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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.



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




Cast overview, first billed only:
Bob Whitewood
Ogilvie (as Alfred W. Lutter)
Erin Blunt ...
Gary Lee Cavagnaro ...
Jaime Escobedo ...
Scott Firestone ...
George Gonzales ...
Brett Marx ...
David Pollock ...


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


The Catcher Can Only Catch a Cold. The Coach Can't Wait to Pass Out. The Pitcher Can't Wait to Fill Out. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Family | Sport


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

7 April 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Bad News Bears  »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Glen Glenn Sound)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Coach Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) is getting into his car after leaving Councilman Whitewood's office, there's a sign in the background for a production of "Hello, Dolly!". Matthau played Horace Vandergelder in Hello, Dolly! (1969). See more »


After Kelly Leak's homerun gives the Bears their first win of the season (against the White Sox) the footage of the Bears celebrating at home plate around Kelly shows a Yankee catcher. This footage was actually from the alternate ending which had the Bears winning the final game against the Yankees. See more »


Tanner Boyle: Jews, spics, niggers, and now a girl?
Amanda Whurlitzer: Grab a bat, punk!
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 »


Spoofed in Coming Attractions (1978) See more »


Written by Georges Bizet
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User Reviews

Reminder of a freer time...
5 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

I was really impressed with how well this movie has "aged." Walter Natthau plays that role of the alcoholic wash-out to perfection, and Tatum O'Neal portrays the struggle of a young girl trying to enter adolescence without losing her sense of "self" with delicacy and skill. It's a good story,with quite a bit serious to say about human nature and the understandings and misunderstandings between generations; it makes me mad that it never received the attention it deserved because it's "just" about kids. On a sadder note, I also couldn't help being impressed with how far this culture has regressed since 1976. The children's use of even mild profanity would never be permitted now in a "family film," and the wonderful scene at the end would certainly send the Thought Police running for their placards and boycotts. It's worth watching this film again just to remind ourselves that only 30 years ago children still enjoyed some autonomous space in which to grow, and the iron doors of the Nanny State had not yet completely swung closed upon them.

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