7.0/10
1,339
31 user 14 critic

Fear Strikes Out (1957)

True story of the life of Jimmy Piersall, who battled mental illness to achieve stardom in major league baseball.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Aging gunslinger Jacob Wade hopes to settle down with his estranged son, but his old enemies have other plans for him.

Director: Henry Levin
Stars: Jack Palance, Anthony Perkins, Neville Brand
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The story of Jerome "Dizzy" Dean, a major-league baseball pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs in the 1930s and 1940s.

Director: Harmon Jones
Stars: Dan Dailey, Joanne Dru, Richard Hylton
Pretty Poison (1968)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When a mentally disturbed young man tells a pretty girl that he's a secret agent, she believes him, and murder and mayhem ensue.

Director: Noel Black
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Tuesday Weld, Beverly Garland
Phaedra (1962)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The powerful Greek shipowner and constructor Thanos proposes to marry Phaedra during the baptism of a ship with her name. Phaedra, who is the daughter of Thanos'greatest competitor, is a ... See full summary »

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Melina Mercouri, Anthony Perkins, Raf Vallone
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

To save his career, a writer for television advertising wants a famous actress to endorse a lipstick. In return, he has to pretend to be her new lover.

Director: Frank Tashlin
Stars: Tony Randall, Jayne Mansfield, Betsy Drake
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Fugitive bank robber Joe Maybe steals the identity of a marshal and rides into a town whose judge asks Joe to act as town marshal but an old flame almost betrays his real identity forcing Joe to claim she's his wife.

Director: Jesse Hibbs
Stars: Audie Murphy, Gia Scala, Walter Matthau
Showdown (1963)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A cowboy has to get 12,000 dollars in stolen bonds from the ex-girlfriend of his partner, or the gang holding him hostage will kill him.

Director: R.G. Springsteen
Stars: Audie Murphy, Kathleen Crowley, Charles Drake
Jesse James (1939)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.

Directors: Henry King, Irving Cummings
Stars: Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly
The Rat Race (1960)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Tender romantic comedy about an aspiring musician who arrives in New York in search of fame & fortune. He soon meets a taxi dancer, moves in with her, and before too long a romance develops.

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Tony Curtis, Debbie Reynolds, Jack Oakie
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 13th-century Tangiers, regent Mustapha hires a paid assassin to kill baby Prince Hussein in order to usurp his throne but the assassin has second thoughts and steals the baby for himself.

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Tony Curtis, Piper Laurie, Everett Sloane
Fantasy | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Kashma Baba, the son of the famed Baghdad thief Ali Baba is a cadet in a medieval Persian military academy where he runs afoul of his rival Hussein, the evil Caliph's son.

Director: Kurt Neumann
Stars: Tony Curtis, Piper Laurie, Susan Cabot
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

To pacify 104 sex-starved male soldiers building an Arctic radar base, Army psychologist Vicki Loren suggests choosing one by lot to have a "perfect furlough" as selected by the men: three ... See full summary »

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, Keenan Wynn
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
John Piersall
Norma Moore ...
...
Doctor Brown
Perry Wilson ...
Mrs. John Piersall
Peter J. Votrian ...
Edit

Storyline

Jim Piersall is groomed by his loving but hard-driving father (living vicariously through his son) to play major league baseball. His desire to succeed to please his father leads to mental illness and a nervous breakdown. Can he overcome those difficulties and return to the major leagues? Written by Jerry Milani <jmilani@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 August 1957 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

The Jim Piersall Story  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Even though Paramount was positioning Anthony Perkins as a major leading man, Perkins made it clear that he was first and foremost an actor and wasn't interested in a lot of publicity. His intensity made him somewhat aloof from the crew, and his obvious lack of baseball skills made the ultra-serious actor the butt of many jokes. Before long the mood on the set became tense and antagonistic between Perkins and the crew. According to Norma Moore, "Tony became more and more difficult as the film went on. By the time we were in the last third or fourth of the shoot, the crew was antagonized by him. They made snide remarks about him, and he just distanced himself." See more »

Goofs

The home uniforms on all Red Sox players had two rows of piping down the front, proper for its time, except Piersall's which had no piping, a uniform not worn until much later. See more »

Connections

Remake of Climax!: Fear Strikes Out (1955) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Still has power after 44 years
16 March 2001 | by (Virginia) – See all my reviews

If this story were filmed today, the treatment would be much more stark and realistic. But for a film in the mid-50s, it provided quite a punch in conveying the agony of growing up with a loving but very demanding father. When I saw it in the theater, I never questioned Anthony Perkins as a teenager in the first part; today, this is much more difficult to swallow. Even though dated somewhat, the film is still worth a watch.

Karl Malden is excellent as a father driven by his own sense of failure to attempt to live vicariously through his son. As a result, he literally orchestrates his son's life. Never accepting the `glory' of the moment, he places constant expectations and demands on his son. Possibly this is Malden's best role.

Tony Perkins has some fine moments of anguish and neuroticism as the ball player, Jimmy Piersall. One scene between his father and him after his breakdown is superbly acted with Perkins running through a panoply of emotions. That this emotional turmoil is somewhat subdued is to the credit of the film. Norma Moore gives a competent and rather understated performance as his wife. The doctor, played by Adam Williams, is appropriately comforting, but he's not up to delivering the big line, especially in his intense scene with Malden. Regretfully, Perry Wilson as Piersall's submissive mother, didn't have more of a role.

Some very nice photography using the angularity of steps and bleachers and railroad stations conveys the underlying jaggedness and tension of emotions. Elmer Bernstein's soundtrack is effective in supporting the mood of the film.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?