Battle of the Sexes

Battle of the Sexes

DVD - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women's movement, the 1973 tennis match between women's world champion Billie Jean King and ex-men's-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world. As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Mar 20, 2018

so boring...

Mar 09, 2018

Surprisingly well done given neither Stone nor Carell are athletes, much less professional tennis players. Very high level of acting across the cast; Emma Stone is excellent, as usual.

Mar 08, 2018

Yeah, I remember this. Given what I do remember, I trust the parts I didn't know about. Great, sensitive, and, yes, it really was that bad ...

Feb 18, 2018

Having actually learned how to serve decently in tennis, thanks to Billie Jean King [when I was stationed in San Angelo, TX for military training], I also recall what a complete load of hype this so-called event was, simply a feeble attempt to make some bucks by that character, Riggs.
It wasn't paid much attention then, doubt if it will now, and had nothing whatsoever to do with any so-called battle of the sexes.

JCLHeatherM Feb 18, 2018

Funny and poignant, two larger than life pros collide on the tennis court, each with something to prove, but only one can be the champion in the televised 'Battle of the Sexes'.

Feb 16, 2018

I was bored throughout - I think a documentary with the "real" people would have been a more interesting way to tell this story.

Feb 15, 2018

It's easy to find fault with this entertaining "true life" feature and many will. I suspect most critics will fault the many "missing opportunities" hinted at here:
1. Billie Jean King's decades-long fight for women's equality.
2. The pain and anguish caused by her bisexuality: the trauma in her marriage, her relationship with conservative parents. As she herself has commented, "I couldn't find a closet big enough."
3. The fascinating juxtaposition between herself and team-mate and six-time #1 women 's tennis champion, Margaret Court (who, years later, became a Christian minister and led a boycott against Quantis Airlines, which publicly supported same-sex marriage.)

Only in the scripting--and performance-- of tennis pro Bobby Riggs appears to have fulfilled its potential!

Never mind. It's a good movie, and manages to juggle some of the obvious dramatic conflicts fairly well, albeit sometimes in a fictitious way. (No fault there, either: most movies "based on true events" deviate from reality for the sake of story.) So, hats off to (Slumdog Millionaire) scriptwriter Simon Beaufoy and likely others for avoiding being bogged down by polemics.

Good performances by all, especially--again--by Steve Carell as Riggs. "Again", because a few years ago, the performer many regard as a comedian is able to transcend genders and certainly deserved his Oscar nomination for dramatic character in Foxcatcher.

The mystery: why did this movie fail at the box-office? Upon release, the competition wasn't THAT huge. The stars were well-loved (Emma Stone coming off a Best Actress Oscar the year before--surely her fans would flock to see her again?); directors responsible for the hit Little Miss Sunshine; retelling of a very famous episode in social history that galvanized North America and most of the world. Howcum it bombed?

Biggest reason I suspect: the people old enough to really remember this event (early '70s) don't go to movies in theatres any more, and most of those who do, (teens-30s) are clueless about most history--recent or otherwise. And besides, perhaps "War of the Sexes" and all that this implies is "old hat."
We've come so far.
Haven't we?

Feb 04, 2018

a great reminder of how far women and come - and how far we still have to go.
the most cringe-worthy moment, besides all of Riggs, was Howard Cosell's hand on Rosie Casal's shoulder during the commentary of the match.

I paired it with the 2013 PBS American Masters show about Billie Jean King - she has worked tirelessly for tennis and for including both girls and boys in sport.

Feb 02, 2018

I had forgotten how bad things were for women back in the good old days.. This movie brought in all back.. This movie is outstanding..

Feb 01, 2018

Enjoyable look at a decades-ago event that seems to have taken on additional significance today. Casting is right on (especially Steve C who is a dead ringer for Bobby Riggs). It was a tad slow in parts but overall pretty good.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at NVDPL

To Top