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Take the money and run (1969)

crime lives!

Original Title : Take the Money and Run
Director : Woody Allen
Writer : Woody Allen
Mickey Rose
Genre : Comedy
Country : USA
Language : English
Producer : Sidney Glazier , Jack Grossberg , Charles H. Joffe , Jack Rollins , Edgar J. Scherick
Music : Marvin Hamlisch
Photography : Lester Shorr
Distributor : Cinerama Releasing Corporation [us]
IMDB ID : 0065063
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poster for "Take the money and run" by Woody Allen (1969)
Take the money and run (1969) - Woody Allen
 

Starring

Woody Allen Virgil Starkwell
Janet Margolin Louise
Janet Margolin Louise
 

Plot

A mock documentary which traces the criminal career of Virgil Starkwell from his childhood through his incarceration for bank robbery. Along the way we learn much about Virgil's childhood, his musical (and moral) education, and the vagaries of his relationships with women.
 

Comments

Off and running.... This is Woody's first "real" movie and it's pretty good.Surprisingly so, in fact, when you consider the he began as a stand-up comic dealing out yoks that were by necessity strictly verbal.Some of the yoks here work -- "He told me was a gynecologist but he didn't speak no foreign languages" -- and some don't -- "The prisoners were served one hot meal a day, a bowl of steam."But the visual gags and Allen's physical performance more than make up for the jokes that flop.In fact the first joke in the movie is visual, and imaginative:Allen plays a cello in a marching band.Still, it's a first feature, and it shows.The camera is shakey and the photography not always first rate.He was to improve with practice.Here he has a scene in which he is having a private argument with his wife in the bedroom, but he's shackled to half a dozen escaped prisoners, who laugh at his entreaties and make wisecracks during the conversation.A similar scene in "Love and Death," with a promiscuous Diane Keaton holding the hand of her husband on his deathbed.The husband says something like, "I know you're pure and you've been faithful to me."The attending priests and doctors begin puffing and humming while trying to stifle their laughter.It isn't that the later scene is necessarily funnier, it simply takes it for granted that the audience can get in on the joke without being prompted. There are several discernible sources for the story.The most obvious is "I Was a Fugitive From a Chain Gang."Some of the scenes -- the breaking of ankle shackles with a heavy sledge hammer -- are repeated and played for laughs.I can't be sure that "Cool Hand Luke," which was released the year before, is an influence but it certainly seems so.There may be something of "Bonnie and Clyde" in it too. Woody hasn't got the great all-star cast that he was to assemble for his post-"Annie Hall" efforts, but what he has is pretty neat.The snarling James Anderson stands out as the Chain Gang Warden, in the Strother Martin role.What a face!Howard Storm as the hold-up victim/arresting officer is a familiar face and a welcome voice.Marcel Hilaire may not actually BE Fritz Lang but he ought to be!But aside from Allen, the most important role is that of Janet Margolin as his wife, Louise.Her talent as an actress was modest, although she could sometimes outdo herself, as, for instance, the sympathetic closet Jew in "Morituri," a dramatic part.Here she's no more than adequate, but she is so attractive that it hardly matters, and the role hardly calls for thespian fireworks.She was 26 when this was released.She was always pleasant, a strange, wistful combination of vulnerability and sex appeal, and some suggestion emanated from her performances that suggested she was that way offscreen as well.Her career and her life ended with a bad death at a relatively early age.Marvin Hamlisch's score is apt and easy to listen to. It's an amusing debut for Woody.You'll laugh out loud at it, unless you're a real sourpuss.
 
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Take the money and run (1969) - Woody Allen
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