- Bang the Drum Slowly (film)
name = Bang the Drum Slowly
caption = Theatrical release poster
John D. Hancock
producer = Maurice and Lois Rosenfield
writer = Mark Harris
Michael Moriarty Robert De Niro
music = Stephen Lawrence
cinematography = Richard Shore
released = 1973
runtime = 96 min.
language = English
amg_id = 1:3880
imdb_id = 0069765
"Bang the Drum Slowly" is a 1973 film adaptation of the 1956 baseball novel of the same name by Mark Harris. It was previously dramatized in 1956 on the "
U.S. Steel Hour" with Paul Newmanand Albert Salmi.
The 1973 film was directed by
John D. Hancockand stars Michael Moriartyas Wiggen, and a then young unknown actor named Robert De Niroin the role of Pearson. It was met with box office success and critical acclaim. De Niro's performance in the film and in " Mean Streets", released two months later, brought him widespread acclaim. Compared with other roles which have seemed to typecast him as a troubled loner (as in " The Deer Hunter", " Raging Bull", and " Taxi Driver") or a charismatic sociopath (as in "", " Once Upon A Time In America", " Goodfellas" and "Cape Fear"), the Pearson role has been regarded as one of his more tragic and sensitive characters.
The opening scenes of the movie show the stars running the track at
Yankee Stadiumbefore its 1973 to 1976 renovation, but due to the renovation, the baseball scenes were filmed in Shea Stadium.
The film and book include a fictional card game known as tegwar, which means "The Exciting Game Without Any Rules." It is a game basically designed to separate a sucker from his cash. Henry Wiggen plays this game along with other ballplayers and coaches, to sucker passers-by in the lobby of the team hotel. It is generally believed that Bruce Pearson is too dumb to be able to sucker people, so he is excluded. However, Henry begins to include Bruce in the tegwar games as the story progresses.
This film is reportedly Robert De Niro's colleague
Al Pacino's favorite film. [cite book|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=miUmXrLj7B8C|title=Al Pacino in Conversation with Lawrence Grobel|year=2006|isbn=1416912118|pages=33|author=Grobel, Lawrence] In reviews, Wiggen is often referred to as being modeled after Tom Seaver. [cite news|url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,910751,00.html|title=Base Hit|publisher=Time Magazine|date=1973-09-03]
*imdb title | id=0069765 | title=Bang the Drum Slowly
* [http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:3880 All Movie Guide entry]
* [http://bosqueboys.com/index.php?itemid=366 Bosque Boys: "My Favorite Baseball Movie"]
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