Bad News Bears, 1976

I loved this movie back in the 70s, probably because of a crush on Tatum O’Neal.

Just watched it again, and it’s interesting to see it from a thirty-year remove.

I don’t know anything about the remake, but I bet it doesn’t have an 11-year-old Amanda talking about her friends being on the pill, or telling her adult male coach that she’s about to get a bra, or an 11-year-old Kelly smoking cigarettes.

In some ways, we’ve become a lot more restrictive in thirty years.

Well, at the time such behavior was unusual enough as to be actually shocking. Nowadays, parents are putting their kids on the pill and girls are beginning to develop at the age of 8.

But you’re right about the smoking bit.

What was the original rated? I’ve only seen it as an adult. Was it geared toward children?

If so, it definitely feels much more open than current films.

It was rated PG.

That doesn’t mean you can get it into a movie about a kids’ baseball team without getting an NC-17 rating. I was a young kid when this movie came out, and I remember movies and television being a lot more sexually frank than they are now, at least in some ways. While some of the double enténdres in sitcoms are really coarse, portraying kids as openly sexually active is a real taboo. And when was the last time a character on a TV show had an abortion?

You forgot about the rampant racism of that Tanner kid. It was/is hilarious…but I don’t think you’d get away with it today.

I’m picturing Jonathan Lipnicki (sp?) in that role going off into one of the rants. That would be worth the price of admission right there. :smiley:

I just watched this again last week.

Watching the scene where the entire team is piled into Buttermaker’s converatble with kids sitting on the top of the back seat I caught myself thinking “But they don’t have seatbelts on!!!”

Aside from that I have to say for a goofy little film about misfit kids playing a team sport (Now cliched) it was really, really well done. Matthau had some really interesting subtle moments and the best thing is that the film doesn’t try to make the kids loveable or remotely likable. Aside from the Amanda/Buttermaker scene there is no attempt to bring in outside stories trying to show the problems of the kids that need to be resolved by the final reel.

The characters are consistant and seem real. Buttermaker is a washed up alcoholic loser and nasty cuss who takes the job for money and only moderatly changes (He doesn’t give up drinking he just hold off during later practices).
The scene where he throws beer into Amanda’s face is a real moment.
Even the Yankee’s coach isn’t entirely evil. (I agree with him taking his son to task on trying the bean ball but not how he dealt with it)

Heck even Taner being defending Lupus wasn’t really a moment of understanding just a moment of sticking up fo a weaker guy who happened to be on the same team.

I was suprised by how good this film is.

I saw a trailer for the new one last night; I didn’t realize what it was about but I kept thinking, “Wow, this movie is just like Bad News Bears…”, then they showed the kids in the Bears uniforms and I thought, “Why the hell did they need to remake that???

Beer for all the kids after the final game - another “it would never happen now.”

Even the relationship betwene Amanda and Buttermaker - it was clearly nothing inappropriate, but I can’t think of a modern-day film or TV show that would place a young teenage girl and an older man into that kind of closeness.

Amanda’s scene betting with Tanner over the air-hockey table… nothing overt, but sexual undertones… again, nothing we’d see today.

I’m going to go rent Little Darlings and see how that holds up today.

well, the one kid says something like, “this team is filled with niggers and jews” at one point. And the coach smacks a kid.

It looks like the new one is going to be at least in the spirit of the original.

I like how the kids never really learn a lesson. They just lose and they’re pissed about it and the tell the Yankees to go to hell. No touchy feely crap.

I agree with everyone else. The original is a classic, and there are many things you couldn’t get away with today.

Five bucks says they win in the remake.

Losing at the end is something they certainly couldn’t get away with today.

One of my Laws of Film is that the best sports movies are the ones where the result of the Big Game at the end goes against the spirit of the movie. The Bears lose the Big Game, and when they’re offered a half-hearted apology from the kids who made their lives hell, they tell them to stick it up their ass. This is more of a triumph than winning the game ever could have been.

For another example of the law,……compare this to The Hustler. Fast Eddie wins the Big Game against Fats at the end, and it doesn’t mean a thing.

Disclaimer I work for the company that is releasing the new Bad News Bears so take what I say with a grain of salt.
I loved the original. Although it is PG, back in the '70s you only had G PG and R and you got away with a hell of lot in PG. The new one is PG 13. I was suprised that it got that rating. There is quite a bit of foul language in it but the F word is left out.

The remake is ‘cleaner’ in some ways and a little rougher in others. I’m just not sure how it will go now. It seems to me that people like for bad kids to get what is coming to them. Either you have Charlie and Chocolate Factory (Survivor for Kids) or the Super Nanny, it seems like people prefer their kids to be nice.
As for the big game…

The Bears still lose.

I have been wondering, what was The Bad News Bears before the Bad News Bears? This summer we’ve had Kicking and Screaming and Rebound, two Bad News clones but did the 76 film spawn this entire type of film?

One should keep in mind that the new Bad News Bears was directed by Richard Linklater, a guy who knows what made 70s cinema special (as I think Dazed and Confused illustrates pretty well) and who has at least some clout to make films the way he feels they should be made.

You have to wonder though, what a remake can really add to the movie. Most people seem convinced it can’t hope to be as good as the original. I think it could come pretty close, but I can’t imagine how it could be better, since the original already upturns every “band of losers” cliché.

Well nuts. There goes that five bucks. OTOH, that makes me hopeful.

How about Leon: The Professional? True, some of it got clipped from the US theatrical release (the uncut DVD is well worth buying, IMHO), but there’s still some emotional tension between Matilda and Leon.

True, although Leon wasn’t promoted as a family/kids movie, so I think that that is why Bad News Bears is possibly crossing a thematic line.

Interestingly, my elementary school would have reel-film movies for the students in the 70s/80s, and Bad News Bears was played often. No one that I recall ever had a complaint about the sexual themes. Although I may not have been paying attention, since my heart was already sworn to the girl from the Witch Mountain movies…

I do think that Hollywood has become much more cautious about anything sexual regarding kids.

At least casually sexual. These days, if an adolescent is going to have some kind of sexual experience in a film, it’ll be tangled up in a big pile of emotional repercussions and regrets and shattered innocence blah blah blah. It’s like the Hays days where doing something immoral in the first reel would get you killed by the third.