Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s Bang The Drum Slowly (1973)

Bang The Drum Slowly (1973)

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.

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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.

Bruce Pearson
Robert De Niro
Dutch Schnell
Vincent Gardenia
Joe Jaros
Phil Foster
Katie
Ann Wedgeworth
Henry Wiggen
Michael Moriarty
Holly Wiggen
Heather Macrae
Bruce’s father
Patrick Mcvey
Tootsie
Selma Diamond
Piney Woods
Tom Ligon
Ugly
Andy Jarrell
Bradley
Marshall Efron
Perry
Donny Burks
Diego
Hector Elias
Goose
Tom Signorelli
Canada
James Donahue
Aleck Olson
Nicolas Surovy
Horse
Danny Aiello
George
Hector Troy
Jonah
Tony Major
Red
Barton Heyman
Dr Chambers
Ernesto Gonzalez
Doc Loftus
Alan Manson

Director
John Hancock