7.3/10
17,882
95 user 43 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.

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Coach Morris Buttermaker
... Amanda Whurlitzer
... Roy Turner
... Cleveland
... Bob Whitewood
... Kelly Leak
... Ogilvie (as Alfred W. Lutter)
... Tanner Boyle
Erin Blunt ... Ahmad Abdul Rahim
Gary Lee Cavagnaro ... Engelberg
Jaime Escobedo ... Jose Agilar
Scott Firestone ... Regi Tower
George Gonzales ... Miguel Agilar
Brett Marx ... Jimmy Feldman
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:

At last, a picture of kids as they really are. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

7 April 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Bad News Bears  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$42,349,782
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Glen Glenn Sound)

Color:

(Movielab)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jackie Earle Haley would have a big comeback in the 2000s after a thirteen-year hiatus. He played many roles, including a child molester in Little Children (2006) and turned in an impressive performance as Rorschach in Watchmen (2009). He also played a prominent role as Freddy Krueger in the A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) reboot, and was in two other reboots, Dark Shadows (2012) and RoboCop (2014). See more »

Goofs

When Buttermaker first pulls up to the ballpark he cracks open a can of beer and pours out the foam to make way for some whiskey to be added. No alcoholic would ever waste beer by pouring out the foam, instead of drinking it to make room for the liquor. 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.
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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

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.10 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Carmen
Written by Georges Bizet
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User Reviews

 
Unsentimentally endearing
16 July 1999 | by See 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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