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Damn Yankees [VHS] (1982)

Tab Hunter , Gwen Verdon , George Abbott , Stanley Donen  |  Unrated |  VHS Tape
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.98
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Damn Yankees [VHS] + The Pajama Game
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Product Details

  • Actors: Tab Hunter, Gwen Verdon, Ray Walston, Russ Brown, Shannon Bolin
  • Directors: George Abbott, Stanley Donen
  • Writers: George Abbott, Douglass Wallop
  • Producers: George Abbott, Frederick Brisson, Harold Prince, Robert E. Griffith
  • Format: Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: April 1, 1992
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6301609638
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,568 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

America's pastime gets a Faustian twist in this 1958 studio musical, which recounts the ballpark bargain struck by an aging Washington Senators fan obsessed with helping his team trump the Yanks. With echoes of the real-life 1919 Shoeless Joe Jackson scandal, and tart observations on the tradeoffs between youth and experience, Damn Yankees fuses a classic dramatic dilemma with musical comedy to often charming effect.

In transferring George Abbott's Broadway hit to the screen, codirectors Abbott and Stanley Donen are smart enough to retain Richard Adler and Jerry Ross's clever songs, Bob Fosse's sizzling choreography (with Fosse himself on camera for the sultry mambo number), and stars Ray Walston and Gwen Verdon, reprising their devilish turns as the Horned One himself, Mr. Applegate, and his temptress, Lola. Where the team strikes out, unfortunately, is in their concession to marquee politics, handing the pivotal role of Joe Hardy to handsome, vapid, celluloid heartthrob Tab Hunter, whose thin voice and unsteady screen presence argue that he should have stayed in the dugout.

Walston is reliably spry and acerbic as the canny archangel, and Verdon, in one of her rare starring screen turns, confirms the comedic timing and sexy, muscular grace that made her a deserved draw in subsequent stage hits including another Fosse triumph, Sweet Charity. With her combination of feline grace and alternately steely, flirtatious femininity, Verdon makes you believe her when she sings, "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets." --Sam Sutherland



Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine Showcase for a Terrific Gwen Verdon November 18, 2004
Format:DVD
Joe Hardy is a fanatic, middle-aged Washington Senators baseball fan who makes a pact with the devil. In exchange for his soul (although there is a small escape clause). he'll become a 22-year-old savior of the Senators, the greatest long ball hitter in history, and he'll lead the team to a pennant. Later, young Hardy shows signs of yearning for the wife he left behind, so the Devil sends in Lola, his vamp supreme. But thanks to Joe's integrity, the escape clause, and after a number of song and dance numbers, things are put right for both Joe and the Senators.

The movie is an almost exact replica of the 1956 Broadway hit. Tab Hunter moved in as the young Joe, but everyone else reprised their stage roles -- and that's the reason to see or buy the DVD. Ray Walston plays Applegate, the devil, with barely contained glee. He's sly, unethical, untrustworthy and very funny. Best of all Gwen Verdon plays Lola, and she hits a home run with every number. She was a great dancer and a magnetic stage presence. I saw her do her stuff on stage once and it's a great memory. She had her big break in Can Can in 1954, then starred in three more shows during the Fifties. She won a Tony for each. She married Bob Fosse, retired, had a daughter, divorced Fosse. In 1966 she starred in Sweet Charity. And at 50, in 1975, she starred in Chicago. Believe me, she hadn't lost a thing. She was not the starlet type. She had a grainy, slightly smoky voice, and a personality that could range from gamin to raunchy. She could bring innocence to the most suggestive lyrics. As you can tell, I'm a fan.

The score for Damn Yankees is, in my view, better than average but not a classic. It includes "Whatever Lola Wants," "Two Lost Souls" and "Heart." Fosse did the choreography and dances with Verdon in one number, "Who's Got the Pain." It's a clever, fast routine and is a great showcase for them both.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice preservation of the Broadway show October 14, 2004
Format:DVD
When Warners brought Adler and Ross's "Pajama Game" and "Damn Yankees" to the screen, they make a wise choice: they brought most of the shows' original Broadway casts with them, substituting just two photogenic major studio contract players (Doris Day for Janis Paige in "Game" and Tab Hunter for Stephen Douglass in "Yankees") in leading roles. In Day's case it was probably an improvement; Hunter's not great but he's no embarrassment. Stanley Donen (on loan from MGM?) teamed up with the great stage director George Abbott for the films, and (thankfully!) Bob Fosse restaged his original dance numbers. Naturally there had to be some cuts - risque material ("The Game" in "Yankees", "Think of the Time I Save" in "Pajama") was excised - and the shows were tightened. But the spirits of the original shows were better captured than in most Hollywood transfers. The new DVD of "Yankees" arrived today and it's regrettable that there are no bonuses and there's no stereo track (unlike MGM and Fox, Warners apparently didn't believe much in multichannel recording at the time). But the show, though a little dated, is still great fun. Anyone who knows Ray Walston merely from "My Favorite Martian" is due for a special treat. Vernon, whose Hollywood career during her musical prime was far too brief, is ALWAYS a treat, and Lola was one of her signature roles. The Warnercolor transfer looks pretty good for a film nearly 50 years old. I remember Warnercolor veering a little to the dark side of the color palette but that seems to have been compensated for here.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A darling show October 16, 2004
Format:DVD
Tab Hunter was as good as any and everyone else in the picture. I liked him. I never saw the show, but I've had the OBC album for years. Three songs were left out and one added (at least it isn't on the cast album, and is a bloodless little thing and is used inexplicably instead of "A Man Doesn't Know" to end the show). The other 2 left out are "Near to You" and "The Game." Maybe "The Game" was meant to be in the movie but the censors got cold feet, because the tune is in the overture/credits. It's a darling cute song and I wish they'd left it in. As near as I could tell, only one song got cleaned up and that was "A Little Brains - A Little Talent." One word (boffola) was changed to something strange, and a few lines were changed. "You've seen the sign that says George Washington once slept here. Well though nobody spied him, guess who was beside him." What they changed it too was just as risque, just more subtle. "When they turned the lamps on, guess who was with Samson." I swore that if they destroyed this Adler/Ross treasure like they did Pajama Game with their puritanical fantacism, I would return the movie (I rented it to watch and kept the one I bought the day it was released unopened). I'll keep it. Changing "bofola" is just pointless, and the rhyme lamps on/Samson is so clever, it's as good as what it replaced. I'd like it if they'd left both in. The dancing was good, the songs were good, the acting was good, the plot had enough kinks in it to keep it interesting and it was just long enough. If you like musicals, I recommend it. And I repeat in flagrant defiance of all other reviewers including Amazon's sarcastic, caustic professional, Tab Hunter did just fine. I personally dislike Ray Walston, but he was a biggie in his time. And Gwen Verdon was a dream. Finally, Edith Bunker deserved bigger billing!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Misorder; would not exchange or refund
I love the original movie, but this one (in Spanish) would not even play in my DVD player. Hence, I could not try the English version. Read more
Published 3 days ago by T. Kay Hamilton
5.0 out of 5 stars cannot find on DVD
Such a pleasure to see this film again. Tape quality was excellent. It amazes me how good the actors were at singing and dancing back in the day. Cannot find on Netflix or Youtube.
Published 1 month ago by J. Guerrero
5.0 out of 5 stars fun, fun, fun!
always loved this movie and now happy to own this I think it's a great and funny musical. I grew up seeing Ray Walston as a friendly and kindly Martian alien, it was fantastic to... Read more
Published 2 months ago by sarah candelaria
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
I had to see this again after reading the Tab Hunter autobiography. He is at his best here, and Gwen Verdon is an incredible talent. Great story too
Published 3 months ago by doryphoros
5.0 out of 5 stars Gwen Verdon Ray Ralston
I payed $50.00 for this DVD and it was a steal. " My Favorite Martian " star, Ray Ralston as the devil with the AMAZING Gen Verdon, dancer and choreographer singing... Read more
Published 3 months ago by dana d
4.0 out of 5 stars Saddened that I didn't pay attention to the description.
I needed to order this for my parents. I didn't realize that it was a VHS. They wound up donating it to a place.
Published 4 months ago by Rebecca Franco
5.0 out of 5 stars Damn Yankees
This is a great purchase for our kids to view as we had seen it in our early days. Thanks for offering it for purchase on internet
Published 4 months ago by Malcolm Lintzen
5.0 out of 5 stars Love This Movie!
One of our favorite movies. Watched it as a kid. Still as entertaining as I remembered it. Great songs and dance numbers.
Published 4 months ago by Mindy Mao
5.0 out of 5 stars I see cannibals munching a Missionary luncheon...
This is one of the gems of American cinema & a family favorite. My 91 year old Mom knows every line in this movie and it brings great joy to her to sing along with all the great... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Auntie MMMM
4.0 out of 5 stars Happy
I was in the play, so I watched it to get a better feel for my parts. It was a little funky but it was cute.
Published 5 months ago by Carolee T
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