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The Legend of Billie Jean (1985)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama | 19 July 1985 (USA)
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ON DISC
A Texas teenager cuts her hair short and becomes an outlaw martyr with her brother and friends.

Director:

Matthew Robbins
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4,777 ( 708)

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Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Helen Slater, Richard Jordan
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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 original title for the film while they were shooting was 'Fair is Fair' but was later changed. See more »

Goofs

(at around 43 mins) After they've all enter the mansion and met Lloyd, Lloyd goes to the window with a candle and then jumps out, after which they see him in the pool. However, after he jumped out you can see his jacket as he's crouching down just outside the window. See more »

Quotes

Billie Jean: I'm Billie Jean Davy, and I wanna set the record straight.
Ringwald: [notices hair cut very short] Oh my God!
Policeman #1: Wow!
Billie Jean: I'm not a liar, I'm not a thief, and neither is my brother.
Binx: [cuts in] Hello, ma!
Billie Jean: [shoves Binx aside] Sorry, that is him. Mom, I don't know when we'll be comin' home, but we love you. I know people are making up stories about us. Don't you believe them. As for you, Mr. Pyatt. You are so sleazy.
Putter: [cheers on camera] YEA!
Billie Jean: You think you can do anything you want and then lie about it and we just have ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in A Planet Comicon Panel with Helen Slater (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

It's My Life
Performed by Wendy O. Williams
Courtesy of Jem Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
We've got the right to be angry!
6 April 2004 | by vertigo_14See all my reviews

Why does everyone knock the Legend of Billie Jean so much? For me, it's one of my favorite 80s teen movies. And it's a good exploration into the concept of vigilante justice as a natural response to not only a cumbersome justice system, but also a discriminatory one.

Helen Slater is teenager Billie Jean, a nice girl from "the trailers" of Corpus Christi, Texas. When Hubie Pyat (Barry Tubbs) and some other local pranksters trash her brother Binx's (Christian Slater) motor scooter, she demands compensation. But Hubie refuses to pay and his father uses the opportunity to offer that Billie Jean trade some sexual favors to him for the cash. In the midst of her flight from the pervert, there's scuffle, and Mr. Pyat is accidentally shot. So, Billie Jean, her brother, and two friends involved in the accident, suddenly finds themselves on the run from the police.

Rather than surrendering, they use their new teenage fugitive status to stage something of a protest ("fair is fair"), and Billie Jean becomes their hero and icon for teenage rebellion as well as feminism. They become the martyrs of teenagers while the adults dismiss the entire thing as a bunch of rambunctious teenagers gone out of control. So, there is political significance in the story of Billie Jean in looking at the criminal justice system (although some of the discrimination against Billie Jean such as denying her any sort of expedited compensation occurs as a result of the system not intervening at all). If Billie Jean was an adult, would she have been taken seriously? What if Billie Jean were a male? Would that change the situation. Indeed, this movie suggests that it would.

In a decade filled with themes of teen angst, this one offers one story of the possibility of teen (and female) empowerment in a way that Pump Up the Volume or other movies like that did. I always thought it was a pretty good 80s movie and one that, judging by the message boards, still caters to a loyal audience as many of those long-lasting 80s movies do. Plus, as far as important 80s movie characteristic go, it's got good actors (Helen Slater, Christian Slater, Peter Cyote, and Kieth Gordon), and a good soundtrack (featuring Pat Benetar's "Invincible" and the Divinyls).


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