HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
Jiu Jitsu
Blind
Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie
Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?
   
 
Newest Articles
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
   
 
  Bad News Bears, The Out Of Their League
Year: 1976
Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Walter Matthau, Tatum O'Neal, Vic Morrow, Joyce Van Patten, Ben Piazza, Chris Barnes, Erin Blunt, Jackie Earle Haley, Gary Lee Cavagnaro, Alfred Lutter, Jaime Escobedo, Scott Firestone, George Gonzales, Brett Marx, David Pollock, Quinn Smith
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) is a washed up ex-baseball player, an alcoholic who now cleans pools for a living. He finds the opportunity to make extra money by coaching the Bears, a children's baseball team, but doesn't have much faith in them when he sees what a bunch of misfits they are. On his first day, all he cares about is the money, especially when the kids accidentally break the windscreen of his car, but after a week of training, he warms to them, even though they're pretty much hopeless...

We all know how sports movies go, don't we? Get a collection of no-hopers and put them through an extensive regime, with the result that they win out against the odds and seize victory from the jaws of defeat. The Bad News Bears, written by Bill Lancaster, isn't qute as predictable as it initially appears, however, although it sticks pretty closely to the formula for the most part. In sports movies, it's sometimes better to enjoy the journey to that final game than to relish the result at the end, which is the case here.

After their first game, which the Bears lose pathetically, the kids are humiliated - it may not have mattered much to Buttermaker, but to the team it was a big deal. This gives Buttermaker second thoughts about simply turning up for the cash, and gradually success matters as much to him as to the Bears. And yet, even with their ambition, they're still hopeless, so Buttermaker tries to persuade Amanda (Tatum O'Neal), a talented eleven-year-old he trained a couple of years before while romancing her mother, to join the team.

Amanda is reluctant, more content to sell maps to the stars' homes for tourists, but she is inevitably won over. The kids themselves are not a bunch of cute poppets by any means, they are more authentic than that; the obnoxious one who eats too much, the obnoxious one who fires off insults to everyone in earshot, or the obnoxious one who picks his nose and eats it are just a few of the more memorable players. Amanda sees Buttermaker as a father figure, just as he grows to feel paternal towards the team, but his own failure as a baseball player makes him bitter, and he pushes the kids away.

Although it's not overemphasised, by the last ball game we see that the children's leagues are as much about the adults as they are the kids. It's the parents who push their kids to shine at the national sport, and it's a personal disaster if they fail, as the Bears keep threatening to do. There's a telling scene where the coach of the opposing team (Vic Morrow) takes out his frustrations on his own son, knocking him to the ground when he messes up.

But while there's a serious side, this is still a character comedy, with smart lines ("C'mon, fellas, Rome wasn't built in a day!", "Yeah, it took several hundred years!") and an excellent performance from Matthau as the world-weary, over the hill coach who discovers renewed purpose in life. It's just that the "couldn't give a shit" humour is in conflict with the players' drive to confound everyone's expectations and win, looking as if the film is in two minds about the competitive culture. Music by Jerry Fielding, which adapts dramatic classical pieces to as an effective comment on the action. Followed by two sequels and a TV series.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 9988 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Michael Ritchie  (1938 - 2001)

American director, from television, whose films of the 1970s showed an interesting, sardonic take on America. After sour skiing drama Downhill Racer, he had an unhappy experience on the bizarre Prime Cut before a run of acclaimed movies: political satire The Candidate, the excellent Smile, coarse comedy The Bad News Bears, and another sporting comedy Semi-Tough.

Moving into the 1980s, Ritchie lost his edge with such lukewarm efforts as The Island, underwhelming comedy The Survivors, the not bad Fletch and its very bad sequel, Eddie Murphy vehicle The Golden Child and The Couch Trip, but he made a brief return to form in the early 1990s with boxing comedy Diggstown.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: