Fear Strikes Out
Fear Strikes Out (1957)

Anthony Perkins stars as troubled baseball-great Jimmy Piersall in this film. Based on Piersall's shattering tell-all autobiography, the film traces Jimmy's ascent from the sandlots of Waterbury, Connecticut to the Boston Red Sox,… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: March 20, 1957
DVD Release Date: March 4, 2003
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Critic Score: 82% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: 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.

Ty Burr
Entertainment Weekly

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

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

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

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Tony Sloman
Radio Times

Director Robert Mulligan's feature film debut is a harrowing and intense biopic of Boston Red Sox baseball star Jim Piersall, superbly portrayed by Anthony Perkins.

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TIME Magazine

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

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Time Out

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

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Michael E. Grost
Classic Film and Television

Harrowing look at pressures on a young ballplayer.

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Variety Staff

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.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

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

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TV Guide

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

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More reviews for Fear Strikes Out

Flixster Audience Score: 78% Flixster User Reviews
jay nixon
Very moving tale with extremely well cast leads. Perkins twitchy nervous energy is perfect for displaying Piersall spiral into mental illness and Malden's… More
Aj V
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… More
Randy Tippy
Anthony Perkins seems to do his best work when playing psychotic characters.