Watch Take the Money and Run
- 1 hr 25 min
Take the Money and Run is a mockumentary crime story from 1969, written, directed, and starring Woody Allen as Virgil Starkwell, a small-time criminal whose lifelong dream is to become a successful bank robber. The film begins with a series of interviews with Virgil's parents, his friends, and even his parole officer, who describe his antics since childhood. Virgil is portrayed as an unlucky, bumbling criminal who is constantly foiled by his own mistakes and ineptitude. Despite his repeated failures, Virgil is determined to make a name for himself in the world of crime, and he spends most of the movie planning and executing a series of bank heists that inevitably go awry. He is eventually caught and sent to prison, but his fascination with crime remains undiminished. Along the way, Virgil meets a beautiful woman named Louise (Janet Margolin), who becomes his partner in crime and eventually his wife. Their relationship is one of the film's highlights, as Allen and Margolin have great chemistry together and their scenes are genuinely funny and touching. The film's style is heavily influenced by documentary filmmaking techniques, with interviews, voice-over narration, and newsreel footage used to tell the story. These elements are all played for laughs, however, as the filmmakers constantly undermine the credibility of their own storytelling. One of the most memorable sequences in the film involves Virgil's botched attempt to rob a bank using a note written on a prescription pad. When the teller can't read his handwriting, Virgil is forced to repeat the note aloud, which leads to a series of misunderstandings and hilarious miscommunications. Another great scene involves Virgil's attempt to escape from prison, which involves him fashioning a ladder out of toothbrushes and trying to climb over the wall. This scene is shot in a silent movie style, complete with intertitles and exaggerated physical comedy. Take the Money and Run is also notable for its use of non-linear storytelling, with scenes frequently jumping back and forth in time. This structure allows the filmmakers to explore Virgil's backstory in more detail and adds layers to his character beyond his criminal persona. Overall, Take the Money and Run is a hilarious and inventive film that showcases Woody Allen's talents as a comedian, writer, and director. It remains one of his most beloved and influential works, inspiring a generation of young filmmakers to experiment with mockumentary techniques and unconventional storytelling.