Take the Money and Run 1969

Take the Money and Run

Critics Consensus

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90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 21

80%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 11,916
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Movie Info

Virgil Starkwell (Woody Allen) is intent on becoming a notorious bank robber. Unfortunately for Virgil and his not-so-budding career, he is completely incompetent. Presented in mockumentary format, the film features interviews with those who know Virgil best, including his wife, Louise (Janet Margolin). Following him from his crime-obsessed youth to his law-breaking antics, the movie eventually depicts both Virgil's jail time and his prison break, with plenty of slapstick silliness throughout.

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Critic Reviews for Take the Money and Run

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (2)

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

    May 10, 2013 | Full Review…
  • A few good laughs in an 85-minute film do not a comedy make.

    March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top 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…
    Time Out
    Top 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 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • 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 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • I have long thought Woody Allen to be one of the funniest men in the world, and now that his first film, Take the Money and Run, which he has written, directed and in which he stars, is out, the world is going to know it as well.

    July 8, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Take the Money and Run

  • Dec 10, 2010
    Witty, funny, and filled with laughs and one-liners but lacking a solid narrative to hang all the gags on. Interesting early Woody, perhaps for his fans only.
    Jonny B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 04, 2010
    It doesn't matter how I look at it, the humor of this early Wood Allen semi-mockumentary doesn't work for me at all with those gags that may look great on paper but are a failure on screen, and it is just irritating to see one funny joke for every three or four terrible ones.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 18, 2009
    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.
    Devon B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 20, 2008
    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.
    Jennifer X Super Reviewer

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