When Billie Beat Bobby (2001)

TV Movie  |  PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Sport  |  16 April 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 460 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 4 critic

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 »



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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





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 »


Bobby Riggs: I'm like a tiger gettin' ready to spring!
See more »

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User Reviews

Oh now this is just silly..
28 June 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Aw come on, forget about the 'War Of The Sexes', this should really have been called the 'War Of The AGES'! Bobby Riggs was a long-retired, out-of-shape, dyed-hair, balding 55 year old playing against an athlete in prime condition literally HALF HIS AGE - Riggs started playing tennis in the NINETEEN THIRTIES! In what sense is this any kind of great victory for womankind, except in the self-deception and hyperbole events?

Why don't I go beat up Muhammad Ali in his wheelchair now to show that I've always been the better fighter?

Here's the thing: women don't compete against men in sports for obvious, innate, immutable, biological reasons, because 19 times out of 20 they would lose, every time. Don't believe me? Look at the times for any Olympic race, high jump, long jump, shot put, rowing, cycling, boxing, weightlifting, hurdles... whatever, from any event, any year since records have been kept: the woman who won the gold in the women's events would be TRAILING behind whoever got even the BRONZE in the men's. That's not because of sexism, or any conspiracy to keep women down, it's because of nature, and claiming anything other than that is just about the most tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theory of all time.

Making men & women compete directly against each other would not be fair - or even safe, in many cases: Do you really want to see a woman - ANY woman - in a boxing ring being beat up by Mike Tyson? Bobby Riggs was a pretty ridiculous fool, an over-the-hill attention whore, but even he deserved a better shake of the stick than this.

On the other hand, the film does have some funny performances, and Holly Hunter in particular gives her all as Billie Jean King, but my goodness, the delusional nonsense dripping off this thing is off the charts.

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