6.7/10
41,992
160 user 273 critic

Battle of the Sexes (2017)

Trailer
2:05 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $9.99 (HD) on Prime Video

The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.

Writer:

Simon Beaufoy
Reviews
Popularity
1,622 ( 254)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

I, Tonya (2017)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Competitive ice skater Tonya Harding rises amongst the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the activity is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband intervenes.

Director: Craig Gillespie
Stars: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of the 1980 tennis rivalry between the placid Björn Borg and the volatile John McEnroe.

Director: Janus Metz
Stars: Sverrir Gudnason, Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgård
Darkest Hour (2017)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In May 1940, the fate of Western Europe hangs on British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on knowing that it could mean a humiliating defeat for Britain and its empire.

Director: Joe Wright
Stars: Gary Oldman, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas
The Post (2017)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country's first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between the press and the government.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emma Stone ... Billie Jean King
Steve Carell ... Bobby Riggs
Andrea Riseborough ... Marilyn Barnett
Natalie Morales ... Rosie Casals
Sarah Silverman ... Gladys Heldman
Bill Pullman ... Jack Kramer
Alan Cumming ... Cuthbert 'Ted' Tinling
Elisabeth Shue ... Priscilla Riggs
Eric Christian Olsen ... Lornie Kuhle
Fred Armisen ... Rheo Blair
Martha MacIsaac ... Jane 'Peaches' Bartkowicz
Lauren Kline Lauren Kline ... Nancy Richey
Mickey Sumner ... Valerie Ziegenfuss
Fidan Manashirova Fidan Manashirova ... Judy Tegart Dalton
Jessica McNamee ... Margaret Court
Edit

Storyline

In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women's movement, the 1973 tennis match between women's world champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men's-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the BATTLE OF THE SEXES and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world. As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. The fiercely private King was not only championing for equality, but also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, as her friendship with Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough) developed. And Riggs, one of the first self-made media-age celebrities, wrestled with his gambling demons, at the expense of his family and wife Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue). Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis court, sparking discussions in bedrooms ... Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He made a bet. She made history.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and partial nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 September 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Battle of the Sexes See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$515,450, 24 September 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$12,638,526, 21 December 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Bobby Riggs's hustling and male chauvinism were known prior to his match with Billie Jean King, but became more infamous afterward. In 1973, he guest starred as himself on The Odd Couple: The Pig Who Came to Dinner (1973), in which he hustled Oscar Madison out of everything, including his apartment lease and Felix. Riggs also gambled with Felix, betting that he would become a member of the male chauvinist club, Riggs' Pigs, if Felix lost. Billie Jean King also appeared in the episode. See more »

Goofs

The images on the monitors in the TV production truck just before and during the final match are clearly simulated. Images shown on professional broadcast monitors of that era either had rounded corners with no gray areas around image, or rectangular corners surrounded by gray areas, but never rounded corners surrounded by gray. See more »

Quotes

Bobby Riggs: I'm gonna put the "show" back in "chauvinism".
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Fox Searchlight Pictures and TSG Entertainment logos are redone in period-appropriate styles. See more »


Soundtracks

Joy
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Arranged by Tom Parker and Clive Scott
Performed by Apollo 100
Courtesy of Start Entertainments Limited
By arrrangement with Nola Leone/Ace Music Services LLC
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
It Thinks It Means Well But It Really Doesn't
5 October 2017 | by trevor-82944See all my reviews

A man and a woman take the stage here in 1972; the first, Billie Jean King, wins a tennis championship after a blurry match opens the titles; the second, Bobby Riggs, abandons his own family to gamble, often through his own tennis rounds. Right away, the men state how women are less publicly prevalent in tennis as men, meaning they get paid less as well. Sound familiar?

Battle of the Sexes follows much truer to history than you may think —allowing the real Billie Jean to oversee the production process proves the clear effort made to create a strong 21st century female role model. In the end, a fair point comes across: we need to reconsider our gamble in life.

The screenwriter, Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire) still has potential for another future masterpiece based on his new display of well-crafted dialogue, as his style here enables each individual to realistically talk around their lies in a clever fashion. You can sense the depth behind these conflicted words, as only whatever matters to everyone's true values gets talked about.

The cast too expresses a strong desire to communicate the message about women empowerment, as most of them put in the best they could give. Oscar winner Emma Stone (Birdman, La La Land) portrays Billie Jean King with confidence to match her preparation for the role. Steve Carell (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Foxcatcher) portrays Billie Jean's ultimate rival with a considerable hardness that proves the comedian's effectiveness at drama. But I most enjoyed one of the smaller roles, Natalie Morales, who plays Billie Jean's stuck-up authoritative agent. Unfortunately, some of the male actors destroyed the perfect performance streak, particularly Austin Stowell, who plays Billie Jean's husband, and Alan Cumming, who plays a stereotypical British assistant thrown in mostly for comic relief. So sadly, not everyone in the cast and crew was truly passionate about its message of gender superiority.

In fact, almost nobody of redeemable quality supports the message's potential positive value. In essence, we don't even meet Billie Jean's husband until the midway point, which ends up feeling extremely joyless since beforehand, we see her sexual attraction toward her lesbian hairdresser come out in a moment of embracing and unzipping in a dark, steamy motel room. At this rate, why would I want to see an unfaithful wife succeed in her desire for fame and fortune?

As for Bobby, he appears to be nothing besides a depiction of the era's public mindset—an unmotivated woman hater. The balance in telling his story all throughout the feature is barely even there, as editor Pamela Martin (The Fighter, Little Miss Sunshine) leaves too long stretches of time away from Bobby's subplot. Even his climactic tennis match against the famed female star lacks any tension on his behalf, since no details are learned about what tennis means to either combatant.

The directorial appearance in particular lacks any artistic quality, from Emma Stone's fake black wig to needing to play "Where's Waldo" on the screen. What do I mean by that? Well, the two directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine) unintentionally make you search harder than necessary to find the character talking. Their lack of screen control plays its greatest toll in the end, when the legendary match is viewed from far away into the audience bleachers, consequently ruining the intimacy of tennis. The cinematographer, Linus Sandgren, just won the Oscar last year for his colorful live action daydream, La La Land, but now his Steadicam work takes a massive step back into dull indie movie mode.

In the long run, the extreme preachiness may turn you off the most, since it forcefully tells you to accept its worldview on gender superiority. Similar to various feminist propaganda such as Thelma & Louise, Erin Brockovich, Frozen, Wonder Woman, and countless others, men are painted to look like the predators responsible for women's problems, which in this circumstance devalues heterosexual relationships and diminishes love to impulsive selfishness. Why do so many message films have to force such one-sided, surfacey conclusions? These events may have actually happened, yet the depiction of her affair straight up degrades straight married people. Bobby's marriage appears problematic until his wife decides to change in a submissive fashion, while Billie Jean's sole roadblock in her newfound love is her current husband? Give me a break.

Although my parents and I felt disappointed after walking out of the theater together, it led us into a rather in-depth discussion about our current treatment towards the LGBTQ community. Therefore, we as viewers ought to talk about these crucial ideas more, as listening to one another will help us realize the true blinded difference between the sexes.


52 of 117 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 160 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching



Recently Viewed