Jim Brandon, a former player of the Chigago Bears, has been paralysed during the Vietnam-war. When he returns, he tries to get a job as a football-coach, but he doesn't succeed. After a ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Brandon
Paula DeFalco
Superintendant Turner
Merissa Lane (as Daphne Maxwell)
Munroe Sweetlife Johnson (#12) (as David Hubbard)
Andy DeFalco (#84) (as Ricky Paul)
Hector Estrada (#24)
Radames Torres ...
Effie Peanut Rodriguez (#22) (as Radamus Torres)
Louis Carello ...
Eddie Lovella (as Lou Carello)
Ed O'Bradovich ...
Ed O'Bradovich
Joneal Joplin ...
Coach Forester
Howard A. Peters III
Calvin Bradford ...
The Boys from St. Charles
José 'Little Man' Navarro ...
The Boys from St. Charles (as Jose 'Little Man' Navarro)


Jim Brandon, a former player of the Chigago Bears, has been paralysed during the Vietnam-war. When he returns, he tries to get a job as a football-coach, but he doesn't succeed. After a visit to the youth-prison St.Charles he thinks of becoming the football- coach there. He decides to do it, 'cause he likes the challenge. The boys, young delinquents, don't accept him, but he goes all out to be accepted. Written by Tony Kessen <rhkessen@cs.vu.nl>

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Release Date:

20 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fourth Down Behind Bars  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The football sequences were directed by Andy Sidaris, acknowledged at the beginning of the ending credits with the credit "Football Action Filmed by The Sidaris Company". See more »

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User Reviews

Where were the acting coaches?
11 July 2004 | by (Northbrook, IL, USA) – See all my reviews

I don't know if this type of movie was as cliché then as it seems to be now.

Considering how many "Bad News Bears" films had already been released by 1980, however, I think that this sort of movie was already a tired idea.

A former football player is partially paralyzed in Vietnam and is confined to a wheelchair. The Chicago Bears offer him a PR job but he wants to coach. At the same time, his underage nephew is picked up for armed robbery. We are told that he has already been arrested over a dozen times before and he must now serve some hard time...which turns out to be less than a year!

Of course, the kid is actually a good kid who only needs a tough male role model in his life. The same goes for all of the kids in the detention facility. Yes...even the one locked up for attempted murder! I'm sure you already know what happens so I'll try and keep the rest of this brief.

Our protagonist becomes the coach of the kids' football team. He overcomes the delinquents' cynicism and earns their respect. His team faces off against a local high school team (yeah right!) and they get their butts kicked. Now determined more than ever to prove himself a worthy coach, he demands a rematch. Will these underprivileged, scrappy kids with hearts of gold be able to improve enough to win the rematch? Awful execution of the football sequences ruins any possibility of excitement in this film. "Coach Of The Year" should get penalized for roughing my brain. 1/10

9 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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