Damn Yankees! ~ (1967) ~ NBC-TV ~ Phil Silvers, Lee Remick, Jim Backus, Fran Allison, Linda Lavin, Ray Middleton, Joe Garagiola
ABOUT THE SHOW
Damn Yankees! is a musical comedy with a book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop and music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross .
The story is a modern retelling of the Faust legend set during the 1950s in Washington, D.C., during a time when the New York Yankees dominated Major League Baseball. The musical is based on Wallop's novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant .
Damn Yankees ran for 1,019 performances in its original 1955 Broadway production. Adler and Ross's success with The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees ! seemed to point to a bright future for them, but Ross suddenly died of chronic bronchitis, at the age of twenty-nine, a few months after Damn Yankees! opened.
In 1967 Abbott agreed a deal with NBC Television for a television production of Damn Yankees! to be aired in April of that year. It was with great relish that Phil Silvers signed on to the production to play the role of Mr. Applegate.
Apart from a few guest appearances Phil had been largely absent from US TV screens since his failed series The New Phil Silvers Show in 1963. He hoped that this role along with his recently filmed pilot show Bel-Air Patrol (aka Eddie ) might bring him back to a regular television audience."There'll be a one-shot play on April 8, when I play the Devil in NBC's production of Damn Yankees! ." said Phil in an interview at the time. "But more to the point I've done a pilot series film for which Freddie Fields, my agent and I have high hopes, Keep your fingers crossed and one of these months you may be seeing it!".
By this time a long-standing resident of Los Angeles, Phil flew back to his old stomping ground in New York to record the show. The show was filmed on video tape, which by this time had become almost the industry standard due the economic factor involved.He found that much had changed in his beloved New York. "The city had lost some of it's pizazz, although I guess that even if the city has changed, so have I." said Phil.
Damn Yankees! , sponsored by General Electric, aired on the NBC Network on April 8th, 1967 .
Joining Phil in the cast were Jim Backus , Lee Remick , Linda Lavin, Ray Middleton, Fran Allison (Kukla, Fran and Ollie) and Jerry Lanning . The show received a second airing that same year when it was broadcast on the NBC-TV network on September 7th (7.30pm - 9.30pm). Sponsorship was again provided by General Electric.
- Phil Silvers ..............Mr. Applegate
- Lee Remick. .............Lola
- Jim Backus ..............Benny Van Buren
- Jerry Lanning ..........Joe Hardy
- Ray Middleton .........Joe Boyd
- Fran Allison .............Meg Boyd
- Linda Lavin ..............Gloria Thorpe
- Bob Dishy ................Rocky
- Lee Goodman ..........Linville
- Eugene Troobnick ...Smokey
- Wallace Rooney ......Commissioner
- Joe Garagiola ..........Himself
ABOUT THE PRINT
With it's gaudy s1960 colorscheme, harsh lighting,cardboard cut-out sets remnicient of the sets from the popular stage production of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," the show certainly rates as acquired viewing. The show could stand a good remastering to improve the video quality; however, of all the captures floating around, this is one of the better versions that I've seen. (B)
Run time: 101m
B&W / Color: Color