The Bad News Bears

PG 1976 | 102 mins | Comedy Sports Films

Former minor-league ball player and current alcoholic Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) finds himself coaching the worst team in little league. To get them back in the game, it's going to take a lot of patience, a lot of beer, and a foul-mouthed pitcher by the name of Amanda (Tatum O'Neal, fresh off her Oscar win for Paper Moon). This 1976 comedy has become the gold standard of "kids behaving badly" flicks, while offering a timeless message about how you play the game.


Movie Stills


Top 10 Fun Facts

  1. Jerry Fielding's memorable score is adapted from Georges Bizet's legendary opera Carmen (see also: old school Tetris on the Nintendo Entertainment System).
  2. You can throw a few pitches on the same field where the Bears played - it's in Mason Park in Chatsworth, California (outside Los Angeles).
  3. The Bears' sponsor was a real Los Angeles company at the time. Let's hope Chico's Bail Bonds scored some business when the film came out.
  4. By 21st century standards, some of the movie's moments are downright scandalous - including a scene in which a drunken Buttermaker climbs behind the wheel of a convertible and drives his team around without seatbelts (all that profanity from the kids? Not so scandalous).
  5. Equal opportunity drunk: Buttermaker enjoys many different brands of beer throughout the film, including Budweiser, Miller High Life, Schlitz, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Coors. Guess he's a domestic kind of guy.
  6. Before Tatum O'Neal was cast as tough-talking Amanda, producers had offered the role to Kristy McNichol - who was understandably disappointed when they changed their minds and went with the young Oscar winner.
  7. True colors: the other teams in the Bears' league borrow their nicknames and colors from major league clubs - a clever way to reinforce the idea that the Bears are the ultimate misfits.
  8. Continuity crazies: during the final game against the Yankees, Buttermaker's beer switches from small Red Stripe-like bottle to a can of Coors.
  9. Keep an eye out during the scene when Buttermaker gets into his car after leaving the Councilman's office - there's a sign in the background for a local production of "Hello, Dolly!" Walter Matthau played Horace Vandergelder in the film version of Hello, Dolly! (and try saying Vandergelder Buttermaker five times fast).
  10. Happier ending: two versions of the final game were filmed - one where the Bears won, and one where they lost. Either way, they probably got orange slices and juice boxes after the game.
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