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Baseball Movies for Grownups

Catch up on some classic old-timers on DVD

Back to Play Ball! Main PageBad News Bears (1976) Walter Matthau is in full grump as the wonderfully named Morris Buttermaker, the grudging coach of the worst team in a Southern California Little League. Determined to field a winning team he brings in a couple of ringers, including a hot-armed girl played by Tatum O’Neal. I do regret that Bad News Bears ushered in the era of foul-mouthed kids in the movies — I’m convinced that at least some of the incivility that plagues our society today can be traced back to the “modernization” of child characters in films. But the final scene of Buttermaker and his Bears after the championship game against their hated rivals (the Yankees, of course) remains a stand-up-and-cheer moment.

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