Fever Pitch

A hysterical didactic style has defined Richard Brooks's work ever since the 50s (Deadline U.S.A., The Blackboard Jungle), but here he seems to have lost whatever narrative control he had. Like his disastrous Wrong Is Right, this frantic tale seems at once preachy and incoherent, collapsing into a more or less random collection of disconnected, unfocused scenes. Ryan O'Neal stars as a sports reporter of the old school (he writes with a bottle of Jack Daniel's next to his typewriter) who discovers his own gambling fever in the course of assembling an exposé on the gambling industry. With Catherine Hicks and Giancarlo Giannini.

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