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Take the Money and Run (Full Screen Edition)

4 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

"The gags come every 30 seconds" (Boxoffice) in this "delightful satire" (Hollywood Citizen-News) from film legend Woody Allen in his brilliant first outing as writer, star and director. Allen is "hilarious" (NY Daily News) and "never fails to steal the audience's heart" (LAHerald-Examiner) in this inspired comedy that's nothing less than "nuttiness triumphant" (Look Magazine)! Virgil Starkwell (Allen), having no talent for his beloved cello, turns to larceny as a career. Unfailingly optimistic, he is nevertheless a complete criminal failurealthough his prison breakouts are often successful. And with the support of his loving wife Louise (Janet Margolin), he may yet pull off a successful bank heist if he can just manage to write out a legible stickup note!

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Woody Allen, Janet Margolin, Marcel Hillaire, Jacquelyn Hyde, Lonny Chapman
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Writers: Woody Allen, Mickey Rose
  • Producers: Charles H. Joffe, Edgar J. Scherick, Jack Grossberg, Jack Rollins, Sidney Glazier
  • Format: Dolby, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: July 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00020X88E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,152 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Take the Money and Run (Full Screen Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Though I usually enjoy Woody Allen's more recent work, I'm one of many filmgoers whose heart still belongs to his earlier, anything-for-a-laugh, anarchistic comedies like Bananans, Sleeper, and this one. Take the Money And Run was Woody Allen's first real film to direct himself and it remains one of his funniest. Disguised as a documentary, this 1969 film tells the hilarious story of Virgil Starkweather, the world's most inept (if stupidly optomistic) thief. Like most of Woody Allen's early films, everything is played almost solely for the laughs it might provide and nearly forty years later, it all holds up very well. Lots of hilarious stuff in here (at times, this film is the funniest Mel Brooks film that Mel Brooks never made) but my personal favorite bits would have to include: Virgil's parents who disguise their indentities by wearing Groucho Marx glasses but will be familiar to anyone whose seen any of Allen's films, Virgil's attempt to rob a bank is foiled when none of the clerks can read his bad handwriting, another robbery goes wrong when a rival gang decides to rob the same bank at the same time, Virgil's attempt to escape from prison by making a fake gun out of soap is ruined when it starts to rain, the sight of Woody Allen on a southern chain gang (and being punished by being locked in the hole with an insurance salesman), and especially the scene where a man Virgil attempts to mug turns out to be not only a childhood school friend but an undercover cop as well. Directing with a wild-anything-goes-spirit, Woody Allen gives one of his first (and best) "born loser" performances as Virgil. Amongst all the madness, the film also presents a bizarrely sweet love story between Virgil and his wife, who is well-played by the lovely (and the sadly no longer with us) Janet Margolin.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
NOTE: This review applies to the version of this DVD published in 2000. It may not apply to newer versions. If you are buying this DVD new, IGNORE THIS REVIEW. If you're buying it used, well then...

This is a review of the Take the Money and Run -- not the movie, but the DVD itself. The movie is a classic comedy that is appropriate for kids of 10 and over, as well as adults. If you've never seen it, the humor is a riot even though it's over 30 years old.

The DVD was just released and is a brilliant example of film restoration. The color is perfect, the grain is almost invisible, and you couldn't hope for a better print. The two-sided disk has TV-format on one side and letterbox on the other, but as the film was originally shot for TV the images are nearly identical. There are a couple of extra items that you can access after the end of the film, but they're typical stuff.

The sound of the first edition (printed 2000), however, leaves a lot to be desired. It's essentially mono, which is what you'd expect for a late-60's TV movie, but there are long intervals of noticeable hum. If you have a high-quality audio system, the 60-Hz hum sections are really annoying. In addition, there are a couple of key scenes where the voices have been so severely filtered that they sound quite unnatural. In a bizarre twist, the defects are more noticeable on better speakers...and almost imperceptible on a cheap TV speaker. So, listen to this one on your crummiest TV and you won't feel compelled to write reviews like this one!
3 Comments 22 of 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
This is the best of Woody Allen's strictly-for-laughs movies. The interview segments which he uses for both comedic and dramatic purposes in many of his films are probably the most fun here, particularly his "parents" who wear disguises. The gags are much better than in his "Bananas" and the more than slightly silly plot doesn't bog down as in his "Sleeper". There are no big moral soapboxes, this movie is just funny.
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Format: DVD
This is early Woody Allen at his hilarious best. He proves here that, when he wants to, he can go purely for laughs and score big. There are countless verbal and physical gags in this film and they're all brilliant. Beneath all the glorious bits, however, is a sweet love story--not so sweet that it obscures the comedy, however. This movie has ideas so fresh and funny, they'll stay with you forever. I know I'll never forget the first time I saw that gorilla chasing Woody out of a pet shop.
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By S J Buck on September 16, 2007
Format: DVD
Woody Allen stars and directs for the first time, and what a success it turns out to be. There are many great sight gags as well as the usual number of quality one-liners. The film is done in a documentary style, telling the story of Virgil Starkwell, an incompentent petty criminal, played by Woody of course.

To pick a favourite moment out is difficult. However, if forced to pick one I'd go for the scene where Virgil tries to rob a bank, and fails because he hands over a note where the word gun can easily be mistaken for gub. Consequently the entire bank staff and customers are all arguing whether the word is gun or gub. Woody insists its gun; everybody else thinks its gub...

This is definitely one of Woody's early funny ones!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Compare this film to any other Woody Allen movie and you will see why it is the best and most solid work he ever did.

His leading lady is also the sweetest, most beautiful, noble while still just a bit not-all-there ethereal beauty he ever starred with, and then she disappeared into the Sixties haze.

THe gags are great, although through getting frequently stolen now fall flat in some cases. For instance when this was made having an escaping chain gang member respond to Woody's "You're crazy!" (of course later in his pretentious later movies he would have said You're insane) it was out of left field for the low life con to reply "That's right! I'm a paranoid schizophrenic, but we're still going to escape!" as the terminology was unknown to almost everyone back then. Also the reference to a high speed digital computer. Now it is not unusual for his aunt to have one, and the reference to What's my line? is lost now. Still this is the all time greatest Allen film, with the roots of later explorations.

Never has he achieved this level of parody again, rather he now makes homages to other styles (as Curse of the Jade SCorpion mimics rather than mocks screwball comedies of sixty years ago.)

Get it. It is the best we will see. Like listening to Bob Dylan while he was still awake and intelligent and not worn out by too much road and stuff.
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