6.7/10
37,814
153 user 266 critic

Battle of the Sexes (2017)

Trailer
2:23 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $14.99 (SD) 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
834 ( 335)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Downsizing (2017)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A social satire in which a man realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself to five inches tall, allowing him to live in wealth and splendor.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau
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 | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When Greg Sestero, an aspiring film actor, meets the weird and mysterious Tommy Wiseau in an acting class, they form a unique friendship and travel to Hollywood to make their dreams come true.

Director: James Franco
Stars: James Franco, Dave Franco, Ari Graynor
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When a murder occurs on the train he's travelling on, celebrated detective Hercule Poirot is recruited to solve the case.

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe
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

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

The hair-cutting scene was deliberately made to invoke a sensation of so called ASMR - Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. ASMR is a reported experience that people describe as a "tingling" sensation, typically beginning at the scalp. ASMR videos and audio has grown on home-produced media, and this inspired directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton. "People work to make videos that elicit this response" Jonathan Dayton said "and we were wondering: 'Could we get that response in a theatre full of people?'". The scene invokes several typical ASMR "triggers", such as: face closeups, soft-spoken voices, sounds of scissors and blow-dryers, personal attention. See more »

Goofs

While Bobby Riggs is watching television in the Rolls-Royce, he passes channels showing Mary Tyler Moore and Kojak. Both shows were on CBS, but on different days, and neither was in syndication in 1973. See more »

Quotes

Astrodome TV Director: Zoom in on five. Is that a priest?
Control Room Worker: Yeah. If Bobby wins, she takes the groom's surname, but if Billie Jean wins, the groom takes her name.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Features Mary Tyler Moore (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Me, Myself and I
Written by Winfred 'Blue' Lovett (as Winfred L. Lovett)
Performed by Norma Jenkins
Courtesy of Carnival Records
By arrangement with Westwood Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Emma Stone and Steve Carell carry an uplifting, but overlong sports film
22 October 2017 | by hunter-friesenSee all my reviews

Battle of the Sexes is a an enjoyable retelling of the famous 1973 tennis match between 29-year-old Billie Jean King and 55-year-old Bobby Riggs. It was the match that sparked the women's movement in sport and planted King's status as the greatest tennis player in the world. We witness the personal journey she went though as she fought for equal rights in sports and society.

Emma Stone portrays Billie Jean King as a shy and reserved opportunist who's looking to make the best of her current situation. She's a true trailblazer that's pushing for equal rights for women in sports. Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs could not be more opposite from King. He's a retired tennis champion who can't stop gambling, which frustrates his wife to the point of no return. He's also a male chauvinist who believes in the superiority of men and how women should stay in the kitchen. It couldn't be a better battle between polar opposite personalities and motives.

The film follows the parallel journeys King and Riggs go through to get to their famous match. King struggles to gain equal pay for women tennis players, which eventually leads to the creation of her own women's tennis league. While traveling for matches, she discovers her homosexuality with her hairdresser, Marilyn. She's torn between her new desires and the life she already has with her husband, Larry. Riggs meanwhile is stuck in a midlife crisis and feels that his life has been missing something since he retired. He's passing his time through gambling and wants to plan a major comeback in the tennis world. Eventually their paths cross and results in one of the biggest and important sporting events in history.

Clocking in at 121 minutes, the film takes its sweet time to build up King and Riggs' story. While it's interesting to see their stories unfold, it goes on for too long and drags in the middle parts just before the climactic match. The sharing of screen time is also very lopsided towards King while Riggs is treated almost like a supporting character for the first hour.

Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris use their skills from Little Miss Sunshine to create a personal and emotional film. The tone of the film is pretty lighthearted and never gets too serious about the whole situation of equal rights among genders. It allows for a more feel-good sports film that is enjoyable to watch.

Shot in 70's style makes the film feel closer to a television documentary than a Hollywood production. There's a grab bag of awkward close-ups, grainy images, and off-balance shots that make the film feel more authentic and grounded in reality. The famous match is recreated with stunning detail and the biggest highlight of the film.

The acting is the saving grace of the film as Stone and Carell do an exceptional job portraying the real players. Golden Globe nominations will come for each of them and maybe even an Academy Award nomination for Stone. Sarah Silverman also shines as the rough and confident manager, Gladys. She plays well off Stone in the small amount of time she gets. Andrea Riseborough is solid as King's lover, Marilyn, who opens up King's hidden secrets and is the leading contributor to the emotional arc. Bill Pullman is the only person who doesn't pull of their role, as his sexist boss character is very one dimensional and almost cartoonish by the end.

Battle of the Sexes is a well acted and uplifting sports film that suffers from being too slow and too long. It doesn't run as smoothly as it should, but is enjoyable enough to rank among the better sports films out there, and definitely the best tennis film.


24 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 153 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed