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Bang the Drum Slowly (1973)

 -  Drama | Sport  -  12 May 1978 (Finland)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 3,936 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 10 critic

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)
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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
...
Ugly
...
Bradley
Danny Burks ...
Perry
Tom Signorelli ...
Goose Williams
Edit

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

Though the uniforms appear to be New York Yankee uniforms, they're actually the New York Mammoths. See more »

Goofs

Paul shoots the light in the hotel room using a single action revolver, which requires manually cocking the hammer. However, the hammer is clearly in the down position and his finger is not even on the trigger. See more »

Quotes

Henry Wiggen: See, it was no double birdie.
Mr. Pearson: Double Birdie?
Bruce Pearson: Whereas for, it coulda been a spread eagle.
Henry Wiggen: Probably you've been playing Southeastern Tegwar all your life, but in the Majors the boys all play Western Canadian style. Which, for my money, is much faster. That leaves you free for a Butchered Hog most any time, whereas, uh.
Bruce Pearson: Whereas uh.
Mr. Pearson: Wh, Whereas what?
Bruce Pearson: Whereas, it, uh, keeps you from dropping dead on the board.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Beavis and Butt-Head: Bang the Drum Slowly, Dumbass (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Streets of Loredo (The Cowboy's Lament)
Performed and sung by Tom Ligon
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Story About Real Friendship
10 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There was nothing hokey overly melodramatic about this story, and usually you get that with a sports story or about a good person dying. In this case, we have a combination of the two.

This is simply a mellow, sweet-natured human interest story well-acted by the two main stars: Michael Moriarity and Robert De Niro. Both are nice to watch, playing very easy-going non-offensive characters.

Moriarty plays a pitcher on a pennant-contending team who lovingly looks after his not-so-smart-but-dying teammate and friend (De Niro). By today's standards, it's slow-moving but I never got bored with it in several viewings. As nice a film as it is, there is one warning: a lot profanity by the manager (Vincent Gardenia) but it's not a kids' movie anyway.

I watched it years ago and then again recently when it came out on DVD. It's hard to get excited about it, yet it's a memorable story that I could never get out of my head. We all wish we had friends like the one Moriarty portrays here.


30 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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