Take The Money And Run 1968

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(33) IMDb 7.3/10
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When Woody Allen's fans refer to his earlier, funnier pictures, they often cite his directorial debut as a shining example. Co-written by Allen and Mickey Rose, this side-splitting takeoff of crime documentaries stars Allen as Virgil Starkwell, a sweetly inept career criminal. The film's most celebrated sequence involves Virgil's inability to write coherent holdup notes (I have a gub), but others include Virgil's losing battle with a recalcitrant coke machine and his misguided effort to emulate John Dillinger by carving a gun out of a bar of soap (his weapon disintegrates in a heavy rain). As was often the case in Allen's early films, not all the gags work, but for the most part, Take the Money and Run is a delight, enhanced by the on-target supporting performances of Janet Margolin, Marcel Hillaire, and (uncredited) Louise Lasser, as well as the energetic musical score of Marvin Hamlisch.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Starring:
Woody Allen, Lonny Chapman
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 22 minutes
Starring Woody Allen, Lonny Chapman, Marcel Hillaire, Janet Margolin, Louise Lasser, Jan Merlin
Director Woody Allen
Genres Comedy
Studio ARVATO SERVICES
Rental release 7 May 2001
Main languages English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Feb. 2001
Format: DVD
One of the first "Mockumentaries", Allen's 1969 classic, 'Take the Money and Run' follows the hapless New York criminal and no-hoper, Virgil Starkwell as he, his wife, and his heavily disguised parents discuss his growing notoriety amongst the New York underworld.
The film follows his lives, his loves, his stays in prison, and his poor spelling of the word 'Gun'.
The film has been described as Allen's 'Cool hand Luke' but the Jewish psychotic juxtaposed against Newman's cool White Anglo Saxon provides much of the film's comedy.
One of Allen's great assets was his ability to write classic one liners and this movie does not disappoint. Memorable lines such as, "The prisoners were fed one hot meal per day: a bowl of steam" run throughout the whole film. Another classic moment is when he says of his future wife on first meeting her, "after half an hour, I completely gave up the idea of snatching her purse."
If you want to see one of the wittiest films ever made by one of the wittiest filmmakers of our time, buy this film.
If, for any reason, you can't afford it, write a note to the video store counter staff warning them that you have a 'Gub' and that you aren't afraid to use it!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Jan. 2015
Format: DVD
Often regarded as the first 'true’ Woody Allen film – in which the man wrote (co-written with long-time collaborator and school chum Mickey Rose), directed and starred – this 1969 'pseudo-documentary’ tracking the life and career of the self-styled, small-time, bungling crook, Virgil Starkwell, established many of the cinematic tropes that Allen would later repeatedly employ. Voiceover narration (delivered in steely fashion by Jackson Beck), protagonist interviews and childhood reflections –variously calling to mind the later Radio Days and Zelig – are used to support what is (essentially) a series of typical Allen gags (often running – such as the stamping on Virgil’s glasses) fashioned around the now familiar Allen 'loser’ persona. Comedy-wise, as with many early Allens, much can be traced to a mix of farce/silent comedy and Marx Brothers-like 'wackiness’ (reinforced here by the Groucho masks worn by Virgil’s interviewed parents) and (for me, at least) the man hits the mark in the vast majority of cases.

After all, this was the Allen film that gives us two hilarious robbery sequences (arguing over handwriting and being 'double-booked’), plus the sight of six shuffling chain gang members – sequences to rank with Allen’s best (if you like that sort of thing). It also contains some unforgettable lines – 'I was either in love or I had smallpox’ and (my personal favourite) 'the men get one hot meal a day – a bowl of steam’. Acting-wise, aside from Allen, the delectable Janet Margolin plays it nicely (and straight) as Virgil’s love interest (and later wife), Louise, whilst Jacquelyn Hyde is also impressive as the blackmailing Miss Blair.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sebastian Palmer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Feb. 2014
Format: DVD
I'm a massive fan of Woody Allen, but I have to say this film only just manages the four stars for me. In places it deserves six or more, for comedy value, but there are some flat moments. His evolution from gag-writer to stand-up to movie star to director to auteur is in a transitional phase here, and it kind of shows.

There are some priceless moments, sure - and just which these are might be down to taste - but whilst many later Allen movies sustain repeated watching very well, this one, for me at any rate, struggles. I laughed merrily the first time I saw Virgil Starkwell transformed into a rabbi during a medical drug trial, but now that scene just raises a wry smile. Some of his misadventures as a kid still raise a laugh, and the first attempt to escape prison, with a gun whittled from a bar of soap, always amuses. But elsewhere the one-liners and the slapstick don't always bear repeated viewing.

As well as being Allen's directorial debut, this is an early example of the 'mock-umentary', a form which he would return to on numerous occasions, perhaps most successfully in the amazing Zelig. There are plenty of great ideas here, and a good deal of laughs, but Allen hasn't learned yet, as a director, how to piece it all together in the masterful way he would do in later years. But hell, this is still worth seeing at least once, and I still had to have it in my Allen collection. So whilst it's not Woody at his best, it's still Woody!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Touring Mars VINE VOICE on 21 Jun. 2003
Format: DVD
It is a trueism that no Woody Allen collection should be without this film, but sadly I had to send this DVD back to the store because of the absolutely terrible sound synching, which is way off in several scenes throughout the film, and seriously impaired my enjoyment of the film.
This is a terrible shame as I so much want to have this film on DVD. Not being an MGM release, the format is slightly different, and there are a few more extras like a trivia section/info about the movie and Woody Allen, which is alot more than you get on the MGM discs.
The film itself is brilliant. In the style of a documentary, it is basically a comic remake of 'Cool Hand Luke', and follows the social outcast Virgil Starkwell on his ill-fated journey from petty thief to big-time bank robber, only to get 10 years after a failed heist because he misspelled the note ('Act natural, I'm pointing a gub at you? What's a gub?') When Virgil's wife comes to visit him in jail, she says 'I can't believe it, you robbed a bank?' to which he replies 'No, I 'tried' to rob a bank... if I had robbed the bank everything would have been great...' Littered with funnies from beginning to end, this is one of his best comedies, but sadly, I'm having to make do with my VHS copy until Fremantle get their act together and sort out the synching problem, which ruins the enjoyment of the DVD unfortunately.
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