A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Intended for entertainment, not education.
At one point Minister Hill explains why he sticks to his guns and goes after the gambling ring saying, "The church should be a moral force in the community." In general the message is that sitting by and watching a crime happen may be easier but it isn't right.
Positive Role Models
Minister Hill gets some very unprepared women in the middle of some dangerous work and it doesn't seem like anyone really understands the risks, but all their hearts are in the right place. They want a better community and a vibrant church.
Violence & Scariness
A few shots are fired, but it's mostly car chases and rather silly car crashes in the finale. The church explodes with no one inside. Gamblers threaten the minister. A woman punches her fiance and a man falls from the church roof into a blanket unhurt.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two quick kisses. A scene where all the men are gambling in boxer shorts because the dry cleaner is pressing their pants in the front of the store. When Minister Hill gets tossed out he wears only boxers home. One of the ladies dresses provocatively in a bar.
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Negative talk about the sleuthing female characters using phrases like "ding-a-ling dames" and "dumb, stupid broads."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A woman orders a margarita, which is eventually thrown in someone's face. A couple of drinks requested or offered but not taken.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this mild madcap comedy from 1979 is full of silly car chases, one explosion where no one is hurt, and that's about it. The incompetence of some stereotyped church ladies turned sleuths generates most of the laughs; it's all pretty harmlessly funny except when men call them "ding-a-ling dames" and "stupid broads." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
THE NORTH AVENUE IRREGULARS is mild screwball silliness for a good 98 minutes. There are two minutes where the church explodes and Minister Hill questions himself, then we're back to it. The end car chase/crash scene keeps those giant '70s cars piling up -- but nowhere near the level of Blues Brothers. The ensemble cast is probably the best part, though they're not given the greatest forum for their talents. Cloris Leachman and Barbara Harris are particularly funny.
This is one of those comedies that would make you pause and enjoy 15 minutes on TV -- perhaps -- but it's not something viewers would actively seek out for full-throttle comic enjoyment. In other words, this '70s Disney effort is forgettable but will garner a few laughs.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.