Filmsite Movie Review
Take the Money and Run (1969)
Pages: (1)
Background

Take the Money and Run (1969) is noted as Woody Allen's directoral debut. Allen later revisited the theme of a dumb, inept criminal with his fish-out-of-water comedy Small Time Crooks (2000), co-starring Tracy Ullman.

The Story

The film is filled with crime/gangster/prison movie satire, visual and verbal gags, one-liners, and the unsuccessful criminal robbery attempts by inept crook, Virgil Starkwell (Woody Allen).

Memorable scenes:

- The documentary-style interviews with his parents (wearing Groucho Marx eyeglass-nose-mustache disguises to hide their embarrassment) and other figures in his life have nothing good to say about him.

- The failed heist in a pet store where he is chased by a gorilla.

- The sight of Virgil playing cello in a marching band and his cello flying out a second-story window of his house.

- One attempt when Virgil discovers that the stolen pistol he uses in a holdup is actually a cigarette lighter.

- Virgil's failed escape attempt, when his self-made soap gun melts in a sudden rainstorm. In the final line of the film, an interviewer asks Virgil if he has any hobbies, and he responds: "Do you know if it's raining out?"

- Virgil volunteers for an experimental vaccination and, for several hours, is turned into a rabbi.

- He tips a maitre d' with coins he just stole from a gumball machine.

- He finds a bra in the prison laundry.

- Another failed bank robbery attempt in the most-often quoted scene, when he hands over his scrawled note to tellers, but mis-spells his holdup note: "Please put $50,000 into this bag and abt natural, because I am pointing a gub at you."

- His hiring of a film director named Fritz (Marcel Hillaire) to shoot a film in a bank about a heist - to provide a cover for an actual robbery. Unfortunately, another gang tries to rob the bank at the same time.

- His prison punishment, being locked up with an insurance salesman.