The United States Steel Hour: Season 4, Episode 2

Bang the Drum Slowly (26 Sep. 1956)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Drama
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 85 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 4 critic

A pitcher on a major-league baseball team finds out that his catcher is desperately trying to hide something, he is dying of a terminal disease and he doesn't want the owner to find out and fire him.



(novel), (adaptation)
0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 8244 titles
created 13 Aug 2011
a list of 267 titles
created 11 Nov 2012
a list of 959 titles
created 11 months ago
a list of 220 titles
created 6 months ago
a list of 1740 titles
created 4 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Bang the Drum Slowly (26 Sep 1956)

Bang the Drum Slowly (26 Sep 1956) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The United States Steel Hour.

User Polls

« Previous Episode | 77 of 250 Episodes | Next Episode »


Episode credited cast:
Rudy Bond ...
John McGovern ...
Mr. Moors
Piney Woods


A pitcher on a major-league baseball team finds out that his catcher is desperately trying to hide something, he is dying of a terminal disease and he doesn't want the owner to find out and fire him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

26 September 1956 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


George Peppard's TV debut. See more »


Version of Bang the Drum Slowly (1973) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A simple story, simply told
4 September 2006 | by (N Syracuse NY) – See all my reviews

This is another review from my mini-marathon of original live TV classics and the movies they made of them. I've done "Marty", "Patterns" and "Requiem for a Heavyweight" now "Bang the Drum Slowly" and will do "The Days of Wine and Roses". I'd love to see the original "12 Angry Men" with Bob Cummings but it doesn't seem to be available. I'd love to see a cable channel devoted to these old shows, even some non-classics if they represented early work by famous actors, directors and writers, (as so many of them did). But this will do for now.

I love the simplicity of the 1956 US Steel Hour production of this play. Paul Newman, in one of his first big roles, addresses the audience on a darkened stage and explains why "he", (Henry Wiggins, a star pitcher for the New York Mammoths), wrote this story of what happened to his catcher and friend, Bruce Pierson, (Albert Salmi in what would become atypically fine performance), who succumbed to an unnamed disease that somehow didn't prevent him from playing baseball for another season. Pierson didn't want the ball club or his teammates to know about his condition because they'd probably get rid of him. Wiggin agrees to keep it a secret until the end of the season but ultimately can't. There's really only 4-5 scenes in this simple, bittersweet story and Newman introduces each, much like the stage manager he would play decades later in "Our Town". It's short and sweet, a simple story simply told.

The film, made 17 years later, "opens" the play up with large numbers of outdoor sequences, many of them filmed in an empty-looking Shea Stadium. Side characters are given much more play and there are more humorous sequences included. The big gain is a classic performance as the manager by the great character actor, Vincent Gardenia. But on the whole, the additional time given to the story and the outdoor sequences add very little to the basic story, ("The Musical Mammoths"?!?). Newman's and Salmi's basic warmth comes across better than Michael Moriarity's rather diffident and Robert DeNiro's intense method-acting performances.

As always with these old shows, it's fun to see some famous actors early in their careers. That would include the leads but also George Peppard as "Piney Woods", the southern hayseed who is a threat to replace Pierson in the teleplay along with Clu Gulager, Bert Remsen and Arch Johnson as other teammates. In the film, Heather McRae is Moriarity's wife and Ann Wedgeworth DeNiro's girlfriend while Barbara Babcock, 20 years before "Dr. Quinn", looks young and beautiful, like a fashion model as the team owner.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Where could I find the episode 'The Hours Before Dawn' Marybl
Last Live Drama? jpostove
The Human Comedy dogsandcats5
Looking for episodes stlpolarbear
the soldier ran away alvinsdeguzman
Discuss Bang the Drum Slowly (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: