15 user 4 critic

When Billie Beat Bobby (2001)

The historic 1973 tennis match between middle-aged champion Bobby Riggs and young feminist Billie Jean King.




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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 6 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Perenchio
Margaret Court
Rosie Casals
Lornie Kuhle
Ted Tinling
Debbie the Hairdresser
Sidney Schlenker


The historic 1973 tennis match between middle-aged champion Bobby Riggs and young feminist Billie Jean King.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's not just the size of your racquet. It's The Way You Swing it.


Comedy | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and thematic elements





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Release Date:

16 April 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Battle of the Sexes  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The customized "Astrobus" that Bobby Riggs was chauffeured in was a 1979 or 1980 Dodge Van, which was manufactured over six years after the King-Riggs tournament in the Houston Astrodome. See more »


Woman in Airport: Billie Jean. I just wanted to tell you that you are an inspiration to me. And if you beat Bobby Riggs, I'm gonna ask my boss for a raise.
Billie Jean King: You should ask for it anyway.
See more »

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User Reviews

ABC got a bargain.
17 April 2001 | by (pittsburgh pa) – See all my reviews

This is one of the best TV movies to come along in years, maybe longer. As usual, Holly Hunter turns in a wonderful performance as Billie Jean King (both as the person and the tennis player). But the real shocker here is the writing and directing. "When Billie beat Bobby" has a wonderful sense of style that rarely, if ever, is available for free in the comfort of your home. It makes use of visual grain, hand held camera work, jump cuts (when was the last time you saw a jump cut on TV), and non-diagetic visuals. This does not deserve to be on TV and it does not deserve to be called a movie. I would have loved to see this film in a theater and ABC got their luckiest break since "Millionaire." From an artistic standpoint, seeing this in a theatrical release would have taken a great TV movie and turned it into one of the year's best films. From a business standpoint, someone would have made a lot more money if this was on the big screen. I don't know if this will be availiable on video one day (or in theaters) but if you ever get a chance to see it then do. It really harkens back to the TV movies

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