16 user 4 critic

When Billie Beat Bobby (2001)

The historic 1973 tennis match between middle-aged champion Bobby Riggs and young feminist Billie Jean King.


Jane Anderson


Jane Anderson

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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 6 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Holly Hunter ... Billie Jean King
Ron Silver ... Bobby Riggs
Matt Letscher ... Larry King
Bob Gunton ... Jerry Perenchio
Jacqueline McKenzie ... Margaret Court
Elizabeth Berridge ... Rosie Casals
Vincent Van Patten ... Lornie Kuhle
Caitlin Martin ... Chris Evert
Gerry Becker ... Ted Tinling
Kathleen Gati ... Debbie the Hairdresser
Michael Mantell ... Sidney Schlenker
Kali Rocha ... Connie
Maureen Mueller ... Judith
Patrick Kerr ... Rheo
Caroline Aaron ... Gladys Heldman


The historic 1973 tennis match between middle-aged champion Bobby Riggs and young feminist Billie Jean King.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's not just the size of your racquet. It's The Way You Swing it.


Comedy | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and thematic elements



Canada | USA


English | Spanish | Japanese

Release Date:

16 April 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Battle of the Sexes See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The customized "Astrobus" that Bobby Riggs was chauffeured in was a 1979 or 1980 Dodge Van, which was manufactured over six years after the King-Riggs tournament in the Houston Astrodome. See more »


[on a petition for equal pay]
Rosie Casals: Hey, Margaret. You gonna help us out here?
Margaret Court: [chuckles nervously] Oh, uh I just really don't care about the money. Besides, Barry has enough for both of us.
Rosie Casals: Well, I care, and I don't have a friggin' Barry.
See more »


Remade as Battle of the Sexes (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

ABC got a bargain.
17 April 2001 | by jacketeer2See all my reviews

This is one of the best TV movies to come along in years, maybe longer. As usual, Holly Hunter turns in a wonderful performance as Billie Jean King (both as the person and the tennis player). But the real shocker here is the writing and directing. "When Billie beat Bobby" has a wonderful sense of style that rarely, if ever, is available for free in the comfort of your home. It makes use of visual grain, hand held camera work, jump cuts (when was the last time you saw a jump cut on TV), and non-diagetic visuals. This does not deserve to be on TV and it does not deserve to be called a movie. I would have loved to see this film in a theater and ABC got their luckiest break since "Millionaire." From an artistic standpoint, seeing this in a theatrical release would have taken a great TV movie and turned it into one of the year's best films. From a business standpoint, someone would have made a lot more money if this was on the big screen. I don't know if this will be availiable on video one day (or in theaters) but if you ever get a chance to see it then do. It really harkens back to the TV movies

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