It was a great movie. I remember it as a young child, 8 years old not long before I started playing tennis. It was a really Big Deal folks for those of you have no clue. It was a pivotal time in the World and in America as I was learning about Watergate, Vietnam, Civil Rights, Women's Rights, yes indeed the Whole 9.
The tennis as depicted, and the hues chosen were period correct, although on one occasion the gleaming skyscrapers seen outside the hotel room couldn't possibly have existed in '73 but whatevs. Also there were color quotes thrown in from 1973 including George Forman (he picked Billie Jean to win) and Ricardo Montalban, who did not. And yah, Elisabeth Shue, Emma Stone and a gaggle of other gorgeous women in cool roles was also a plus.
Now what's funny about all of this is that I know a guy who wrote a Bobby Riggs bio, "Last Sure Thing." Tom LeCompte is a tennis instructor and author who took time to demolish me 6-3 6-2 (it wasn't even that close) before he went up to Franconia to work on a case I was investigating but Ira Glass and This American Life deemed it too risqué so they shut it down. This will happen.
Anyway as to the epic 1973 match thrown or not (bookie allegations, I tend to doubt it), who knows. It put women on the map. It put tennis on the map, and it got America and the World, talking. I need to put a camera up on Tom and me again next time I'm in Boston -- I lost our footage from 2008 -- and you can see the tennis hierarchy in effect. He's good. Real good.
I have below posted a ton of related videos. The sad thing is, you can't find any decent footage of the actual event. The last real challenge was Martina v. Jimmy and he won that despite giving up a first serve and part of the double alley. To her credit she didn't use it that often though. JC d. MN 7-5, 6-2. He was 40 and she was 35.