Fear Strikes Out

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Fear Strikes Out
Directed by Robert Mulligan
Produced by Alan J. Pakula
Screenplay by Ted Berkman
Raphael Blau
Based on Fear Strikes Out: The Jim Piersall Story
by Jimmy Piersall and Al Hirshberg
Starring Anthony Perkins
Karl Malden
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Cinematography Haskell B. Boggs
Edited by Aaron Stell
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • March 20, 1957 (1957-03-20)
Running time
100 min.
Country United States
Language English

Fear Strikes Out is a 1957 American biographical sports drama film depicting the life and career of American baseball player Jimmy Piersall. It is based on Piersall's 1955 memoir Fear Strikes Out: The Jim Piersall Story, co-written with Al Hirshberg. The film stars Anthony Perkins as Piersall and Karl Malden as his father, and it was the first directed by Robert Mulligan.

This film is a Paramount Picture and was preceded by a 1956 TV version starring Tab Hunter.[1]


Based on Piersall's shattering tell-all biography, the film traces Piersall's rise from the sandlots of Waterbury, Connecticut, to the Boston Red Sox professional baseball team. Karl Malden plays his domineering father who pushes him further and further.

Unable to withstand the pressure, Piersall suffers a nervous breakdown and goes to a mental institution. After a long period of therapy, Jimmy realizes that he has excelled in baseball to please his father — not for his own gratification.[1]


Awards and honors[edit]

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:


Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote:


  1. ^ a b Erickson, Hal. Rovi "Fear Strikes Out" Synopsis
  2. ^ "AFI's 10 Top 10 Nominees" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2016-08-19. 
  3. ^ Crowther, Bosley (March 21, 1957). "True-Life Story of Jim Piersall; 'Fear Strikes Out' Has Debut at the State Ballplayer Overcame a Mental Illness". 

External links[edit]