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Fear Strikes Out

Fear Strikes Out (1957)

tomatometer

81

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 21
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 4

Based on the true story of troubled baseball star Jimmy Piersall, Fear Strikes Out is an emotionally compelling drama featuring excellent performances from Anthony Perkins and Karl Malden.

100

Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 0

Based on the true story of troubled baseball star Jimmy Piersall, Fear Strikes Out is an emotionally compelling drama featuring excellent performances from Anthony Perkins and Karl Malden.

audience

76

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 1,187

My Rating

Movie Info

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

Mar 4, 2003

Paramount Pictures

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All Critics (21) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (4) | DVD (4)

Fear holds up well, and the climactic showdown between father and son offers a tremendously appealing resolution.

March 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Fear Strikes Out rolls Frank Merriwell and Sigmund Freud into a ball and then lines it out for a solid hit.

March 4, 2011 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Anthony Perkins, in the young Piersall role, delivers a remarkably sustained performance of a sensitive young man, pushed too fast to the limits of his ability to cope with life's pressures.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mr. Perkins plays the young fellow excellently, not only conveying the gathering torment but also actually looking like a ballplayer on the field.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a little poky and tentative, but a promising start by the Pakula-Mulligan team.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Absorbing, but rather clinical, in the rubber-gloves style of 50s television drama.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Harrowing look at pressures on a young ballplayer.

August 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

This directorial debut for Mulligan also boasts an extremely effective, typically full-volume performance by Malden as Piersall's demanding but loving father.

March 4, 2011 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A cold biopic that doesn't hold up now that its subject matter has left the spotlight.

December 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Views

Grimace-a-ton

September 6, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

Rarely seen character study of baseball great Jimmy Piersall with great work by Anthony Perkins in title role--and Karl Malden as his demanding dad.

February 17, 2008
Video-Reviewmaster.com

Anthony Perkins gives a great, twitchy performance as Jimmy Piersall.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Harkens back to a simpler time in baseball, where there were no steroids just eccentric players.

April 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Mulligan does his best to get around Perkins' lack of baseball credibility, even laughably avoiding any shots of him fielding a groundball during the shortstop experiment.

April 5, 2005 Full Review Source: FilmStew.com

Less of a 'baseball movie' and more of a black & white cautionary tale that's light on surprises and heavy on the melodrama.

April 6, 2004 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

this competent study of a baseball player going wacko is interesting enough for a one-time rental

April 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

Audience Reviews for Fear Strikes Out

Very moving tale with extremely well cast leads. Perkins twitchy nervous energy is perfect for displaying Piersall spiral into mental illness and Malden's bombastic personality is able to convey a man who crushes his son's spirit without even realizing it. The look on his face when he becomes aware of the toll he's exacted on his child is heartbreaking. An excellent film.
February 1, 2011
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Perkins is perfect in this role of a crazy baseball player. And Malden does a great job playing his dad. Plus, it's a true story. I liked it it's a very dramatic movie.
November 17, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

Anthony Perkins seems to do his best work when playing psychotic characters.
January 22, 2009
flixsterman
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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