The Bad News Bears go to Japan

Theatrical Release: June 30, 1978
DVD Release: February 12, 2002
The Bad News Bears go to Japan


Filling the shoes occupied by Walter Matthau in the Bad News Bears and William Devane in The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training, Tony Curtis takes on the role of the teams newest coach in this, the third installment in the series. Jackie Earle Haley returns as Kelly Leak, the Bears’ star player, as the team ventures to the other side of the world to face off against the best little league team in Japan. While there, the Bears find their way into mischief and Kelly finds love with a local girl. Though this was the last entry in the film series a television series followed a year later.

Dove Review

Although this film has some funny moments, it also is irreverent and sadly has kids using profanity. The language alone prevents us from awarding our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to the movie. There are also incidents of disrespect shown toward adults and even God. The American coach (Tony Curtis) does become friends with the Japanese coach after an initial rivalry, and the boys bond as the movie progresses, but unfortunately the aforementioned content dooms this as a family-friendly film.

Content Description

Sex: A young couple kiss a few times; a coach almost visits a house of prostitution but doesn't go through with it.
Language: GD-3; J-1; G/OMG-5; H-3; S-5; A-5; D-1; B-1; A couple of words like "creep" and "stupid"; A word is "beeped" on TV; a black man calls his brother a "ni*g*r".
Violence: Two teams fight and throw punches.
Drugs: Several scenes of drinking and smoking.
Nudity: Shirtless men.
Other: A martial arts champion is hit in the privates; a comment is made about the Lord not having a percentage of the game; a kid says God needs a pair of glasses; a plan to fix a fight.


Company: Paramount
Director: John Berry
Producer: Michael Ritchie
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 92 min.
Industry Rating: PG
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter