6.9/10
5,036
56 user 17 critic

Bang the Drum Slowly (1973)

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:

John D. Hancock (as John Hancock)

Writers:

Mark Harris (novel), Mark Harris (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:
Robert De Niro ... Bruce Pearson
Michael Moriarty ... Henry 'Author' Wiggen
Vincent Gardenia ... Dutch Schnell
Phil Foster ... Joe Jaros
Ann Wedgeworth ... Katie
Patrick McVey Patrick McVey ... Bruce's Father
Heather MacRae ... Holly Wiggen
Selma Diamond ... Tootsie, Hotel Switchboard Operator
Barbara Babcock ... Team Owner
Maurice Rosenfield Maurice Rosenfield ... Team Owner
Tom Ligon ... Piney Woods
Andy Jarrell Andy Jarrell ... Ugly
Marshall Efron ... Bradley
Donny Burks Donny Burks ... Perry
Tom Signorelli 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:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

9 March 1978 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Das letzte Spiel See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Barbara Babcock, who plays the team owner in the picture, appeared in the original television adaptation in a nonspeaking role. 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 »


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

 
Early Deniro
15 August 2008 | by kairinglerSee all my reviews

Being a baseball fan for 30+ years; i really enjoyed this movie, it's a good baseball story about a relationship between the ace pitcher and a catcher, the movie features various quirky players and such, but mainly focuses on these two. If you're not a baseball fan , then maybe the story about the friendship between the two will draw you in,, if on the other hand you are looking for lots of action, crashes , stuff like that,, look elsewhere, this is one of those movies that is very touching to the soul, makes you think about life in general; Robert Deniro gives an excellent performance as Pearson the catcher, maybe not his best performance but way better than average,, the rest of the cast features Michael Moriarity, a small bit from Danny Aiello, and a few others who i can't remember, but all in all it was a good touching story about a catcher trying to help his team with the World Series. A thumbs up from this baseball fan.


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