Type: Review
Pages: 2 | Words: 403
Reading Time: 2 Minutes

The 1969 movie co-written by Woody Allen and Mickey Rose was about a Virgil Starkwell (acted by Allen himself), who was a ham-fisted criminal that persistently stuck to his lifestyle. The movie covers the plethora of crimes that he committed from stealing a glass pane at a jewelry store to escaping prison. It also takes account of the growth of his family and ends with Starkwell having an eight hundred-year jail term for his crimes. The movie describes all these events in a witty way that makes Starkwell appear incompetent as a criminal.

The movie has originality in its humor in both the lines and sight gags within the plot. It roughly attempts to appear as a documentary and covers the crime-gangster theme lightly compared to other movies of the era. This shows that the idea of the movie is definitely authentic and thus refreshing. However, the movie cannot match the later works of Allen as it lacks the maturity that all the good ideas within the movie could have made an even greater masterpiece than Take the Money and Run. With so much in only one basket, Woody Allen and Mickey Rose sure wasted their extra-ordinary ideas in a slightly compelling movie.

The scene, in which Virgil planned on robbing a bank while recording it as a cover up then another gang comes in to steal their idea, was perhaps the most hilarious part of the movie that audiences appreciated. This scene showed the vicious cycle of crime in a comic way. This type of humor supports the superiority theory, where the audience laughs at Virgil’s misfortune. The relief theory also comes in, where Virgil exposes his writing skills as he hands a poorly written note to a bank teller he was trying to rob. The humor in this case tends to reduce the tension of the scene.

Films play the role of taking the various activities that societal members partake in day to day, good or bad, and make them have a humorous aspect. This stimulates the audience to relate to the funny things they do on every normal day without realizing.

This film shows how the era had legions engrossed with the gangster culture. Furthermore, the narrating voice shows that the “Superman” radio show was a hit at the time. This movie also shows low security of banks in the past as they were extremely vulnerable to attack even by the incompetent Virgil Starkwell.

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