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Fear Strikes Out (1957)

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

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

15 August 1957 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

The Jim Piersall Story  »

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Technical Specs

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| (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of Jimmy Piersall's teammates on the Boston Red Sox have unusually high uniform numbers, ranging from the 50s through the 80s. Since numbers that high were rarely used, this move may have been done to avoid associating any real players with the movie. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, when Jim's father (played by Karl Malden) goes into the kitchen to wash up after work, the shadow of the camera can be seen on the far wall. Then a shadow of the boom mic is seen on the wall shortly after that as the camera pans left. See more »

Connections

Featured in Sports on the Silver Screen (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
More than just Peanuts and Crackerjacks in this baseball movie.
29 June 1999 | by (Auburn, Me) – See all my reviews

This is not what one would call a pleasant film to watch particularly about Baseball. It tells the true story of former major league ball player Jim Piersall of the Boston Red Sox and his eventual mental breakdown. While certain events are not exactly the way they took place the story nonetheless sticks pretty much to fact. Anthony Perkins puts in a dynamic performance as Piersall. A kid who likes baseball but is driven to madness by his domineering perfection minded father played by Karl Malden. Also included in the cast is Norma Moore as Jims devoted wife Mary and Adam Williams as the psychiatrist Doctor Brown.

The first half of the picture deals with Piersall growing up practicing and playing baseball always under the scrutiny of his father. Whatever Jim did on the playing field it could always have been done better according to his Dad. The second half of the film deals with Piersalls mental breakdown and subsequent treatment and recovery. While watching a ball game on TV he makes remarks that his doctor picks up on and uses to unlock the reason why he cracked up. These same circumstances are no doubt still occurring today as many parents push their children relentlessly in everything from sports to academics to beauty pageants. Jim Piersalls story fortunately became a book and later this fine film that perhaps has and will continue to serve as a message to those who watch it. Whether you're a baseball fan or not this is a movie to be seen.


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