(George Abbott, Stanley Donen, US 1958, 111 min., 35mm)
America’s Favorite Pastime. In this Faustian story, a Washington Senators fanatic sells his soul to the devil just to see his team beat the Yankees. Based on the eponymous Broadway musical, this film features the immortal song “Whatever Lola Wants” and memorable dancing by Gwen Verdon and Bob Fosse.
“Maybe you think that was a heat wave that hit town yesterday. We prefer to think it was Gwen Verdon making her debut hereabouts as a star in a film. For her sizzling performance in Damn Yankees, the Technicolored screen version of the Broadway show that is serving to return the Roxy to a picture-and-stage-show policy, is one of the hottest and heartiest we’ve seen in a musical movie in years. And if that isn’t what warmed the weather, it should certainly do a lot to warm you.” – Bosley Crowther, New York Times, September 27, 1958