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The Night They Raided Minsky's

PG-13 Released Dec 21, 1968 1h 40m Musical Comedy List
67% Tomatometer 6 Reviews 44% Audience Score 250+ Ratings
To distance herself from her strict Amish family, naïve Rachel Schpitendavel (Britt Ekland) escapes to New York City to become a dancer. While Rachel's dances based on Biblical stories are too innocent for Minsky's Burlesque House, club-owner Billy Minsky (Elliott Gould) plans on using Rachel's routine to humiliate critics of his business. But trouble arises when partners in a comedy duo (Jason Robards, Norman Wisdom) compete for Rachel's affections. Read More Read Less
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Critics Reviews

View All (6) Critics Reviews
Renata Adler New York Times The nicest thing about the movie, which is a little broad in plot and long in spots, is its denseness and care in detail. May 9, 2005 Full Review Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times The Night They Raided Minsky's is being promoted as some sort of laff-a-minit, slapstick extravaganza, but it isn't. It has the courage to try for more than that and just about succeeds. Rated: 3/4 Oct 23, 2004 Full Review Nicholas Bell IONCINEMA.com Considering its compromised production and less than enthusiastic handling in pre-production, The Night They Raided Minksy's manages enough nostalgia and energy to give it a vintage appeal. Rated: 3/5 Oct 29, 2020 Full Review Robert Kotlowitz Harper's Magazine It seems a shame, for the director William Friedkin apparently wanted something more...but in the end the crassness of the story does him in. Aug 4, 2020 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews It truly captures the spirit of an entire way of life that no longer exists. Rated: B Mar 26, 2009 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 2/5 Jun 30, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (21) audience reviews
Audience Member This movie is most significant in that the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) had died during the making of the film, and he gave a good performance. The burlesque dances and slapstick comedy sketches were well done too. Unfortunately the movie overall was rather disappointing. For one thing, the outdoor sequences went from black and white to color, then back to black and white and to color and back. This was purposeless and annoying. Instead of setting the old-time atmosphere, it worked to spoil it. Also, the film was choppily edited, which served to make the story confusing. Third, Britt Ekland was unconvincing as a religious Amish girl-and we never see any of the Biblical dances she was supposed to be able to perform. You might enjoy the movie for the reconstructed burlesque shows, but the story behind the scenes falls flat. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/22/23 Full Review Audience Member The best comedy movie ever made! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/26/23 Full Review Audience Member A lame hour and a half excuse to see Brit Eklands boobs. Big whoop. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Audience Member Fizzes and crackles with energy, but it's not without gravitas. Great fun! Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/01/23 Full Review Audience Member Refreshingly accommodates both the repulsive seediness of the milieu and nostalgic attraction for an less sophisticated era with charmingly bad dance routines and exquisitely well-performed slapstick. An interesting musical score with both narration and a finale delivered by Rudy Vallee himself. Many fine actors in both lead and supporting roles. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/19/23 Full Review Audience Member Directed by William Friedkin, who had made his directorial debut with Good Times (1967), starring Sonny and Cher. While that flopped, it got him noticed, and he was given an offer by producers Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin to to this musical comedy based on Rowland Barber's 1960's novel. It's an enjoyable film that focuses on a time now gone and the kinds of entertainment that people enjoyed back 40 years previously. In 1925, Amish girl Rachel Schpitendavel (Britt Ekland) comes to New York from Pennsylvania to make it big as a dancer. A chance encounter with Professor Spats (Bert Lahr) brings her to Minsky's Burlesque, where she meets entertainer Raymond Paine (Jason Robards) and partner Chick (Norman Wisdom). The theatre has been under threat of closure when owner Billy Minsky (Elliott Gould) can't raise any money, and is battling moral crusader Vance Fowler (Denholm Elliott) as well. Rachel becomes a dancer at Minsky's, but matters are complicated when her stern, devout father Jacob (Harry Andrews) arrives in town to bring Rachel back home. It's got the look of one of those big overblown musicals that went around in the 1960's, but it's actually focused, and the comedy and musical routines are well staged in this film, Friedkin could do comedy well, it's a shame he hasn't tried it more often. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/05/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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Movie Info

Synopsis To distance herself from her strict Amish family, naïve Rachel Schpitendavel (Britt Ekland) escapes to New York City to become a dancer. While Rachel's dances based on Biblical stories are too innocent for Minsky's Burlesque House, club-owner Billy Minsky (Elliott Gould) plans on using Rachel's routine to humiliate critics of his business. But trouble arises when partners in a comedy duo (Jason Robards, Norman Wisdom) compete for Rachel's affections.
Director
William Friedkin
Producer
Norman Lear
Screenwriter
Arnold Schulman, Sidney Michaels, Norman Lear
Production Co
Tandem Productions
Rating
PG-13 (Brief Nudity|Suggestive Content)
Genre
Musical, Comedy
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Dec 21, 1968, Limited
Release Date (DVD)
Oct 1, 2015
Runtime
1h 40m
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