Walter Matthau and Tatum O'Neal make quite a pair in this 70's classic, one of the best movies about kids you could ever see. He's the prickly alcoholic loser who takes the job of coaching a god awful Little League team because he needs the money, and she's the daughter of one his ex-girlfriends, whom he taught to pitch better than any of the boys. The best thing about this movie is how utterly frank and unsentimental it is. This is the '70's, so there's a complete lack of political correctness- Matthau is never without a beer can in his hand and manages to triumph without once softening any edges to his personality, and the kids are a bunch of rude, shit talking little twerps who actually resemble real kids and not precocious "movie kids" that you see so often in other films. O'Neal is at the peak of her child star glory and steals all her scenes as the tough girl pitcher who can take any challenge thrown at her, and the barbed rapport between her and Matthau is terrific. The fact that you could never make this movie today was seen in the awful 2005 remake, that was forced to dumb down so much of what people loved about the original. It makes this a time capsule for the ages.
Original 1976 Trailer: