Robert De Niro and Michael Moriarty stand out in this film version of Mark Harris’ novel about Bruce Pearson (De Niro), a clumsy, oafish, country boy baseball catcher stricken with leukaemia who wants to play another season before he dies.
Telling the engrossing tale of how stylish New York super-pitcher Henry Wiggen (Moriarty) helps his terminally ill catcher through one last season, this 1950s-set heartbreaker resonates with emotional truths while evoking nostalgia for a more innocent era.
It’s superlatively performed by De Niro (then unknown) and Moriarty (whose subsequent career betrayed his talents), with excellent support from Vincent Gardenia (as their manager) who was nominated for an Oscar.
The story is somewhat cliché-strewn but doesn’t become overly sentimental.
Robert De Niro