Take The Money And Run 1968

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(30) 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

19 of 20 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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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Gordon TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Jun. 2010
Format: DVD
A brilliant mock-documentary on the life of a criminal - played by
Allen - with some of the funniest lines and sight gags I've ever seen
in a film. It's important to remember that 'mockumentaries' weren't
common when Allen made this, and it was actually seen as quite
experimental in it's own crazy, low budget way.

This isn't the deep, brilliant film-maker of 'Annie Hall', etc, but an
amazingly smart and funny young Allen capturing the spirit of cinema
anarchists like the Marx Brothers.

The only small drawbacks; a sometimes cloying musical score and a
couple of slow sections around the love story. But these are very small
flies in the great ointment.

A minor point - there's a some debate as to whether the correct aspect ratio is 1:66
or 1:85. From what research I could do (as well as old fading memories of seeing the
film in theaters) I think 1:66 is actually correct.

I believe this release is in 1:85, whereas the out of print, but still often available used
NTSC Anchor Bay is in 1:66. Certainly not a life or death difference, but worth noting
for obsessive purists (like me).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Pots TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Sept. 2012
Format: DVD
This is Allen's directorial debut, his last movie of the sixties, and one of the first mock documentaries to reach the cinema screen. It's about a loser called Virgil Starkwell, in a comic nod to `Cool Hand Luke', and follows the exploits and failures that condemn every turn in his life.

As ever with Allen's work, his acerbic look at the desires, fears and ambitions of ordinary people is both comic and tragic but, this being the sixties, he portrays it in a quick-fire, almost slapstick form that he had abandoned by the early 1970s. The comedy lacks subtlety and often runs into pure silliness, but Allen sticks to the plot, and the story rattles along rapidly from gag to gag, punctuated by a tide of superb one-liners. There are many highlights but the best is probably the failed bank robbery "gub" sequence. It is pure Allen, and fits neatly alongside his stand-up comedy material of the time. Forty years on, the mock documentary is a jaded and overused format, but this movie still shines.
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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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