Take the Money and Run (1969)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This offbeat comedy finds inept career criminal Virgil Starkwell continually failing at his chosen profession. When he tries to rob a bank, he can't convince the bank personnel he is really a robber. His wife Louise and the prison psychiatrist try to figure out the kooky crook.

Rating: PG
Genre: Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Woody Allen, Mickey Rose
On DVD: Mar 13, 2001
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment



as Virgil Starkwell

as Miss Blaire

as Chain Gang Warden

as Joe Agneta

as Psychiatrist

as Farmhouse Lady

as Mother Starkwell

as Father Starkwell

as Psychiatrist

as Michael Sullivan

as Kay Lewis

as The Narrator
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Take the Money and Run

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Critic Reviews for Take the Money and Run

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (5)

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

Full Review… | May 10, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
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.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
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.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top 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.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | May 10, 2013
Empire Magazine

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.

Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

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.

Jennifer Xu

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.

Aaron Neuwirth

Super Reviewer

Take the Money and Run Quotes

– Submitted by Jason S (20 months ago)
– Submitted by Jason S (20 months ago)
– Submitted by Jason S (20 months ago)
– Submitted by Jason S (20 months ago)

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