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Carmen
Written by Georges Bizet
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User Reviews

 
Unsentimentally endearing
16 July 1999 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

This is a superb movie. I don't think it will ever become dated--not as long as little league baseball is in existence. I remember first seeing it at a drive-in when I was ten, shortly after my own little league season had finished. Walter Matthau is excellent as Buttermaker, the beer-soaked coach who takes on the unwanted task of coaching a team of misfit kids who were allowed to play in the league only after a civil action law suit was won in their favor. Tatum O'Neal shines as the team's recruited pitcher Amanda, whose mother once dated Buttermaker. A touching subplot involves the relationship between Amanda and Buttermaker which turns from distant to warm as the final game approaches. Vic Morrow gives a frighteningly good performance as the out-to-win-no-matter-what coach of the opposing team who was never happy with the fact that the Bears were allowed to play in the first place. Joyce Van Patten is also good as the butch, outspoken league supervisor.

It's the kid players that really give this movie the edge. All performances are top-notch, and director Michael Ritchie splendidly keeps the focus mostly on them and their feelings about the whole ordeal. Stand-outs include Jackie Earl Haley as the heroic Kelly Leak and Chris Barnes as shortstop Tanner Boyle. This film should be a warning to relentless adults who try to achieve stardom on the backs of their children, be it on the baseball field or on the ballet floor.


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