The North Avenue Irregulars
Synopsis of Movie
”Are you a minister or Batman?”
Heaven smiled down on this 1979 Disney comedy and blessed it with a wonderful comic ensemble: Edward Herrmann, Barbara Harris, Susan Clark, Karen Valentine, Cloris Leachman, Patsy Kelly, and in hilarious supporting roles, Alan “The Skipper” Hale and Laugh-In’s Ruth Buzzi. The cast didn’t disappoint, turning out one of the funniest Disney films of the 1970’s.
Herrmann plays widowed minister Michael Hill, recently assigned to a North Avenue congregation. Full of optimistic vigor, the Reverend Hill bucks the prevailing system and gives important duties to the ladies of the parish. Unfortunately, sister Rose isn’t up to the responsibility, and she gambles away the church funds at the racetrack.
When Reverend Hill goes to ask for the money back, he uncovers a bookie ring that runs up to the highest local elected offices. Determined to stand up against The Man, the minister organizes the women into a crimebusting squad known as the North Avenue Irregulars. Spunk they’ve got, but they ain’t exactly Charlie’s Angels.
The story was based on a novel by minister Albert Fay Hill, but presumably the reverend’s true-life adventures didn’t include a smash-up demolition derby, ladies harmonizing to “Roll Out the Barrel” at a hot dog stand, and a funky 70’s church band called Strawberry Shortcake.
No matter. The North Avenue Irregulars struck comic gold in its theatrical release, becoming one of Disney’s biggest live-action hits of the decade, and it continues to delight kids and parents decades later on video and cable. Can we get an "Amen"?
Movie Release History1979 - The North Avenue Irregulars
Movie Sub Categorieslive-action
CastReverend Michael Hill Edward Herrmann
Vickie Barbara Harris
Anne Susan Clark
Jane Karen Valentine
Marv Michael Constantine
Claire Cloris Leachman
Rose Patsy Kelly
Delaney Douglas Fowley
Cleo Virginia Capers
Tom Steve Franken
Mrs. Carlisle Dena Dietrich
Howard Dick Fuchs
Doctor Fulton Herb Voland
Harry the Hat Alan Hale Jr.
Carmel Melora Hardin