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It's quite okay as a heist movie (even though there are much better ones out there), but all the plot elements that aim to be ambitious fall flat.
The Anderson Tapes is a decent film. It is about Anderson who is a career criminal who's just been released from his latest prison term. Sean Connery and Dyan Cannon give good performances. The screenplay is a little slow in places. Sidney Lumet did an alright job directing this movie. I liked this motion picture because of the action and mystery.
Turns into a reasonably fun heist after some initial clunkiness but never rises to the level of talent involved. Actually pretty forgettable (already! I only just watched it and it's fading fast!) The whole over-surveillance thing is a cute if dated joke, but turns out to be no more than that, barely figuring into the plot in the second half. Which I think is part of the joke in itself (the government put in all this effort and resources for nothing, ho ho ho, aren't we clever satirists?), but it just comes off as an anti-climax and a waste of time. Wants to be Ocean's Eleven with a political edge (and to its credit, racially it's pretty cool) but kind of ends up being neither.
Saw this in the Theater when it first came out....Loved the shock factor....So 1971....Still love it....Love Christopher Walken and Sean Connery it it....They make the movie....
Fun blend of The Italian Job and The Conversation from the director of what I consider Cinema's magnum opus, Network.
Burglar John "Duke" Anderson (Sean Connery) is released after ten years in prison. He renews his relationship with his old girlfriend, Ingrid (Dyan Cannon). She lives in a high-class apartment block (1 East 91st Street) in New York City and Anderson, almost instantly, decides to burgle the entire building in a single sweep - filling a furniture van with the proceeds. He gains financing from a nostalgic Mafia boss and gathers his four-man crew. Also included is an old ex-con drunk, "Pop" (Stan Gottlieb), whom Anderson met in jail, and who is to play concierge while the real one is bound and gagged in the cellar. Less welcome is a man the Mafia foists onto Anderson - the thuggish "Socks" (Val Avery). Socks is a psychopath who has become a liability to the mob and, as part of the deal, Anderson must kill him in the course of the robbery. Anderson is not keen on this, since the operation is complicated enough, but is forced to go along. Anderson has unwittingly entered a world of pervasive surveillance - the agents, cameras, bugs, and tracking devices of numerous public and private agencies see almost the entire operation from the earliest planning to the execution. As Anderson advances the scheme, he moves from the surveillance of one group to another as locations or individuals change. These include a private detective hired to eavesdrop on Anderson's girlfriend who is also the mistress of a wealthy man; the BNDD (a precursor to the DEA), who are checking over a released drug dealer; the FBI, investigating Black activists and the interstate smuggling of antiques; and the IRS, which is after the mob boss who is financing the operation. Yet, because the various federal, state and city agencies performing the surveillance are all after different goals, none of them is able to "connect the dots" and anticipate the robbery...
"The Anderson Tapes" was the first major film to focus on the pervasiveness of electronic surveillance, from security cameras in public places to hidden recording devices. Following the Watergate scandal a few years later, covert surveillance, and who is listening, became the themes of several 1970s films such as "The Conversation" and "The Parallax View". Columbia Pictures was not happy with the planned ending of the film, in which Connery escaped to be pursued by police helicopters, fearing that it would hurt sales to television, which generally required that bad deeds not go unpunished. Veteran director Sidney Lumet´s generic heist thriller "The Anderson Tapes" is not amongst his best ones in my eyes. The film can´t seem to find the right mood and drive plus the dialogue and acting is not 100%. And the the camera work makes the film look like a tv-movie. The problem is as well that the storyline has too many subplots and confuses you more than amuses you. You simply end up asking "What?".
The Anderson Tapes starts out feeling like it's going to be an anti-government, big brother is watching you film. It then turns into a caper film, all the while keeping that big brother aspect in the background. Then the caper falls apart and the big brother aspect is erased. I'm not exactly sure what The Anderson Tapes set out to be (despite being adapted from a novel) as it really doesn't go anywhere.
That being said, it is still a somewhat enjoying watch and Connery is very good in the main with Christopher Walken playing along side him very well in his first major role in a feature film. The score from Quincy Jones is the kind where you either love it or hate it. I personally really enjoyed it but I'm a big fan of his scores.
The Anderson Tapes isn't for everybody but fans of caper films and Sean Connery and Christopher Walken in general would be apt to check it out.
Walken's first movie is a nice caper flick that thrills and captivates.
Singularly unique... Bizarro Quincy Jones moog soundtrack paired with typically dialogue busy Lumet tone and unorthodox editing throw some real curveballs.
An odd film to view now since the "spy technology" is so incredibly dated. Massive cameras and microphones, "hidden" wires and reel-to-reel tape decks are almost comical. But the film has two things going for it: Sean Connery and "introducing Christopher Walken" (!!). Walken may have ten lines but he is instantly recognizable despite that baby face. The story is a bit iffy but the action heats up fast when the caper goes down. It isn't the smartest heist film you've ever seen, but it's entertaining nonetheless. Lazy Sunday afternoon delight (and that's not a reference to Dyan Cannon's character - or lack thereof).