Best Movies by Farr
Fear Strikes Out Poster
Released Runtime Category
1957 100 Drama, Sports Movies
Director Language
Robert Mulligan English
Anthony Perkins, Karl Malden, Norma Moore, Adam Williams

Fear Strikes Out

Watch it on:

What's it About

This intense drama is based on the true story of Jim Pearsall (Perkins), a talented Red Sox player who simultaneously faced down curve balls and mental illness. "Fear Strikes Out" (which the real Pearsall largely disowned) links the star player's emotional slide to an obsessive, controlling father (Malden), who will not rest until his son reaches the majors. The relentless pressure he exerts on Jim pushes the young athlete to the brink of madness.

Why we love it

The young, pre-"Psycho" Perkins captures just the right vulnerability in his playing of the troubled Pearsall (he also plays him right-handed, a neat trick since the actor was a southpaw). Meanwhile, Malden gives the performance of his career as his driven dad. Don't balk on seeing this overlooked classic from young director Mulligan, who'd go on to direct "To Kill A Mockingbird" five years later.

Up Next

Fear of Fear

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"