Walter Matthau (as Coach Buttermaker) and Tatum O’Neal (as Amanda Whurlitzer) in the 1976 classic movie, ‘The Bad News Bears.’ “The thing that surprised everybody then was it was about kids- but adults loved it,” said producer Stanley Jaffe.
What still surprises Tatum O’Neal is the enduring interest that males (myself included, honestly…) have in ‘The Bad News Bears.’ “The film had such an impact on boys, says O’Neal. Guys my age (in their ’50s) are always saying, ‘you were my first love.’ Quentin Tarantino told me I was the first fan letter he’d ever written. I was flattered. I think my grandmother threw it away. When I knew Jason Patric in the ’90s, he asked if I still had the Bears baseball uniform and would I put in on. I was like, ‘Are you kidding? That was when I was 11 yrs old…'”
“A surprise hit, The Bad News Bears became the eleventh highest-grossing American film of 1976, outpacing the likes of Taxi Driver, Logan’s Run and The Man Who Fell to Earth at the box office. It blew the minds of countless kids who recognized themselves up there on the silver screen, but it also resonated deeply with adult viewers and critics, as well; Jay Cocks of Time described the film as “a fracturing comedy of honor, victory and defeat,” while Roger Ebert called it “an unblinking, scathing look at competition in American society.” ~Rolling Stone
The infamous Bad News Bears timeless badass, Kelly Leak. Every boy back then wanted to be him, and every girl wanted to be with him.