Damn Yankees! (1958)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Musical, Sport  |  6 March 1959 (Finland)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,751 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.


(screenplay), (book), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 nominations. See more awards »



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A modern-day take on the hit Broadway musical about a guy who makes a deal with the devil in order to see his favorite baseball team become champs.

Director: Todd Graff


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


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


It's a picture in a million! Starring that girl in a million, the red-headed darling of the Broadway show, Gwen Verdon! See more »


Comedy | Musical | Sport


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 March 1959 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Lo que Lola quiere  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The musical play "Damn Yankees" opened at the 46th Street Theater in New York City on May 5, 1955, and ran for 1,019 performances. Gwen Verdon, Ray Walston, Russ Brown, Jean Stapleton, Shannon Bolin, Nathaniel Frey, James Komack, Rae Allen, and Robert Shafer reprise their roles in the movie. "Damn Yankees" won the 1956 Tony Award (New York City) for Best Musical. See more »


Actor William Adams, who plays the team's owner, mouths the lines of all the other actors in the courtroom scene near the end. See more »


Mr. Applegate: [to Gloria Thorpe] Oh, don't be so nosey, huh? Go home. Get married. Have children!
See more »


Referenced in Curse II: The Bite (1989) See more »


There's Something About An Empty Chair
Music by Richard Adler
Lyrics by Jerry Ross
Performed by Shannon Bolin
See more »

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User Reviews

Stagy but entertaining
25 November 2001 | by See all my reviews

The smash hit Broadway musical Damn Yankees was transferred to the screen with all but one of its original Broadway cast, its original director, and its original choreographer intact. This has both good and bad consequences. The good is that the great performances of the cast and the dynamic, sexy choreography of a young Bob Fosse are preserved for posterity. Although top billing is given to the one non-Broadway holdover, Tab Hunter, the real star of the film is the incredible Gwen Verdon recreating her spellbinding, Tony-winning turn as Lola. With comic timing, energy, sex appeal and incredible dancing ability to spare, it's impossible to succumb to her charms when she takes the stage... er, screen in her numbers "A Little Brains, A Little Talent," "Who's Got the Pain" (In a delightful pairing with Fosse himself), "Two Lost Souls," and especially the classic "Whatever Lola Wants," and, as another reviewer noted, it's amazing that this didn't lead to a longer and more rewarding movie career. She had a brilliant career for years after on Broadway but it still is a shame that more of her work wasn't preserved. Ray Walston is hammy but devishly (Sorry about the pun) delightful as Applegate, and the supporting cast, including Jean Stapleton, is all fine. Nobody can really sing, but they inject the performances of their songs with such zest, energy and sweet sincerity that it doesn't really matter. The only problem is that, even though George Abbot, the original Broadway director, is paired witht he more cinematically knowledgeable Stanley Donen, everything is very stagey and there isn't much effort to open the action out. But when Verdon is working her magic, it's pretty hard to care, so that seems like a stupid quibble. So kick back, relax and enjoy Damn Yankees. It may not be the most inventive movie musical ever, but it's got a little brians, a little talent, plenty of heart, and Gwen Verdon. Who could ask for anything more?

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