The Money and Run

After honing his skills as a filmmaker on the scrambled Japanese spy thriller “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?“, writer-director- actor Woody Allen delivered his first feature film, a pseudo-documentary about inept criminal Virgil Starkwell. While it doesn’t rank with his best, “Take the Money and Run” is still a laugh-filled exercise in silliness. Working from a clever (and joke filled) script by Mickey Rose and himself, Allen finds plenty of humor in this tale of one man’s attempt to leave his criminal past behind in order to share the love of winsome laundress Louise (Janet Margolin).

take money and runIt’s tough sailing for Virgil, who from infancy seemed destined to lead a life of crime. After several brushes with the law as a teenager, Virgil grows into a full- fledged criminal, and winds up in prison. After a failed prison escape, Virgil gets an early parole when he agrees to become a guinea pig to test a new drug (with rather unorthodox results).

Now a free man, Virgil weds Louise and tries to go straight. His attempts are hilarious, including a run-in (literally) with a female co-worker who tries to blackmail him. More of a series of skits tied together by a Robert Stack-like narration, “Take the Money and Run” is rough around the edges, but shows the glimmer of genius that would eventually deliver “Annie Hall,” “Sleeper” and “Hannah and Her Sisters.” The best moment? When Virgil attempts to rob a bank with a sloppily written note. As a director, Allen knows where to find the laughs, and the film holds together quite well after 30 years. Even the Marvin Hamlisch score sounds fresh and exciting.


VISION: [ X ] 20/20 [ ] Good [ ] Cataracts [ ] Blind

Despite some rough edges and the occasional compression artifact, the clarity of the image is amazingly sharp. Nice coloring, with flattering flesh tones and strong blacks. The picture is delivered in the film’s original 1.66:1 widescreen format on one side, and a full-frame version on the flip side.

HEARING: [ ] Excellent [ X ] Minor Hearing Loss [ ] Needs Hearing Aid [ ] Deaf : [ ] Excellent [ X ] Minor Hearing Loss [ ] Needs Hearing Aid [ ] Deaf

Your basic take it or leave it Dolby Digital mono soundtrack. No big deal, but it doesn’t sound bad either. Clean for the most part, with a decent dialogue mix that makes it easy to enjoy the jokes and Marvin Hamlisch’s bouncy musical score.

ORAL: [ ] Excellent [ ] Good [ X ] Poor

No closed captions or subtitles.

COORDINATION: [ ] Excellent [ ] Good [ X ] Clumsy [ ] Weak

Not much to brag about here except the main and scene access menus.

PROGNOSIS: [ ] Excellent [ X ] Fit [ ] Will Live [ ] Resuscitate [ ] Terminal

Woody Allen’s comedy is so funny and the disc looks so good that not adding one of these to your collection would be a crime (especially if you’re a Woody Allen fan).

VITALS: $24.99/Rated PG/85 Minutes/Color/20 Chapter Stops/Keepcase/#DV10835




HMO: Anchor Bay Entertainment

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