7.0/10
4,581
56 user 12 critic

Bang the Drum Slowly (1973)

PG | | Drama, Sport | 12 May 1978 (Finland)
The story of the friendship between a star pitcher, wise to the world, and a half-wit catcher, as they cope with the catcher's terminal illness through a baseball season.

Director:

(as John Hancock)

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Joe Jaros
...
Katie
Patrick McVey ...
Bruce's Father
...
Holly Wiggen
Selma Diamond ...
Tootsie, Hotel Switchboard Operator
...
Team Owner
Maurice Rosenfield ...
Team Owner
...
Piney Woods
Andy Jarrell ...
Ugly
...
Bradley
Danny Burks ...
Perry
Tom Signorelli ...
Goose Williams
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Storyline

Henry Wiggen (Author to his friends) and Bruce Pearson are members of the New York Mammoths major league baseball team - Author the star pitcher, Bruce the catcher who never quite lived up to his potential - friends, and roommates when they're on the road. During the off season, Bruce is diagnosed with a terminal case of Hodgkin's disease. Author is the only person on the team who knows of Bruce's illness, with neither planning on telling anyone. Author takes extraordinary measures to ensure that he is playing ball with Bruce during what will probably be Bruce's final season before he can no longer play. Author looks after Bruce in part because Bruce is mentally a simple man who can easily be taken advantage of, especially by his opportunistic girlfriend Katie. As the season progresses, the team isn't quite gelling, despite being the best team on paper. But as information comes to light, the dynamic on the team changes to make it a memorable end of the season especially for Bruce, who... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 May 1978 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Das letzte Spiel  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To prepare for his role, Robert De Niro went to Florida to watch baseball teams in spring training, then traveled to Georgia and tape recorded conversations to study their accents. See more »

Goofs

All game action was shot at Shea Stadium and Yankee Stadium, but the Mammoths wore their home white and road gray jerseys at both fields. See more »

Quotes

Dutch Schnell: Skip the facts, just gimme the details.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hardcore (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Look Before You Weep
Music and Lyrics by Orville Stoeber
See more »

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User Reviews

An Excellent Movie
22 November 2001 | by (Gresham, OR) – See all my reviews

I watched 'Bang the Drum Slowly' on AMC the other night and it was nothing I expected. I figured that De Niro would be the big, tough talkin' hot shot (which he does very well anyway), but instead, he's the dumb country boy.

The friendship the two men create is the big reason to watch this movie. As the hardships occur, the stronger the frienship gets. Robert De Niro does an outstanding job, in one of his first real big hit next to 'Mean Streets', as Bruce Pearson, the ignorant country boy (you can tell he used the same accent in 'Cape Fear') from Georgia who is dying of Hodgkin's Disease, and Michael Moriarty is also fantastic as Henry Wiggen, the tough talkin' hot shot New Yorker.

The two men are trying to keep De Niro's illness a secret so that it won't spill out into the media, so they have to find excuses for going to hospitals and such. The film is a powerful drama, yet it also has a good dose of comedy. I recommend this movie to anyone who likes great acting and unbreakable friendship. 9/10


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