Filmsite Movie Review
Take the Money and Run (1969)
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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 was 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 sight of Virgil playing cello in a marching band.

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

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

- Virgil's volunteering for an experimental vaccination and, for several hours, was turned into a rabbi.

- His tip for a maitre d' with coins he had just stolen from a gumball machine.

- His discovery of a bra in the prison laundry.

- Another failed heist attempt in the most-often quoted scene, when during a bank robbery, he handed over his scrawled note to tellers, but mis-spelled 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 the actual robbery. Unfortunately, another gang tried to rob the bank at the same time.

- His prison punishment when he was locked up with an insurance salesman.

- Virgil's earlier failed escape attempt, when his self-made soap gun melted in a sudden rainstorm. In the final line of the film, an interviewer asks Virgil if he had any hobbies (he was making another soap-gun), and he responded: "Do you know if it's raining out?"