‘The Bad News Bears’ Turns 40

As Opening Day of our national pastime has just dawned upon us, what a perfect time to relive a classic sports comedy that coincidentally was released 40 years ago today, The Bad News Bears. The movie is about a bunch of hapless misfits who do more damage than good on the little league field.

With a naturalistic quality that director Michael Ritchie, who had helmed the similarly styled 1975 underrated comedy Smile in which the action is set at a high school beauty pageant, employs throughout but still with the same sharp eye for the kind of middle of the road, middle class America that was perfectly rendered on the screen in The Bad News Bears, Ritchie’s flair for the San Fernando Valley and this kind of mid-1970s quintessential America, where much of the action in The Bad News Bears is set, is prevalent, constant, and throughout the picture.

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