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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 3,999 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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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
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The TV performance of the "Singing Mammoths", was also shot at Shea Stadium on the set of "Kiner's Korner" - the post game show of New York Mets telecasts, hosted by Met broadcaster, and Hall of Fame outfielder, Ralph Kiner. See more »

Goofs

During Piney's song in the clubhouse, coach Joe is shown holding the deck of cards in his hand. The next cut shows him with all the cards spread out on the table. No time has passed since the song is marking the time. 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 Hollywood's Top Ten: Batter Up! (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
What entails a good Sports movie
6 July 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Good sports movies are hard to come by. Sure, there are a lot that are pretty decent, the ones that truly strike a chord seem to have been made mostly in the 70's, and this one is included. DeNiro plays a struggling catcher on the Yankees who finds out hes's dying, and Moriarty plays the pitcher. They're two completely different characters who form a bond with each other throughout the last year or so of the catcher's life. And though it still somehow gets centered mainly on Moriarty until the pivotal points of the movie, DeNiro still amazes, as the slow witted catcher with a problem that he doesn't want to tell anyone, so as not to get pity. This is real story with baseball as the backdrop, and that's how it should be done, to get real sports movies.


10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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