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
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. ***.