One of Sidney Lumet’s most underrated films, taut thrillerThe Anderson Tapesneatly tapped into the surveillance paranoia of the time and offered Sean Connery the chance to stretch himself as he had in Lumet’s The Hill.
John Anderson (Connery) is a master burglar, just released from a ten-year stretch, who moves in with upmarket mistress Ingrid Everleigh (Dyan Cannon). She lives in an exclusive Manhattan apartment block and Anderson plans to rob all the tenants in one night, using his inside knowledge and a gang of experts, ranging from camp antiques dealer Tommy Haskins (Martin Balsam) to The Kid (Christopher Walken in one of his first features).
What he doesn’t realise is that he is under constant surveillance, not by design but by accident, as tapped phones, CCTV cameras and undercover cops from a variety of agencies snoop on the various residents for a variety of reasons. They all intercept snippets of Anderson’s plans but will anyone put them together before he pulls of the heist of a lifetime?
Lumet is one of Hollywood’s most consistent directors never to win the Oscar for best director – that neither Network nor 12 Angry Men, both nominated, won is both a crime and a mystery. His trademark is to eschew flash in favour of performance, always getting the very best from all his cast but never letting them outshine the story. The Anderson Tapes is a perfect example of his art – Connery’s character drives the plot forward with the action concentrating on the actual heist but Lumet constantly racks up the tension – will Connery get away with it or will the authorities twig in time?
USA / 99 minutes / 1971
Writers:Frank Pierson, from Lawrence Sanders’ novel
Sean Connery as Duke Anderson
Martin Balsam as Haskins
Alan King as Pat Angelo
Dyan Cannon as Ingrid
Christopher Walken as The Kid
Dick Anthony Williams as Spencer
Stan Gottlieb as Pop
Paul Benjamin as Jimmy
Anthony Holland as Psychologist
Richard B. Shull as Werner
Conrad Bain as Dr. Rubicoff
Judith Lowry as Mrs. Hathaway
Janet Ward as Mrs. Bingham
Scott Jacoby as Jerry Bingham
Norman Rose as Longene
Meg Myles as Mrs. Longene
John Call as O’Leary
Raoul Kraushaar as D’Medico
Paula Trueman as Nurse
John Braden as Vanessi
Michael Prince as Johnson
Frank Macetta as Papa Angelo
Hildy Brooks as Receptionist
Michael Fairman as Sergeant Claire
Sam Coppola as Private Detective
Reid Cruickshanks as Judge
Bradford English as T.V. Watcher
Tom Signorelli as Sync Man
Jack Doroshow as Eric
Michael Clary as Eric’s Friend
Robert Dagney as Doctor
George Patelis as Detective B
William J. Daprato as Detective C
Mary Boylan as Bus Station Lady
Bruce Brown as Policeman
James Forster as Sergeant
Charles Frank as Ambulance Attendant
Al Kirk as Thief
Tom Nobles as Police Lieutenant
Michael Miller as First Agent
Val Avery as Parelli aka Socks
Ralph Meeker as Police Captain ‘Iron Balls’ Delaney
Max Showalter as Bingham
Carmine Caridi as Detective
Garrett Morris as Officer Everson
Margaret Hamilton as Miss Kaler
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