Fear Strikes Out (1957) - Rotten Tomatoes

Fear Strikes Out1957

Fear Strikes Out (1957)



Critic 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.

Fear Strikes Out Photos

Movie Info

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, with his domineering father pushing the boy beyond all reasonable limits.

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Anthony Perkins
as Jim Piersall
Karl Malden
as John Piersall
Adam Williams
as Doctor Brown
Norma Moore
as Mary Piersall
Peter J. Votrian
as Jimmy (younger)
Perry Wilson
as Mrs. John Piersall
Gail Land
as Alice
Brian G. Hutton
as Bernie Sherwill
Bart Burns
as Joe Cronin
Rand Harper
as Radio Announcer
Howard Price
as Bill Tracy
Morgan Jones
as Sandy Allen
Bing Russell
as Ballplayer Holding Trophy
James McNally
as Reporter
Edd Byrnes
as Boy in Car Assisting Jimmy Up Stairway
Wade Cagle
as Intern
Don Brodie
as Reporter Evans
Richard Bull
as Reporter Slade
John Benson
as Reporter
Eric Alden
as Policeman
Don McGuire
as Attendant
Marilyn Malloy
as Secretary
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Critic Reviews for Fear Strikes Out

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (8)

[Mulligan] reflects an intense sensitivity, a romanticism of vulnerability and innocence that flashes a political edge.

April 5, 2019 | Full Review…

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

March 4, 2011 | Rating: A-

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…
Top 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…

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…

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

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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.

jay nixon
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.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Anthony Perkins seems to do his best work when playing psychotic characters.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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