7.0/10
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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)
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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
Andy Jarrell ...
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

Robert De Niro auditioned 7 times before he finally landed the lead role. 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

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

Featured in Diamonds on the Silver Screen (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Home On The Range
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Brewster M. Higley and music by Daniel E. Kelley
Arranged by Nick Manolff
See more »

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User Reviews

Holds up better than Bull Durham, I think.
9 April 2003 | by (texas) – See all my reviews

I have been a baseball fan all my life, I have played the game, and I have even been compared by one girl to Kevin Costner's character, Crash Davis, in Bull Durham. I like Bang The Drum Slowly better than Durham. For one, the lines stand up better. Many of Bull Durham's lines are ridiculous or unnecessary or unrealistic. The whole "I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone..." monologue, for example is silly when really looked at hard. (Who would make such a speech?) There are lines in Bang the Drum, however that stand up over time. "It's sad, it makes you wanna cry. No, it sad, it makes you wanna laugh," for example. Even though I have actually had to explain the meaning of that line to one person, I love it. Just the way the players, especially Moriarty, talk, is so authentic. "Not a bad ballplayer, either once people got off his back and let him play." Great performance by De Niro. A good little sports film that will make you cry a little and give you lines that you never forget. "From now on, I rag no one."


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