7.2/10
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Damn Yankees! (1958)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 4 January 1959 (UK)
A frustrated fan of the hopeless Washington Senators makes a pact with the Devil to help the baseball team win the league pennant.

Writers:

(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
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Benny Van Buren
...
Mrs. Meg Boyd
...
Smokey
...
Rocky
...
Gloria Thorpe
Robert Shafer ...
Joe Boyd
...
Sister Miller
Albert Linville ...
Vernon
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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 »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 January 1959 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Lo que Lola quiere  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gwen Verdon was famous on Broadway for her hip movements, especially her bumps, as they were called, but in 1958, bumps such as these were not allowed in films, so her first number, "A Little Brains," contains odd static pauses where she had done her bumps on stage. See more »

Goofs

When Joe appears in his first game as a pinch-hitter, he hits a home run on an 0-1 pitch. As he rounds the bases, he is met at home by a few teammates. While shaking their hands, he clearly misses touching home plate. See more »

Quotes

Van Buren: [singing] You've gotta have heart, / All you really need is heart./ When the odds are sayin' you'll never win /That's when the grin should start.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Damn Yankees See more »

Soundtracks

Whatever Lola Wants
Music by Richard Adler
Performed by the Warner Brothers Studio Orchestra
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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