Page 2's Top 20 Sports Movies of All-Time
No. 16: Bad News Bears (70 points)
Year released: 1976.
Cast: Walter Matthau, Tatum O'Neal, Jackie Earle Haley.
What we like: The kids are ruthless, funny, honest and vulnerable -- which is to say, they're like real kids; great use of the music from the opera "Carmen;" O'Neal rocks as the wants-to-be-cool-and-sexy "almost 12-year-old" who just can't pull it off; Matthau's perfect as the drunk with a heart of gold; and Vic Morrow captures all the evils of Little League parents.
What we're willing to overlook: Buttermaker doesn't seem to really know anything about baseball, hell of a motivator, though, it's not exactly the most politically correct movie ever made, especially one themed for kids; the incredible size (and age) differences between the kids.
Led by a tomboy and a rebel, a "melting pot" group of Little Leaguers goes from amusingly awful to inspiringly cohesive. What could possibly be more American than that? -- Page 2 editor Kevin Jackson
Nobody's even remotely put together, and yet everybody, in some sorry, twisted way, is pretty damn appealing. And the scale's right: You believe the long-shot story, the happy ending works. -- Page 2 columnist Eric Neel
What is the most important lesson about sportsmanship? How about spraying cheap beer at each other following a loss? -- Page 2 columnist Dan Shanoff