Fear Strikes Out (1957) 1080p

Movie Poster
Fear Strikes Out (1957) 1080p - Movie Poster
Biography | Drama
Frame Rate:
24 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
100 min
IMDB Rating:
7 / 10 
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Directors: Robert Mulligan [Director] ,

Movie Description:
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?


  • Fear Strikes Out (1957) 1080p - Movie Scene 1
  • Fear Strikes Out (1957) 1080p - Movie Scene 2
  • Fear Strikes Out (1957) 1080p - Movie Scene 1

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Misguided Missile

The American passion for baseball doesn't travel (along with a grasp of the significance of terminology like "shortstop" and "go to third"), hence the relative shortage of movies on the subject. But the producing-directing team of Alan Pakula & Robert Mulligan got off to a flying start (as did other TV alumni that year like Sidney Lumet & John Frankenheimer) - with critics if not at the boxoffice - with this intense little drama based on the memoir by Red Sox star Jim Piersall (1929-2017), which is really about mental illness (specifically the Laius Complex) rather than baseball.

Not dissimilar to the even less known serio-comic 'That's My Boy' (1951) with Jerry Lewis & Eddie Mayehoff (also a Paramount production). It vouchsafed the then shocking fact that even baseball players can have mental problems; and Anthony Perkins is done almost as much damage by domineering dad Karl Malden as Norman Bates was by his mother three years later.

Excellent Movie, tells it like it is.

This movie really tells it like it is, I appreciate it as well if the '50s version is made more conservative by being made some decades ago. Someone also said boxing always looks better in black and white, perhaps the same can be said for baseball. Really a lot here to think about, I don't think much is left for our imagination really. Back when it was made, it was a bold undertaking. It's timeless as well. I really do feel it gives a good feel for one undergoing mental problems as well as the relationship to the father. The nature of this film is not limited to appeal to baseball fans. It is more like baseball is a backdrop and an allegory that many of us can relate to.

Tasteful, well-acted, but padded with generic melodrama and flagging sentiment...

Adaptation of Jim Piersall's memoir about growing up with an insensitive father, a tirelessly ambitious man with baseball dreams for his talented son--and impossible to please even after his kid is recruited as shortstop for the Boston Red Sox. Piersall's eventual nervous breakdown is mounted in careful yet somehow manufactured terms (when the pressured kid decides to go ice-skating instead of returning home, one can almost comically sense the clouds of doom forming for the next scene), and the "meet cute" with his future wife (possibly the most patient woman alive) is also by-the-numbers. Anthony Perkins does very well as Piersall, although the ludicrousness of Jimmy's behavior--defending his father while resting at "State Hospital"--isn't presented with any irony, and Perkins is too keyed-up to make a success of his showier scenes. As the pushy father, Karl Malden is also good but has a different problem: the character, completely stubborn and unsympathetic, doesn't seem to learn anything, even by the finale (this is partly the director's fault, who hastens to show the father's progress). This tasteful treatment plays very much like a padded "Playhouse 90" TV melodrama (one with baseball park stock-shots), and Jimmy's psychoanalysis is laid out in such generic terms that he may as well have been suffering from migraines. Still, some good dramatic moments ultimately make the picture a worthwhile one, even though it's too workman-like and without any quirky or personal touches. **1/2 from ****
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