6.6/10
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86 user 35 critic

The Legend of Billie Jean (1985)

A Texas teenager cuts her hair short and becomes an outlaw martyr with her brother and friends.

Director:

Matthew Robbins

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen Slater ... Billie Jean
Keith Gordon ... Lloyd
Christian Slater ... Binx
Richard Bradford ... Pyatt
Peter Coyote ... Ringwald
Martha Gehman ... Ophelia
Yeardley Smith ... Putter
Dean Stockwell ... Muldaur
Barry Tubb ... Hubie
Mona Lee Fultz ... Donna Davy
Bobby Jones Bobby Jones ... Kenny
John M. Jackson ... Kenny's Father
Rodney Rincon Rodney Rincon ... Police Sergeant
Caroline Williams ... Woman in Pickup
Rudy Young Rudy Young ... Man in Pickup
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Storyline

Average Texas teen, Billie Jean Davy, is caught up in an odd fight for justice. She is usually followed and harrased around by local boys, who, one day, decide to trash her brother's scooter for fun. The boys' father refuses to pay them back the price of the scooter. The fight for "fair is fair" takes the teens around the state and produces an unlikely hero. Written by Jennifer Valley

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The last thing she ever expected was to become a hero. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 July 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fair Is Fair See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,466,884, 21 July 1985, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$3,099,497
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The radio station in the movie C101 is an actual station in Corpus Christi. See more »

Goofs

Two slightly different groups of guys run into the dumpster in the mall garage when chasing Billie Jean. See more »

Quotes

Mini-Mart Girl: [to Billie Jean] Can I have your autograph? Please...
[Billie Jean signs the newspaper]
Mini-Mart Boy: [to Billie Jean] You know, my dad says you're gonna end up dead.
See more »

Connections

References G.I. Joe (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Rebel Yell
Performed by Billy Idol
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Billie Jean, "social bandit"
25 October 2005 | by pauletSee all my reviews

The British historian E. J. Hobsbawm developed the idea of the "social bandit," the peasant youth who becomes an outlaw after his honorable resistance to some outrage by the landlord ends with a landlord henchman dead. He calls to others who share his anger at injustice to follow him to the hills where they will lead the outlaw life, stealing only from those whose wealth comes from oppressing the poor, respecting the peasants and righting wrongs on their behalf, and seeking to restore a former condition when the great and powerful behaved decently and treated the poor equitably. (This equitable treatment is also close to what E.P. Thompson called "the moral economy of the poor:" the Honest Loaf, the Fair Day's Wage for a Fair Day's Work--a slogan of early labor unions--etc.)

The social bandit *isn't* a revolutionary--he has no vision of a transformed society, because his horizons are too narrow. He wants the Good Old Days back. He doesn't have a social or political theory; he wants simple decency and justice. He isn't Joan of Arc, fighting to restore a legitimate King, he's much closer to Robin Hood, resisting the oppression of a King who's forfeited the loyalty of the people by not acting as a good King should.

Billie Jean is a social bandit. The events that launch her "career," the actions she performs, and above all her simple watchword "Fair is Fair" clearly put her in the category that includes the Brazilian Lampiao, the Sicilian Salvatore Giuliano, and others. Hardly surprising, since this teenage cult script was written by a formerly blacklisted old Lefty in his seventies, Walter Bernstein, who surely had read Hobsbawm and Thompson and found, I think, a very ingenious way to illustrate their ideas in a 1980's US setting.


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