Bang the Drum Slowly (1973) - 5 stars out of 10
Everything about this movie is “okay.” Nice story, good acting, heartwarming moral about the goodness in people, but I’ll probably forget about this one after the next baseball movie I see. “Bang the Drum Slowly” tells the story of the New York Mammoths, a down-and-out baseball team whose catcher is bullied by his teammates and secretly suffering from Hodgkin’s disease. As each member of the team learns of his plight, they begin to accept and encourage each other. This new attitude spills out onto the field and the team begins to win. Robert DeNiro plays the role of the ill, unintelligent catcher. This early role in his career thrust him into the spotlight, though his acting has come a long way since this performance. Michael Moriarty was very good as Henry Wiggins, star pitcher and DeNiro’s only friend. Vincent Gardenia was nominated for Best Supporting Actor as Dutch, the coach of the ballclub, but there was really only one monologue of his that stood out to me. The plot is predictable and slow moving but creates some nice moments toward the end. “Bang the Drum Slowly” is a very vanilla film. It isn’t very memorable but definitely worth a watch if you are a baseball fan.