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TV & Film

Damn Yankees

Eric Gilde February 15, 2023

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This week on Take Me In to the Ballgame:

Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss the 1958 baseball movie musical, “Damn Yankees.” They introduce the film (1:10), with an overview of the story, the cast, and filmmakers, and review the 20-80 baseball scouting grades for rating the film, with a new metaphor (6:57). Quick promos for “Cryptid” and the podcast “Sometimes it Rains” (13:47). Amount of Baseball (16:09) is helped by early baseball and a good montage, but there’s not a ton here. Baseball Accuracy (23:15) kicks off with some debate on the central premise and impact on score, umpire razzing, and Joe’s inconsistent baseball opinions. Does Shoeless Joe Jackson exist in the world of this film? Some Kansas City baseball timeline problems, the six months out of every year fallacy, and goulash vs. Willie Mays. They dive in on Carlos Paula, Angel Scull, Joe Black,the integration of the Washington Senators, and a brief racial history anecdote with the Twins. A Washington Senators overview and look at pennant-less droughts throughout baseball history. How often do you need to hit a homer to save a losing ball club, w/r/t the 1957 Senators pitching rotation. Accuracy in the song “Heart,” plus newspaper accuracy. Storytelling (1:01:21) dives in on the confusing terms of the deal with the devil, and who Joe Hardy actually is. “Who’s Got the Pain?” These scouts, I guess. They also discuss Joe Hardy’s HOF case, games missed in the storytelling, problems with singing a song and writing a letter simultaneously, and songs removed and added from the Broadway version. How old is Lola? How superb is Gwen Verdon in “Whatever Lola Wants”? They wrap up with “Two Lost Souls,” Sister Miller’s name, the costume design, Mr. Applegate’s particular scope of power, and the flatness of the cinematography. The Score Tool (1:42:20) considers the tunes and scoring of Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. Acting (1:44:00) discusses chiefly the performances of Tab Hunter, Gwen Verdon, Ray Walston and Jean Stapleton, with some discussion of the ensemble and the impact of the cast carrying over from the Broadway run. Delightfulness of Catcher (1:50:19) assesses the character of Smokey, played by Nathaniel Frey. Delightfulness of Announcer (1:53:42) sees a short debate on its existence. Lack of Misogyny (1:55:34) considers wives singing about their husbands’ obsessions with baseball as they wait around to be noticed, undermining Sister Miller’s baseball fandom, and 1001 issues with “Goodbye Old Girl” and “Empty Chair.” There are Misogyny issues with Gloria and Applegate, too. Marie Antoinette injustice. They wrap up with the missing songs’ impact on this tool, and Joe and Meg’s reunion. No spoilers on the following segments: Yes or No (2:17:20), Six Degrees of Baseball (2:22:00), Favorite Moment (2:24:26) Least Favorite Moment (2:26:20), Scene We Would Have Liked to See (2:28:22), Dreamiest Player (2:30:27), Favorite Performance (2:31:10), and Next Time (2:33:06).


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