7.3/10
26,107
87 user 55 critic

Take the Money and Run (1969)

The life and times of Virgil Starkwell, inept bank robber.

Director:

Woody Allen

Writers:

Woody Allen (original screenplay), Mickey Rose (original screenplay)

On Disc

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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Woody Allen ... Virgil Starkwell
Janet Margolin ... Louise
Marcel Hillaire ... Fritz - Director
Jacquelyn Hyde ... Miss Blair
Lonny Chapman ... Jake - Convict
Jan Merlin ... Al - Bank Robber
James Anderson ... Chain Gang Warden
Howard Storm ... Fred
Mark Gordon Mark Gordon ... Vince
Micil Murphy Micil Murphy ... Frank
Minnow Moskowitz Minnow Moskowitz ... Joe Agneta
Nate Jacobson Nate Jacobson ... The Judge
Grace Bauer Grace Bauer ... Farm House Lady
Ethel Sokolow Ethel Sokolow ... Mother Starkwell
Dan Frazer ... Julius Epstein - The Psychiatrist (as Don Frazier)
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Storyline

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 <kunal.taravade@symbios.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He robbed 16 banks. He got caught 16 times. His record is perfect. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Yiddish

Release Date:

10 July 1970 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Robó, huyó y lo pescaron See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Woody Allen thought of using his then wife,Louise Lasser, for his leading lady (who is called Louise in the story), but she was a screen unknown. He did, however, cast her in a comic interview scene as a neighbor stunned to learn that the "idiot" she knew was actually a criminal mastermind. See more »

Goofs

When Louise visits Virgil in prison, the position of her arms and hands change between shots. See more »

Quotes

The Narrator: Food on a chain gang is scarce and not very nourishing. The men get one hot meal a day: a bowl of steam.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 71st Golden Globe Awards (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Soul Bossa Nova
(uncredited)
Written by Quincy Jones
Performed by Marvin Hamlisch and His Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Woody's First Good Film
23 August 2004 | by RuninriderSee all my reviews

Woody Allen hit gold with his second film, "Take the Money and Run", which is a basic film that works on so many levels and is memorable strictly for its charm and good wit.

The story follows Allen's Virgil Starkwell, whose life is told in documentary fashion. We learn he had a strange childhood and turned to crime to fulfill his needs. We learn of his romance and sympathize with him as we engage in prison escapes and witness him put in a chain gang. The documentary style might prove to be a "gimmick" of sorts, but it works because had the story been told any other way it simply would not have worked.

Also, "Take the Money" is an early token of what's to come and what the general audience will expect of Allen; smooth drama balanced by fast, witty monologues and lots of self-humiliation. To see this is to witness the early work of the director who ultimately brought us "Bananas", "Sleeper", "Manhattan", and the Oscar-winning "Annie Hall". And if anything, just track it for its over-the-top humor, not as in-your-face funny as "Sleeper" or as sexually hilarious as "Annie Hall", but it's warm and withdrawn, balanced all together by a very good ending (always one of the weaker parts in almost all of Allen's films).

Highly recommended! ***+ (8.5/10)


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