Take the Money and Run (1969)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 26-Jul-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1969
Running Time 81:28
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Woody Allen
Studio
Distributor
Palomar Pict Int
MRA Entertainment
Starring Woody Allen
Janet Margolin
Marcel Hillaire
Jacquelyn Hyde
Lonny Chapman
Jan Merlin
James Anderson
Jackson Beck
Howard Storm
Mark Gordon
Micil Murphy
Minnow Moskowitz
Nate Jacobson
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Marvin Hamlisch


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    I recently reviewed the Woody Allen Collection which included all the Woody Allen directed films made during the 1970s. In those reviews I admitted to being a fan of Woody Allen's style of humour and that I generally enjoyed his films. Therefore, I was keen to review this disc, which contains the only proper Woody Allen film which pre-dates that collection (assuming that you don't count the revoiced Japanese film which he released as What's Up, Tiger Lily? in 1966). Also, this was one Woody Allen film which I had not previously had the opportunity to see.

    Take The Money and Run is a broad farcical comedy about a hopeless criminal, Virgil Starkwell (Woody Allen). It is done in a documentary style including a voiceover. The story follows Virgil's life from childhood, through his early failed criminal activities, to his first stint in prison. Once out of prison he meets the love of his life, Louise (Janet Margolin) while trying to steal her purse. He attempts to go straight, but finds he cannot keep a job and returns to crime. In order to get money for his family (Louise & their son) he decides to pull one big job, which has little chance of success.

    The film includes voiceover by a narrator and also by Virgil himself and it is the voiceover by Virgil which includes the funniest material. I found that a number of the visual gags fell flat as they were just not funny enough. Some of them did work, however, the witty script was the comedic highlight. This film is certainly a step up from What's Up, Tiger Lily? and you can see that his comedic style is developing.

    This is a light and reasonably amusing comedy which is certainly worthwhile for fans of Woody Allen and I am very happy to have seen it. If you have not seen much of Woody Allen's early work I would recommend starting with a film like Sleeper or Bananas. If you enjoy these then this one would also amuse you. If you have seen these films and don't like them, this one will not change your mind.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is reasonable. The transfer has been done at a very high bitrate, however, the quality of the original material used leaves quite a lot to be desired.

    The feature is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio according to IMDB, however other sources say that 1.66:1 is the original ratio.

    The picture was fairly clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. There was however significant grain present, in some scenes quite noticeably. Shadow detail was reasonable but rarely required.

    The colour was fine throughout with all colours being well saturated and free from colour bleeding although slightly washed out when compared to more modern films.

    Film artefacts were a significant problem with this film and obviously little or no restoration was done for this release. There were a large amount of black & white specks, blotches and lines throughout the film and they were sometimes quite distracting. I noticed a particularly bad jagged white line across the screen at 37:15. There was also some jumps in the picture from time to time but these were not too bad.

    There are no subtitles.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is acceptable.

    This DVD contains one audio option, a Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand, although there was some minor crackling at one point.

    The score of this film by Marvin Hamlisch suits the film adding a whimsical feel. At one point during a chase scene the score is very reminiscent of Austin Powers.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer are not used.

    

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu includes nothing except a scene selection function.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This movie is available in a very similar format in Region 1 except that it is 1.66:1 16x9 enhanced and also includes a pan & scan version. The Region 2 version is also 1.66:1 16x9 enhanced and includes some minor text based extras such as a filmography and biography of Woody Allen. On the assumption that 1.85:1 is the correct aspect ratio, I will recommend the Region 4 release.

Summary

    This disc contains the first proper Woody Allen directed film, a mildly amusing comedy.

    The video quality is reasonable but not without issues.

    The audio quality is acceptable.

    The disc has no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE