This weekend, the highly-anticipated dramedy “Battle of the Sexes” hits select theaters (and it expands nationwide next Friday, Sept. 29). Emma Stone, fresh-off her Best Actress Oscar win for “La La Land”, is getting “career-best” praise for her performance as Billie Jean King, who faced-off against Bobby Riggs in a prolific tennis match on Sept. 20, 1973. Approx. 30,400 people attended the match in Houston, and it was watched by more than 50 million people in the U.S.
“Battle” co-stars Steve Carell as Riggs, and the film is directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the writer/director team behind “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Ruby Sparks” – one of the hidden gems of 2012.
In August, I visited the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI and saw their display on the “Battle of the Sexes” match, located on the second floor. The ITHF has a reproduction of King’s dress (the Smithsonian in D.C. has the real one) along with King’s actual shoes, Riggs’ Sugar Daddy windbreaker and his racket cover (which he signed).
If you’re a diehard tennis fan, or if you’re inspired by the movie (and you happen to be in Newport soon), you should check-out the “Battle of the Sexes” display and all the exhibits at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. You might even get to watch some games on one of the courts on the property.