Woody Allen's first directorial achievement is a frequently hilarious, sometimes misfiring satire of crime movies. Allen plays the typical shlemiel, a put-upon wimp who becomes a compulsive criminal. Told in semidocumentary fashion, with a rambling narration by Jackson Beck (who was
heard as the narrator on radio's "Superman" for years), it prefigures Allen's work years later in ZELIG.
One-liners galore, lots of episodic scenes and some good satire, with the intercutting of actual news footage to establish the era (President Richard Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower figure prominently). A bit of homage to Claude Lelouch in the love scenes between Allen and Margolin, t...