1. Wednesday, April 3, 2013

    “Jews, spics, niggers and now a girl?” – actual line from “The Bad News Bears” trailer, 1976 

    bad news bears

    for baseball fans, there’s no better week than this week, the Opening Week for the national past time.

    if you are a baseball fan of a certain age, the original “Bad News Bears” was a gift from above

    a classic movie that captured some of the best and worst elements of Little League in a totally hilarious way.

    while subtly commenting on one of the more serious aspects of the 70s: divorce.

    is there even one “good” family shown in the film? no.

    (Spoilers)

    the father of one son, a politician, is paying walter matthau’s character, Mr. Buttermaker, to coach the team, and quickly offers to pay him to disband the awful ensemble

    the father of the dreaded yankees is hell bent on winning at any cause,  resorts to violence on his son, and the worst crime of all: uses the intentional walk in a cowardly way

    and when an important game seems out of hand, many in the crowd, assumably family members LEAVE THE GAME. to beat traffic?

    Buttermaker, who hasn’t seen his 11 year old daughter in two years,  is the most likable adult in the whole film, despite all of his flaws including only reaching out to his daughter because she’s pretty good at the curveball he taught her when she was 9.

    we don’t even see the best player’s family, who is noticeably absent after he wins an important game, and has to ride his Harley home, alone.

    the kids are cussing all through the movie, despite Buttermaker’s weak attempt to reign them in.

    perhaps not shocking in the context of the film, but what i was surprised at was how the line “Jews, spics, niggers and now a girl?” made it into the official Paramount trailer.

    37 years ago, it appears you could pretty much get away with anything to sell your PG movie.

    Anti-semitism, racism, sexism? Fine.

    To quote another line from a commercial of that era, You’ve come a long way, baby.