Fever Pitch (1985 film)
|Directed by||Richard Brooks|
|Produced by||Freddie Fields|
|Written by||Richard Brooks|
|Music by||Thomas Dolby|
|Cinematography||William A. Fraker|
|Editing by||Jeff Jones|
|Release dates||November 22, 1985|
|Running time||96 minutes|
|Box office||$618,847 (United States)|
Fever Pitch is a 1985 American film starring Ryan O'Neal, and written and directed by Richard Brooks. This turned out to be the final film for Brooks, director of such acclaimed pictures as Blackboard Jungle, Elmer Gantry, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and In Cold Blood. Co-starring in the film were Giancarlo Giannini, Chad Everett, John Saxon and Catherine Hicks. The original music score was composed by Thomas Dolby.
The film failed at the box-office after it grossed only a little more than $600,000, Fever Pitch was nominated for four Razzie Awards, including Worst Picture, as well as contributing to O'Neal's later Razzie nomination for Worst Actor of the Decade. The film is listed in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book The Official Razzie Movie Guide as one of the The 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made.
Fever Pitch has not been released on DVD.
Steve Taggart is a Los Angeles sports writer who becomes obsessed with gambling. He volunteers to do a series of articles for the newspaper on a compulsive gambler he calls "Mr. Green," who is, in fact, himself.
Taggart gets deeper and deeper into debt, compounding his problems with associated loan sharks, including the dangerous Dutchman.
The complications spill over into Taggart's personal life, as when he brings his daughter to the racetrack and is physically assaulted by a bookie to whom he owes money. Taggart's newspaper editor (John Saxon) loves the series he's been running and has been advancing the writer considerable money, still unaware that Taggart is actually the risk-addicted Mr. Green.
To celebrate kicking his gambling habit, Taggart goes right back to the dice tables, where his solution to getting out of debt turns out to be continuing to gamble until he can win all the money he needs.
- Ryan O'Neal as Steve Taggart
- Catherine Hicks as Flo
- Giancarlo Giannini as Charley
- Bridgette Andersen as Amy
- Chad Everett as Dutchman
- John Saxon as Sports editor
- Hank Greenspun as Sun publisher
- William Smith as Panama Hat
- Keith Hefner as Sweeney
- Patrick Cassidy as Soldier
- William Prince as Mitchell
Richard Brooks became interested in the problem of gambling in America while recovering from a heart attack in 1983. He began researching the topic and wrote the script over two years. It was originally to be produced by Dino de Laurentiis under the title The Fever and Brooks wanted Sam Shepherd to play the lead. De Laurentiis dropped out and Ryan O'Neal was cast instead. Filming took place from October 1984 to January 1985 and Brooks spent nine months editing it.
The newspaper editorial office scenes were all filmed at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, which always had a popular horse racing page, and solid sports gambling coverage. Many Herald Examiner and Los Angeles Times staffers had bit parts in the movie. The Herald Examiner newspaper closed in 1989.
- Wilson, John (2005). The Official Razzie Movie Guide: Enjoying the Best of Hollywood's Worst. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 0-446-69334-0.
- Nat Segaloff, Final Cuts: The Last Films of 50 Great Directors, Bear Manor Media 2013 p 48-49