Fans of Woody Allen's drier, more sophisticated later comedies may be surprised upon seeing his laugh-a-minute directorial debut, a goofy mock documentary about the career of a bumbling criminal (Allen). The humor is a precursor to such films as Airplane! in its determination to cram in as many jokes as possible, so that even if a few fall flat, the cumulative effect will have viewers laughing until they cry. Parts of the script are unnecessarily vaudevillian and rehash jokes that were already quite old by 1969, but the film as a whole is a fast-paced, genuinely hilarious comic gem.
by Robert Firsching review