Bang the Drum Slowly

1973 PG 1h 37m DVD

Bang the Drum Slowly

1973 PG 1h 37m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Bruce Pearson is a dedicated baseball player who's hiding a secret: he has Hodgkin's disease. His only confidante is the team's star pitcher, Henry Wiggen, who covers for him as he faces not only a waning season but a slowly fading life.
Robert De Niro, Michael Moriarty, Vincent Gardenia, Phil Foster, Ann Wedgeworth, Patrick McVey, Heather MacRae, Selma Diamond, Barbara Babcock
John D. Hancock
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital Mono
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 12+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 12+
age 12+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this movie is the furthest thing from nonstop baseball action. It's extremely talky, with the game scenes almost an afterthought. There is lots of salty locker-room language, including references to (possible) homosexuality and adultery and sexually transmitted diseases. The subject of a man dying young isn't tackled religiously. Characters just sadly accept his fate.

Sexual Content

Sideways talk about baseball players having prolific love affairs; references to sexually transmitted disease and Playboy magazine. The close friendship between Pearson and Wiggen is misinterpreted (briefly) as homosexuality.


Not applicable


One F-word, many "dammits," and use of the S-word (one character apologizes profusely before uttering it), and the P-word (for urination).

Social Behavior

Henry Wiggen puts his friendship with Bruce Pearson ahead of everything else (though we hear from incidental dialogue that this may not always have been the case). The rest of their team is multicultural, and the team owner is female (but not necessarily sympathetic).


References to a handful of popular men's magazines and their advice on dressing and hairstyles.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Social drinking.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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