One of director Michael Ritchie's most universally recognized comedies, THE BAD NEWS BEARS is a film that continues to entertain audiences of all ages. The story concerns a hopeless Little League team that eventually scores big when it acquires a new coach, Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau), a grouchy, beer-guzzling pool cleaner who takes the position for some extra cash. When he realizes that his players are a bunch of talentless misfits, he signs up two secret weapons: Amanda Whurlitzer (Tatum O'Neal), the daughter of an ex-girlfriend who also happens to be an awesome pitcher, and Kelly Leak (Jackie Earle Haley), a motorcycle-riding punk who is inarguably the best player in the area. With their new lineup in place, the Bears breeze their way into the championship game, in which they must battle their rivals, the Yankees, in order to exact revenge and win the title.
Matthau's Buttermaker is a gem of a character, tossing off cynical one-liners with a vehemence that is truly hysterical. Ritchie strikes further gold with his youthful cast, who all embody their characters with a comic realism that is both heartwarming and humorous, making THE BAD NEWS BEARS one of the finest sports comedies ever made.