Battle of the Sexes (2017) Movie Script

A great way
to win a championship.
With a strenuous
brilliant smash...
...Billie Jean King is the...
...1972 champion
of the United States!
today, Billie Jean King continued
what has already
been a record year...
...with an exciting
6-4, 7-6 win
over Rosie Casals
in a sudden-death tiebreaker.
Billie Jean's triumph
makes her
the most successful woman
player of all time...
...and prompts a phone call
from a very special fan:
President Nixon.
Hello, Mr. President.
Well, I just wanted
to congratulate you.
And I'm glad to see
a fellow Californian
gets over $100,000.
And I'm glad
to be the first woman
to do it, too.
Well, I wish you well,
and you've had
a really marvelous year.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Thank you very much, sir.
Being queen for the day
is not enough for this King.
I bet you my head's too big.
She's been
outspoken in her demands
for higher pay
for all women players.
Watch out, guys.
There's no stopping
this little lady.
Billie Jean King celebrated
her win with a big...
Ladies and gentlemen...
...please welcome 1972
U.S. Open Women's
Singles Champion...
...Billie Jean King.
Have you seen this?
No. Hey, Gladys.
You want a dance?
I want a gun.
They just snuck this out
in the middle of the night.
This is outrageous.
And it's got Jack Kramer's
fingerprints all over it.
You're absolutely
right it does.
I know where he's hiding.
You want to come?
No. No, you go
do your thing.
But good luck.
- Thank you very much, honey.
- Sure, Mr. Kramer.
- Thank you.
- Of course.
They won't get
away with it.
You can't go in there.
Excuse me.
Wait a minute.
Surprised in their lair.
This is an unexpected
My goodness, you both look
sensational, if I may say.
You may not.
You're not supposed
to be in here, you know.
Because I'm a woman
or because I'm a Jew, Bob?
Please, you're welcome here.
Have a seat.
What can we do for you?
Would you like
a glass of something maybe?
No, thank you, Jack.
I find it's best
to be clear before
committing cold-blooded
murder, so...
...the press release.
Ah, yes.
It says here
that you're offering
the men's winner $12,000...
...and $1,500 to the women's.
Those are the terms.
The men's prize
needs to be that high
to attract the best players.
We're trying to make this
the most prestigious
tournament in America.
And paying the women
less than ever
makes it more prestigious.
Well, it's simply a question
of what we can afford.
People pay to see
the men play.
They're the draw.
They're eight times
more of a draw?
You're offering
the men's winner
eight times that of the women.
Do we bring in
an eighth of the crowd?
I don't know
percentages, but...
They sold the exact
same amount of tickets
to the women's final today
as the men's.
- Isn't that right, Jack?
- Today, yeah, I suppose so.
Same sales, same prize money.
Makes sense to me.
Oh, come on.
Be reasonable.
There's no way
that we could afford that.
What's your argument, Jack?
For one thing,
the men have families
that they have to support.
I'm the main breadwinner
in my family.
Yeah. Yeah.
The men are simply...
more exciting to watch.
They are.
- They're faster.
- Fact.
- And stronger.
- Fact.
And more competitive.
Just a fact.
It's not your fault,
it's just... biology.
That's not my point. We sell
the same amount of tickets.
I'm sorry.
It's not going to happen.
Well, if that's
the way it is...
...we'll boycott
the tournament.
Well, now...
...we'll sure miss your pretty
faces, but go right ahead.
Not only will we boycott,
we'll set up
our own tournament.
At the exact same time
as the Pacific Southwest.
Be sure and send me tickets.
You have a good night, ladies.
That'll never happen.
Are we really
gonna do this?
Sure we're gonna do this.
How are we gonna do this?
No idea.
Did you have a busy day?
Run off my feet.
Not a minute to think.
Whatever it is
I'm supposed to be
doing down there, Priscilla,
I'm not doing it.
Well, Daddy told me
that he thinks
you're an integral part
of the company.
Huh. Integral.
Like the stapler on my desk.
Well, it's steady,
and it's what
you need right now.
I know. I know.
I wonder how much peppercorns
are in here.
I don't know, Junior.
I'd say about a thousand.
No way! There got to be at
least five thousand in there.
I'd put a dollar
on a thousand.
- Young man.
- Whoa, no, no, no.
Young man, we do not gamble
at the dinner table.
We do not gamble anyplace,
We do not gamble anyplace.
No, we do not.
One dollar.
Come on.
All right.
Oh, you know what?
I just remembered, I need
to go back to the office
and finish up some work.
Your father has been
so supportive, honey,
that I don't want
to let him down.
Delicious. Thank you.
See you later, kiddo.
I'm doubling down on Jack.
Bobby, we got $1,200
on the table!
$1,200, buddy!
Bobby, you're not allowed
to have dogs
that good-looking.
Miss one!
We got him on the run,
here we go!
We got him on the run!
Put the chair out there!
Two chairs
and I'll raise you $500 each.
Give the racket to the dog!
Oh, too good for you.
Jack, for the love of God!
- Damn it.
- Good game, Jack.
I thought I had you
this time, I really did.
That was a fine,
fine effort.
Great try, great try.
No, don't come over here.
What do you expect, Jack?
Bobby's the world champ.
No, I had an advantage.
It was three against one.
It was three against one.
You know what?
He keeps betting me,
I don't know
what to do about it.
The thing about Jack is,
he can afford to lose.
You got to think
about Priscilla, Bobby.
What is she gonna say?
- You still married, Bobby?
- Oh, barely.
He sure will be if he shows up
in a Rolls-Royce.
He sure as hell won't be if he
shows up in a Rolls-Royce.
Even Bobby
will find it tough
to talk his way out
of that one.
"Oh, honey, this crazy day!
"This guy on the corner just
gave me a Silver Shadow."
Think that'll cut it?
Talk his way out of it?
The man just won himself
a Rolls-Royce!
Herb, you're not getting it.
Bobby doesn't gamble anymore.
Oh, he don't gamble anymore!
No, no, no.
Gamblers Anonymous
once a week,
shrink twice a week.
I'm a reformed man.
- There you are.
- Oh, there you go.
You know what? Actually,
Lornie's got a point.
That vehicle's kind
of big to hide.
Jack, why don't you just
keep it for a little while?
You saying
I'm not good for a bet?
No, no, no.
Just keep the engine warm
and don't nick up the paint.
"$100,000 Girl?"
You don't see even a senior
tour making a hundred G's.
Oh, she reckons she ought
to get more than that.
Same as the men.
She's not happy
with $100,000?
That Billie Jean King,
what is her problem?
Bobby, you got to remember,
nowadays it's all
equality this, equality that.
They're burning bras,
for God's sake.
Why would they
ever pay the women
the same as the guys?
All I can tell you
is that there is nothing wrong
with a nice girl in a short
skirt chasing a ball.
You know,
I won the goddamn U.S. Open.
I could beat Billie Jean King
or any of those women.
But are they offering me
equal prize money on the tour?
No, sir, I'm getting peanuts.
Hey, there's a bet for you.
What's that?
Bobby Riggs
vs. Billie Jean King.
I'd pay a lot to see that.
Hey, everybody?
I know
what you're all risking,
because I'm risking
the exact same thing.
No, not more.
The same.
We're all putting our careers
on the line for this.
So I just want to thank you
for your bravery.
And your balls.
Are we gonna get our hair
done before every event?
Because I could
get used to this.
The salon is a once-only
because the press is here.
And because
I love you so much.
Tomorrow the press won't be
here and I won't love you.
This is a budget tour,
which means
you will be sharing rooms.
So you might as well start
getting to know
each other now.
I call bunking with Val!
I thought you were gonna
get us a sponsor, Gladys.
I... was. I..., Rosie.
It's just that right now
we are broke, so shut up.
Well, wait. What about
our prize money?
Oh, Val, why are you
worried about prize money?
You only get that if you win.
All right, you've got
30 minutes before
you show your faces
to the press.
- Hi.
- Hi.
I've been moving around
too much, haven't I?
I'm sorry, I've been, uh...
I'm excited.
Or nervous or something.
You're all tennis players?
Yeah. You don't watch tennis?
Oh, no. I don't have a TV.
But I admire
what you guys are doing.
Sounds like you girls are
getting men to pay attention
to what you're saying
for once.
You know what would
really get their attention?
A sex strike.
What? That would punish us
just as much as the men.
I don't think
I'd even miss it.
My ex went about it like
he was fixing the carburetor
on the Oldsmobile.
And he could never
get that damn car to start.
Rosie, come on!
At least women know
where the carburetor is.
...Billie Jean...
...what do you want?
What do you mean?
With your hair. What do you
want to do with it?
It doesn't matter.
You can just get it
out of my face.
You don't care
about how you look?
Someone as pretty as you?
Uh, it's... I'm not...
...pret... I mean, I don't...
Thank you for...
for saying that.
What's your name again?
Would you let me just...
give you a little trim?
It'll make you feel like
a whole new person.
I don't think a haircut's ever
made me feel quite like that.
Is that perfume?
It's lavender oil.
I put it on my wrists
just to relax the customers.
It's nice.
I love it.
Billie Jean!
- Come on!
- I'm coming!
All right!
What is she doing in there?
It was nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you.
You know what?
We've got a tournament
in San Diego, actually,
next month,
and I have a lot of tickets.
So you could just
bring everyone and...
- Billie Jean, let's go!
- It's a lot of fun.
Yeah, everyone's
invited to come.
Next month in San Diego.
So... thank you again.
Thank you.
We're gonna be late!
Do you think there'll be
any cute photographers?
Peaches, I know
he's very cute, but let's go.
Girls, get in line.
Get ready, and let's get
these contracts signed.
Welcome to the WTA.
Thank you so much
for joining us.
That makes you
a professional.
Rosie, it's a pleasure.
Keep this going. Don't dawdle.
One dollar, Billie Jean.
Yeah, a whole dollar is right.
I'm gonna save it!
Thank you.
Welcome to the WTA.
Where do we sit?
Billie Jean.
Guess who showed up.
Judy, come on.
Don't be shy.
This is an exciting day, girls.
Look excited.
Thank you very much.
Okay, girls. Come on,
let's start sitting, please.
It's a big day, ladies.
Kerry, you're next.
We're gonna
take a big picture.
Billie Jean...
...what you're doing here
is a big mistake.
Are you here to give us
another option, Jack?
On behalf of the USLTA,
I'm here to ask you girls
not to do anything hasty.
So what are you offering?
I'm offering to keep you in
the United States
Lawn Tennis Association.
You're kicking us out.
You do this,
you're becoming our rivals.
We have no option.
I'll sure miss
your pretty face, Jack,
but you go right ahead.
And then we'll put Billie...
I'm gonna have a very exciting
moment in a second.
This is monumental.
Billie Jean?
One minute!
If you're not in the USLTA,
you can't play
the Grand Slams.
No Wimbledon. No nothing.
I get it.
But what are your
Grand Slams
without the greatest
women players in the world?
They're not so grand.
So I appreciate you coming,
Jack, very much...
...but if you have
nothing to offer us,
I have a contract to sign.
Bye, Jack.
Okay, girls, hold
those dollars up. Beautiful.
Smile, girls.
This isn't a funeral.
Hold up that dollar.
Keep smiling, ladies,
but we've just been
kicked out of the USLTA.
Wave them
so Jack can see them!
Yep, it's a dollar, girls.
Remember that... One dollar.
Is that it? For all of you?
Can I have some ketchup?
Who died?
Hey, Gladys.
Oh, I get it.
It's all my fault.
Well, Gladys has got
just the thing
for you miserable ingrates.
Ladies and gentle-ladies,
may I present to you
the Virginia Slims
A Gladys Heldman/Philip Morris
Smoking your guts out across
the United States
of America... exchange for twelve
months funding...
...and prize money
of... drum roll, please...
- Really?
- Way to go, Mom!
- For every tournament?
- For every tournament.
That ought to perk up
your lousy second serve.
You do the tennis,
I'll do the smoking.
My girls, from now on
we are fully funded.
I put in a call
to Ted Tinling,
who's gonna be our personal
couturier on tour.
You're each gonna
have your own tennis dresses
designed specially for you.
And I put in a call
to every woman
who's ever picked up a racket.
Guess who's already signed on.
Oh. Oh.
Don't guess. Margaret Court.
"The Arm."
Billie Jean, are you scared?
I can take her.
- Yeah?
- Yeah.
Well, you'll get
your chance soon enough.
Ice cream sundaes all around.
We're in the money.
...not all around.
Just my table and these two.
Let's try the buttercup,
lemony sort of hue.
But I don't really feel it
pops with your complexion,
so let's try the blue.
Oh! It's wonderful, Ted.
- You like it?
- I love it!
And what will the esteemed
Lawn Tennis Association
say about this?
Ladies and gentlemen,
I give you,
for the first time
in the history of tennis...
The shock will kill
the old dears.
87 KMRP.
It's twelve minutes
after 7:00,
and we are privileged,
tennis fans... have the great
Billie Jean King
in the studio with us today,
along with a...
...a lot of very lively
WTA tennis players.
Say hi, ladies.
The word is that you gals
are renegades
from the tennis establishment.
Is that right?
The U.S. Lawn
Tennis Association
wasn't really giving us women
our fair share,
so we thought...
..."Hey, we'll do it
on our own."
Taking the bull by the horns.
That's right.
Here's the inside scoop:
We do everything.
We are the ones laying down
the courts.
We're selling tickets.
We're doing publicity.
And we have to fit in practice
somewhere in between there.
We are also
trying to get tennis away
from the stuffy old
country club sport.
We want it to be
for everybody.
It's 1973, so... we could
update a couple things.
Now, you all
play each other
in the tournaments and... room together as well.
So how does that work
when you have to room
with somebody
who just beat you...
...or who you just defeated?
It's fine,
because I usually win.
Oh. That's not true at all.
It's fine if you're not
rooming with Rosie.
Oh, okay. Don't room with
Rosie... That's the message.
We're also, you know,
united for a greater cause.
So it keeps the focus
on something else.
It's bigger than the match.
Nice to meet you. Bye!
Do you all consider yourselves
women's libbers?
- Oh, sure.
- I think so.
What we're doing here
is trying to prove
that women should be paid
and respected equally.
We're just as entertaining
as the men.
You're definitely
cuter than the men.
It must get a little
lonely out there on the road.
Don't you ever miss
your husbands?
Sure. Of course we do.
I talk to Larry
on the phone every day.
We're used to it. As pros,
we're not home very often.
And some of us
don't have husbands.
Single men,
you heard it here first.
Some of these ladies
are single themselves.
Especially Peaches.
Come on out.
- Yeah, bring your daughters.
- Or your sons.
Or bring everyone.
You could bring
your whole family.
That's the point of this tour.
It's for everyone,
and it's a whole lot of fun.
You heard it here, folks.
We'll get in more music,
but we got tickets
to give away,
so give us a call.
Thanks for coming by, ladies.
Thank you for having us.
- Good luck.
- Come on out!
It's not exactly the Ritz.
Margaret Court!
Welcome to the nuthouse.
- Hi, Ted.
- Hey, Margaret.
Billie Jean.
If you're looking for
the restaurant or the spa
or the swimming pool,
there isn't one.
But if you're looking
for the tickets
you're gonna sell
at the intersection...
they're right here.
Have a lovely evening.
Darling child.
She's never liked me.
Who? Gladys?
No, the great
Billie Jean King.
You just do your talking
on the court, honey.
Come on, cross over!
You can do it. There you go.
Watch out for the alligators.
I'm watching out
for the alligator.
You watch out
for the alligator.
I'm going across
the wobbly bridge.
Your mother's always
watching us. Right here.
Right here. Okay.
That'll burn you
right to the bones.
That's quicksand.
That's quicksand, all right.
Acid quicksand.
That's why you never
see any of your siblings.
Two rocks.
Don't fall in the quicksand!
Don't fall in the quicksand!
Okay. One more rock
and we're there.
- Good. You got it.
- What if I don't make it?
You can make it!
You're a Riggs,
you're gonna make it.
One, two, three...
Whoa, whoa.
Well, we almost made it.
Hey, honey!
Could you get that?
I'm reading Junior a story.
Do you know anything
about a, uh...
Rolls-Royce! Cool!
Damn it, Jack.
Mom, it's got a TV!
Oh, my God.
I know, I know. Um...
It was Jack's idea.
You are like a little kid,
you know that?
Well, you're good with kids.
After everything
we talked about?
Everything you promised me?
Okay, okay, I get it.
Give me those.
Where are you going?
- Can I come, too?
- No, you can't come.
- All right.
- Thanks, Mrs. Court.
Thanks for coming.
Did you like it?
It was amazing.
- Thanks for coming.
- Thank you.
- Nice to meet you.
- Nice to meet you.
Nice hair.
You came!
Why didn't you tell me
how good you are?
Ah, well.
Can I ask you a question?
You may.
I may not answer it.
Do you like dancing?
I do.
I can't believe
how you move on the court.
It's like watching
some kind of...
...wild animal.
Aw, come on.
I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Enjoyed it? I've never seen
anything like it! It was...
It must be intoxicating.
What? Playing tennis?
Being inside your skin.
Excuse me.
I'm so sorry for doing this.
Mrs. King,
I'm such a huge fan.
Oh. Thank you so much.
I'm Miles.
Miles. Great to meet you.
Do you dance
as well as you serve?
Oh, thanks, I don't think...
Tonight we're just gonna
stay here and watch.
- Okay.
- But nice to meet you, Miles.
You, too.
I'd love to dance!
Well, sure thing.
Let me do yours?
You're perfect.
I got to go soon.
- No.
- Yeah.
I got to get a bus
back to L.A.
No, it's too late for that.
You can't take
a bus right now.
You can stay in my room.
I've got two beds.
Honestly, it's no trouble.
Sure. Yeah.
This is me.
So, Gladys used to
make us share rooms,
but we can afford our own now.
I usually take the bed
closest to the window.
But it's fine! Take
whichever one you want.
I'm married.
That's okay.
I've got a boyfriend.
Sort of.
But you, uh...
...with women... too?
- Do you?
- No.
No, never. I'm...
There's only ever been Larry.
...can I kiss you?
We can take it slow,
that's okay. There's no...
I have to, Mare.
It's one of the few sure
things I can count on in life.
Come on, Rhoda.
You love your mother
and you know it.
Of course I love her.
I just think she's holding
a grudge because
I didn't go
into the profession
she picked out for me:
My mother, she's here!
You're beautiful.
And in sporting news,
we turn to the world
of women's tennis... Billie Jean King beat
Kristy Pigeon today,
two sets to zero,
in San Diego.
Next, the Virginia Slims tour
heads to Los Angeles.
In baseball, the Yankees
have started 0 and 3
after being swept on the road
by the Red Sox.
Oh, it's Larry.
Oh, God, what if it's Gladys?
what if it's my parents?
Well, none of 'em can see
down the phone, can they?
Don't joke. Don't joke.
Just don't...
Don't say anything, okay?
Just be quiet.
Just be quiet, okay?
Eureka, Billie Jean!
Who is this?
It's Bobby. Bobby Riggs.
How'd you get my number?
Called every hotel
in San Diego.
Listen, I had a great idea.
Okay. Well, it's after
midnight, Bobby,
so can we talk another time?
You and me, Billie Jean.
Three sets,
five sets... Your choice.
Are you drunk, Bobby?
No, of course not!
How about this:
"Man vs. Woman."
"Male Chauvinist Pig
vs. Hairy-Legged Feminist".
No offense. You're still
a feminist, right?
No, I'm a tennis player
who happens to be a woman.
That's right.
That's exactly who you are.
And I am a tennis player
who happens to be a man...
...who says that he can beat
any woman on the planet.
Think of the publicity that
we get. Think of the money.
Thirty-five grand.
Where'd you get
that kind of money?
- You see? You're tempted.
- I'm really not.
I'm not interested, Bobby.
Good night.
Don't hang up.
And by the way,
I shave my legs.
Who was that?
That was just some crazy old
hustler trying to get a game.
I hope you don't mind.
I borrowed something
to sleep in.
You're gonna give me
the speech, aren't you?
I'm sorry.
Whatever I...
...may feel,
I can't act on it.
There's too much at stake.
I mean the tennis tour and...
And I have my husband.
He's a great...
...person, and he would be
heartbroken if he found out.
And my parents
would never speak to me again.
Hey, hey, hey.
I get it.
Oh, hey.
- 'Night.
- Good night.
Larry, are you awake?
- Dad?
- Can I come up?
Hey there, kiddo.
Just for tonight.
Maybe tomorrow.
Sure, sure.
Oh, a little misunderstanding.
Sometimes Priscilla
goes off the deep end.
Oh, hey... did you see
my Rolls-Royce?
Yeah, that's cool, Dad.
You gonna live in it?
Yeah, well, I could. I could.
It's big enough.
But no, no, no. I got plans, Larry.
Big plans.
Yeah, well,
I've... heard 'em.
All of 'em.
Good night, kiddo.
Good night, Dad.
Honey, come on.
Not even a fresh pair
of underpants?
Can't we just talk about this?
You know... Oh.
Thank you!
My name is Bobby
and I am an addict.
Hi, Bobby.
At least
that's what Priscilla says.
She's gonna leave me
unless I quit gambling.
Puzzles me, though,
that word: "Gambling."
Whenever Priscilla gets a car
out of the garage,
she's gambling big time.
Never checks the mirror.
Sticks it in reverse.
Puts her foot down,
right out onto the highway.
Jeez Louise, that's gambling!
But here I am,
Gamblers Anonymous.
And your point is what, Bobby?
My point is this:
Life's a gamble, right?
That's the thrill of it!
You know,
you folks aren't here
because you're gamblers.
You are here because
you are terrible gamblers.
Well, let's...
That's the problem. You lose,
and that's why you're here.
Okay, Bobby...
I've been looking at you
guys yammering on
about all of your stuff and...
..."Oh, woe is me"
and "This is terrible."
But you know
what the problem is?
The problem is
you don't have a "thing."
- Can we just...
- They don't have a thing.
They need an edge.
You need an angle,
an inside track, something...
...that's gonna turn you from
being a gambler to a hustler.
All right, Bobby, thank you.
From a loser to a winner.
Why should we give up
the one thing in life
that we really love?
These folks don't need to stop
what they're doing,
they just need
to get better at it.
- Okay, Bobby, please.
- Who's dealing? Who's in?
I'm heartbroken.
I don't know why
she won't meet me halfway.
I mean, is that too
unreasonable to ask?
Have you considered
you might be
coming at this from
the wrong angle?
Every angle, Doc. I have tried
every angle, believe me.
I know we've discussed
this before.
Oh, I don't know.
You're an alpha male.
She's an alpha female.
Maybe you have
to face the fact
that she's just not
the right woman for you.
Nah, I understand
what you're saying...
...but Billie Jean would make
the best match
by a million miles.
She is the leader of
these women. The face.
At this rate, she's not even
gonna be Number 1 next season.
She's not?
Nope. Margaret Court.
Really? The Arm's
gonna be Number 1?
Stick or twist?
Jack of Hearts. Too bad.
The point is, not only is
Margaret gonna be Number 1...
...but she's a different
kind of woman.
You think she'd play me?
She's a nice
old-fashioned girl, Bobby.
She'll do as
she's damn well told.
I shouldn't have had so much
to drink last night.
It's inexcusable.
You had like half a drink.
Well... that's half
a drink too many.
It's the finals this week.
Where are my keys?
I think they're in your hand.
Thank you. Okay.
You should leave now.
Then I'll follow
in about five minutes.
All right.
Or actually that will
seem suspicious.
Maybe you should
just stay here.
You said
you'd give me a ride.
Right. Right.
Right on. Okay.
Ready to go?
Got everything?
Sorry about that.
I'm just a little...
Be careful
with that mannequin, Henry.
Of course, Ted.
Well, look what we have here.
And a little deshabille,
wouldn't you say?
I would, Henry.
I most definitely would.
And what
do you think Larry would say?
He must know.
Well, there's knowing...
...and there's knowing.
Nobody later than four.
Rosie? Where's Rosie?
I'm here.
No more
speeding tickets, okay?
This is tennis, not NASCAR.
And girls, I am begging you,
for God's sake...
some Slims at the photo call.
They've been great to us,
and we need them
to renew our contract.
And I like it.
I mean, look at me. Mmm.
You're late. And who's that?
This? My, uh, my friend.
Marilyn from the salon
in L.A.
Wait, is she coming
on tour with us?
That's a great idea.
Oh, no, she is not.
Please, Gladys. With all the
photo shoots we're doing,
we need a hairdresser.
That would be an N
followed by an O.
How's your spelling, Val?
No, no, no.
She lives in L.A.
She works
at the salon in L.A.
She can't just come
on the road.
- Come on.
- It's not... No.
They're not gonna miss me
for just a few days.
Yeah. I mean,
we could all pay a little bit.
Yes, please, Gladys?
Look at them!
They get in my eyes.
I can't see the ball.
Please, Mom?
Please, I've had no time
to get these bangs done.
It's a great idea, Mom.
Imagine having
your own stylist.
Just for a little while.
Can you do anything
with this?
Of course! Yeah.
Ugh. Get in the car.
Is this okay?
Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah, it's good.
You do know what she is,
don't you? That...
...woman with Billie Jean?
I think it's her lover.
That girl?
And Billie Jean?
She's married.
They usually are.
That's what happens on an
all-women circuit, Barry.
Licentiousness. Immorality.
Really? Because she shouldn't
be allowed on tour.
On the contrary.
Well, isn't she ashamed
of herself?
She is ashamed.
That's exactly what she is.
And her game's
gonna fall to pieces.
What happened last night
can't happen again.
We have to stop
fooling around.
I wasn't fooling around.
I was dead serious.
Larry doesn't even
come on tour with me,
because I can't have
the distraction.
I have to focus on my game
a hundred percent.
I promise not to distract you.
But you do distract me.
You distract me
just being here.
Who are you?
What are you doing with me?
I'm Marilyn Kathryn Barnett.
I'm good with my hands.
I don't like being
told what to do.
And I just met
the most interesting person.
I'm not that interesting.
I promise.
All I think about is tennis.
We don't have to do anything
you don't want to do. Okay?
- Okay.
- Really good friends?
I swear, I don't know what to
do with myself around you.
Just drive.
I know. Shh.
Barry, how you doing? Been a long time.
How are you?
What do you want?
Five minutes is all.
And if you don't like
what I have to say,
you'll never hear
from me again.
- Is that a promise?
- Let him in.
Hey, Margaret,
how are you?
This better be good.
No one's getting
a lot of sleep around here.
Oh, it's good! It's good.
- Who's this?
- That's Daniel.
Daniel! Do you mind?
- May I?
- Yeah.
Oh, Daniel, come here, you.
Oh, you're so big!
Oh, Daniel, hello!
Bobby's gotcha.
Bobby's gotcha.
Yeah, that's right.
Oh, look at you.
Oh, Margaret, he is lovely.
Hi! Do any of the other girls
have kids?
Nope, just me.
Just you. Wow!
That has got to be tough.
Tough on your mom.
Playing all day
and then taking care
of you at night. Oh, boy!
That's got to be...
And all the traveling?
You know what?
You need a nanny.
- A nanny.
- You know how much they cost?
That's exactly why I'm here.
Because I think $35,000 would
buy you a lot of nanny.
What is your game,
Bobby Riggs?
A match. You versus me.
Two out of three sets.
Well... why me?
Why you?
Because you're the best.
Billie Jean has been
on me to play her,
but you know what she's like.
And besides, I always say
if you're gonna play... the number one.
Billie Jean's number one.
Not if you beat her tomorrow.
Isn't that right?
Is your mom gonna beat her?
40 down.
"Lumberjack's tool."
Four letters.
- Oh, my.
- What?
- It's Larry.
- Hmm?
Larry King.
I think I'd better make
a phone call.
Ted here, darling.
A petite heads up.
Larry is in the building.
- Shit.
- Be careful.
Okay. Thanks.
- Hey.
- Oh.
- Going up?
- Thanks.
Yeah. 31.
Me, too.
Starting early.
Oh, well, you know
what they say...
it's never too early
for champagne.
My kinda girl.
You here for the tennis?
I sure am.
Me, too.
I think Billie Jean's
gonna take it.
Oh, are you a fan?
You could say that.
After you.
Well, see you around.
Hi! Oh.
- Hi!
- Hi, honey.
Oh, this is Marilyn.
- Larry.
- Oh, hi, hi.
Marilyn is the, the...
The hairdresser around here.
And... Larry is... the...
The husband around here.
The husband around here.
Peaches wants me
to give her a blow dry.
- Marilyn!
- Uh-huh?
Was the ice
for Billie Jean's knees?
- Yeah, I'll get that. Thanks.
- Bye.
Here. Let me.
The roads were clear,
so I made good time.
I should've called ahead,
letting you know
that I was coming.
Leg up.
I'm gonna get another room.
I've got phone calls to make,
and you need to rest
for the finals.
Point to Mrs. Court. Love-15.
Jesus Christ, Billie.
Come on, dumby. Come on.
Love-40. Match point.
Game, set and match
to Mrs. Court.
That was bad.
You don't seem yourself.
I was thinking of
heading home.
There's lots to do
from there and...
...I was thinking...
...I could give you some space
and let you clear your head.
- Talk to you soon.
- Yeah.
Have you got a cigarette?
Billie Jean know you smoke?
Uh... I guess not.
She's not a fan.
Well, I won't tell
if you won't.
Secrets, huh? There's a lot
of those going around.
Marilyn, you know
how all this gets paid for?
Yeah, the...
...the prize money,
rackets, hotels, flights...
...the food, everything?
And with sponsorship, that
would go away in a heartbeat
if certain things
were to be made public.
I only have Billie Jean's
best interests at heart.
You seem like
a sweet girl and...
Don't condescend to me.
You know,
I'm not the competition.
I'm just her husband,
and you're...'re just a phase.
We're both just sideshows.
Tennis is her true love.
And if you get between her
and the game, you'll be gone.
Met Bobby Riggs last night.
Funny man.
Tell me you didn't.
Didn't what?
He just wants to play
an exhibition match is all.
Now that I'm officially
number one.
It's not a tennis match,
Margaret. You do know that.
What do you mean?
He tried that exhibition
match line on me.
Oh. And I suppose
you turned him down?
Are you kidding me?
You think I want to join
the Bobby Riggs circus?
He wants to make himself look
great and women look stupid.
It's not a match.
It's a show.
I can understand why you might
not want to play him, but...
...I've got nothing to hide.
Mind those seams
when taking that off.
She's gonna play Bobby Riggs.
The Arm versus The Mouth.
I know where my money's going.
What if she loses, Ted?
What if she blows it?
He's never gonna let it go.
He's gonna make women's tennis
look like a laughingstock.
Calm yourself,
Madame Superstar.
Margaret is playing
better than ever,
and I don't need
to remind you.
And strictly entre nous...
...we've had to make some
adjustments in the bicep area.
Haven't we, Henry?
About an inch and a half.
I'm just glad
you're not playing him.
Not a chance.
Best be careful.
What do you mean?
The world isn't always
a forgiving place, my dear.
How are you so free
with yourself?
Seems like you just do
whatever you want.
I don't do whatever I want.
I pay taxes,
visit the dentist.
You know what I mean.
I'm one of eight kids.
So... one noticed what I did.
Which is probably
for the best,
because I would've shocked
the hell out of all of 'em.
I don't know.
I live... a private life...
...I guess I never think that
people will care what I do.
God, I think everyone
cares what I do.
I'm gonna let them all down.
When I was a kid,
I played at this tennis club.
I was...
It was team photo time,
which is a very big deal.
And my mom made me these...
...white tennis shorts,
because we couldn't afford
a tennis dress.
...the man that ran it,
we were all lined up
to take the photo
and he pointed at me
and he said...
..."That little girl
cannot be in the photo...
..."because she's not
wearing a tennis dress."
That must've crushed you.
I just thought...
...that does it.
I'm gonna be the best.
That way I can really...
change things.
That way I have a voice.
You have a voice.
- Dad?
- Larry!
Sorry I can't stay long.
I'm training.
What the hell are you wearing?
Ah. It's a sauna suit.
It's killing me,
but every time I breathe,
I lose a pound.
You hear the news?
Bobby's back!
Yeah, yeah, I heard.
You heard, huh?
Isn't it great?
Is it really happening?
Oh, it's happening.
It is happening! Say...
- You want to help?
- What with?
What with?
With training, with support.
Hit some balls
for your old man.
Lornie's coming in.
I don't know. Why me?
Why you?
You're my son, that's why.
Do this thing together.
Come on!
The Riggs boys
against the world!
- You think you can beat her?
- Oh.
This Margaret thing
is just the beginning.
It's gonna be huge.
Three-time Wimbledon Champion,
four times Women's
Single Champion
in the United States...
...winner of the Grand Slam
of tennis,
and current leading
money winner
of the Women's Pro Tour.
From Australia,
meet Margaret Court.
Her opponent...
...twice the United States
Singles Champion,
also a winner at Wimbledon.
A man who in 1967
was enshrined
into the Tennis Hall of Fame.
Colorful and controversial
Bobby Riggs.
Who's your money on, Jack?
Mankind or womankind?
Bobby Riggs,
without a doubt.
Margaret Court
is a great tennis player,
there's no mistake
about that, but the...
...thing about women
is that they find it hard
to consistently
handle the pressure.
Some would say
they're not built for it.
Excuse me!
It's started already!
Virginia Slims coming through!
Where are the TVs?
Quickly! Come on, Henry.
We don't want to miss this.
Everybody, shut up!
That's the last
of our laundry quarters.
It's on what channel?
Can we have
some quiet here?
- Please?
- Where, on four?
Yeah, it's four.
Oh! There we are.
Oh, my God.
This is big.
Of course
it's big. It's Bobby.
The one thing that man
can do is hustle.
I'll say.
Bobby Riggs
is two games away
from winning this first set.
Rather easily,
I might add.
Oh, my God.
Margaret may not
realize what she's up against.
I think we should have been
there to support her.
You have
a tournament to play.
I own you, Peaches,
don't forget that.
What a dreadful choice
of blue!
Oh, God.
If she doesn't
start attacking the ball,
she's gonna
fall into his trap.
She looks spooked.
Do we like the dress?
It's one of Ted's.
Are we allowed not to?
Right behind you, darling.
We love the dress!
Thank you.
I'm just hoping that Margaret
will really start
hitting the ball
and follow her serve
to the net.
I don't see how
she can win staying back.
It looks like
Bobby's just toying with her.
That's gonna have
a demoralizing
effect on Margaret
if she thinks
he's just horsing around.
- Oh, dear.
- Let's face it.
She just can't handle
Bobby's game.
Come on!
Nice one.
The Arm'll be fine.
She could squeeze
the life out of that
little twerp with one
tweak of her bicep.
No, Margaret.
Wake up, Margaret!
I'm not liking this.
Gladys, I think I'm gonna
need a cigarette.
one of my girls smokes!
Game to Mr. Riggs.
Mr. Riggs leads
one set to nothing.
There's not a single thing
I don't hate about
Bobby Riggs,
not a single thing.
Bobby Riggs
here in the second set.
Riggs does it again.
Bobby's unstoppable today.
Bobby Riggs.
Again, Bobby Riggs.
Margaret seems to
be off her game.
I'll say!
40-love. Beautiful.
This is awful.
Game to Mr. Riggs.
Really terrible.
Again, Bobby Riggs.
Let's get
another cocktail, Henry.
Well, as I said...'s not that women
can't play tennis,
it's just that they can't
deal with the pressure.
Perhaps this will finally put
a stop to women players
demanding the same prize
money as men.
As we've seen today,
they're simply...
not in the same league.
Let's face it, in business,
politics, sports,
you name it...
...whatever they like
to think,
at the very top
it's a man's game.
I can't believe this.
I know what'll cheer her up.
- I'll be right back.
- Okay, darling.
We're at match point here.
There it is.
Bobby Riggs wins 6-2, 6-1.
A rather easy triumph against
and women's liberation.
That was a massacre.
Congratulations, Bobby.
Well, thank you very much.
This is my son, Larry.
Lousy tennis player,
great guy.
So, now officially Bobby Riggs
is the number one
ladies player in the world...
...and any ladies out there
want to challenge
for the crown,
you know where to find me.
And since I have just
proven here today,
beyond a shadow of a doubt...
...that men are
the superior animal,
tell you want I'm gonna do:
I am gonna triple the bet!
$100,000 to any woman
who can beat Bobby Riggs.
The question I ask myself is,
is she out there,
and does she have the nerve?
What got into her?
Fate, sweetie.
Coming at her
like a runaway train.
Oh... darling.
And in today's much publicized
tennis face-off between...
...Senior Pro Bobby Riggs
and Woman's No. 1
Margaret Court...
...the self-styled
"male chauvinist pig"
beat Mrs. Court
in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1... what the press
has dubbed
"The Mother's Day Massac..."
Oh, for goodness sakes.
It was just a tennis match.
The Women's No. 1
can't beat a 55-year-old.
Are you kidding me?
He's backed me
into a corner now.
Then don't play him.
Who else is gonna
beat him, Marilyn?
I don't have a choice.
No, you always have a choice.
You don't get it.
You don't get it.
I don't know how to help you.
Do you even want me here?
I don't know. I'm sorry.
I need to think.
Oh. I was wondering
when you were gonna call.
It was a travesty.
Call the bozo.
Tell him it's on.
But nothing gets agreed on
without my approval,
all right?
Venue, date,
TV rights, everything.
What balls we use.
I know Bobby. He'll be making
deals on his deals by now.
I'll call him first thing
in the morning.
No, now.
He calls me at midnight.
If we're gonna go, let's go.
You know something?
This can be great.
Really, really great.
And not just
for women's tennis, you know?
As long as I win.
If there's one thing
that I know about you...'s that this is one match
you are gonna win.
You're a good man, Larry.
You're a good woman.
I wish that were true.
Let's focus on the match.
Everything else can wait.
Good night.
Honey! I am back on top,
I've never felt better,
I beat Margaret Court...
...and now I am playing
Billie Jean King
for $100,000.
What about that?
And...'s going to be
on ABC, primetime.
Well, you have some
nerve using all that
"male chauvinist pig"
Who do you think's
been bankrolling
you all these years?
Me. A woman.
You know something?
You are absolutely right,
and I am gonna pay you back.
- Oh, yeah?
- Yeah.
I don't want it back.
You want me back?
...I'm gonna be on the cover
of Time magazine.
I won the triple at Wimbledon
and never got
the cover of Time.
So after Billie Jean,
there's an offer on the table
for a million dollars
to play Chrissie Evert.
A million dollars, huh!
Imagine that?
Million dollars.
I'll tell you something.
It's a pretty scary trip
I'm taking right here...
...and, uh...
...well, I was, um...
Well, I need you, honey.
I feel like we've been
through this before.
No, I'm a changed man.
Ask the shrink.
I did.
What did he say?
He just gave me 30 bucks.
The money that he owed you
from your last game
of blackjack.
He was a terrible player.
Bobby, I love you.
Well, I love you, too.
I love how
you make me laugh.
I love your crazy ideas
and all your schemes.
And the way you walk into
a room and you fill it up.
I love the way
you make me feel.
I miss that a lot.
...I need a husband.
I need someone
who is steady.
Someone that I can rely on.
And that is not you.
And that's okay.
It is more than okay.
It is wonderful,
because that... who you are.
I just can't be
with that person anymore.
I just can't.
I'm so sorry.
I'm sorry.
All right.
Hey, Jimmy! Bobby here.
How are you, my friend?
Never better, never better.
Listen, what are the odds
right now?
Okay, put 15 grand
on me to win.
That's right, buddy,
15 big ones.
Okay. Great. Thank you, sir.
In other news, another battle
in the never-ending
war of the sexes...
...this one on
the tennis court
for a $100,000 purse.
It was announced today.
Women's tennis champion
Miss Billie Jean King,
who is 29...
...accepted the challenge
of 55-year-old Bobby Riggs...
...the match to be
held at a time
and place still to be decided.
Miss King said
she will not play
for the money but,
in her words...
..."to put women's tennis
"and women's lib back
where it belongs."
Riggs said he issued
the challenge because...
..."I want to prove
that women are lousy
"and they don't belong
on the same court as a man."
- Put her there.
- All right, great.
Now, don't get me wrong,
I love women...
In the bedroom
and in the kitchen.
But these days,
they want to be everywhere!
They want to be
doing everything!
Where is it gonna end?
Pretty soon us fellas won't be
able to go to a ballgame,
we won't be able
to go fishing.
We won't be able to stop
and have a drink after work.
And that's what this whole
women's lib thing is about.
And it's got to stop.
And Bobby Riggs
is the man to stop it.
Ladies and gentlemen,
this is Custer's Last Stand.
This is the Lobber
versus the Libber!
Take that. Right?
Keep talking, Bobby.
The more nonsense you spout,
the worse it will be
when you lose.
Well, I'm the ladies
number one,
I'm the champ.
Why would I lose?
Because dinosaurs
can't play tennis.
I'm gonna put the "show"
back in "chauvinism."
What a beautiful day
to play tennis, huh?
All right, right here.
Right down the pike.
All right, I'm coming in.
I'm coming in! Give me a lob!
Right? That's how you do it.
You know what I'm doing?
I'm cooking.
I'm cooking! Am I cooking?
Oh, there we go!
All right, I got it.
They walked right into it.
I'm taking 'em all home!
They're gonna do my laundry.
You know what it's like?
Being reincarnated.
It's the greatest thing
I've ever done.
It's bigger
than winning Wimbledon,
bigger than Forest Hills,
bigger than the Pro Tour.
High point of my career,
maybe my life.
Hey, sweetie,
how about a cocktail?
There we go.
Oh, watch it!
I almost took your arms off.
I'm not saying
that women
don't belong on the court.
I mean, heck, who would pick
up the balls otherwise?
But all of this shouting
and yammering about equality.
Equality this, equality that.
Hey, how about some equality
for Bobby Riggs?
This is my third
nude shoot today.
I'm this old guy,
trying to make ends meet
on the senior circuit,
getting paid peanuts.
But if I can beat the ladies
and get equal prize money,
thank you very much...
...well, then all the girls
can just head back
in the kitchen
where they belong.
Look, he can talk
all he likes.
That's one of the few things
he's good at.
But the only thing that
matters is who wins the match.
Bobby, let's play
some tennis, man!
Damn it, Dad.
Thank you.
- Dad.
- Hey, kiddo!
I thought we were practicing.
You know what
I have to say to that?
Margaret Court.
6-2, 6-1.
I don't need to practice,
I got a secret weapon.
Rheo Blair, I'd like you
to meet the most
important person in my life...
apart from me.
My son, Larry.
You tell him, Rheo.
Two words, Larry:
Super Nutrition.
Super Nutrition!
You taking all of these?
Four hundred a day!
You're kidding.
Yeah, I'm rattling
around a little bit,
but you know what?
I feel better than ever.
It's the A to Z
of amino acids.
Vitamins, protein pills,
some fat busters,
and some of Rheo's Specials.
What's in those?
Who needs to train?
I'm gonna live forever.
Yeah, but this,
I don't know...
Oh, would you just relax?
Come on.
You saw
what I did to Margaret,
and she beat Billie Jean.
One down!
What's next?
She played like an idiot.
There's no comparison.
Margaret folds.
You know Billie.
She loves pressure.
Yeah, but her game's
off right now.
It is. I mean,
I hate to say it,
but my money's on Bobby.
Yep. Mine, too.
Money that you have
because of Billie Jean.
It's not personal.
I don't want him to win.
I just think he will.
I think that
if I had to bet money,
I would bet on Bobby Riggs.
Well, my money's
on Bobby Riggs.
I've played with him.
The man has
tremendous experience...
...and the male muscle
is always a little
stronger than
the female muscle.
Billie Jean King.
You're gonna want to see this.
What? Am I on?
You got to check this out.
Billie Jean King
is an excellent player.
I think that besides that,
she's a beautiful lady.
And I like beautiful ladies.
I saw Bobby beat Margaret,
and I think that
he's a really tough player.
So I'd have to give him
the edge over Billie Jean.
I like it.
The breaking
news from Forest Hills
is that Billie Jean King...
...has defaulted
in her third-round match
against Julie Heldman.
Looking tired and dispirited,
Mrs. King left the court
after only one set.
Speculation mounts
that pressure from
the upcoming match
against Bobby Riggs... taking its toll.
Taking its toll, baby!
I knew it!
She's crumbling, and I'm
hanging out by the pool!
Are you scamming me
to get more practice time?
I'm sick.
Let me see that.
Well, you're not dying.
Try to sound pleased.
Look, I love
the other girls, but...'re the draw.
You're my giant.
I'm a giant with the flu.
I don't know what to say.
Take two weeks off!
Go somewhere,
do what you need to do, okay?
But you have a tournament
the day after that
match with Riggs...
...and, win or lose,
you're gonna be there.
Okay, thank you.
And just so you know,
if you lose,
I will never forgive you.
Oh, Jesus, Larry.
It's too much. No wonder
my body's falling apart.
Okay, if there's somebody
that you need...
...that you want me
to call...
...I can call her.
No, there's nobody.
And if you mistake
him for a fool,
you may end up
looking like one yourself.
Whether he's wearing a dress,
playing with an umbrella...
...or sporting this season's
must-have accessory,
a flock of sheep...
...Bobby has not
lost a match yet.
And as the Bobby Riggs circus
moves on to the next town...
...people are beginning
to wonder
what has happened
to the opposition.
Has she choked?
Has she fled the country?
After withdrawing from Forest
Hills with a virus, nobody...
...has seen even the ghost
of Billie Jean King.
Hey! Where are you going?
Where is she going?
My guess?
She does know
what time this is...
Yes, I told you.
Has she pulled out?
She was ill.
Sorry I'm late, gentlemen.
Hey, honey, how's the flu?
- Flu?
- I heard you were ill.
No. Don't believe everything
you read in the papers, Bobby.
But thank you for the flowers.
I gave 'em to Rosie.
And I put 'em
in the trash.
Billie Jean.
What are you doing here?
Jack's my choice
of commentator for ABC.
Oh, that won't work.
Now, Billie Jean,
no one's complaining
about Rosie doing
the play-by-play.
Well, Rosie hasn't continually
tried to dismantle
women's tennis.
You overstate
my influence, Billie Jean.
You blackballed us
from the USLTA, Jack.
We did you a favor.
Lousy organization.
Jack's my choice.
Sure make for
a punchy commentator.
I won't play.
Look, I just spent $750,000
on this event.
You can't pull out
the day before the match!
Says who?
...I wonder if we could...
...have a word,
just the two of us.
Billie Jean...
...I know we've had
our differences,
but that's behind us.
This is between you
and Bobby now.
Oh, Bobby's a clown.
This whole thing's
an act for him, Jack.
You know that.
With you it's different.
It's for real.
What do you mean?
I don't think
you respect women.
I've been happily married
for 32 years.
No, I think you like us in
the kitchen and the bedroom.
I think you are a gentleman,
and I mean that.
Thank you.
I'll take my compliments
where I can from you.
It's when we dare
to want a little bit more.
Just a little bit
of what you've got.
That's what you can't stand.
Oh. Really?
And to have you telling
the American public
what to read
into every serve?
Every point?
I'm sorry, Jack.
If you're commentating,
I'm not playing.
How do you think
that's gonna make
the great Billie
Jean King look?
Backing out
at the last minute
just because she didn't
like the commentator?
I think it's pretty
similar to how
it'll make the great
Jack Kramer look.
Shutting the whole thing down
because he didn't
get to participate.
No. That's not gonna happen.
You're not gonna do this.
This means too much to you.
You and your Sisterhood.
You'd never throw it
over something like this.
You won't.
Do you remember the last time
you thought I was bluffing?
One dollar.
You know
the difference between
a good player and a great?
The great players never let
emotion get in the way.
It messes with their game.
Sorry, Bobby.
Any last
minute thoughts, Billie Jean?
Are you going to win?
Of course she's gonna win.
Against an old guy
like Bobby Riggs, sure.
Let her play Rosewall
or Nastase.
Men are better.
End of story.
I'm not saying
women are better.
I've never said that.
I'm saying
we deserve some respect.
More than Bobby Riggs
or you are giving us.
Sir, do you have a daughter?
Or a sister? You sure as heck
have a mother.
Is your father better
than your mother?
Just because he's a man?
Do you believe that?
But that's what
you're saying...
whether you think
you are or not.
If I beat Bobby Riggs,
will you stop saying it?
Sir, I'm gonna
hold you to that.
If I see you,
I'm gonna hold you to that.
Thank you.
That's it for today.
We'll see you at the match.
Let's get this show
on the road.
Here you go, Bobby.
- Dad?
- Yeah?
I'm just gonna
watch it here.
What do you mean? This is it.
This is the day.
I'm sorry. I'm...
...I'm not coming.
You don't think I'm gonna
lose, do you, kiddo?
You'll do great.
You don't need me.
Good luck, Dad.
This one's from
Jennifer in Tucson.
"Good luck, Billie Jean,
we're all rooting for you."
This one's from Annie
from New York.
"Go, Billie,
we know you're gonna win."
You've lost weight.
I have to take this in.
- We don't have time.
- We have time.
How you feeling, honey?
Do you need anything?
No, I'm good, thank you.
Twenty minutes to game time.
Rosie Casals,
they need you in the studio.
You're gonna kill him.
I'll see you guys in a bit.
Good luck out there.
Now, I have to ask,
do you really intend to
inflict blue suede shoes...
...on ninety million members
of the viewing public?
How many? Oh, my God.
Billie Jean!
If they're good enough
for Elvis,
they're good enough for me.
Well, something's off.
- And I think it's the shoes.
- It's not the shoes!
Your hair?
Mom, Dad, this is Marilyn.
My hairdresser.
Pleased to meet you.
Well, if there's one thing
I know, it's...
...never get between a woman
and her hairdresser.
Very funny. Yes indeed.
Come on.
Let's find our seats.
Here. I'll take you up there.
Good luck.
Thank you.
Yeah, give 'em heck.
Billie Jean, I'll be back
to take you to the court.
All right.
- Hi.
- Hi.
Your hairdresser, huh?
What was I supposed to say?
No, you're right.
That's why I'm here.
Come on.
Yeah, just like that.
That looks great.
Yep, zip her up. Oh, boy!
We need the "Sugar Daddy"
facing camera.
- Mmm-hmm.
- We got to see that.
Do you want me to hold it
from the stick?
- Uh...
- Am I gonna hold it that way?
That looks great.
We're trying to prepare
for the match.
So the camera can see it.
Yeah, up high.
I'll get it up
nice and high.
- We got it. Thank you.
- Have a great match.
Thank you. Thank you,
ladies. See you out there.
See you out there.
Good work.
Do it for the men, Bobby.
Wow. You good?
Yeah! I'm ready for battle.
Stand by, Howard.
We are live in five...
...four... three...
The following
is an exclusive presentation
of ABC Sports.
Live from the Astrodome
in Houston, Texas...
...the Tennis Battle
of the Sexes,
Billie Jean King
vs. Bobby Riggs.
What a scene it is!
The Houston Astrodome...
...where up till now
they've played
almost every sport
in the world except tennis.
But in this panoramic scene,
a happening.
With the big band here,
with dancing cheerleaders,
and all of the rest.
It's hard to believe,
but probably
more than 30,000 people
are in this arena...
...for an all-time-record
tennis audience
anywhere in the world.
And zoom in on five.
Is that a priest?
Yeah. If Bobby wins,
she takes the groom's surname.
But if Billie Jean wins,
the groom takes her name.
Little flip-flop. Oh, boy.
Where's Billie Jean?
Can somebody...
Does anybody know
where she is?
What do you mean,
you lost her?
She's getting a trim.
She'll be right out.
Yeah, like a haircut.
I missed you.
I know.
Uh, ten minutes to game time!
Stay for the match?
- Are you sure?
- Yes.
There was, would you believe,
a problem
about one of
our announcers to be:
Jack Kramer.
The famed tennis promoter.
The famed tennis player
of the past.
We wanted Jack Kramer.
We respected him.
He would have been
on our telecast.
Roll the Jack Kramer clip.
Billie Jean's gonna love this!
I want to make
one thing clear.
When I realized that
I was perhaps a problem...
...I thought maybe Billie Jean
would want to use me
as an excuse...
...if she lost
against Bobby Riggs.
To ABC's credit...
...they said,
"You call the shots, Jack,
"we'll go along with you."
But I'm withdrawing
...and I'm wishing
a hundred percent good luck
to my pal, Bobby Riggs.
Okay, Jack, you know
how much we respect you.
They are ready for you
in the holding area.
I'll walk you
down there.
I think I'm gonna go
on my own.
- Okay?
- Yeah.
The package
is in the room.
Billie! Billie Jean!
This is for you.
All right.
Gentlemen, let's go.
Ladies and gentlemen,
the Battle of the Sexes
is about to begin.
Introducing six-time
Wimbledon champion...
...four-time women's champion
of the United States...
...winner of the Grand Slam
of women's tennis...
Billie Jean King!
There is
an overwhelming sentiment
for Billie Jean King.
Very attractive young lady...
...and sometimes
you get the feeling
that if she ever
let her hair grow...
...and took her glasses off,
you'd have somebody vying
for a Hollywood screen test.
- Oh! Here comes Bobby Riggs.
- Ah.
You see him now
in the picture.
Ladies and gentlemen,
please welcome
Grand Slam champion...
...and Tennis Hall of Famer,
Bobby Riggs!
A long-awaited match,
hustled and promoted...
...ceaselessly and shrewdly
by Bobby Riggs.
There's Bobby.
The big act, the big bluster,
the big noise.
Now he's got
steeper competition
with Billie Jean King.
This thing is nuts.
All right, we're back
on camera and this is our...
...female expert tonight.
Recognize her?
Little Rosie Casals.
Now, you say Billie Jean
will win in three sets?
Yes, I definitely think so.
I think she's
a better tennis player...
...and I think what happened
with the Court and Riggs match
will not happen tonight.
Billie Jean will beat him,
Well, I got this
beautiful lollipop
for Billie Jean.
I figure she's gonna be
a sucker for my lob.
I got something for you too,
Bobby, actually.
It's the ultimate gift
for a male chauvinist.
There you go.
Oh, that's okay,
that's okay.
Any last words
before the match, Bobby?
Well, this match
is for all the guys
around the world
that feel as I do...
...that the male is king,
the male is supreme.
Billie Jean?
I'm done talking.
Let's play.
They have started the match.
Service, Billie Jean.
- Make us some money.
- That a boy.
This match, of course,
is going by satellite
all around the world.
And you'll hear the crowd
responding all night
to every point
won by Billie Jean.
Bobby's already starting.
Shouted "Attagirl" right after
Billie hit the winner.
When he starts losing,
I don't think
he's gonna say "Attagirl".
He's confident.
Not everybody
is for Billie Jean.
Some are for
the self-proclaimed
male chauvinist.
What he has to lose
if he loses this match!
He'll have to go back
to cooking and doing
the housework.
Game, Billie Jean King,
and the crowd loves it.
They're getting ready
to exchange courts.
Billie Jean leads
one game to love.
Bobby, you got to take
that damn jacket off.
They gave me twenty G's.
I got to keep it on.
I don't care,
you've got to take it off.
Nicely placed by Bobby Riggs.
I think she's too
tentative at the moment.
That's really the problem.
What is her overall strategy?
You're so close to her.
Well, psychologically
she's a better
pressure player.
Billie Jean's basically
like another Bobby Riggs.
She's a hustler.
She can take
that type of pressure
and give the same stuff
back to him.
Still no Riggs.
We're at 40-15.
Fun to see the old man
run for that one.
If Billie Jean
can keep Bobby running,
I think she could
wear him down.
Hence, the jacket begins to be
taken off by Bobby Riggs...
...and maybe the braggadocio
a little bit reduced.
A concession to the fact
that Riggs...
...perhaps knows he's running
into firm competition.
I think he's gonna
start taking
some of the vitamin pills.
He's gonna start needing them.
Game point for Bobby.
Rosie, she looks tense to me.
She is tense.
No doubt about that.
This is
a very important match.
And Bobby Riggs
breaks through.
The first perhaps
turning point in...
...the first set
of this match.
Bobby Riggs leading
Billie Jean King.
He had the pressure on him.
He responded very well.
And Billie Jean
did not respond well
on that shot.
Advantage to Bobby Riggs.
Marvelous shot by Bobby...
...and a great quick swing
by Billie Jean.
Billie answering great.
She did what she had to do...
...and she did it
her way, Gene.
And a great shot
by Bobby Riggs.
There it is.
And the first
set goes to Billie Jean King.
Point and set.
The women in this arena
are standing
and cheering
for Billie Jean King.
Bobby doesn't
look very happy.
He's sort of walking
with his head down.
I think he's gonna get
a little strategy
from his coach over there.
They have
a four-minute break, Howard.
I suppose
we all expected to have
some high humor
involved in it.
Instead, it seems
to have become
a very, very serious thing,
...the comedy has gone out
of Bobby Riggs.
The second game of the second
set has just begun...
...Bobby Riggs serving,
having broken through
Billie Jean King... game to none
in favor of Bobby Riggs.
And Billie Jean is seeking
to strike back.
Billie Jean is killing him
with that overhand smash,
I'll tell you that.
Bobby suddenly has
become an underdog, Howard.
Yes, some of
them are cheering for him.
Billie Jean King...
...has won the second set,
six games to three.
She leads two sets to love...
...and it's so far a very
great night for the ladies.
Bobby Riggs is fighting
for his tennis life.
She's filled
with confidence now.
Great shot!
Marvelous shot!
Bobby trails
four games to two.
No question about it,
Billie Jean has been
the aggressor in this match.
I think we're having
a little problem
with his hand.
He keeps pulling
on his fingers,
and to me that says
he's getting a cramp.
He's having the hand
and the arm looked at.
Is this an injury then?
This is an injury.
Five minutes delay
for an injury.
I knew it would come
to this. I knew...
...Bobby would have
to come down to something.
Like injuries.
Let me say this
about Bobby Riggs, Rosie.
You've gotten in
all your licks tonight
at the guy, and that's fine.
And he made a lot of noise
about male chauvinism and...
...the women belonged
in the kitchen,
and all the rest.
But he is 55,
and he's some kind of guy.
I agree.
But I don't think
he belongs on the court...
...with somebody
of Billie Jean's caliber.
Well, the way it's proving
out at the moment...
...turns out
that you are right,
if it ends this way.
Okay, Bobby's ready to serve,
trailing in the third set.
Here we go, Bobby,
what do you say?
One of the fans yelling,
"Come on, Bobby baby!"
Bobby wins that point... he starts his fight
to break through Billie Jean.
Bobby Riggs fights back
and breaks through!
Whether he had
the hand cramp
earlier or not...
...what he obviously
was trying to do
was break up Billie Jean's
brilliant momentum.
Mmm-hmm. Great shot.
Listen to that crowd!
Now cheering for Riggs.
Not bad for an old man.
Bobby still has
the break, Rosie.
Marvelous point
won by Billie Jean!
I'll tell you, she's tough.
Walking back, she's walking
more like a male
than a female.
- Out.
- Out.
Double fault.
You're looking
at an apparently tired
Bobby Riggs.
Look at how Billie Jean King
has been running him
over the court.
And that's been
her principal tactic,
to wear him down.
- Beautiful!
- Great shot.
And, wham,
that's the kind of tennis
we've had...
Right on, baby!
She puts it away.
Look at that!
A brilliant move!
Amazing shot.
And she is at match point.
I really hope
Jack Kramer is watching this
and will cement something
in his head...
...that women are not
some kind of joke.
Bobby Riggs...
fights for his whole hustle.
I underestimated you.
It's the game
that's become a cause celebre.
Equality for women.
Equal rights.
It was Billie Jean who fought
for equal pay for women... the U.S. Open tennis
tournament and got it.
Billie Jean King
played her own game,
resting up,
being non-communicative...
...but preparing
herself mentally
and emotionally
and physically...
...for a stunning performance
against Bobby Riggs.
Frank Gifford wants you live
right now. Come on.
Frank Gifford wants to do
a live interview
with you.
He's just over here.
Just in a minute.
In a minute.
Madame Superstar!
- Congratulations.
- Aww.
Now, come on.
The dancing can't start
without you.
I'm not sure I'm ready
for all this.
I think you may be more ready
than you know.
Times change.
You should know.
You just changed them.
...we will be free
to be who we are...
...and love who we love.
But now...
...time to join the dance.
Ladies and gentlemen...
Billie Jean King!