The Night They Raided Minsky’s (1968) is a surprisingly pleasant early William Friedkin film that (like any number of movies, editor Ralph Rosenblum tried to take credit for “saving”) works far better than so many films trying to depict the 1920s. Oh, the music isn’t exactly period and the sleaze factor of burlesque is a little sanitized (compare this with Rouben Mamoulian’s 1929 Applause), but it’s a game try and the performers aren’t glamorized out of all proportion. It’s a simple work that builds up to the event of the title, but mostly centers on a stage-struck Amish girl (Britt Eckland) who comes to the big city with dreams of being in the theater—and who gains the amorous attentions of a pair of burlesque comics (Jason Robards and Norman Wisdom). There are sub-plots aplenty and lots and lots of reasonably authentic burlesque routines. That last is either a plus or a large dose of tedium, depending on how you feel about burlesque comedy.
Before you comment
The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.