- Format: Closed-captioned
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Movies-DVD
- Average Customer Review: 35 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00005JK9L
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,730 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
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BAD NEWS BEARS
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This likable 1976 comedy gently skewers the whole post- Rocky mania for movies about losers who find their mettle or salvation or purpose in life in competitive sport. Walter Matthau stars as a drunk who becomes manager of a pathetic little-league baseball team. When he brings in a talented girl pitcher (Tatum O'Neal), the crew have an actual chance at winning some games and maybe a championship. But director Michael Ritchie (Downhill Racer) undercuts the romance of it all with the team's foul-mouthed tendencies and Matthau's own decadent spin on mentor-coachdom. Similarly to Ritchie's wicked comedy Smile --which lampooned the fervor surrounding beauty pageants--The Bad News Bears pokes fun at another American institution. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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What follows is the familiar plot of a bunch of underdog kids coming together as the "Team Nobody Believed In" and contending for the championship against a team that represents everything that's wrong when parents spoil simple pleasures for their children (the Yankees, coached by Vic Morrow, in a neatly-observed performance). Look, I don't know if "Bears" even did it first, but this movie certainly does it best, and without the labored sentimentality of its progeny.
"Bears" never turns cartoonish. It captures just the right atmosphere- slanting, late afternoon sunlight during the games, the bikes parked behind the dugouts, the post-game chants. The kids, led by Tatum O'Neal and Jackie Earle Haley all perform well, and each has a sharply defined personality. Even Morrow, as Buttermaker's antagonist, isn't portrayed as bad or evil- just a guy with misplaced priorities that make him act like a jerk.
But Matthau makes this movie, conning kids into making martinis for him and cleaning pools while he regales them with increasingly drunken stories of his baseball glory days... until he passes out on the mound in a litter of beer cans. Matthau plays Buttermaker as a modern day loser who discovers (eventually) he still has a better nature.
Bright, smart and funny, "The Bad News Bears" is a joy to watch, full of quick-witted exchanges and even heartbreak. If you've seen one too many "Mighty Ducks" flicks, do yourself a favor and watch this one. It goes down as smooth as one of Buttermaker's ice cold ones on a hot afternoon.
And look for that kid who played Eddie in "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" as Morrow's son and the Yankees' star pitcher. He has a ballpark epiphany that's true and heartbreaking. Just another aspect of this marvelous little movie.
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ex-pitcher saddled with coaching a team of 12-year old...Read more