The Woody Allen Project: Take the Money and Run


You’re free to write off What’s Up, Tiger Lily? as a botched stunt (not without a few yuks) and declare that Take the Money and Run is Woody Allen’s directorial debut. It’s front-loaded with the best gags; it’s not a long film but after the amazing bank robbery sequence (the one where the entire bank, staff and customers alike, takes Virgil to task over his typos), the romance plot cuts the film’s momentum by about 60 percent, and callbacks dilute the joke-per-minute density even further. Jokes like an irate Fritz Lang impersonator and a contemptuous psychiatrist don’t really land. That having been said, the first twenty minutes are full of energy and inventive camerawork. And the above image, pure genius.