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Fear Strikes Out
     

Fear Strikes Out

3.5 2
Director: Robert Mulligan, Anthony Perkins, Karl Malden, Norma Moore

Cast: Robert Mulligan, Anthony Perkins, Karl Malden, Norma Moore

 

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Anthony Perkins stars as troubled baseball great Jimmy Piersall in Fear Strikes Out. Based on Piersall's shattering tell-all autobiography, the film traces Jimmy's ascent from the sandlots of Waterbury, CT, to the Boston Red Sox, with his domineering father (Karl Malden) pushing the boy beyond all reasonable limits. Unable to withstand the pressure, Piersall

Overview

Anthony Perkins stars as troubled baseball great Jimmy Piersall in Fear Strikes Out. Based on Piersall's shattering tell-all autobiography, the film traces Jimmy's ascent from the sandlots of Waterbury, CT, to the Boston Red Sox, with his domineering father (Karl Malden) pushing the boy beyond all reasonable limits. Unable to withstand the pressure, Piersall suffers a nervous breakdown and is confined to a mental institution. Through a long period of therapy, Jimmy realizes that he has excelled in baseball not for his own gratification but to please his father. This film was preceded by a 1956 TV version starring Tab Hunter.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Fear Strikes Out gives viewers a chance to appreciate what a fine actor Anthony Perkins was in his prime. Perkins was increasingly typecast after Psycho in roles that didn't allow him to show his range, and many of his latter performances are over the top yet tired, rehashes of things he did better previously. But Fear, a biopic of baseball's Jimmy Piersall, gives Perkins a chance to shine, and shine he does. As a young ball player whose incessant need for approval from his overbearing father leads to a nervous breakdown, Perkins is in top form; the scene in which, after hitting a home run, Perkins loses control and frantically, desperately climbs up the backstop, is beautifully executed (by both Perkins and director Robert Mulligan) and makes an indelible impression. But Perkins, as an actor, is in total control throughout, giving a wonderfully modulated performance that features many of his typical characteristics but keeps them from falling into mannerisms. Karl Malden is also excellent as the father who pushes too hard and finds nuance in a character that is written a bit too simplistically. It's true that the screenplay as a whole is a little too direct and obvious, but the actors and Mulligan's sensitive direction make up for this defect.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/24/2013
UPC:
0883929311248
Original Release:
1957
Rating:
NR
Source:
Paramount Catalog
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:40:00

Special Features

Closed Caption

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anthony Perkins Jimmy Piersall
Karl Malden John Piersall
Norma Moore Mary Piersall
Adam Williams Dr. Brown
Perry Wilson Mrs. John Piersall
Peter J. Votrian Jimmy (younger)
Dennis McMullen Phil
Gail Land Alice
Brian G. Hutton Bernie Sherwill
Bart Burns Joe Cronin
Rand Harper Radio Announcer
Howard Price Bill Tracy
Eric Alden Actor
Mary Benoit Actor
John Benson Actor
Don Brodie Actor
Richard Bull Actor
Edward Byrnes Actor
Heather Hopper Actor
June Jocelyn Actor
Morgan Jones Sandy Allen
Don McGuire Actor
Ralph Montgomery Actor
George Pembroke Umpire
Bing Russell Actor
Courtland Shepard Actor

Technical Credits
Robert Mulligan Director
Ted Berkman Screenwriter
Elmer Bernstein Score Composer
Raphael Blau Screenwriter
Haskell Boggs Cinematographer
John P. Fulton Special Effects
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Albert S. Hirshberg Original Story
Alan J. Pakula Producer
James A. Piersall Original Story
Aaron Stell Editor

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Fear Strikes Out
1. Dad's Philosophy
2. High School Ball
3. Pressure
4. Scout's Visit
5. Date With Mary
6. The Proposal
7. Baby Makes Three
8. We're In the Big Leagues
9. "Play Ball!"
10. Breakdown
11. Hospital Stay
12. Root of the Matter
13. Standing Up to Dad
14. Recovery
15. It's My Game

Customer Reviews

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Fear Strikes Out 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this film many years ago, it is about the life of the outfielder Jimmy Piersall. The film was subtitled in Spanish. For many years I was waiting to get its DVD, but unfortunately it is only dubbed and spoken in French in addition to English original. Wonder how many people play baseball in France? and how many of them knows something about Piersall and Boston Red Sox?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I watched this while working the graveyard shift at work and kind of got into it. It has the feel of a dark 1950's drama. Perkins is a little over the top at times (seems like a social outcast and forced acting) but overall is a watchable movie