The Bad News Bears (1976)
The Bad News Bears
Credit: Everett Collection

The Bad News Bears

Coach Morris Buttermaker is one of the 10 worst movie mentors

WHO IS HE? Beer-guzzling Buttermaker (Walter Matthau; played by Billy Bob Thornton in the 2005 remake) is the coach nobody wants for the Little League team of misfits no other team wants.

BAD INFLUENCE He’s a foul-tempered alcoholic (he throws a beer can at one kid and calls another a ”booger-eating moron”). Early in the movie, at least, he’s also an unmotivated slacker who can’t be bothered to give his young players — who more than match him in profanity, bigotry, and bad attitude — any real guidance. Also, he’s probably violating league rules by bringing in a ringer, his ex-girlfriend’s daughter Amanda (Tatum O’Neal, left), to pitch. Later, he becomes as brutally competitive as his martinet rival, Coach Roy Turner (Vic Morrow).

REDEEMING QUALITIES With Amanda’s help, Buttermaker does whip the team into shape. Along with the players, he learns that perseverance, teamwork, and self-respect are more important than winning.

The Bad News Bears
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