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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 3,980 users  
Reviews: 52 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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Title: Bang the Drum Slowly (1973)

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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

First produced as an hour-long live TV drama in 1956 on the United States Steel Hour, with Paul Newman as Henry Wiggen and Albert Salmi as Bruce Pearson. See more »

Goofs

During a game against the Orioles (right after the taunt "Get a job, Wiggin, get a job!"), an overhead shot shows no base-runners. Henry pitches, the batter hits the ball; then the next shot, from the hitter's point of view, shows a runner starting off from second base. See more »

Quotes

Bruce Pearson: Everybody'd be nice to you if they knew you were dying.
Henry Wiggen: Everybody knows everybody is dying; that's why people are as good as they are.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in St. Elsewhere: Bang the Eardrum Slowly (1985) 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 movie find
6 October 1999 | by (Cranford, NJ) – See all my reviews

I first saw this movie when it was first released to TV in the early '70s. Although I had seen De Niro in some films, such as Mean Streets, he was really unrecognizable in this part as a Georgia Hillbilly. At the time, I thought the film was insightful, funny and extraordinarily touching.

I've seen he film several times over the years, and each time I've found the movie to be even more entertaining and moving. When a movie deals effectively with real life, as this does, the viewer will find different insights at different stages of their own life. The first time I saw it, I was struck by the insights into the world of baseball. As I've aged, I'm more impressed by the film's insight into the human condition.


24 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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