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Damn Yankees! (1958)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,608 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 14 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)

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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:

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

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:

Brincadeiras do Diabo  »

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

When talking to Albert Linville's character, Vernon, another actor makes the mistake of referring to Linville by his off-screen nickname of Linvy, rather than his character's name. See more »

Quotes

Ballplayers: So what the heck's the use of cryin'? / Why should we curse? / We gotta get better / 'cause we can't get worse!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Diamonds on the Silver Screen (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Whatever Lola Wants
Music by Richard Adler
Lyrics by Jerry Ross
Performed by Gwen Verdon
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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