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Legend of Billie Jean

The Legend of Billie Jean

4.0 1
Director: Matthew Robbins

Cast: Helen Slater, Keith Gordon, Christian Slater


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With their father dead and their mother busy trying to land a steady beau, pretty teen Billy Jean Davy (Helen Slater) and her younger brother, Binx (Christian Slater), spend their time riding Binx's moped and dreaming of life in Vermont -- several climate zones away from the humid, omnipresent heat of their Texas town. One day, on their way from their trailer park


With their father dead and their mother busy trying to land a steady beau, pretty teen Billy Jean Davy (Helen Slater) and her younger brother, Binx (Christian Slater), spend their time riding Binx's moped and dreaming of life in Vermont -- several climate zones away from the humid, omnipresent heat of their Texas town. One day, on their way from their trailer park home to a swimming hole, the Davy kids run afoul of rich boy Hubie Pyatt (Barry Tubb) and his cronies, who steal -- and later trash -- the scooter Binx bought with his father's paltry life insurance benefits. Demanding payment from Hubie and his merchant dad (Richard Bradford) for the damage that's been inflicted on both the bike and her brother's face, Billie Jean narrowly escapes being raped by the elder Pyatt. In the ensuing scuffle, Binx accidentally shoots Mr. Pyatt, sending himself, Billie Jean, and their friends, Ophelia (Martha Gehman) and Putter (Yeardley Smith), on the lam. When the "Billie Jean Gang" becomes a media sensation, Pyatt capitalizes on their notoriety by selling T-shirts and bric-a-brac, while policeman Ringwald (Peter Coyote), who feels guilty for having refused to help Billie Jean, tries to bring the kids in without anyone getting hurt. However, when the gang mock-kidnaps rich amateur filmmaker Lloyd (Keith Gordon), unaware that he's the district attorney's son, the situation spins out of control. Soon, Lloyd's videotape of the suddenly crop-topped, Joan of Arc-emulating, eminently telegenic Billie Jean elevates a local headline into a national sensation, and even Lloyd's attraction to Billie Jean can't protect her from the media lightning rod she's become. The Legend of Billie Jean marks the screen debut of Christian Slater, who is no relation to co-star Helen Slater. Actor Gordon, who made his debut as a screenwriter with Mark Romanek's Static the year Billie Jean came out, would go on to direct a number of critically acclaimed films.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
This teen flick-cum-parable is probably best remembered for spawning Pat Benatar's hit theme song, kicking off Christian Slater's celluloid career, and introducing the world to the voice of Lisa Simpson. However, The Legend of Billie Jean is actually an overlooked '80s gem whose working-class, trailer-dwelling, proto-feminist protagonist is a lot more heroic than actress Helen Slater's previous star turn in Supergirl. The best thing about this film is the sympathetic but rarely condescending eye it casts on the poor, picked-on but proud folks who live on the wrong side of the tracks in Corpus Christi, TX. Though unrelated, Helen Slater and Christian Slater slide with equal ease into the roles of siblings Binx and Billie Jean Davy, he the impetuous little scrapper, and she the goodhearted older sis. The supporting cast is even better, from Keith Gordon as rich proto-alternateen Lloyd to underrated comic actress Martha Gehman as Ophelia, the "Billie Jean Gang's" no-nonsense getaway driver. The most distinctive role, however, belongs to future Simpsons performer Yeardley Smith, whose foul-mouthed adolescent character, Putter, gets the best laughs. The likelihood of a white-trash Texas girl becoming America's voice of the people may be slim, but the filmmakers do a great job of describing how it would actually play out, from the Madonna-style wannabes who emulate Billie Jean's androgynous 'do to the "just plain folks" who share their opinions in simulated eyewitness interviews. Perhaps the film's excellent storytelling is the result of its pedigree; director Matthew Robbins and producers Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal are all screenwriters; Robbins, for instance, penned The Sugarland Express, another excellent tale of Texas outlaws. These filmmakers conspired to give their popcorn flick a thoughtful side, a sense of humor, and a dose of low-income girl power -- qualities that have held up years after the teen zeitgeist has moved on.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Mill Creek Ent
Region Code:
[Wide Screen, Color]
[Dolby Digital]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Commentary track with stars Helen Slater and Yeardley Smith

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Helen Slater Billie Jean
Keith Gordon Lloyd
Christian Slater Binx
Richard Bradford Pyatt
Peter Coyote Ringwald
Martha Gehman Ophelia
Yeardley Smith Putter
Dean Stockwell Muldaur
John Wolfshohl Kid No. 1
Barry Tubb Hubie
Mona Lee Fultz Donna Davey
Bobby Jones Kenny
John M. Jackson Kenny's Father
Rodney Rincon Police Sergeant
Caroline Williams Woman in Pickup
Rudy Young Man in Pickup
Bobby Fite Mini-Mart Boy
Kim Valentine Mini-Mart Girl
Janet Smalley Putter's Mother
Charles Redd News Announcer
Joshua Butts Tape Delivery Boy
Ray Hanna Jimmy J. Judge
B.J. Thompson Interview Boy
Celia Newman Interview Girl
Tony Slowik Interview Teen
Steve Uzzell Poster Customer
Robert Scott Cate Boy #1
James Miller Boy #2
Rod Pilloud Robbery Victim
David Lee Morgan Kid #2
Barbara Durham Teen Customer
Cass Gabriel Young Boy
Thomas M. Jarrett Policeman No. 1
Forrest Patton Policeman No. 2
Antony Peraino Kid in Crowd No. 1
Kenneth Beall Kid in Crowd No. 2
Sage Parker TV Reporter
Robert Wassell Parking Attendant
John Edson Marksman
Cathleen Sutherland Girl in Camaro
Angela Churchill Cadillac Driver
Stephanie Shook Cadillac Passenger
Sharon-Marie Stolar Teen Girl
Peter Bonanno Reporter No. 1
Sharon Holmin Reporter No. 2
Joy Swan Young Customer
Kathryn Childers Anchor Woman
J.C. Minter Bert
Kenneth Searle Worker No. 1
Al Geatano Worker No. 2
Sonya Robbins Young Girl

Technical Credits
Matthew Robbins Director
Michael Abbogast Special Effects
Bobby Bass Stunts
Walter Bernstein Screenwriter
Simon Climie Songwriter
Rob Cohen Producer
Alan Friedman Makeup
Peter Guber Executive Producer
Edward S. Haworth Production Designer
Jeffrey Kimball Cinematographer
Holly Knight Songwriter
Lawrence Konner Co-producer,Producer,Screenwriter
Donna Linson Costumes/Costume Designer
Mark Mueller Songwriter
Jon Peters Executive Producer
Mark Rosenthal Co-producer,Producer,Screenwriter
Craig Safan Score Composer,Songwriter
Cynthia Scheider Editor
R. Chris Westlund Set Decoration/Design

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The Legend of Billie Jean 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pretty cool movie that makes every girl wanna cut there hair!!!