Bang the Drum Slowly (Widescreen) [Import]
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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.
Only those with ice water in their veins won't get misty-eyed watching this moving film about the friendship of two professional baseball players, one of whom--in every sense--is playing his last season. A pre-stardom Robert De Niro portrays a rather simple-minded rookie catcher who comes under the wing of a veteran pitcher (Michael Moriarty). When De Niro's character is diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, Moriarty tries to help him get through one more season. Directed by John Hancock and based on the novel by Mark Harris (who also wrote the screenplay), the film builds on baseball's ability to foster its own lore of courage, nobility, loyalty, and--sadly--tragedy. Watching the youthful De Niro and Moriarty, with all that promise in their bones, adds to the overall romance of the film today. Also appearing are Vincent Gardenia and Danny Aiello. A perennial favorite for many. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Robert DeNiro was an unknown actor when he did this film, and his performance in this film is magnificent. His character is so believable that he is able to convey to the audience aspects of Bruce Pearson and his life without words. The audience senses it knows more of the man than what is actually explained in the film simply by judging the personality presented by DeNiro's acting. As a result, this was a break out performance for DeNiro, and led to a marvelous film career. In fact, it could be argued that his performance in Bang the Drum Slowly may be his finest performance on film. It is that good.
Michael Moriarty is also excellent in this film. He displays the charisma and talent of a major movie star, and one cannot help but be surprised that he did not have a greater film career than he did.Read more ›
One of the finer movies of its era, Bang the Drum Slowly is the story of a big-league pitcher, superbly played by Michael Moriarty, and his roommate, a catcher dieing from Hodgkin's disease played by a young Robert DeNiro in a wonderful performance that will come as a surprise to many used to the, by now familiar, DeNiro persona. Here he is a dumb-as-dirt, but amiable Georgia farm boy and he is absolutely believable in the role.
A touching story told with great humor, I think it one of the best baseball movies made, though it really isn't about baseball. This is the 70's, before super star salaries and temperaments have forever changed the game, when Managers were still King and the top salary of an ace pitcher was 100K. The film is told at a leisurely pace, 70's style, somewhat episodically, which will put some off.
Quite frankly I loved the sidetrips and distractions, because it allows a great cast to all have their moments. Vincent Gardenia as Dutch, the prototypical big league Manager "Never mind the facts, give me details" a cigarette forever planted on his lower lip, ashes dripping down his chest; Phil Foster hooking unsuspecting fans to play TEGWAR (The Exciting Game Without Any Rules)with himself & Arthur; Patick McVey as the father; Marshall Ephron as the weasely Bradley; the scheming Ann Wedgewood: Selma Diamond, Danny Aiello and others.
The story is narrated by Moriarty, and that narration and much of the dialogue is done in beautifully articulate mangled English. It feels lived-in.Read more ›
Against the backdrop of Big League baseball, the viewer is given only small glimpses of DeNiro's character's pain. Too many films dealing with death as the major theme pour it on heavy. Who wants to sit and cry for an hour and a half, for God's sake? What's the point in that? It's as much what you DON'T see that gives the film its depth, and that is, in itself, a breath of rarefied cinematic air.
Excellent performances abound here. The young DeNiro is nearly perfect as the slow - witted yet big - hearted country boy. Moriarty shines as Henry Wiggen, the big time pitcher, card hustler, insurance salesman, author and ultimately big brother to the doomed catcher. Vincent Gardenia is just plain hilarious as the manager of the fictional New York Mammoths, a team loaded with talent, yet fraught with eccentric players and inner turmoil.
What begins as a secret (Bruce, the catcher's, illness) is ultimately leaked to the other members of the team, and in the end, he unknowingly pulls them together.
Moriarty and DeNiro "lay it on thin," each giving subtle, yet dead on performances. Watching the friendship of the two characters grow is one of many things that makes Bang the Drum Slowly a special film. Your heart will not be torn out at every turn. On the contrary - there are more comic scenes than dramatic ones.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Not nearly as good as I had hoped. Actually I could not wait for it to end.Published 7 months ago by Mac 007
This is the film that you will not forget.This is a story of two roommates attempting to get through one final season. Read morePublished on June 18 2004 by Melvin Hunt
Bang the Drum Slowly is a film for anyone who loves sublime acting, droll humor, and a moving story that celebrates the human spirit. Read morePublished on June 15 2003
I've always thought that this movie version of Mark Harris's wonderful novel was overrated. Moriarty is excellent, DeNiro pretty good (though it's not even close to the stunning... Read morePublished on April 19 2003
I first saw this movie some twenty years ago and certain of the images have stuck with me all that time. Read morePublished on Aug. 11 2000
Bang the Drum Slowly is quite possibly the best baseball film ever. It rivals Sayles' 8 Men Out and Field Of Dreams and stands alone as a very complex and emotional portrayal of a... Read morePublished on March 4 2000 by Zach Derhodge
This film about life behind-the-scenes in professional baseball is really quite good even though all baseball fans know the story and the team are fictitious. Read morePublished on Oct. 20 1999