Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


FEAR STRIKES OUT (1957). Director: Robert Mulligan.

In Fear Strikes Out Anthony Perkins acts more "psycho" than in Psycho at times, but it's understandable, as he's playing a very troubled man in this drama based on a true story. Baseball player Jim Piersall (Perkins), who goes from the minors to the Boston Red Sox,  is saddled with a "sports dad" instead of a stage mother --  for his well-meaning father, John (Karl Malden), almost seems to act as if everything is happening to him. All of the stress and tension leads to neurotic episodes and a trip to a sympathetic psychiatrist (Adam Williams), although one senses Piersall's mental problems can't all be blamed on his father. Fear Strikes Out is absorbing, and Perkins gives one of his all-time best performances. Malden is also notable, as is Norma Moore as Jim's wife, Mary. Elmer Bernstein contributed a good score, although the music is somewhat overdone at times.

Verdict: Proof positive that there was more to Perkins than Psycho. ***.

No comments: