The Night They Raided Minsky's (DVD)

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Directed by William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection), The Night They Raided Minsky’s is a comedy set in the exotic world of burlesque and stars Elliott Gould (M.A.S.H.), Britt Ekland (Royal Flash) and Jason Robards (Magnolia). When an innocent Amish girl, Rachel Schpitendavel (Ekland) with dreams of becoming a dancer leaves her Pennsylvania home for the big city of New York, she could never have imagined where it would lead. Although her audition at the famous Minsky’s burlesque theatre is deemed too dull for their clientele, Billy Minsky (Elliott Gould making his film debut) decides to use Rachel’s inoffensive dance routine to shame the local moral crusader Vance Fowler (Denholm Elliott), a man intent on having Minsky’s shut down for good only to witness a more demure version of the regular acts. As you may have guessed, the best-laid plans don’t always turn out they way you think they will. Minsky’s features the final film performance of Bert Lahr (the beloved Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz) – a standout among a list of supporting players that includes Norman Wisdom, Jack Burns, Joseph Wiseman, Forrest Tucker and Harry Andrews. Co-written and produced by Norman Lear (TV’s “All in the Family”, “Maude”).