Game On: Sports Films Hit the Ransom Center

Series pairs with 'Literature in Sport' exhibit

Bang the Drum Slowly
Bang the Drum Slowly

The Harry Ransom Center is batting a thousand with its upcoming film series.

The HRC's Sport Film Series will pair with the museum’s ongoing “Literature in Sport” exhibition this week. Select collection artifacts – on view through Aug. 4 – hail from the four iconic jock sagas the HRC will screen between Tuesday, June 18 and Thursday, June 27.

With the “Boys of Summer” kicking up diamond dirt across the United States, the series’ cinematic slate fittingly leads off with baseball masterpieces Bang the Drum Slowly (1973) and The Natural (1984).

Boxing buffs can sit ringside in Ransom’s intimate Prothro Theatre for the following week’s showcases of Scorsese’s revered boxing biopic Raging Bull, followed by Leon Gast’s 1996 “Rumble in the Jungle” documentary, When We Were Kings. The latter is a chronicle of “arguably the greatest sporting event of the 20th century”: 1974’s mythic heavyweight title bout in Zaire between Muhammad Ali and a punishing young George Foreman.

Items from the “Literature and Sport” exhibition deriving from the selected films include Robert De Niro’s catcher’s helmet from Bang the Drum Slowly, writer Norman Mailer’s ticket to the Ali/Foreman championship bout, and De Niro’s original script of Raging Bull.

Screenings run Tuesdays and Thursdays June 18-June 27. The event is free to the public and begins at 7pm. Patrons are advised to arrive 30 minutes early to ensure seating. Visit the Ransom Center website for complete details.

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Harry Ransom Center, sports, sports films, Bang the Drum Slowly, Raging Bull, Robert De Niro, When We Were Kings, Rumble in the Jungle, The Natural

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