At first glance, The Bad News Bears may seem like a routine sports film but after viewing it is clear that it is more than that. On top of being an intelligent if crude film, it also makes a statement on competitiveness in little league sports. Walter Matthau plays the beer swilling ex-minor leaguer hired to coach the Bears--the worst team in the most competitive California pee-wee league. After initial disastrous results, Coach Buttermaker brings in a few ringers and employs bush league tactics with his players and finds himself in the championship game, only to have his conscience eat at him. Matthau is in fine form in one of his most popular roles, and there are many laughs to be had in addition to much more if you look beyond the surface.