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Take the Money and Run (1969)



Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 11,375

My Rating

Movie Info

When Woody Allen's fans refer to his "earlier, funnier" pictures, they often cite his directorial debut as a shining example. Co-written by Allen and Mickey Rose, this side-splitting takeoff of crime documentaries stars Allen as Virgil Starkwell, a sweetly inept career criminal. The film's most celebrated sequence involves Virgil's inability to write coherent holdup notes ("I have a gub"), but others include Virgil's losing battle with a recalcitrant coke machine and his misguided effort to


Classics, Comedy

Woody Allen, Mickey Rose

Mar 13, 2001

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Watch It Now



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All Critics (20) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (2) | DVD (9)

Whatever its genesis, Allen's scraggly rhetoric evolved into the dominant comic style of the 70s.

May 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A few good laughs in an 85-minute film do not a comedy make.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It has plenty of hilarious jokes and concepts, like the ventriloquists' dummies at prison visiting time, and the return home from a chaingang break with five shackled cons in tow.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Allen has made a movie that is, in effect, a feature-length, two-reel comedy -- something very special and eccentric and funny.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Woody Allen's Take the Money and Run has some very funny moments, and you'll laugh a lot, but in the last analysis it isn't a very funny movie.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Rosenblum even suggested the use of New Orleans jazz on the soundtrack, which became a staple of future Allen projects.

May 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A work of despairing acuity dressed up as a skittering gagfest.

May 10, 2013 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Woody Allen's first directorial achievement is a frequently hilarious, sometimes misfiring satire of crime movies.

May 10, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

This good natured, episodic spoof of gangster movies was Woody Allen's first film as a director.

May 8, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Sight gags and one-liners abound in this funny Woody Allen comedy, one of his earliest.

November 3, 2007

Not really good, but interesting early Allen.

November 12, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The plot is just a thin excuse on which to hang Allen's nonstop visual and verbal antics.

January 1, 2000
Movie Metropolis

Audience Reviews for Take the Money and Run

Take the Money and Run is a surrealist crime comedy that's little more than a loosely bound series of gags, and yet somehow the whole thing works. Woody Allen plays Virgil Starkwell, perhaps the world's worst criminal. He gets caught trying to rob a bank because the tellers can't read his hold-up note. He tries to pull another bank job with a gang, and a separate gang holds up the same bank at the very same time. Life is a series of hard knocks for Virgil, until one day when he's about to rob a beautiful girl, and decides to talk to her instead. The two soon become a couple and marry, and it's here the movie makes it's strongest point. The dialogue is at it's strongest and most realistic in the couple's exchanges, especially in the way she refuses to allow him to get away with lying. She knows him all too well, you see. The rest of the world are idiots, though. Unable to recognize even the lamest of schemes, everyone from cops and judges on down to the everyday people are all at the mercy of slightly-above-average-intelligence Virgil, and yet he always manages to do himself in due to his extreme ineptitude. In a movie that's just a series of gags, with the barest and loosest of plots, its fortunate that most of time it works.
December 18, 2009
Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

I found it quite tame and Allen a little annoying!
September 29, 2009

Super Reviewer

I remember I was reading some Woody Allen Q&A session with Eric Lax and he was talking about how inexperienced he was while making this movie and how difficult it was to direct, so I was surprised to find that this was actually a very tightly structured narrative. All the physical comedy scenes are priceless but it's never like tiresome joke, joke, joke one after the other. The story works passably as well. It's actually one of the better comedies, believe it or not - miles ahead of Bananas and Love and Death. And the women Woody goes for are all so pretty and awesome too - sweet and willing to take a joke, but not in a wallflower sense at all.
November 20, 2008

Super Reviewer

Virgil: After fifteen minutes I wanted to marry her, and after half an hour I completely gave up the idea of stealing her purse.

Woody Allen's first big movie. It is done in the style of a mockumentary with hilarious dead pan narration.

This movie surrounds the life of Virgil Starkwell, a career criminal...a terrible career criminal who gets caught nearly every time he robs something.

The movie goes on about his life, using plenty of gags and running jokes along the way, the majority of which are very funny.

Eventually Allen would find his calling in his dialog, but this is a very funny movie in a loony sort of way.

Louise: He is always very depressed. I think that if he'd been a successful criminal, he would have felt better. You know, he never made the 'ten most wanted' list. It's very unfair voting; it's who you know.
January 15, 2008

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Take the Money and Run

    1. The Narrator: Although he does not make the 10 Most Wanted list, he does win Gangster of the Year Award and is asked to speak at many luncheons and universities.
    – Submitted by Jason S (3 months ago)
    1. Virgil Starkwell: Nobody's going to be wearing beige to a bank robbery, it's in poor taste.
    – Submitted by Jason S (3 months ago)
    1. The Narrator: On July 11, Virgil and Louise marry. It is a simple ceremony following what he later described as a deeply moving blood test.
    – Submitted by Jason S (3 months ago)
    1. Virgil Starkwell: All I know is my heart was really pounding and I felt, I felt a funny tingling all over, you know, and I, I don't know, I was either in love or, ah, I had smallpox.
    – Submitted by Jason S (3 months ago)
    1. Virgil Starkwell: And he said, "Well, do I think that sex is dirty", and I , I said, "It is if you're doing it right."
    – Submitted by Jason S (3 months ago)
    1. Virgil Starkwell: When she asked me some questions about Mozart, she got suspicious 'cause, ah, for a minute, ya know, I couldn't place the name.
    – Submitted by Jason S (3 months ago)
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August 14, 2008:
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As he prepares to launch his latest feature, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Woody Allen has taken a few...

Foreign Titles

  • Woody, der Unglücksrabe (DE)
  • Prends l'oseille et tire-toi (FR)
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