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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
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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

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: These are Fifth and Two. Fifth and Queen.
Joe Jaros: Red Rooster.
[long pause, then Tegawar Player lays a 3. Joe slams down his cards]
Joe Jaros: BANJO! Ha-HAAAA! That's the first natural Banjo since the days of Joe Dimaggio in St. Petersburg.
Henry Wiggen: Hey, wait a minute. Fifteen and Fifteen's Thirty-One.
Tegwar Player: Hey, what's the name of this game?
Joe Jaros: Fifteen and Fifteen is Thirty-TWO!
Henry Wiggen: Thirry-T... oh, that's right.
[to Tegwar player]
Henry Wiggen: That's a Double Honeybees.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Sports on the Silver Screen (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Look Before You Weep
Music and Lyrics by Orville Stoeber
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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