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 <email@example.com>
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 »
When Louise visits Virgil in prison, the position of her arms and hands change between shots. See more »
Food on a chain gang is scarce and not very nourishing. The men get one hot meal a day: a bowl of steam.
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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over-the-top humor, not as in-your-face funny as "Sleeper" or as sexually hilarious as "Annie Hall", but it's warm and withdrawn, balanced all together by a very good ending (always one of the weaker parts in almost all of Allen's films).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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