The Bad News Bears (1976)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Americana, Sports Comedy, Sports Drama  |   Release Date - Apr 7, 1976 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 102 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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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 little league team in the San Fernando Valley, 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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Keywords

Little-League, baseball, generation-gap, underdog, bumbler, coach, coming-of-age, friendship, team