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Rachel arrives in New York from her Amish community intent on becoming a dancer. Unfortunately Billy Minsky's Burlesque is hardly the place for her Dances From The Bible. But the show's comedian Raymond sees a way of wrong-footing the local do-gooders by announcing the new Paris sensation "Mme Fifi" and putting on Rachel's performance as the place is raided. All too complicated, the more so since her father is scouring the town for her and both Raymond and his straight-man Chick are falling for Rachel. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Everyone may know William Friedkin for "The French Connection" and "The Exorcist", but this gem from before his heyday will always come to my mind. During the movie's first few minutes, you're not exactly sure where it's going, but then we meet Rachel Schpitendavel (Britt Ekland), an Amish woman who has just arrived in 1920's New York City. Not quite sure where to go in this bustling metropolis, she goes to Billy Minsky's Burlesque House. Of course, she doesn't know that burlesque involves some stuff that is perpetually anathema to the Amish lifestyle. But performer Raymond Paine (Jason Robards Jr) sees some real potential in her. Meanwhile, there are two forces at work against Rachel's potential success: her father has arrived in town to take her back to the farm, and the police are seeking to shut down the burlesque house.
Overall, "The Night They Raided Minsky's" is one of those nostalgia pieces that always has something coming. Interestingly, it was also a debut and farewell: Elliott Gould made his film debut playing Billy Minsky, and Bert "Cowardly Lion" Lahr plays a role too (he actually died while they were filming). Maybe this movie's not a masterpiece, but it's truly got something for everyone. Cool.
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