Seven segments related to one another only in that they all purport to be based on sections of the book by David Reuben. The segments range from "Do Aphrodisiacs Work?" in which a court ... See full summary »
This film is presented as a documentary on the life of an incompetent, petty criminal called Virgil Starkwell. It describes the early childhood and youth of Virgil, his failure at a musical career, and his obsession with bank robberies. The film uses a voice over narrative and interviews with his family, friends and acquaintances. Written by
Kunal Taravade <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One hundred San Quentin prisoners were paid a small fee to work on the film during the prison sequences. The regular cast and crew were stamped each day with a special ink that glowed under ultra-violet light so the guards could tell who was allowed to leave the prison grounds at the end of the day. See more »
When Virgil is cutting a hole in the window, the camera dollies behind him, and the crew and an audience of bystanders are reflected in the glass. See more »
He'd have the gang over for a meeting and I'd put out a little tray of pretzels and bullets... I had to. He's my husband.
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Laugh-a-Minute spoof of Crime Documentaries a Must For Woody-ites...
TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN is Mel Brooks-like in structure and gags, but definitely Woody Allen at his comical best. Its not his greatest picture by any means, but perhaps the best of his early slapstick flicks (SLEEPER, BANANAS). "Virgil Starkwell" has a hard time stealing right from the start. When a criminal gets a gumball machine "stuck to his hand", you know he's in the wrong gig. Woody Allen is right at home with this innocent, documentary-style drip on the unintentional hilarity of 60's crime documentaries. Woody, or "Virgil", seems to be playing Woody as usual, something we all know runs through his entire body of work. This movie is very much like his innovative ZELIG of 1983, a black and white docu-spoof about a fictional chameleon.
Jackson Beck's narration is PERFECT in making the outrageous material seem "serious". It no doubt inspired the short spoofs "Saturday Night Live" would go on to produce for years, investigative reporting seemingly important, yet ridiculous in content. "Virgil's" parents are in disguise (Groucho Marx nose and glasses) whenever they are "interviewed". The chain gang escape is one of the funniest sequences I have ever seen. Woody also moves into romantic territory with the beautiful Janet Margolin, who had a nice, fat purse for "Virgil" to steal, but also has a quick reaction to his inept robbery attempt and, of course, they fall in love. She is there for "Virgil" to live for during his always brief prison stays and to pick out his clothes for a robbery. There are some familiar elements here, most obviously the beautiful young girl falling for a middle-aged homely Woody.
TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN is all about raw comedic filmmaking and mockery. It is not a situational film at all, just a bunch of perfectly cohesive episodes of this perfectly moronic bank robber, who spells gun G-U-B. Wouldn't that throw us all off if we were the bank tellers taking a note during a stick up ?
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