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Damn Yankees! (1958)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Musical, Sport  |  6 March 1959 (Finland)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,715 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 15 critic

Film adaptation of the George Abbott Broadway musical about a Washington Senators fan who makes a pact with the Devil to help his baseball team win the league pennant.

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(screenplay), (book), 2 more credits »
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Title: Damn Yankees! (1958)

Damn Yankees! (1958) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Gwen Verdon ...
...
Russ Brown ...
Benny Van Buren
Shannon Bolin ...
Mrs. Meg Boyd
Nathaniel Frey ...
Smokey
James Komack ...
Rocky
...
Gloria Thorpe
Robert Shafer ...
Joe Boyd
...
Sister Miller
Albert Linville ...
Vernon
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William Adams ...
Yankees team owner
Roy Sievers ...
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Storyline

Film adaptation of the George Abbott Broadway musical about a Washington Senators fan who makes a pact with the Devil to help his baseball team win the league pennant. Written by Stewart M. Clamen <clamen@cs.cmu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Picture That Cops the Pennant for Great Entertainment! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 March 1959 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Lo que Lola quiere  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Damn Yankees", nominated in 1956 for nine 'Tony Awards', winning seven 'Tonys', is George Abbott's 1955 Broadway musical filmed in Hollywood minus the Broadway lead Stephen Douglass "Joe Hardy" leading Tony nominated performer, replaced in the film by Tab Hunter. The Broadway producers Harold Prince, Robert Griffith and Frederick Brisson decided the lead actress for the Broadway part of "Lola" had to be a dancer. They offered the role to both movie actress Mitzi Gaynor and ballet dancer Zizi Jeanmaire, each of whom turned them down. Gwen Verdon had previously received raves for a solo performance in the musical "Pal Joey". Offered the role, Gwen Verdon turned down the role, with Bob Fosse convincing her reconsideration for the musical. With the success of the Broadway musical, Jack Warner optioned the Broadway musical, with George Abbott and Stanley Donen sharing directorial credit. George Abbott wanted Don Murray for the "Joe Hardy" role. Jack Warner insisted Tab Hunter be cast in the role. Abbott fought with Jack Warner over his lead "Lola" role choice of Mitzy Gaynor or Marylin Monroe, fighting to keep Gwen Verdon and Ray Rhalston from his NYC Broadway musical. The entire film cast, the original Broadway show cast, was moved from NYC to Burbank to film the theatrical property. The New York cast, during Burbank rehearsals, called Hunter by the name Gwen Verdon used, with a Brooklynesse accent, "Tabunter". Hunter found his role difficult because he was not in the original Broadway cast. George Abbott, during filming, demanded Jack Warner replace Tab Hunter because he felt Hunter was too faggy. See more »

Goofs

During Joe's tryout batting practice, he hits four over the fence. On his fifth attempt, he hits what is called another shot over the fence. However, when we see him from behind the backstop taking this swing, one can clearly see a small cloud of dust to the left of Joe, near the edge of the infield grass, where the ball he hits actually bounces. See more »

Quotes

Lola: Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets / And little man, little Lola wants you!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Open Door (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Heart
Music by Richard Adler
Lyrics by Jerry Ross
Performed by Nathaniel Frey, Russ Brown, James Komack, and Albert Linville
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Could Anyone Move Like Gwen Verdon?
5 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The superb Gwen Verdon sings and dances and mugs through this very good adaptation of the smash Broadway musical. Verdon is a cross between Shirley MacLaine and Carol Burnett with a dash of Carol Haney (another Bob Fosse protégé) tossed in. She's a total delight and one of the best dancers EVER! Here she plays Lola, the temptress used by the devil (Ray Walston) to lure Joe Hardy (Tab Hunter) from going back to his wife and breaking his satanic deal in which middle-aged Joe becomes a 22-year-old baseball star and catapults the Washington Senators to 1st place.

Tab Hunter replaces Stephen Douglass from the Broadway show. The rest of the cast recreates their parts for the movie. Verdon, Walston, and Russ Brown (the manager) all won Tony awards. Hunter seems rather stiff and uncomfortable through much of the film (though he looks great) but that's the part of Joe.... Hunter is, however, just terrific in the "Two Lost Souls" number with Verdon. He sings, dances (not too bad) and seems to be having a ball. Verdon is just astounding in this number and laughs all the way thru it. Great song.

Verdon is also a showstopper in "Whatever Lola Wants" and "A Little Brains, a Little Talent." It seems these songs were written for her and no one else can do them the way she does. Verdon, like Ethel Merman or Carold Channing, was a total original. The voice is slightly nasal; the inflection is odd. But it works. And her dancing is totally awesome.

Ray Walston seems to have been typecast in weirdo roles after Damn Yankees and My Favorite Martian. He was a better actor than these roles allowed him to show. Russ Brown is solid as the manager, Jean Stapleton plays the friend (and sings), Rae Allen is Gloria (the reporter), Shannon Bolin is the wife, Jimmie Komack is the goofy ballplayer, Nathaniel Frey is Smokey, Bob Fosse has a cameo in "Who's Got the Pain," and Robert Shafer plays old Joe.

Good songs by the same team that did The Pajama Game. Many of the songs were hits of the later 50s. My only beef is that most of the songs are truncated (I had the Broadway soundtrack) and at least one "I Thought About the Game" is used only as background music. Verdon's "A Little Brains, a Little Talent" is cut in half as is Bolin's "Six Months Out of Every Year." Certainly worth a look to see Broadway superstar Gwen Verdon in her prime and Tab Hunter at his hunkiest.


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