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Robert Harris

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George Abbott and Stanley Donen's Damn Yankees finally arrives on Blu-ray, courtesy of Warner Archive, and it's a welcome addition for musical and Broadway fans.

Starring Tab Hunter and Gwen Verdon in her first starring role - she'd been seen in a dozen or so films beginning at age 11, as an uncredited specialty dancer - and that was it, seemingly with the exception of several non-dancing roles in her later years. Cotton Club is a treat!

Choreographed by Bob Fosse.

Warner's new Blu-ray isn't stellar, but it's far better than fine.

Faded OCN, with an image harvest from masters, has yielded a release with which I believe everyone will be thrilled, as this one was a long time coming.

Audio is two track monaural and is wonderful.

Original cast members, making it to the film production, include Ms Verdon, Ray Walston, Rae Allen, Shannon Brolin, Robert Shafer, Nathaniel Frey, Russ Brown, Albert Linville, James Comack and Jean Stapleton, testing out an early version of Edith Bunker.

Is this a record for inclusive Broadway cast members?

A rare treat to have this back in a quality form.

Image – 4

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
 

PMF

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So grateful that we have a record of Ms. Verdon’s Tony Award-Winning performance; and, for the price of a 1977 Orchestra seat, we can now own the film, as well.:thumbs-up-smiley:
 
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MartinP.

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^^^

Tab Hunter discusses all this (and more) in his book, Tab Hunter Confidential. If I recall correctly, he said because of the strike they had to use the soundtrack album to record the voice tracks. He talks about George Abbott not wanting him cast in it. He knew Tab was gay and so felt he wasn't masculine enough (eye roll) so he wanted Stephen Douglass, which Warner Bros. nixed.

It's my opinion that the role of Lola is often miscast. Jane Krakowski? Maggie Gyllenhaal? Lee Remick (1967 TV version)?

I absolutely love Gwen Verdon. I do find in the movie version she's a bit too cutesy/baby doll/girlie in it. Like Applegate makes fun of her for doing later on. (No wonder Joe Hardy can always resist her.) I don't know if she played it that way on stage, as the film came out in the 50's when saying the title of the movie was almost verboten. (Some newspapers even refused to print the ads for it.)

For my money Bebe Neuwirth was the best Lola I've seen. And I didn't really know, or recall, that when the revival came out reviewers found her interpretation very controversial. Unbelievably, to me anyway, she didn't even get a Tony nomination for her performance.

There's an artcile about the controversy:

Has anyone else seen the 1967 version that was aired on NBC? I saw a very bad copy of it once. It sure was of it's moment...you know it was the 60's with it's pop-art production design, that's for sure. They left in the song "The Game" which I feel is a highlight of the show and wish it had been left in the movie.

A decade ago it was announced Damn Yankees would be remade, with the Cubs the baseball team!, and that it would star Jim Carrey as Applegate and Jake Gyllenhaal as Joe. No Lola was mentioned. And shortly after a few articles like that it seems to have disappeared for unknown reasons!
 

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^^^

Tab Hunter discusses all this (and more) in his book, Tab Hunter Confidential. If I recall correctly, he said because of the strike they had to use the soundtrack album to record the voice tracks. He talks about George Abbott not wanting him cast in it. He knew Tab was gay and so felt he wasn't masculine enough (eye roll) so he wanted Stephen Douglass, which Warner Bros. nixed.

It's my opinion that the role of Lola is often miscast. Jane Krakowski? Maggie Gyllenhaal? Lee Remick (1967 TV version)?

I absolutely love Gwen Verdon. I do find in the movie version she's a bit too cutesy/baby doll/girlie in it. Like Applegate makes fun of her for doing later on. (No wonder Joe Hardy can always resist her.) I don't know if she played it that way on stage, as the film came out in the 50's when saying the title of the movie was almost verboten. (Some newspapers even refused to print the ads for it.)

For my money Bebe Neuwirth was the best Lola I've seen. And I didn't really know, or recall, that when the revival came out reviewers found her interpretation very controversial. Unbelievably, to me anyway, she didn't even get a Tony nomination for her performance.

There's an artcile about the controversy:

Has anyone else seen the 1967 version that was aired on NBC? I saw a very bad copy of it once. It sure was of it's moment...you know it was the 60's with it's pop-art production design, that's for sure. They left in the song "The Game" which I feel is a highlight of the show and wish it had been left in the movie.

A decade ago it was announced Damn Yankees would be remade, with the Cubs the baseball team!, and that it would star Jim Carrey as Applegate and Jake Gyllenhaal as Joe. No Lola was mentioned. And shortly after a few articles like that it seems to have disappeared for unknown reasons!
Perhaps something that happened to the Cubs in 2016 but the kibosh on using the Cubs - but of course you can't take the world serious ;)!
 

Ethan Riley

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Has anyone else seen the 1967 version that was aired on NBC? I saw a very bad copy of it once. It sure was of it's moment...you know it was the 60's with it's pop-art production design, that's for sure. They left in the song "The Game" which I feel is a highlight of the show and wish it had been left in the movie.

A decade ago it was announced Damn Yankees would be remade, with the Cubs the baseball team!, and that it would star Jim Carrey as Applegate and Jake Gyllenhaal as Joe. No Lola was mentioned. And shortly after a few articles like that it seems to have disappeared for unknown reasons!
Yep, it has a psychedelic art design and they overused Pythonesque animation tricks and cut out the rousing dance section of "Shoeless Joe," in its place, battle footage from old silent movies. But it's easy to find on youtube:

 
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PMF

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Yep, it has a psychedelic art design and they overused Pythonesque animation tricks and cut out the rousing dance section of "Shoeless Joe," in its place, battle footage from old silent movies. But it's easy to find on youtube:

I could easily be seduced by Lee Remick, but only if it were to occur in real-life. As an audience member, though, she seemed more safe than dangerously devilish. But, hey, it’s Lee Remick, and that’s always gonna be a good start.

BTW, I wonder what aspects of Bebe Neuwirth’s performance had rendered it as being controversial?
 
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PMF

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Nothing to do with acapella - they would have either recorded to the orchestra tracks back in Hollywood or to a piano guide track that the orchestra would then have recorded to - one or the other.
Final question, Bruce.

With a strike, how does the creation of a piano guide track become possible?

Thanks,
Philip
 
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MatthewA

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Has anyone else seen the 1967 version that was aired on NBC? I saw a very bad copy of it once. It sure was of it's moment...you know it was the 60's with it's pop-art production design, that's for sure. They left in the song "The Game" which I feel is a highlight of the show and wish it had been left in the movie.

It survives in this movie only as an instrumental portion in the opening credits sequence, much like how over at 20th Century-Fox, The King & I kept "Western People Funny" only as instrumental music in the party scene, while "How Can Love Survive" would only be heard but not sung in The Sound of Music as a waltz near the Act 1 finale.
 

Bill Fisher

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^^^

Tab Hunter discusses all this (and more) in his book, Tab Hunter Confidential. If I recall correctly, he said because of the strike they had to use the soundtrack album to record the voice tracks. He talks about George Abbott not wanting him cast in it. He knew Tab was gay and so felt he wasn't masculine enough (eye roll) so he wanted Stephen Douglass, which Warner Bros. nixed.

It's my opinion that the role of Lola is often miscast. Jane Krakowski? Maggie Gyllenhaal? Lee Remick (1967 TV version)?

I absolutely love Gwen Verdon. I do find in the movie version she's a bit too cutesy/baby doll/girlie in it. Like Applegate makes fun of her for doing later on. (No wonder Joe Hardy can always resist her.) I don't know if she played it that way on stage, as the film came out in the 50's when saying the title of the movie was almost verboten. (Some newspapers even refused to print the ads for it.)

For my money Bebe Neuwirth was the best Lola I've seen. And I didn't really know, or recall, that when the revival came out reviewers found her interpretation very controversial. Unbelievably, to me anyway, she didn't even get a Tony nomination for her performance.

There's an artcile about the controversy:

Has anyone else seen the 1967 version that was aired on NBC? I saw a very bad copy of it once. It sure was of it's moment...you know it was the 60's with it's pop-art production design, that's for sure. They left in the song "The Game" which I feel is a highlight of the show and wish it had been left in the movie.

A decade ago it was announced Damn Yankees would be remade, with the Cubs the baseball team!, and that it would star Jim Carrey as Applegate and Jake Gyllenhaal as Joe. No Lola was mentioned. And shortly after a few articles like that it seems to have disappeared for unknown reasons!
i also saw the revival of DAMN YANKEES from the 90s, but on its national tour. superb production--one of my all time favorites. Rob Marshall did the great choreography. my Applegate was Jerry Lewis, and he was surprisingly good.
 
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MartinP.

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Nothing to do with acapella - they would have either recorded to the orchestra tracks back in Hollywood or to a piano guide track that the orchestra would then have recorded to - one or the other.

As I mentioned above, in Tab Hunter's book HE writes that they used the original cast album to record their vocals. Because of the strike. ?
 

MartinP.

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BTW, I wonder what aspects of Bebe Neuwirth’s performance had rendered it as being controversial?

It's mentioned in the article I linked to above: "Critics Debate Damn Yankees."
 
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