Combustible Celluloid
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With: Woody Allen, Janet Margolin, Louise Lasser, Marcel Hillaire, Jacquelyn Hyde, Lonny Chapman, Jan Merlin, James Anderson, Howard Storm, Mark Gordon, Micil Murphy, Minnow Moskowitz, Nate Jacobson, Grace Bauer, Ethel Sokolow, Dan Frazer, Henry Leff, Mike O'Dowd
Written by: Woody Allen, Mickey Rose
Directed by: Woody Allen
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 85
Date: 08/18/1969

Take the Money and Run (1969)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Gub Violence

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Woody Allen's filmmaking debut has an infamous backstory. Legend has it that Allen had no idea what he was doing while shooting a bunch of disconnected footage, and some clever editors eventually saved it, cobbling it together like a loose documentary, complete with a narrator. As unpolished as it is, it's still very funny (and very quotable), like a filmed collection of Allen's New Yorker essays. He plays Virgil Starkwell, a terrible criminal whose crimes continually fail (a bank teller can't read his note) and who spends lots of time in jail, trying to escape. It was filmed largely in San Francisco.

Kino Lorber released the film on Blu-ray in 2017. The image quality is, not surprisingly, pretty grainy and and raw, but this is more likely due to the source material. The disc includes several trailers.

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