Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

26 May 2011

The Briefest of Reviews from 1973

I have not read the book on which Bang the Drum Slowly is based, but the film manages to capture a very interesting tone. This manages to be a very funny comedy about Hodgkin's Disease while also being a very moving story about a friendship between two men. The film is laugh-out-loud hilarious plenty of times, and alongside that humor, the film is quite poignant. It's a true directing achievement, if you ask me. De Niro's character is sort of thick and Moriarty's is streetwise and clever. The following exchange is one of my favorites from the movie and is indicative of how Mark Harris's very simple dialogue manages to achieve profundity.

De Niro: They're only nice to me because they know I'm dying.
Moriarty: Everybody knows everybody's dying; that's why everybody's nice to everybody else all of the time.