Ever since he was a boy, wimpy milquetoast Virgil Starkwell (Allen) has had a compulsion to steal, only to bungle it horribly at the crucial moment. Now grown, Virgil has capitalized on that childhood promise and become a pitifully ineffectual career criminal who’s gone from getting his hand stuck in the gumball machine to flubbing his own hold-up notes.
Presented as a mock documentary complete with narration by radio ham Jackson Beck, Allen's hilarious directorial debut is nuttier and loaded with more gags than his later, more sophisticated New York films. But that's exactly why it works! The laughs are goofy and often puerile; and for all the zippy one-liners that don't quite elicit a full-belly guffaw, Allen piles on with cutting satire (focused mostly on footage of presidents Nixon and Eisenhower). You'll have a lot of fun watching this manic genius at work in one of his earlier comedic efforts.