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Plot:

When crooks set up operations in a traditional town, a minister and a group of church ladies are willing to do anything, no matter how wacky, to get them out.

Also Known As: Afera na North Avenue, North Avenue Irregulars, Ding-a-Ling Dames, As Malucas da Avenida, Pappi rikollisten kannoilla, Detectives Improvisadas, Gli Spostati Di North Avenue, The North Avenue Irregulars, Los aficionados de North Avenue, Eine ganz irre Truppe, Hill's Angels

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  • sonjaehyeon
    sonjaehyeon

    This was a lame movie, it’s opening action sequence seemed to promise of great things, it went downhill after the first 7 mins. This movie is certified trash.This movie desperately tries to be funny but nothing works, just gratuitous car chases and extraneous cameos from marginally famous and downright obscure actors. The late 70’s was full of these wacky chase movies with entire cast chasing after loot or treasure but this was the worst entry. So much was happening but nothing was memorable or funny. Cloris Leachman and the rest of the cast are just horrid.

  • martin-oks
    martin oks

    This is a case of how comedy movies don’t always stand the test of time. I saw this when I was a child and thought it was hilarious but upon a recent viewing, there are only a few funny moments. Cloris Leachman (with extra long fingernails) definitely steals the show. Also look for Alan Hale Jr. who played the Skipper on “Gilligan’s Island” as well as an uncredited appearance by Joan Hackett. The film is good family fun overall and while the pacing is good,the ending is predictable and holds no surprises but alas, this is representative of most Disney movies from the 60’s and 70’s. Rates a 6/10

  • ivo-soares
    ivo soares

    They were not crooks but it was gambling. Basically a church member gambles part of a church fund and the pastor and parishioner help the police close down the gamblers. Then they take money from the final apprehension to put back in the church fund which I always thought odd. It was funny a thing at the time.

  • christine-silva
    christine silva

    Edward Herrman, the newly appointed minister at the North Avenue Church and the ladies of his congregation work with Treasury agents Michael Constantine and Steve Franken to bring down the bookies and numbers ring in their town. Like many of the Disney movies of this period, it is filled with stars and character actors of an earlier era, including Douglas Fowely and Patsy Kelly in their last roles, as well as Karen Valentine, Barbara Harris, Susan Clark and Cloris Leachman.While the story is good, director Bruce Bilson shoots it for economy rather than effect, with the gags of pure destruction shot in tight framing and quick editing, rather than a more effective medium take and leisurely place of cutting. The result is less funny than chaotic in its impact.

  • snizhana-pushkar
    snizhana pushkar

    How much better could it get? You have Cloris Leachman (Phyllis !), Patsy Kelly ( too fun), Alan Hale (Junior… Skipperrrr ! unfortunately, his talented dad was already dead by now), and Ruth Buzzi ! and even Michael Constantine and Karen Valentine from Room 222. strange combination of cast members. plot doesn’t really matter… with all that talent, it’s going to be fun, no matter what happens. Ed Hermann is the new pastor in town, and when he accidentally loses the church funds to a gambling outfit, he’s determined to drive them out of town. and Mrs. Porter (Leachman) is flirting with him. it’s all kind of a grand caper, but the actors all play it quite seriously, which works. When the pastor convinces the town women to work together, wacky things start to happen! Pretty funny. no big surprises, but fun entertainment. Directed by Bruce Bilson, king of television series!

  • eukleides-athenagoras-pantzartzides
    eukleides athenagoras pantzartzides

    Yes, it’s dated but still hilarious. I saw this in the theater with my mom when it first came out and it’s even funnier today than it was then.Good family comedy with lots of slapstick to keep the kids entertained but plenty of humor to get laughs out of the grownups.

  • nina-patel
    nina patel

    The North Avenue Irregulars has Reverend Edward Herrmann, a widowr with two kids coming to town to accept the new post as pastor of the North Avenue Presbyterian Church. Trying to make a big splash he commits a grievous blunder and puts Patsy Kelly in charge of the church’s bank account and she gives it to her degenerate gambler husband Douglas Fowley.Fowley puts it on a horse that doesn’t make it and guess what bookie Alan Hale,Jr. doesn’t give it back. Bookies are like that.But that inspires Herrmann to go on a crusade against the bookies. And who does he use for help, his church ladies. All this upsets the straightlaced church secretary Susan Clark.Dean Jones must not have been available because the reverend was certainly a part Disney Studios would have earmaked for him. Herrman does fine though.How does it work? The women are earnest but they are also wives and mothers an d not exactly schooled in their mission. That provides laughs for the audience and heartburn for T-Man Michael Constantine.Funniest in the film are oldtimers Kelly and Fowley. But there are lots of laughs all around in this fine Disney feature.

  • tiiu-kotkas
    tiiu kotkas

    Naive pastor Reverend Michael Hill takes the helm of the North Avenue Presbyterian church in the town of New Camden. He is outraged when a drunk idiot parish volunteer bets the church’s $1200 sinking fund on a horse which loses.Instead of placing blame where it belongs – on the volunteer and on himself for entrusting the money to the imbecile’s wife, Hill chooses to take it personally and wage a moral crusade against organized gambling in the town.There really isn’t a way to excuse the directing of bored, compliant people to crusade against perceived vice any more than there is a way to excuse organized crime gaming rackets.Hill correctly points out that gambling drains wealth from communities. But multiple people also point out to him that different channels are available for him to fight vice rather than organizing a bunch of busybodies to follow people around putting themselves and innocent people in harm’s way.Many a clergyman has used grandstanding against vice as an ego trip and a way to fill his collection plate. The one depicted here appears obsessed with a single moment in which he allowed himself to be victimized by an incompetent – the same kind of which he utilizes to follow around criminal bagmen. We are evidently meant to see him as a well-meaning true believer. But it really is ego bordering on narcissism.Church is separate from state and from law in modern countries mainly because of the excesses it has displayed in dabbling in each in the past with horrific results.A film like this is clearly intended for kids but not to educate them.

  • marcos-nogueira
    marcos nogueira

    It’s your typical Disney movie. A little slow at first but as the plot picks up so does the comedy – especially at the end. If you’re in the mood for a good laugh, I recommend watching “The North Avenue Irregulars”.

  • julian-schulz
    julian schulz

    One of the last of Disney’s live-action features that truly appealled to kids and parents, THE NORTH AVENUE IRREGULARS concerns a newly-arrived minister(Edward Herrman)who suggests that his flock look for ways to increase the church budget. When the ne’er-do-well husband of one of the church ladies bets the church funds on a fixed horserace, the minister sets out to recoup the funds and uncovers an illegal betting racket in his town. At the prompting of the local authorities, the good reverend and a group of church ladies go undercover to catch the crooks. What ensues is equal parts car chase/slapstick/G-rated comedy, as the motley assortment of soccer moms, little old ladies, and well-coiffed housewives race thier station wagons, pickup trucks, and Lincoln Continentals towards the inevitable happy conclusion. One sour note is a gratuitous rock group enlisted to liven up church services. The group, Strawberry Shortcake, looks and sounds about ten years behind the times, like the 1910 Fruitgum Co. after having gotten religion. Oh well, it is an Disney flick . . .

  • sr-kaique-ribeiro
    sr kaique ribeiro

    How can you go wrong with Edward Herrmann sending out the women from his church to take down a nasty gambling ring?? I wanted, BEGGED, my mom to go and buy a Ford Country Squire station wagon like ‘Kitty Car’ drove so we could take all my friends and go fight crime! ( I was 6). I loved this movie then and I love it NOW.Where else are you going to find great car chases, going wrong way on one-way streets, cars staring down trains,and animals overtaking a an intersection? And for good measure, let’s throw in Ruth Buzzi, Cloris Leachman with matching poodle, and the infamous Patsy Kelly! Go, Disney, go!! 8 out of 10 stars!

  • dakota-hamilton
    dakota hamilton

    huh? is that a bear in the back of Barbra Harris’s station wagon? this is a pretty kooky, quirky little Disney comedy that is pure, wholesome Disney fun with a little social comment thrown in as well.this family comedy was made at a time when a mainstream film was not embarrassed by having good, wholesome Christian and family values. but despite some good Christian messages, this is not really a movie about Chritianity or the Church really, it’s actually a film about average, American middle class nobodies attempting to make a difference in their mostly ordinary world. in a sense the Church is only a kind of metaphor, if you want, of the soul and spirit of the average American.the message of this film is true social commentary. it’s about average people fighting back against local corruption that even goes as high as the city office (whoa think about it). pretty intense for usually non-committal Disney fare. but there is no heavy handed commentary and it’s done with a EXTREMELY light weight touch. but it’s simple little message is clear, the average person can make a difference. even if you are a housewife and church lady.this is also a film with a mild feminist message. these Church ladies are no mere Stepford wives, they are as resourceful as any gal from ‘The First Wives Club’. their resilient strength is evident in the hilarious opening scene where the ladies save the church maintenance man after he falls off his ladder and is left hanging on to the Church roof. scene after scene of incompetence, but these ladies keep on coming and are determined to get the job done.most of this film is just mildly amusing, but it is capable of some truly hilarious moments at times. like where the cop yells at Barbra Harris to pull her station wagon over to the side of traffic and instead she evades arrest by driving her family wagon onto the sidewalk and peels away. the ending crash up at the crook’s money bank and hide-out is also, ahem, a total crack-up.there’s nothing to offend the puritanical or prudish because this is so obviously ‘G’ rated family fare. and very respectful of the Church. the only things that might unnerve are a scary Church bombing and scenes of child endangerment when the ladies race around in their family wagons with babies and little children in the back seat.this movie is also a little more off the cuff then you would think. i mean little miss goody two shoes Karen Valentine going under cover as a trampy lady and Ruth Buzzi as the “Ecumenical Enchantress” is going a little out there. and is that a BEAR in the back of the mom’s station wagon when she’s taking all the kids and their pets to the pet show?!this is not a great movie or even a great classic Disney film, but it is a good movie and a very funny one. and it’s message is a constructive one, YOU can make a difference if you put your mind to it. and also with a little help from your friends.

  • milena-hayrbabamyan
    milena hayrbabamyan

    I saw this movie while I was stationed in Alaska. I would like to see Disney make pictures like this again without any worries about being PC or making a social statement. The whole cast was great but, Karen Valentine stands out as the sweet young bride, as does Edward Hermann as the minister trying to save his church and congregation. This is a great one to check out for great laughs and good clean fun.

  • francisco-arjona-paez
    francisco arjona paez

    Disney just doesn’t make fun films of this sort anymore. And the all-star-cast movie days seem to be over. I’m glad we have films like this to watch and remember. Everyone has their moments to shine here, but Cloris Leachman IMHO takes the cake! The scene at the end with the fingernails is a scream. This used to be very hard to find, but now it’s out on DVD. If you haven’t seen it yet, give it a try. It was made in ’79, which adds to it’s charm – all those bell bottoms & hip phrases of the time. You’ll love the crash-up derby at the end. This is just a great family film.

  • a-toth-patrik
    a toth patrik

    This film is very entertaining and definitely for all audiences. A group of elderly ladies forms a “neighborhood watch”, or better a “neighborhood clean-up crew”. They join forces to rid their formerly “nice neighborhood” of the trash that gives it a bad name.Fearless and determined, the “North Avenue Irregulars” (played by many familiar comediennes) show the bad guys who’s boss and reclaim their “turf”. Many laughs, and a timely message: Don’t let the scum take over your neighborhood! This kind of story was more timely during the 70s and early 80s, when serious gang violence plagued most of America. In the 21st Century, this once hopeless situation has become much less of a problem. Much of the credit for the “cleaning up” of our streets indeed goes to the countless local “neighborhood watch” efforts, telling the bad guys to clean up their act or be hauled away. Kids will still enjoy this film for its “Home Alone” methods of dealing with “bad guys”.

  • dr-sevdinar-yorulmaz-kisakurek
    dr sevdinar yorulmaz kisakurek

    I swear, I absolutely loved this movie and I have to go out and find it to buy or buy it online. It really is one of those movies you should own. I remember my Mom, sister and I watching this as a kid. Just for giggles I rented it online and watched it tonight and was taken back to my youth and remember how hard we laughed over this movie. They don’t make them like this anymore I guess (I sound old huh?) Cloris Leachman and her nail scene brought tears to my eyes just like it did the first time I saw it. Taking it to Mom’s tomorrow so my nephews can watch it,I know they’ll get just as big a kick out of it as we did oh so many moons ago! You want clean, family fun, rent this!

  • monique-james
    monique james

    This is one Disney film I liked very well. When I was in New York, I remembered the trailer, straight out. I liked the way the characters were played. And the action was violent, especially the crash scenes, it was not bad. Cloris Leachman did very well in her role as Claire Porter. She was a total riot throughout the movie. All the irregulars had to take action against the crooks was a wing and a prayer. And a thumbs up for each other. Armed with walkie talkies, the odds were in their favor. The one scene I didn’t like is when the church caught fire. Ealier I liked the chase scene between the van and the car. The van took one jump and the car did a pop-wheelie. Then I liked where the other group mistook the railroad tracks for a short cut. Then there’s the fight scene between the irregulars, and the robbers. Clarie was on the edge when the bad guys messed up her manicure. Is that a little overdoing it? Not by Claire! The “bumpercar” scene was nonstop. The irregulars maybe church-goers, but with the help of some local rock band, the congregation is uplifting. This movie was a lot of fun, I enjoyed very well. Rating 4 out of 5 stars!

  • derek-kirby
    derek kirby

    It’s interesting to see that the majority of reviewers deliberately mentioned that this movie has stood the test of time. I think it is an art to create hilarity like this. You have to have an uncomplicated head, which is probably why it is not done today.The Disney Channel used to air their old great family films on a late night, maybe early a.m. venue called “Vault Disney.” It’s gone. I taped every one I found. Unfortunately, they went on VHS at that time, and they haven’t transferred very well to DVD. However, more of these are showing up on DVD online all the time.There was one called something like, “The One and Only Family Band.” I think there were more words, but John Davidson and Leslie Warren were in it with Walter Brennan and others. “The Happiest Millionaire” was in the lineup, with an older Greer Garson and Fred MacMurray. It’s a musical family piece, which is very funny. These were well done also.”North Avenue” is hilarious, fresh and great fun. Lots of good clean energy.

  • maj-klemencic
    maj klemencic

    The “Family Film” label is too often attached to children’s films, which have nothing to offer adults or more mature adolescence. “North Avenue Irregulars” is still a Disney film, and it still caters to a younger audience, but, unlike other so-called family-films, this movie won’t insult the intelligence of the adolescent nor college age film viewer.Again, even though it has a little more spunk than other Disney films, it is, afterall, a Disney film. As such the topic of locals tackleing organized crime is kept G-rated (clean language, minimal violence, and so forth), but the comic moments and action balance quite well in one of the last of the truly classic Disney Family Films.Anyone who grew up in the suburban 70’s and 80’s will feel very much at home with the portrayal of what used to be suburban America; everything from the PTA mom down to the wood paneled station wagon. It’s worth a night’s viewing.

  • romana-blahova
    romana blahova

    For whatever reason, this was one of my favorite movies as a kid. It’s the story of a reverend (the same guy who is in Gilmore Girls and who plays President Roosevelt in Annie) who comes to a new town. He and a bunch of church ladies are enlisted by the FBI to help crack down on illegal gambling in their town. The subject matter of the film is probably over the heads of some kids, but they’ll love the car chases and general mayhem that abounds.

  • breno-fogaca
    breno fogaca

    I watched this as a child and thought it was hilarious!!!! Even after twenty years (yes, I have seen it again as an adult) it is still hilarious! I can’t wait to watch it again with my kids. I would definitely recommend this one! There is a lot of physical humor in this movie. (i.e.-like the humor in the classic TV series Lavern and Shirley) One of my favorite scenes is when all of the ladies are trying to follow one of the crooks and are soooo conspicuous! The Rev. says, “Everybody peel off, peel off” and well…..you really just need to see the movie.

  • juha-salonen
    juha salonen

    Not long before Disney faded out for a time in the early 80s,they made a few good “family films”. This certainly is one of them. The plot (which was not over my head even at 10) is simple. The town Reverend recruits the neighborhood ladies to try and uncover illeagal gambling going on in their area.The ladies are hilarious as they try to keep their cool while (I’m, guessing) trying to be like crime solvers they’ve seen on TV. One car chase happens when one of them has just come from the grocery store with her kids. Nothing stranger or funnier than an action car chase w/ a station wagon! It’s like being pursued by The Bradys! Another scene,one of them is asked to describe a car making a getaway and she says,”It’s green”. “Maybe olive green or avacado green etc. & so on!It was great to see the late Alan Hale Jr. in the film too,playing something besides “Skipper”. I may be 27 years older but none of it seems dated to me. If it feels so to others,I can only assume they’ve lost their inner child somewhere. For families and even those who look back fondly on being a kid….enjoy! …and check your “21st century mind” at the door! (END)

  • rosemary-williams-savage
    rosemary williams savage

    Excellent movie…Cloris Leachman steals the show…as she usually does in any project she is in..this group of actors work wonderfully together…loved the car chasing scenes and the ending in the junkyard with its smash up derby is funny …Disney succeeds again

  • maria-bailey
    maria bailey

    I saw this in the theater with my mom in 1979 (I was 9) and we still have a laugh every now and then when we see something that reminds us of the car chase scene.Lots of good, clean fun for when you want to enjoy a comedy with kids–without having to explain any embarrassing stuff or naughty words. Also, the 70’s are “in” again as well…and they make for a fun trip down memory lane for folks of Gen-X vintage (or their parents).