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The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 9 May 1969 (Italy)
A naive Amish young woman runs away from her home in Pennsylvania to New York City where she hopes to act in religious stage plays but ends up performing in Burlesque theatre.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Raymond Paine
...
Rachel Schpitendavel
...
Chick Williams
...
Trim Houlihan
...
Jacob Schpitendavel
...
Louis Minsky
...
Vance Fowler
...
Billy Minsky
...
Candy Butcher
...
Professor Spats
Gloria LeRoy ...
Mae Harris
Eddie Lawrence ...
Scratch
Dexter Maitland ...
Duffy
Lillian Hayman ...
Singer in Speakeasy
...
Pockets (as Dick Libertini)
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Storyline

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 <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1925 there was this real religious girl, and by accident -- she invented the striptease. This real religious girl. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for suggestive content and brief nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 May 1969 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Night They Invented Striptease  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (DeLuxe)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tony Curtis was offered the role of Raymond Paine but declined due to disagreements over the script and was replaced at a month's notice by Jason Robards. The role of Billy Minsky was offered to a young Alan Alda but he was unavailable due to his commitment to "The Apple Tree" on Broadway. See more »

Goofs

Rachel refers to herself as "Amish". The word "Amish" is a term used by non-Amish; the Amish would refer to themselves as the "plain folk". See more »

Quotes

Rachel Schpitendavel: About the protuberances, papa. I think the Lord might feel different from you, since He's the one who gave me them.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The words in the title flash on the screen individually in between shots of the raiding vice cops. See more »

Connections

Featured in Casting By (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

The Night They Raided Minsky's
(uncredited)
Music by Charles Strouse
Lyrics by Lee Adams
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User Reviews

Lost Classic
3 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

And I mean that most sincerely, this is one of the great films of the 1960s, charting the last days of the burlesque music-hall theatricals in America. The plot of the film is something of a mish-mash, mixing up Britt Ekland as an Amish runaway who finds herself onstage, with Denholm Elliot as a moralistic do-gooder trying to close down Minsky's theatre, but in truth, as with a large number of films of the period (see also The Pink Panther films), the plot is merely a convenience, a washing line upon which to hang a large number of characters, theatrical set-pieces and little illustrations of life in and around the theatrical world. A host of fine actors grace the screen, with Elliot Gould making an early appearance as Minsky jr, Harry Andrews as Ekland's glowering father, Joseph Wiseman as Minsky sr and most affectingly, Bert Lahr in his final screen performance. Even Ekland is OK, and it takes a lot to say that. But at the centre of it all are Jason Robards and Norman Wisdom as the theatre's chief comedy double-act. An odd pairing that works amazingly well, with Robards an effectively sleezy straight man (his seduction of Ekland is both funny and stomach churning). But if Robards is good, Wisdsom is fantastic, his comedic skills honed in England finally being given full rein (I enjoy a lot of his British films, but few of them really allow him full use of his abilities), and the song and dance routine and when he defines burlesque to Ekland rank as his finest on-screen moments. it's a bitter shame that the failure of this film and personal circumstances forced him to leave Hollywood, because with the right material he could have gone so much further. Truth is, if you have no sympathy for this sort of material, this will not change your mind. But for an utterly unique film, packed with beautiful little minutiae of theatrical life and a great mix of dark humour and bawdy comedy, this is really something to be cherished.


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