7.0/10
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32 user 15 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:

Robert Mulligan

Writers:

Ted Berkman (screenplay), Raphael Blau (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anthony Perkins ... Jim Piersall
Karl Malden ... John Piersall
Norma Moore ... Mary Piersall
Adam Williams ... Doctor Brown
Perry Wilson Perry Wilson ... Mrs. John Piersall
Peter J. Votrian Peter J. Votrian ... Jim Piersall as a Boy
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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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 August 1957 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Vencendo o Medo See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alan J. Pakula also kept his distance from the set once the film started shooting because he wanted to give Robert Mulligan plenty of space to do his job. Pakula wanted to be collaborative without being intrusive. He would meet daily with Mulligan - once early in the morning before shooting began, and once at the end of the day - but that was all. "Alan was never on the set during shooting," said Mulligan. "It was his choice and not something I demanded...From time to time he'd drop by to walk a new set with me or welcome a new actor to the movie...Once the camera was ready to roll, he'd wish me luck and leave. His visits were always calm and positive." See more »

Goofs

Approximately fifty minutes into the picture, Jim has arrived at the front office of the Boston Red Sox, and in the interviewer's office, there's a window out onto the field, with a view, supposedly, of the first base side stands. There was no office, nor has there even been, which had a window in it that looked out over the field or the stands. Also, the "stands" weren't even those of the real seats at Fenway Park but were, in fact, just a painted synchronized backdrop. Interestingly, the scene immediately after this one shows Jim out on the field walking around, and looking up at the stands. In THAT scene, the viewer is being treated to the REAL Fenway Park, shot on location in Boston's Fenway section in 1957. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
good acting but some big flaws mar this movie
1 April 2006 | by railyardSee all my reviews

I don't find movies about illnesses whether they are physical or mental, real or fictitious, to be entertaining, maybe informative or educational, so I am approaching my criticism of this movie from the baseball aspect. Jimmy Piersall was quite a character. He overcame a mental breakdown to become one of the greatest outfielders in baseball history. He was a real crowd pleaser with his fielding and antics, but his hitting left a lot to be desired. He just about ruined his arm showing off how far and hard he could throw the ball. When he hit his 100th homerun, he ran the bases backwards. Living near Boston, I saw him play ball on many occasions and I met him in person at a First National Supermarket opening in Lawrence, Mass. He signed a baseball and a photograph of himself for me, but I had to buy two bags of potato chips (Cains, I think it was) beforehand. As a kid, I could barely afford it, but more than fifty years later, I still have the ball and photo. What a thrill it was! I remember him as being handsome and big and strong, not a skinny guy like Anthony Perkins. As far as the movie goes, it was good, but not very accurate. Did you notice the obvious padding to Perkin's shoulders to make him look bulky? He looked like he never played baseball in real life, he was so awkward. (Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig and William Bendix as Babe Ruth also looked pretty bad in their baseball movies). Did you notice that the stock footage was of Fenway Park but whenever Perkins was playing they showed some minor league park? Just look at the outfield background, that's not Fenway. What really bothers me is that they only mention one real life Red Sox person, Joe Cronin, and that was wrong, it should have been Pinky Higgins. What happened to Ted Williams, Jackie Jensen (my all time favorite Red Sox player), Dom Dimaggio, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky, and a bunch of others who played on the team with Piersall? Ted's career was actually extended because Piersall was so good as a fielder that he used to run from center to left to catch flyballs so that Williams didn't have to tire himself out trying to get to them. Piersall was eventually traded to another team, so all his euphoria about playing for the Bosox didn't last. Still with all its' faults and disappointments, this movie is well worth watching, especially for baseball fans.


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