Wednesday, February 23, 2011


In one of the earliest mockumentaries in movie history we find Woody Allen as Virgil Starkwell, a bumbling lifelong criminal who's exploits are explored here in film. He was bullied at a young age and soon turned to a life a crime. First small stuff like breaking into gumball machines and stealing purses, but then graduates into robbing banks...or attempting to rob banks. Along the way he meets the beautiful Louise.

For it's time I'm sure it was fresh and very funny, but it's kinda dated now. First time viewers will enjoy it based on how much they like Woody Allen. It also helps if you've seen some of the movies this film references...I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG, COOL HAND LUKE, The Marx Brothers and even VERTIGO (notice the restaurant Virgil takes Louise on their first date). I love Woody Allen, so even after not seeing this film for many years I still found it funny and the absurd slapstick humor reminded me a lot of his short stories which I highly recommend.

While watching the wackiness of this film I couldn't help but think that less than a decade later he would write and direct the masterful INTERIORS. Truly impressive.
Louise Lasser,Woody Allen's wife from 1966-1969.

Camera shadow.