Seven segments related to one another only in that they all purport to be based on sections of the book by David Reuben. The segments range from "Do Aphrodisiacs Work?" in which a court ... See full summary »
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>
Virgil's inept attempt to escape prison by carving a gun out of soap and turning it black with shoe polish is loosely based on real life bank robber John Dillinger's famous escape from the Crown Point, Indiana jail using a wooden gun blackened with shoe polish. In an interesting parallel, in the film Dillinger (1973) directed by John Milius and starring Warren Oates as John Dillinger, he is shown using a bar of soap instead of a piece of wood. See more »
After breaking out with the chain gang, and talking with Louise, the arm position of the first guy in line changes. See more »
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over-the-top humor, not as in-your-face funny as "Sleeper" or as sexually hilarious as "Annie Hall", but it's warm and withdrawn, balanced all together by a very good ending (always one of the weaker parts in almost all of Allen's films).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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