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>
The contract Woody Allen had with Palomar Pictures gave him carte blanche to do what he wanted with this film, including final cut, setting the precedent for how he works to this day. "They never bothered me," he said. "It was a very pleasant experience. And from that day on I never had any problems in the cinema from the point of view of interference in any way." 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 »
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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