|The Bad News Bears |
Go to Japan
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Berry|
|Produced by||Michael Ritchie |
Fred T. Gallo (associate producer)
|Written by||Bill Lancaster|
Jackie Earle Haley
|Music by||Paul Chihara|
|Edited by||Richard A. Harris |
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$7.3 million (US/Canada rentals)|
The Bad News Bears Go to Japan (also known as The Bad News Bears 3) is a 1978 sport comedy film released by Paramount Pictures and was the third and last of a series, following The Bad News Bears and The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training. It stars Tony Curtis and Jackie Earle Haley and features Regis Philbin in a small role and Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki in a role.
Small-time promoter/hustler Marvin Lazar (Curtis) sees a potential money-making venture in the Bears that will help him to pay off his debts. After seeing a TV spot about the Bears, he decides to chaperone the baseball team for a trip to Japan in their game against the country's best little league baseball team.
As implied in Breaking Training, the Bears had to defeat the Houston Toros for a shot at the Japanese champs. In the process, the trip sparks off a series of adventures and mishaps for the boys. A subplot involves the interest of Kelly Leak (Haley) in a local Japanese girl, and the cultural divide that comes to bear in that relationship.
About half of the original or "classic" lineup of Bears players return (many like Jose Agilar, Alfred Ogilvie, Timmy Lupus and Tanner Boyle are not featured). Three new players are featured: E.R.W. Tillyard III, Abe Bernstein and Ahmad's younger brother, Mustapha Rahim.
- Tony Curtis as Marvin Lazar
- Jackie Earle Haley** as Kelly Leak*
- Tomisaburo Wakayama as Coach Shimizu
- Antonio Inoki as Himself
- Hatsune Ishihara as Arika
- George Wyner as The Network Director
- Lonny Chapman as Louis the Gambler
- Matthew Anton as E.R.W. Tillyard, III (as Matthew Douglas Anton)
- Erin Blunt** as Ahmad Rahim*
- George Gonzales** as Miguel Agilar*
- Brett Marx** as Jimmy Feldman*
- David Pollock** as Rudi Stein*
- Jeffrey Louis Starr*** as Mike Engelberg*
- Regis Philbin as Harry Hahn
- * Recurring character from previous Bad News Bears films
- ** Recurring actor from previous Bad News Bears films
- *** Recurring actor from second Bad News Bears film only
Vincent Canby of The New York Times wrote, "The film is a demonstration of the kind of desperation experienced by people trying to make something out of a voyage to nowhere." Variety noted, "Latest version is more successful than the middle outing, but the situation and characters are getting tired." Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film two stars out of four and wrote, "The story this time is much more confused, with plenty of subplots ... what we should be seeing is play-by-play with the kids and some baseball. There is very little of either." Linda Gross of the Los Angeles Times called it "a very good second sequel" and "a wry and entertaining movie." Gary Arnold of The Washington Post wrote, "Every aspect of the premise that might supply a source of comic and melodramatic renewal—the conflicts that arise between kids and parents, the conflicts between kids and other kids, the culture shock of American Little League Baseball confronting its Japanese counterpart—is neglected or shortchanged in favor of lazy self-imitation."
The film opened in 300 theaters in the Southern United States in early June, grossing $910,000 in its opening weekend. In 38 days it had grossed $9 million and went on to earn theatrical rentals of $7.3 million.
The Bad News Bears Go to Japan was released on DVD February 12, 2002 by Paramount, in widescreen only.
- Cohn, Lawrence (October 15, 1990). "All-Time Film Rental Champs". Variety. p. M144.
- "The Bad News Bears Go To Japan (1978)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2019-01-01.
- "The Worst Movie Ever Made, According To Jackie Earle Haley". cinemablend. Retrieved 2019-01-01.
- Canby, Vincent (July 14, 1978). "Film: More 'Bad News Bears'". The New York Times. C15.
- "Film Reviews: The Bad News Bears Go To Japan". Variety. June 14, 1978. 21.
- Siskel, Gene (July 12, 1978). "Little pitchers have big mouths in 'Bears' No. 3". Chicago Tribune. Section 3, p. 6.
- Gross, Linda (June 23, 1978). "Bad News Bears Go to Bat in Japan". Los Angeles Times. Part IV, p. 20.
- Arnold, Gary (June 21, 1978). "Unbearable 'Bears'". The Washington Post. B13.
- ""The Bears" Score Again. (advertisement)". Variety. June 7, 1978. p. 24.
- "The Bad News Bears Go To Japan - Details". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved January 1, 2019.