Jessica Bendinger on

The Bad News Bears

Released 1976
Distributor Paramount Pictures

Michael Ritchie’s 1976 comedy about a squad of underachieving Little Leaguers and their boozing coach (played by a rumpled Walter Matthau) is a bracing antidote to most of today’s carefully vetted family-friendly feel good films. Ritchie’s uniquely warmhearted but unsentimental take on his crew of misfits allows even the most peripheral of characters their own memorable moments. Rowdy, profane and, happily, avoiding the cheap theatrics of the triumphant finale usually found in sports films, The Bad News Bears is yet another wonderfully unruly example of the lost, lamented 70s cinema. Forty years later, The Daily News chats with cast and crew on  the  anniversary of Ritchie’s film.

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About Jessica Bendinger

Jessica Bendinger is an acclaimed screenwriter and director whose work has spawned myriad sequels, TV shows and Jeopardy questions. Her directing credits include the feature film Stick It and numerous music videos for artists such as Queen Latifah and Warrior Soul. Her writing credits include the iconic Bring it On!, The Truth about Charlie, First Daughter and Aquamarine. A former journalist for Spin Magazine and MTV News, Jessica is also a published novelist, a songwriter and has several pilots in development.

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