7.1/10
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53 user 22 critic

Damn Yankees (1958)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 6 March 1959 (Finland)
Trailer
2:26 | Trailer
A frustrated fan of the hopeless Washington Senators makes a pact with the Devil to help the baseball team win the league pennant.

Writers:

George Abbott (screenplay by), George Abbott (based upon the play "Damn Yankees" book by) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tab Hunter ... Joe Hardy
Gwen Verdon ... Lola
Ray Walston ... Mr. Applegate
Russ Brown Russ Brown ... Benny Van Buren
Shannon Bolin ... Mrs. Meg Boyd
Nathaniel Frey ... Smokey
James Komack ... Rocky
Rae Allen ... Gloria Thorpe
Robert Shafer Robert Shafer ... Joe Boyd
Jean Stapleton ... Sister Miller
Albert Linville ... Vernon
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Roy Sievers Roy Sievers ... Joe Hardy - #2 - Washington Senators (archive footage)
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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! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Just as the film went into rehearsal, a musicians' union strike prevented the company from pre-recording the vocals on the soundstage with the studio orchestra. The RCA Victor cast album from the Broadway production was utilized for rehearsing, while the cast performed to a piano accompaniment for the filming. Once production wrapped, the cast re-recorded their vocal tracks a capella on a soundstage, and these were shipped to Italy with musical director Ray Heindorf, who conducted a symphony orchestra to match the vocal tracks. RCA Victor released the movie soundtrack on LP in conjunction with the film's opening, in mono only although the score was recorded in stereo. 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

Mr. Applegate: I've got thousands of Washington fans drooling under the illusion that the Senators are going to win the pennant!
Lola: Aw Chief, that's awfully good! When they lose there'll be suicides and heart attacks and apoplexy... just like the good old days!
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Connections

Referenced in Whatever Lola Wants (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

A Little Brains, A Little Talent
Music by Richard Adler
Lyrics by Jerry Ross
Performed by Gwen Verdon
See more »

User Reviews

 
Could Anyone Move Like Gwen Verdon?
5 November 2005 | by drednmSee 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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 March 1959 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Damn Yankees See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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