When Paul (Firth), a middle-aged British teacher who nurses an obsession for the North London football team Arsenal, meets Sarah, a seemingly uptight young woman who is a single-minded professional, he is forced to drastically re-evaluate his life. Sarah loathes the sport, while Paul’s entire life is based on it–it is the only place in his life that allows him to feel true joy or pain, as well as a sense of national identity. Soon, Sarah is pregnant, and although she’s growing to enjoy her husband’s pastime, she worries that Paul cares more for the sport than for the relationship and the impending arrival of fatherhood. Paul observes how the relationship is indeed mirroring the team’s streak of wins and losses. But with Arsenal in contention for the 1989 First Division Championship, after an 18 year barren spell, Paul and Sarah have one fleeting chance to restore their touchy union. The film is lent an extra dash of realism in that Arsenal’s victory in the final moments of their 1989 campaign is considered one of the most dramatic moments in the history of British soccer. FEVER PITCH is based on the novel by Nick Hornby, whose subsequent efforts– HIGH FIDELITY and ABOUT A BOY–confirmed his appeal as an author and inspired further box office successes.



April 04, 1997


David Evans


Nick Hornby (book & screenplay)


Channel Four Films


Comedy, Romance, Sport




102 minutes