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 <email@example.com>
Buttermaker is referred to as boilermaker by Tatum O'Neal's character and in the opening scene he is seen drinking a boilermaker. See more »
When Rudi Stein is first asked by Buttermaker to let himself get hit by a pitch, he is following Kelly Leak in the batting order (Kelly had just been walked intentionally). When he's asked the second time, he's following Ahmad in the batting order. See more »
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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