Fever Pitch (1997 film)
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|Directed by||David Evans|
|Produced by||Amanda Posey|
|Screenplay by||Nick Hornby|
Fever Pitch: A Fan's Life|
by Nick Hornby
|Edited by||Scott Thomas|
|Distributed by||Phaedra Cinema|
Hornby adapted the book for the screen and fictionalized 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 North London 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.