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 »


Woman in Airport: Billie Jean. I just wanted to tell you that you are an inspiration to me. And if you beat Bobby Riggs, I'm gonna ask my boss for a raise.
Billie Jean King: You should ask for it anyway.
See more »


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

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User Reviews

Preachy and lightweight.
17 July 2008 | by kgowen-1See all my reviews

Amen, sister! Can I get a witness? Hallelujah, I'm saved! Yes, he orthodox gospel of feminist rectitude is proclaimed at full volume in this trying-to-be-relevant-but-mostly-fluffy made-for-TV movie.

My daughter has recently taken up an interest in tennis, so I dropped this lightweight drama in my Netflix queue, not expecting much either way. As it turned out, this could have been a really bad movie, but thankfully it's not. What saves it (hallelujah, it's saved!) from being just another dreary feminist harangue is good performances from Holly Hunter as Wimbledon champion Billie Jean King and Ron Silver as the aging hustler Bobby Riggs. I was going to further criticize this movie for unequal treatment: making King an actual human being but portraying Riggs as a nothing but a one-dimensional buffoon (after all, who doesn't want a dastardly villain who is easily dispatched?), but the more I read about Riggs, the more I came to realize that that was the way he was in real life.

This is not a fine-cuisine-and-red-wine type of movie; it's more like a Burger King meal deal. Fun, but not to be taken too seriously, and not with all the heavy-handed preaching.

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