Damn Yankees

Damn YankeesBBBB.5

(out of 5)


 is hilarious as the devil (here known as Mr. Applegate) come to earth to seduce disgruntled Washington Senators’ fan Joe Boyd () into entering a Faustian pact with him: Joe gets to become the greatest baseball player ever on earth in exchange for his immortal soul. It’s a done deal, and Joe instantly becomes young and handsome Joe Hardy (); unfortunately, he is still attached to his wife and wants to continue living with her, so Applegate enlists the services of master seductress Lola (), and whatever Lola wants, Lola gets! Verdon’s performance in this role is so fantastic you’ll be mortified that she didn’t get the opportunity to show off on the big screen again until Cocoon in 1985. Bob Fosse’s choreography is top-notch, and all of Richard Adler and Jerry Ross’ songs (taken from the Broadway musical with only three songs cut and a new one added) are excellently performed. Hunter is infectiously charming as the young Joe, and though he seems a little stiff at times, his wide-eyed innocence is much better than some would give him credit for. The film’s only shortcoming is direction by George Abbott (who directed the original play) and Stanley Donen that misses a few steps thanks to some awkward editing. It’s no real fault though: these actors could ride comfortably over any bump in the road. Look for choreographer (and Verdon’s then-husband) Fosse making a cameo in the “Who’s Got The Pain?” number. If you like it go and rent Abbott and Donen’s previous success with an Adler and Ross musical, The Pajama Game.


USA, 1958

Directed by ,

Screenplay by George Abbott, based on the musical by George Abbott, , from the novel The Year The Yankees Lost The Pennant by Douglass Wallop

Cinematography by

Produced by George Abbott, Stanley Donen

Production Design by

Costume Design by ,

Film Editing by


Cast Tags:  , , , , ,, ,, ,


Academy Award Nomination
Best Music (Music Score of a Musical Picture) (Ray Heindorf)

Golden Globe Award
Best Motion Picture-Musical

Writers Guild Award Nomination
Best Written American Musical

Directors Guild Award Nomination
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (George Abbott, Stanley Donen)

British Academy Award Nomination
Most Promising Newcomer to Film (Gwen Verdon)


DamnYankees

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