Fever Pitch (1997 film)

Fever Pitch is a 1997 film starring Colin Firth, based loosely on Nick Hornby's best-selling memoir, Fever Pitch: A Fan's Life (1992). Hornby also wrote the screenplay.

Fever Pitch
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid Evans
Produced byAmanda Posey
Screenplay byNick Hornby
Based onFever Pitch: A Fan's Life
by Nick Hornby
Music byBoo Hewerdine
Neil MacColl
CinematographyChris Seager
Edited byScott Thomas
Distributed byPhaedra Cinema
Release date
  • 4 April 1997 (1997-04-04)
Running time
102 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


Hornby adapted the book for the screen and fictionalised the story, concentrating on Arsenal's First Division championship-winning season in 1988–89 and its effect on the protagonist's romantic relationship. Firth plays Paul Ashworth, the character based on Hornby, a teacher at a school in south Hertfordshire and his romance with Sarah Hughes (Ruth Gemmell), a new teacher who joins Ashworth's school. The film culminates with the real life events of Arsenal's match against title rivals Liverpool in the final game of the season on 26 May 1989. A Michael Thomas last-minute goal giving Arsenal the 2–0 win they needed to win the title.



The film also stars Neil Pearson as Paul's father and Mark Strong as Steve, Paul's best friend. Nick Hornby has a cameo as a beaten opposition manager in a school football match. Parts of the film were shot on location in the surroundings of Arsenal Stadium in Highbury; as the terracing at Highbury had since been replaced, the scenes of fans on the terraces were instead filmed at Fulham's Craven Cottage stadium.


In 2005, the film was remade in an American version also entitled Fever Pitch starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore, with the 2004 World Series Boston Red Sox replacing Arsenal. To avoid confusion, this 2005 remake is known as The Perfect Catch in the UK.

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