Bad News Bears (1976)

Bad News Bears (1976)

2.3 3
Director: Michael Ritchie

Cast: Michael Ritchie, Walter Matthau, Tatum O'Neal, Vic Morrow

     
 

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The success this underdog comedy from director Michael Ritchie almost single-handedly spawned the kids' sports film boom of the 1980s and '90s. When beer-breathed ex-minor-league ball player and professional pool cleaner Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) agrees to coach a Los Angeles little league teamSee more details below

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Overview

The success this underdog comedy from director Michael Ritchie almost single-handedly spawned the kids' sports film boom of the 1980s and '90s. When beer-breathed ex-minor-league ball player and professional pool cleaner Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) agrees to coach a Los Angeles little league team, he soon finds he's in over his head, having inherited an assortment of pint-sized peons and talentless losers. They play well-organized teams and lose by tremendous margins, and the parents threaten to disband the Bears to save the kids (and themselves) any further embarrassment. Buttermaker refuses, though, and brings in a pair of ringers: Amanda (Tatum O'Neal), his ex-girlfriend's tomboy daughter, and Kelly (Jackie Earle Haley), a cigarette-smoking delinquent who happens to be a gifted athlete. With their help, the Bears manage to change their losing ways and qualify for the championship, where they face their arch-rivals, the Yankees.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Amy Robinson
One of the first and best sports films ever made for kids, The Bad News Bears established a formula that became its own subgenre. Years of imitations, though, only make The Bad News Bears seem more genuine. A former baseball player-turned-pool cleaner (Walter Matthau) coaches a failing Little League team with the help of a preteen girl pitching sensation (Tatum O'Neal). Tomboy prototype O'Neal is as charming here as she was in her film debut, Paper Moon. Part of the film's unique charm is its courageous support of the "it's how you play the game" ethos and its thoughtful rejection of the "win at all costs" mentality. As always, Matthau plays his grumpy sad-sack role to perfection; and the rag-tag collection of players is enthusiastic and endearing. A winning combination of broad humor and smart observations, The Bad News Bears is a beloved treasure of family entertainment -- and a terrific baseball movie, to boot.
All Movie Guide
Bad News Bears is one of the most delightful blends of family and adult entertainment ever made. The underdog-made-good story may please and kids in the audience, but it's only one facet of the film's entertaining, realistic portrait of little league baseball. The real appeal comes from spot-on performances by Tatum O'Neal and Walter Matthau. Their relationship, as a grizzled divorcé and the pubescent girl trying to make him her father, is finely tuned and immensely enjoyable. Their natural stubbornness yet vulnerability comes through, helping to keep the story out of the realm of the sentimental. The entire script, by Bill Lancaster, is full of authenticity, capturing both the different personalities of the kids and the often embarrassing and bizarre world of Little League. Director Michael Ritchie achieves all of the story's drama without losing any of the innocence of the youngsters. Considering that his three previous films (Prime Cut, The Candidate, and Smile) were all distinctly adult fare, Bad News Bears was a surprising movie from Ritchie. But he brings his mature sensibility to his characters, never expecting them to be perfect but never judging them either.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/01/2013
UPC:
0883929303854
Original Release:
1976
Source:
Paramount Catalog
Region Code:
1
Sales rank:
11,356

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Walter Matthau Coach Morris Buttermaker
Tatum O'Neal Manda Whurlizer
Vic Morrow Coach Roy Turner
Joyce Van Patten Cleveland
Ben Piazza Councilman Whitewood
Jackie Earle Haley Kelly Leak
Alfred Lutter Ogilvie
Brandon Cruz Joey Turner
Shari Summers Mrs. Turner
Joe Brooks Umpire
Maurice Marks Announcer
Quinn Smith Lupus
Gary Lee Cavagnaro Engelberg
Erin Blunt Ahmad Abdul Rahim
Jaime Escobedo Jose Agilar
George Gonzales Miguel Agilar
David Pollock Rudi Stein
Chris Barnes Tanner Boyle
David Stambaugh Toby Whitewood
Scott Firestone Bear
Brett Marx Jimmy Feldman
Timothy Blake Mrs. Lupus
Bill Sorrells Mr. Tower
George Wyner White Sox Manager
Charles Matthau Athletic
Howard Culver Newscaster

Technical Credits
Michael Ritchie Director
John A. Alonzo Cinematographer
Gene S. Cantamessa Sound Mixer
Jerry Fielding Score Composer
Richard A. Harris Editor
Stanley Jaffe Producer
Cheryal Kearney Set Decoration/Design
Bill Lancaster Screenwriter
Polly Platt Producer,Production Designer
Jack Roe Asst. Director
Jesse Wayne Stunts
John K. Wilkinson Sound/Sound Designer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Coach Buttermaker [:12]
2. First Practice [2:28]
3. Pizza Party for the Parents [2:55]
4. Opening Day [5:03]
5. Up a Tree With Ahmad [:38]
6. Regrouping [5:10]
7. Stuck With Each Other [1:58]
8. The New Pitcher [7:47]
9. Kelly Leak [:48]
10. Athletic Support [4:00]
11. This Game Is Too Important [2:56]
12. Just a Bum [:20]
13. The Championship Game [6:55]
14. Beanball [:45]
15. Everybody Plays [6:46]
16. Wait Until Next Year [:39]
17. Credits [6:54]

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