IMDb > The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968)
The Night They Raided Minsky's
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The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Popularity: ?
Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Arnold Schulman (screenplay) &
Sidney Michaels (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Night They Raided Minsky's on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 December 1968 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Sometimes being a nice girl is too much to BARE! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
Robards and Wisdom, jiggles and bumps, great songs...and how the strip tease was born See more (27 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jason Robards ... Raymond Paine

Britt Ekland ... Rachel Schpitendavel

Norman Wisdom ... Chick Williams

Forrest Tucker ... Trim Houlihan

Harry Andrews ... Jacob Schpitendavel

Joseph Wiseman ... Louis Minsky

Denholm Elliott ... Vance Fowler

Elliott Gould ... Billy Minsky
Jack Burns ... Candy Butcher

Bert Lahr ... Professor Spats
Gloria LeRoy ... Mae Harris
Eddie Lawrence ... Scratch
Dexter Maitland ... Duffy
Lillian Hayman ... Singer in Speakeasy

Richard Libertini ... Pockets (as Dick Libertini)
Judith Lowry ... Mother Annie (as Judith Lowery)
Will B. Able ... Clyde
Mike Elias ... Immigration Officer 1
Frank Shaw ... Immigration Officer 2
Chanin Hale ... Valerie
Ernestine Barrett ... Minsky Girl
Kelsey Collins ... Minsky Girl
Marilyn D'Honau ... Minsky Girl
Kathryn Doby ... Minsky Girl
Joanna Rush ... Minsky Girl (as JoAnn Lehmann)
Dorothea MacFarland ... Minsky Girl
Billie Mahoney ... Minsky Girl
Carolyn Morris ... Minsky Girl
June Eve Story ... Minsky Girl
Dolly Sharp ... Minsky Girl (as Helen Wood)

Rudy Vallee ... Opening Narrator (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mary Boylan ... Laughing Lady in the Audience (uncredited)
Henry Calvert ... (uncredited)

Herbie Faye ... Waiter (uncredited)
Stephen Fitzstephens ... Ice Cream Kisser (uncredited)
Trent Gough ... Minsky Customer (uncredited)
Lester Mack ... (uncredited)
Joe E. Marks ... Mr. Flegelman (uncredited)
Remo Pisani ... Stagehand (uncredited)
Ellen Stretton ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Fat Thomas ... Stagehand (uncredited)

Directed by
William Friedkin 
 
Writing credits
Arnold Schulman (screenplay) &
Sidney Michaels (screenplay) &
Norman Lear (screenplay)

Rowland Barber (book)

Produced by
George Justin .... associate producer
Norman Lear .... producer
 
Original Music by
Charles Strouse 
 
Cinematography by
Andrew Laszlo (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Ralph Rosenblum 
Pablo Ferro (uncredited)
 
Casting by
Marion Dougherty 
 
Production Design by
Jean Eckart 
William Eckart 
 
Art Direction by
John Robert Lloyd 
 
Set Decoration by
John Godfrey 
 
Costume Design by
Anna Hill Johnstone 
 
Makeup Department
Irving Buchman .... makeup artist
Bob Grimaldi .... hairdresser (as Robert Grimaldi)
 
Production Management
Jim Di Gangi .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Pablo Ferro .... second unit director
Burtt Harris .... assistant director
Alan Hopkins .... second assistant director (as J. Alan Hopkins)
 
Art Department
Richard Adee .... set dresser
Edward Garzero .... chief scenic artist
Donald Holtzman .... property master
Edward Swanson .... set construction
Walter Way .... set construction
Frank Frazetta .... poster and promotional art (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Jack Fitzstephens .... sound editor
Dennis Maitland .... production sound mixer (as Dennis L. Maitland)
Dick Vorisek .... sound re-recording mixer (as Richard Vorisek)
Richard P. Cirincione .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Pablo Ferro .... visual consultant
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Vinnie Gerardo .... assistant camera (as Vincent Gerardo)
Richard C. Kratina .... camera operator (as Richard Kratina)
Michael Mahony .... key grip
Willie Meyerhoff .... gaffer (as William Meyerhoff)
Josh Weiner .... still photographer
Ron Zarilla .... second assistant camera
 
Casting Department
Bernie Styles .... extras casting
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
George Newman .... wardrobe
Flo Transfield .... wardrobe (as Florence Transfield)
 
Editorial Department
Michael Breddan .... assistant editor
Ron Kalish .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Philip J. Lang .... conductor
Philip J. Lang .... orchestrator
 
Other crew
Danny Daniels .... choreographer
Dick DeBenedictis .... choreographer (as Richard DeBenedictis)
Pablo Ferro .... title designer: main title sequence
William Giorgio .... assistant to producer
Marguerite James .... script supervisor (as Marguerite James Powell)
Shirley Marcus .... production secretary
Morton Minsky .... technical advisor
Anne Wallace .... assistant choreographer
Jane Hoyt Thompson .... assistant: Norman Lear (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for suggestive content and brief nudity
Runtime:
99 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:PG (TV rating) | Sweden:Btl | UK:A (original rating) | UK:12 (video) | USA:PG-13 | USA:M (original rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Bert Lahr's part was intended to be larger, but the actor died during filming.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: In the closeup of Rachele's breasts, her hair lies over her left shoulder. When the camera shows her face and upper torso in the next shot, her hair is not over her shoulder.See more »
Quotes:
Raymond Paine:The Bible?
Professor Spats:It's a book civilians read on Sundays.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Casting By (2012)See more »
Soundtrack:
The Night They Raided Minsky'sSee more »

FAQ

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Robards and Wisdom, jiggles and bumps, great songs...and how the strip tease was born, 23 July 2008
Author: Terrell-4 from San Antonio, Texas

The lights dim. The curtain goes up. The girls are on stage. The spot hits the tux-wearing tenor, silver haired and a little plump.

"I have a secret recipe / Concocted with much skill / And once you've tried my special dish / You'll never get your fill...

"Take ten terrific girls, but only nine costumes, and you're cooking up something grand..."

The Night They Raided Minsky's is a valentine to the long-gone burlesque houses of the Twenties. Naughty, bawdy and surprisingly innocent, filled with chorus girls who might generously be called a little past their prime, with plenty of belly work, with comedians and their second bananas, with pratfalls, seltzer bottles and song and dance acts. This Norman Lear/William Friedkin/Ralph Rosenblum movie has it all. It even has a story. Most of all, it has some great songs by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, wonderful performances by Jason Robards and Norman Wisdom, and a collection of pungent characters played by the likes of Elliot Gould, Forrest Tucker, Bert Lahr, Harry Andrews, Joseph Wiseman, Jack Burns, Denholm Elliot and Dexter Maitland. And we're there when history is made, as Britt Ekland playing an innocent Amish girl from Smoketown, Pennsylvania, who longs to perform her Bible dances on stage, inadvertently invents the strip tease.

Billy Minsky runs Minsky's Burlesque. Vance Fowler, secretary of New York's Society for the Suppression of Vice, is determined to close it down. Then Rachel Elizabeth Schpitendavel shows up. She's young. She's innocent. She's built. She catches the eye of headliner Raymond Paine (Jason Robards), a song, dance and straight man who works with his second banana, the small, mild and fall-down physical Chick Williams (Norman Wisdom). Paine wants Rachel to fall into his bed. Chick just falls for Rachel. Minsky's, however, is on the verge of closing. Then Raymond has an idea. They'll advertise a midnight show featuring Mademoiselle Fifi, "the hottest little cooch artist in the world." When Fowler shows up with the cops, Fifi will be Rachel doing her Bible dances. Fowler will be a laughing stock and Minsky's will be saved.

Now forget all that. What's important is the sweet nature of this burlesque gift. Most of the movie takes place backstage, on stage and in a near-by deli. It's a great, true deli, where we have bowls of half sours on the table and plenty of chunks of rye bread. (In that deli we'll watch Raymond nearly sweet talk a good looking woman at the next table into his bed, and then sweet talk her husband, who suddenly appears, into agreeing Raymond just gave them both a great compliment. Robards is as smooth as warm chicken fat.)

Backstage is packed with sets, lights and half dressed chorus girls, but it's on stage where the goods are delivered...chorus girls who can barely dance but can jiggle with vigor and bump with oomph. Jason Robards and Norman Wisdom do wonderful work together. Robards is the wise-guy straight man to Wisdom's eternally innocent optimist. Their song and dance numbers really work. We'd expect this of Wisdom, who got started in English music halls and became one of Britain's great clowns. Robards, who was one of America's great stage actors, is almost as skilled. Their "Perfect Gentleman" number by rights should be a remembered classic. I don't know how Friedkin managed it, but the people in the audience look authentic, right down to their delighted reactions.

The Night They Raided Minsky's also has a clever script. Says Raymond to Chick when the little guy wants some reassurance after meeting Rachel. "You met a girl!" says Raymond with a big smile. "Ah, Chick, my boy, when it comes to girls you have three qualities that are far worse than being short and funny looking. You have the curse of the three D's. You are decent, devoted and dependable...good qualities in a dog, disastrous in a man!"

Charles Strouse scored the movie and, with Lee Adams, provided great songs. "The Night They Raided Minsky's," "Take Ten Terrific Girls" and "Perfect Gentleman" establish more than anything else the good-natured, fast, harmlessly bawdy style of the movie. The Night They Raided Minsky's had a troubled parentage, with director William Friedkin disliking it and film editor Ralph Rosenblum claiming credit for everything good about it. There's more jump cutting than we need and perhaps a few too many historical clips. Still, we have potent nostalgia for things past that no one now is alive to remember. The movie carries Norman Lear's imprint at his best, and if Rosenblum and Friedkin want to arm wrestle over the movie, that's all right with me. Who cares who cut the paper lace for the valentine? I'm just happy we've got it.

I'm ready for Dexter Maitland as the tenor to see us home...

"I have a secret recipe / Concocted with much skill / And once you've tried my special dish / You'll never get your fill...

"Take ten terrific girls, but only nine costumes, and you're cooking up something grand.

"Then add some funny men / And pepper with laughter./ It's hot and tasty I know.

"Then serve it piping hot and what have you got... A burlesque show!"

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (27 total) »

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