High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! 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 Newman and Albert Salmi. The 1973 film was directed by John D. Hancock and stars Michael Moriarty as Henry Wiggen, and a then young unknown actor named Robert De Niro in the role of Bruce 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 or a charismatic sociopath, the Pearson role has been regarded as one of his more tragic and sensitive characters. The non Florida baseball sequences were filmed at New York's Yankee and Shea Stadiums during the late May and June 1972 when the Yankees and Mets were on extended roadtrips.