For Pete's Sake (film)

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For Pete's Sake
DVD cover
Directed by Peter Yates
Produced by Stanley Shapiro
Written byStanley Shapiro
Maurice Richlin
Starring Barbra Streisand
Michael Sarrazin
Estelle Parsons
Music by Artie Butler
Cinematography László Kovács
Edited by Frank P. Keller
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • June 26, 1974 (1974-06-26)(United States)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$11 million (US/Canada rentals) [1]

For Pete's Sake is a 1974 American screwball-comedy film directed by Peter Yates. The screenplay by Stanley Shapiro and Maurice Richlin chronicles the misadventures of a Brooklyn housewife. In 1977, it was used as the basis for the Hindi film Aap Ki Khatir .



Henrietta and Pete Robbins are a young couple struggling to get by on the income he earns as a cab driver. His pompous sister-in-law Helen delights in reminding them that an early marriage robbed him of a college education and how much better off she and her husband Fred are. When Pete gets an inside tip on pork belly futures, Henrietta borrows $3,000 from a Mafia loan shark to purchase the commodity. Unfortunately, its value doesn't increase as rapidly as she anticipated. When she's unable to pay her debt, her contract is sold to Mrs. Cherry, a grandmotherly-type who operates a prostitution ring. When Henrietta's initial attempts at entertaining clients prove to be less than successful, her contract is sold yet again...and again, as Henrietta fails to fulfill the requirements of each new individual to whom she becomes indebted each time for more money and tries to keep her new enterprises (bomber, then cattle rustler) secret from her unsuspecting husband.

Principal cast


The title tune "For Pete's Sake (Don't Let Him Down)" was written by Artie Butler and Mark Lindsay, former lead singer of Paul Revere & the Raiders.

The movie was filmed on location in Brooklyn, New York, and Los Angeles. The suburban scene at Helen and Fred Robbins' house was filmed in Paramus, New Jersey.

Critical reception

In his review in The New York Times, Vincent Canby called the film "an often boisterously funny old-time farce" and added "The movie may not hold together as any kind of larger comic statement, but the laughs are self-sustaining throughout...Miss Streisand's comedy range is narrow, like a cartoon character's, but For Pete's Sake operates almost entirely within that range. She's at her best in this kind of farce." [2]


There is also a 1966 movie by the name of For Pete's Sake that is based on various personal experiences from people who attended at least one of the Billy Graham Crusades. Some of the actors in that movie are Robert Sampson, Pippa Scott and Teri Garr. [3]

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  1. "All-time Film Rental Champs", Variety, 7 January 1976 p 44
  2. New York Times review
  3. For Pete's Sake (1966) at IMDb