Whenever I watch the original 1976 version of The Bad News Bears (about once a year, on average), I always try to keep track of how many different brands of beer Morris Buttermaker (as brilliantly played by the late, great Walter Matthau) downs during the course of the film. I inevitably wind up getting distracted by the excellence of the script and the wonderful chemistry between Matthau and the kids on his team (including Tatum O'Neal's Amanda Whurlitzer, above right) and forget to count... but I'll have a pen and notebook with me tomorrow night (Thursday, August 28), when The Bad News Bears will be screened by the American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.
That's not all I'll have on hand, however. The fine folks at the American Cinematheque have asked me to introduce the film — a huge honor, especially considering my life was basically changed forever when I saw BNB in a theater in the spring of 1976 — and do a book-signing at the theater for Stars and Strikes: Baseball and America in the Bicentennial Summer of '76, as well.
So if you're in the LA area tomorrow evening, come on out to the historic Aero Theatre at 1328 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, when the greatest baseball movie ever made and the greatest book ever written about the 1976 season will truly be "together again for the first time". The event starts at 6:30 pm; I will be hanging out in the theater lobby to sign copies of Stars and Strikes, which will be available for purchase courtesy of Hollywood's Larry Edmunds Bookshop. The film will be shown at 7:30 pm. Tickets for this special screening are $11; they are $9 for seniors 65+ and students with valid ID, and $7 for members of the American Cinematheque; advance tickets can be purchased HERE via Fandango.
It should be a really fun evening, and I hope you'll join me for it.