7.3/10
18,296
96 user 45 critic

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.

Director:

Michael Ritchie

Writer:

Bill Lancaster

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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Matthau ... Coach Morris Buttermaker
Tatum O'Neal ... Amanda Whurlitzer
Vic Morrow ... Roy Turner
Joyce Van Patten ... Cleveland
Ben Piazza ... Bob Whitewood
Jackie Earle Haley ... Kelly Leak
Alfred Lutter III ... Ogilvie (as Alfred W. Lutter)
Chris Barnes ... Tanner Boyle
Erin Blunt Erin Blunt ... Ahmad Abdul Rahim
Gary Lee Cavagnaro Gary Lee Cavagnaro ... Engelberg
Jaime Escobedo Jaime Escobedo ... Jose Agilar
Scott Firestone Scott Firestone ... Regi Tower
George Gonzales George Gonzales ... Miguel Agilar
Brett Marx Brett Marx ... Jimmy Feldman
David Pollock David Pollock ... Rudi Stein
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

...together they make it happen! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

7 April 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bad News Bears See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$42,349,782
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Glen Glenn Sound)

Color:

Color (Movielab)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joke nick-name variations given to Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) in the film include "Butterworth" and "Boilermaker". See more »

Goofs

During Amanda's first pitching stint against the Mets, the announcer says, "First up for the Mets, Roy Close, #7, left field." However, the back of his jersey is briefly seen, and he's wearing #3. See more »

Quotes

Coach Morris Buttermaker: Jumping catfish! What a great arm! Who is that kid, anyway?
Toby Whitewood: Of course he's got a great arm, Buttermaker. He's the best athlete in the area. But you don't understand, that's Kelly Leak.
Ahmad Abdul Rahim: You guys talking about Kelly Leak?
Coach Morris Buttermaker: Yeah.
Ahmad Abdul Rahim: That dude is a bad mother. You talk about a loan shark. I borrowed a nickel from him last week. He said if I didn't give him a dime by Friday, he'd break my arm.
Miguel Agilar: Es un bandido.
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 »

Connections

Followed by The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Carmen
Written by Georges Bizet
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unsentimentally endearing
16 July 1999 | by JW-27See all my reviews

This is a superb movie. I don't think it will ever become dated--not as long as little league baseball is in existence. I remember first seeing it at a drive-in when I was ten, shortly after my own little league season had finished. Walter Matthau is excellent as Buttermaker, the beer-soaked coach who takes on the unwanted task of coaching a team of misfit kids who were allowed to play in the league only after a civil action law suit was won in their favor. Tatum O'Neal shines as the team's recruited pitcher Amanda, whose mother once dated Buttermaker. A touching subplot involves the relationship between Amanda and Buttermaker which turns from distant to warm as the final game approaches. Vic Morrow gives a frighteningly good performance as the out-to-win-no-matter-what coach of the opposing team who was never happy with the fact that the Bears were allowed to play in the first place. Joyce Van Patten is also good as the butch, outspoken league supervisor.

It's the kid players that really give this movie the edge. All performances are top-notch, and director Michael Ritchie splendidly keeps the focus mostly on them and their feelings about the whole ordeal. Stand-outs include Jackie Earl Haley as the heroic Kelly Leak and Chris Barnes as shortstop Tanner Boyle. This film should be a warning to relentless adults who try to achieve stardom on the backs of their children, be it on the baseball field or on the ballet floor.


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