Home 9 Movies & Television 9 Movies/TV A-F 9 The Cheerleaders (1973) – Synopsis

The Cheerleaders (1973)


The Cheerleaders opens on a football field with a game in progress and the namesake cheerleaders jumping, bouncing, and shaking their booties all over the screen. When the Amorosa team wins, it’s down to the women’s locker room where the cheerleaders have their own area and all of the other girls are envious. There is one girl, Jeannie, who is especially envious, trying to listen in on their conversations.

After the game, Jeannie heads to a local burger joint to pick up some food. She sees the girl in front of her flirt with the cashier and makes her best attempt at flirting…which fails pretty spectacularly.

She overhears Jon and the cheerleaders as he tells them he can get them whatever they need. Their needs span from birth control pills in exchange for cheating on tests to getting the cheerleaders out of sixth period forever to help practice.

Claudia, the head cheerleader, tells him she will make it worth his while. They head to the car wash to have sex in the time it takes to get through the automatic wash.

Meanwhile Jeannie takes Norm, her boyfriend, some burgers to the car wash where he works. No matter how much she hints at wanting to have sex with him, Norman never gets it.

When she asks if he thinks it is a good idea for her to be a cheerleader, he decides it would be a good move for him in the car wash business. He has her try to talk to Bonnie from her home room about it since one of the girls suddenly had to leave town without explanation. If this were a horror film, that would be ominous, but as a sex comedy, pregnancy is even more ominous.

In Jeannie’s room, Bonnie dances to music while Debbie lays on her bed. Her brother tells them to keep it down. Debbie has her put on the old tight clothes on her teddy bear, which Jeannie swears won’t fit.

Bonnie goes in search of the brother and finds him staring at a nudie magazine. They begin having sex.

Debbie goes looking for a coke and finds Mr. Davis practicing his putt in his den. He shows her how to putt as she grinds into him before his wife enters with a coke. She gives it to Bonnie and warns Mr. Davis not to get caught in the rough.

Jeannie takes off her bra and is happy with her look in the mirror. She goes into the den to tell Bonnie and her dad freaks out. His coke explodes in his face in the excitement of Bonnie and anger at his daughter’s nipples peeking through her top.

The girls sit and Jeannie admits she is a virgin and, even though she has a boyfriend, she doesn’t like him. I especially like the line, “I still am one…always have been” as if that’s not how virginity worked. But the follow-up, “I didn’t think there were any left in California” was particularly fun. It appears that being a virgin is a death sentence for sixteen year old wannabe cheerleaders in 1973 what-with the sexual revolution and all.

At tryouts, the pickings are pretty slim, which is always one of the things that makes these movies so fun. The tryouts are spectacularly awful. Because the previous cheerleader got knocked up, they are looking for one with a chastity belt. Bonnie tells Claudia about Jeannie being a virgin, and it seems perfect. The cheerleading coach makes a wager with Claudia. If Jeannie remains a virgin, then Claudia will have sex with the janitor, Novi. The coach picks Norm who is trimming the lines on the field as her sexual wager.

They make the announcement and Jeannie learns she has to go through an initiation. She must take a shower in the boys shower room.

She sneaks in and begins to shower as the guys start piling in from practice. They chase her around the showers and taunt her until Norman comes and tries to help her get away. She runs into the janitor who sniffs the clothes she leaves by him as she runs.

The most entertaining piece of the scene was her wonderment at flushing the urinal, which was an alien thing to little Jeannie.

Cut to practice where coach Gannon is a shadow of his former self. In his private office, the coach sits in his underwear as a recording from the radio plays out his former glory. He moves figures around the field, reliving the perfect play.

At the burger shack, Debbie asks the counter guy what she can get for free. He tells her he’ll help her out in the back, so they go into the back office while Norman drops the fries. Norman seems to have a lot of jobs. It’s a running gag that he has literally every job in the film.

Debbie and the counter guy have sex while she chomps gum and he pounds away at her.

Cut to practice where coach Gannon is a shadow of his former self. In his private office, the coach sits in his underwear as a recording from the radio plays out his former glory. He moves figures around the field, reliving the perfect play.

All the while, Claudia is laying naked nearby. They have sex to the radio announcer’s voice as the coach scores the winning touchdown.

The girls are doing calisthenics while the cheerleading coach watches. Suzie tells a “funny” story about how she was never a virgin because when she was 13, she went to a gas station to pump up her tire on her bike and the guy had a “special pump” for that. The 70s were a different time.

Patty is kept after class and the coach, Isabelle, has some extra-credit thoughts on how to spend their time. Then we are provided with one of the most befuddling lesiban scenes where they use a shake device together and ride an exercise bike in tandem while Novi watches through a peephole.

On the way home, Jeannie tells Suzie how sad she is to not even know what to do with a man. Suzie makes out with and has sex with a guy on the bus while the students watch.

The guy gets off the bus at Jeannie’s stop and she walks up to her house.

Norman pulls up in a delivery truck and gets out with his arms full of bags. He trips over Jeannie and drops them all. Worried she will get him fired from yet another job, she tries to lay on the seduction. It just makes him more confused, not sure what she is going on about. He was embarrassed by the scene in the locker room since everyone knows she is his girl. She stalks off, to change the minds of everyone about that.

Then Suzie has sex with the bus driver while he’s driving. This school is lit. In the commentary, the director noted that he asked the bus driver, who was actually the crew driver to get everyone to set, if he wanted to be in the movie and have a sex scene with one of the cheerleaders. Obviously the answer was yes. There were no intimacy coordinators in the 1970s low-budget film world.

In the burger joint parking lot, Novi meets with Jon, who calls himself Little Jon because that is sexy. Novi’s boss wants Amorosa to lose the game so they can be rich with a big betting spread. Jon says he will take care of it and they take off. Jon likes to rhyme. Actually, a lot of the cast likes to rhyme. Like “don’t get your liver in a quiver. Go home and sit tight, this could be your night.” Poetry, bam!

Keeping the poetry alive, the cheerleaders try to figure out how to get Jeannie laid. Bonnie comes up with the perfect ad: “Come get a cheerleader snatch, never a key in the latch.”

“Little Jon’s on the scene, like Dr. Spock with a cock. No problem too big, for someone I dig.”

Jon tries to talk to Norman, who blows him off. But when the girls tell him about Jeannie’s virginity “problem,” he decides he is the man for the job and goes over to lay on the Little Jon charm. He seduces her with a french fry. At this point in Jeannie’s desperation, he could have dumped a burger on her and she would have jumped him. The counter guy asks Norman if that’s his girl. Norman says he doesn’t have one.

Jon takes Jeannie to Novi’s house where Novi controls the lights and Jeannie comments that it’s magic, just like the Wizard of Oz. She absolutely nailed the innocent girl. While Jon is making out with her, Novi is also trying to cop a feel. “Your hand on my breast, your other hand on my tummy…your other hand on my leg…”

Novi wants him to get Jeannie into the bedroom and dress her up. He tells Jon this while Jeannie sucks Jon’s toes at his request.

 They start bouncing around and Novi gets excited, under the table they are on. Jeannie still has no clue that Novi is there. She breaks the table with her exuberant bouncing while giving him a toe job and they head to the bedroom.

She puts on a frilly lace thing with cut-outs for her breasts and tries on the various wigs Novi has on his dressing table. Novi is wearing one with his head sticking up through the table and watching. She pulls the wig off of his head and he tries to lick her breast while she tries it on, oblivious to him.

The bed Jon is laying on is a large blow-up mouth with weird teeth and the water bed is the tongue. Novi obviously goes all out in his fantasies. A black and white nudie movie plays in the back of the throat.

Jon undresses her and they are getting down and dirty when Novi pops up in a bear suit asking when it is his turn. Apparently there was supposed to be a scene where Novie was stuck under a bearskin rug as Jon and Jeannie rolled around on top of him. Which is why when he pops up in a bear suit it makes sense… except the rug was tiny so it didn’t work and he just pops up as a 70s furry instead.

Jon tells him to wait in the hall. Of course, Jeannie never notices the man in the giant bear suit. Claudia finds Jeannie’s cheerleading outfit and is unhappy because she doesn’t want to lose the bet and have sex with Novi. Jon leaves the room and tells Novi that Jeannie is ready for him. Suddenly we’re in a door farce!

Jon pushes Novi into the room, but Jeannie comes out a different door. Then he pushes her back in with him and Novi comes out. Claudia grabs Novi and pulls him into a different door. She comes out of the closet in the bear costume and Jon pushes her into the room with Jeannie. Jon hears a knock and lets Novi out of the closet. The zoom into the room again and Jon pulls Jeannie back into the bedroom while Novi gropes Claudia in the bear outfit. Because this film is nothing if not subtle, the waterbed bursts and Jeannie comes sliding out on a gusher.

Cut to mini-putt, the sexiest game on the planet.

Jeannie is telling them how wonderful it was…but weird because there was a bear there. Claudia points to some hoodlums fixing their bikes, to which Jeannie decides, “they’re wonderful.” She really wants to get laid. Claudia decides to show Jeannie how to play hard-to-get and tells them off with a seemingly well-rehearsed diatribe about having their own transportation. The guys decide that they like big words so they start saying them: gymnasium, haberdashery, antihistamine.

Jeannie wants to take them back to Claudia’s house. Jeannie and Claudia’s moms are having a garden party. Vinnie and Sal have painted all over the cars in the driveway, and seemingly in each shot, there is more and more graffiti even though you never see them paint it. Claudia tells Jeannie to fight them off because that’s how these guys like it: rough. She smacks him and then they have rough sex.

Jeannie kicks Sal and tries to do the same. Of course, Jeannie’s dad drives up and catches her naked. He crashes into Claudia’s car.

Jeannie and Sal run through the garden party and her dad follows, falling in the pool. Of course, Sal has already graffiti’d his shirt.

At the rally, the coach is giving a speech and Jon is selling drugs to the student body. Novi is worried that they will not lose, but Jon says he has it in the bag. There’s no way they’ll be able to win after what he has planned.

Angry that he had found his daughter attempting to have sex with a hoodlum, Jeannie’s dad won’t let her go to the slumber party. So Debbie decides they’ll just have to do it at Jeannie’s house.

In various see-through shifts, the girls smoke pot and hang out while Jeannie’s dad ogles them every now and again. Claudia decides to go and see if she can stop him from coming in.

Jon knocks on the window. He leads in the football team and an orgy takes place, tiring out the team.

Meanwhile Claudia has sex with Jeannie’s dad. She walks in an is pissed off that they “fucked out” their own team. Now they have to do something in Central City to make up for it.

The girls start sexing up the opposing team in a sex montage that includes a car lift, weightlifting a naked cheerleader, and a girl jumping out of a pepperoni pizza.

It’s the day of the big game and the guys on both teams are spent.

And the Central cheerleaders are quite literally the worst cheerleaders on the planet. I mean, worse than any of the tryout cheerleaders bad.

The players are falling left and right and the coach has no idea what the hell is happening. Everyone is so tired. In a fun Three Stooges-esque bit, two scrawny medics run out to the field to try to roll a huge football player onto the stretcher to pull off the field. They cannot lift him and the other players cling to them to try to get off as well, not able to play.

Suddenly the other team puts in a new player, 12, one who none of them had tired out because he was not on the list. He was a fourth-string quarterback that no one knew about. He scores a point and the girls decide they need to take him out. This is Jeannie’s “put me in coach” moment, though Claudia only sends her along to watch.

They flip the arrow to the lock room and 12 goes running into the wrong one. Then, while the girls are watching, Novi grabs them and pulls them into the janitor’s closet. 

Jeannie comes running up, not seeing what happened to Debbie and Bonnie. She follows 12 into the locker room.

Jeannie and Paul meet and are instantly attracted to each other. He exists, and she wants to have sex. It’s a match made in sexploitation heaven.

Since everyone is falling over from exhaustion, the coach puts Norman in. Norman, still with his hot dog sales box on, picks up the ball and puts it in the box with the dogs.

Claudia yells that she wants 50 hot dogs and Norman starts running to the end zone to get the biggest sale ever. He gets there and is confused that no one ordered dogs, but the crowd picks him up and puts him on their shoulders since he just scored the winning touchdown by accident.

The girls all have sex with Norman in the car wash as the credits roll.