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 <email@example.com>
The first time Woody Allen performed the triple duties of writing, directing and acting in a film. See more »
The camera shadow on Virgil is visible as he walks from the bathroom to the kitchen on the morning of the robbery. See more »
Bank Teller #1:
Does this look like "gub" or "gun"?
Bank Teller #2:
Gun. See? But what does "abt" mean?
It's "act". A-C-T. Act natural. Please put fifty thousand dollars into this bag and act natural.
Bank Teller #1:
Oh, I see. This is a holdup?
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This is the first truly "Woody Allen" movie--directed and starring Allen himself. He had previously lent his, at the time, good name to some horrible projects such as CASINO ROYALE, WHAT'S UP TIGER LILY? and WHAT'S NEW PUSSYCAT? While I will be one of the first ones to say that many of the jokes fall flat, the ones that do are so funny and unusual that it's easy to forgive the movie's many short-comings. One of the stupidest and funniest parts of the film was how it was done semi-documentary-style and this parents appeared with "Groucho Glasses" (with fake nose, mustache, etc. And, when mom says "he was a good boy" and dad interrupts by saying he was "always bad--I knew he'd never amount to anything" it was a riot and was so much the opposite of what you'd expect to see in such a documentary. Other great moments include his becoming, temporarily, a Hessidic rabbi, the escaped chain gang sequence and the abortive bank robbery. Rarely have I laughed so hard--it's so funny and it's a shame this spark of raw humor was so seldom evident in his later films.
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