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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

7 April 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La chouette équipe  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Glen Glenn Sound)

Color:

(Movielab)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jodie Foster was cast at one point as Amanda, but dropped out in order to play Iris in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976). See more »

Goofs

When Kelly is playing air hockey before Amanda comes in, the cigarette goes from his mouth to his hand, depending on the angle of the shot. See more »

Quotes

Regi Tower: [Buttermaker passes out drunk during practise] Opening day's tomorrow! We don't know what the batting order is. We don't even have our positions set or anything.
Tanner Boyle: All we got is a cruddy alky for a manager!
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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 Melissa & Joey: Play Ball (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Carmen
Written by Georges Bizet
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User Reviews

 
Cutthroat Little League--in all its sprinkler-system, sun-&-Schlitz-drenched glory
22 June 2005 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Scrappy pool-cleaner (and former ballplayer) in Southern California gets talked into coaching Little League to a bunch of no-talent boys. I don't think I've ever seen another movie that captured this bit of Americana so vividly: you can almost smell the freshly-cut grass and the cigar smoke in the air! One of Walter Matthau's many triumphs, and Tatum O'Neal as the pitching ace is also terrific (especially in the dug-out scene where she tries involving Matthau in her life and he cracks, sending her away in tears: "You don't wanna go, fine, no big deal."). The young boys are mostly all wonderful: Alfred Lutter, from "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore", as the nerdy brain; Jackie Earle Haley as the cool kid with shades and motorcycle; Brandon Cruz, from "The Courtship of Eddie's Father", as the pitcher for the enemy-team. The film has some overacting and is occasionally sloppy (with the boom-mike showing, as well as O'Neal's stand-in in a wig), but is otherwise extremely well-written and designed and directed. In 1976, this had kids and adults lining up to see it, so I wouldn't consider the picture a 'sleeper' or an underrated film. It was a big commercial box-office hit and there is an audience for it wherever there's a DVD player and a screen. ***1/2 from ****


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