7.3/10
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87 user 53 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 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:

crime lives! 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

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Virgil: Nobody wears beige to a bank robbery!
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Cool Hand Luke (1967) 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

 
Laugh-a-Minute spoof of Crime Documentaries a Must For Woody-ites...
2 June 1999 | by Don-102See all my reviews

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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