When Billie Beat Bobby

Watch When Billie Beat Bobby

  • PG
  • 2001
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • 6.1  (629)

When Billie Beat Bobby is a film based on the real-life tennis match held between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in 1973 dubbed the 'Battle of the Sexes'. The film captures the essence of the era with its portrayal of the social and cultural changes that were taking place in the United States during the early 1970s. Directed by Jane Anderson, the film stars Holly Hunter as Billie Jean King and Ron Silver as Bobby Riggs. Matt Letscher essays the role of Larry King, the husband of Billie Jean King.

The movie begins at a time when women's tennis was seen as a lesser sport and was hampered by paltry prize money and far fewer opportunities than men's tennis. Women were also discriminated against in terms of technology, with the men's game having access to better rackets and balls. Billie Jean King is shown to be at the forefront of the movement for women's rights in sports, advocating for equal pay and a better standing for women. She is depicted as confident and self-assured, yet she has to battle against the invisible barriers placed in front of her due to her gender.

On the other hand, Bobby Riggs is portrayed as a slight caricature; a middle-aged has-been tennis player, who uses his charm and showmanship to stay relevant in the tennis world. He is presented as a chauvinistic character who wants to prove that men are superior to women in sports. Riggs challenges Billie Jean King to a match, and she initially refuses, but eventually relents when Riggs goes on a media blitz taunting her.

Billie is shown as someone who is not just fighting for herself but for all women who have been silenced and their dreams being marginalized for years. She sees this as an opportunity to make a statement and puts herself up for the match against Riggs. Bobby seeks to ridicule women's tennis as weak and inferior to men's tennis, and King wants to defeat him to prove him wrong.

The film features some vintage footage from the actual match between King and Riggs and the commentary that was given during it. Holly Hunter's portrayal of Billie Jean King is worthy of mention; she portrays King's vulnerability and determination with utter grace. Her performance in the movie shows that she deserves recognition with the best of them on the big screen.

The movie is not just about the classic tennis match, but about the cultural revolution that was brewing in the 1970s. It talks about the feminist movement that was gaining immense momentum and the importance of the struggle for women's rights in that era. The movie is commendable in how it showcases the cultural climate of the 1970s, and how the fight for gender equality became one of the hottest topics in American society.

The way that the tennis match between King and Riggs is depicted in the movie is fantastic. It shows the build-up to the match in the form of interviews, press conferences, and even talk shows. The film captures the significance of the event and the global audience that was watching the match in awe. From the dress that King was wearing to her on-court demeanor, to the reactions of the crowd, everything is portrayed to the minutest detail.

The movie also portrays some of the behind-the-scenes drama that took place during the match, including the tension between King and her husband Larry over his infidelity. This subplot poses the question of what it means to be a feminist in a marriage and whether someone's personal life should define their activism. It is an intriguing narrative that the filmmakers weave together beautifully.

In conclusion, When Billie Beat Bobby is a charming, informative, and captivating film that will keep you engrossed from beginning to end. Holly Hunter's performance as Billie Jean King is a highlight of the movie, but the overall portrayal of the match and the social and cultural climate of the 1970s is what makes the film truly great. The message of female empowerment and the fight against gender discrimination is relevant even today, and this film is a tribute to the pioneers who fought hard for women's rights in sports and beyond.

When Billie Beat Bobby is a 2001 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.1.

When Billie Beat Bobby
Where to Watch When Billie Beat Bobby
When Billie Beat Bobby is available to watch free on The Roku Channel Free. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV and Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent When Billie Beat Bobby for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 30 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.1  (629)