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The Legend of Billie Jean (1985)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama | 19 July 1985 (USA)
A Texas teenager cuts her hair short and becomes an outlaw martyr with her brother and friends.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Bobby Jones ...
Kenny
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Kenny's Father
Rodney Rincon ...
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Rudy Young ...
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Storyline

Average Texas teen, Billie Jean Davy, is caught up in an odd fight for justice. She is usually followed and harrased around by local boys, who, one day, decide to trash her brother's scooter for fun. The boys' father refuses to pay them back the price of the scooter. The fight for "fair is fair" takes the teens around the state and produces an unlikely hero. Written by Jennifer Valley

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The last thing she ever expected was to become a hero. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 July 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fair Is Fair  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,466,884, 21 July 1985, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$3,099,497
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christian Slater stated in an interview that while filming this movie he thought he was fated to marry Helen Slater because their last names were the same. See more »

Goofs

Two slightly different groups of guys run into the dumpster in the mall garage when chasing Billie Jean. See more »

Quotes

Billie Jean: Who wants to watch this?
Putter: I do!
Ophelia: You like anything on the TV.
See more »

Connections

References G.I. Joe (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Rebel Yell
Performed by Billy Idol
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records
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User Reviews

 
We've got the right to be angry!
6 April 2004 | by See all my reviews

Why does everyone knock the Legend of Billie Jean so much? For me, it's one of my favorite 80s teen movies. And it's a good exploration into the concept of vigilante justice as a natural response to not only a cumbersome justice system, but also a discriminatory one.

Helen Slater is teenager Billie Jean, a nice girl from "the trailers" of Corpus Christi, Texas. When Hubie Pyat (Barry Tubbs) and some other local pranksters trash her brother Binx's (Christian Slater) motor scooter, she demands compensation. But Hubie refuses to pay and his father uses the opportunity to offer that Billie Jean trade some sexual favors to him for the cash. In the midst of her flight from the pervert, there's scuffle, and Mr. Pyat is accidentally shot. So, Billie Jean, her brother, and two friends involved in the accident, suddenly finds themselves on the run from the police.

Rather than surrendering, they use their new teenage fugitive status to stage something of a protest ("fair is fair"), and Billie Jean becomes their hero and icon for teenage rebellion as well as feminism. They become the martyrs of teenagers while the adults dismiss the entire thing as a bunch of rambunctious teenagers gone out of control. So, there is political significance in the story of Billie Jean in looking at the criminal justice system (although some of the discrimination against Billie Jean such as denying her any sort of expedited compensation occurs as a result of the system not intervening at all). If Billie Jean was an adult, would she have been taken seriously? What if Billie Jean were a male? Would that change the situation. Indeed, this movie suggests that it would.

In a decade filled with themes of teen angst, this one offers one story of the possibility of teen (and female) empowerment in a way that Pump Up the Volume or other movies like that did. I always thought it was a pretty good 80s movie and one that, judging by the message boards, still caters to a loyal audience as many of those long-lasting 80s movies do. Plus, as far as important 80s movie characteristic go, it's got good actors (Helen Slater, Christian Slater, Peter Cyote, and Kieth Gordon), and a good soundtrack (featuring Pat Benetar's "Invincible" and the Divinyls).


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