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The Anderson Tapes (1971)

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2:59 | Trailer
After Duke Anderson is released from prison after ten years for taking the rap for a scion of a Mafia family, he cashes in a debt of honor with the mob to bankroll a caper.

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writers:

Lawrence Sanders (novel), Frank Pierson (screenplay) (as Frank R. Pierson)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Connery ... Robert 'Duke' Anderson
Dyan Cannon ... Ingrid Everly
Martin Balsam ... Tommy Haskins
Ralph Meeker ... Captain Delaney
Alan King ... Pat Angelo
Christopher Walken ... The Kid
Val Avery ... Rocco Parelli
Dick Anthony Williams ... Edward Spencer (as Dick Williams)
Garrett Morris ... Sergeant Everson
Stan Gottlieb Stan Gottlieb ... William 'Pop' Meyerhoff
Paul Benjamin ... Jimmy
Anthony Holland ... Psychologist
Richard B. Shull ... Werner Gottlieb (as Richard B. Schull)
Conrad Bain ... Dr. Rubicoff
Margaret Hamilton ... Miss Kaler
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Storyline

A thief (Duke Anderson) just released from ten years in jail, takes up with his old girlfriend (Ingrid) in her posh apartment. He makes plans to rob the entire building. What he doesn't know is that his every move is recorded on audio and video tape, although he is not the subject of any surveillance. Written by Zeke M. Towson <matajame@cwis.isu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Big Heist - Big Bucks - Big Stars See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Third theatrical movie of Christopher Walken (The Kid). His first two were Me and My Brother (1969) and Cleopatra (1970). See more »

Goofs

When the police department switchboard operator starts getting calls about the robbery, one caller is identified as being from Wichita Falls, Kansas. Wichita Falls in in Texas. See more »

Quotes

Anderson: What's advertising but a legalized con game? And what the hell's marriage? Extortion, prostitution, soliciting with a government stamp on it. And what the hell's your stock market? A fixed horse race. Some business guy steals a bank, he's a big success story. Face in all the magazines. Some other guy steals the magazine and he's busted.
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Connections

Referenced in Lumet: Film Maker (1975) See more »

User Reviews

Worth a look, but no classic.
18 August 2003 | by Poseidon-3See all my reviews

Along the same lines as (but not quite as good as) "The Thomas Crown Affair" and "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three", this quirky heist drama manages to hold the attention and entertain despite some slow points and the unavoidable datedness of its trappings. Connery (revealing his natural pate after having donned toupees for his role as James Bond and other films) is a recently released convict who is barely out the door before he's planning his next caper. First stop is ex-girlfriend Cannon's luxury apartment where she is all too willing to give him everything she's got, both physical and material, even at the risk of losing her sugar daddy/john (Shull.) He decides to clean out the whole building of it's valuables with the assistance of various crime characters. He calls upon fellow ex-cons Walken (in his screen debut) and Gottlieb along with feminine antique dealer Balsam (in a outrageous, uncharacteristic performance!) and a couple of others. After careful preparation (and the aide of gangster King, in a showy part), the men go about stripping the building clean with varied resistance from it's motley band of tenants (several of whom were noted TV performers at the time and/or afterwards.) From the opening of the film, Connery is taped by all sorts of surveillance cameras and is revealed to be in the state of being recorded by any and all varieties of agencies and individuals for one reason or another. This gives the film an eerie "Big Brother" feel at times, even if the concept isn't always completely followed through upon. Many of these moments are punctuated by the innovative, but occasionally irritating musical sounds of composer Quincy Jones. This is a film that has more lurking beneath the surface than one expects from a heist thriller. It's filled with unexpected moments and irony and invites closer inspection of it's themes. However, it's also a rather downbeat affair and will likely not suit everyone's tastes. The biggest surprise is Balsam. A reliably normal character actor in multitudinous films, here he is a flaming, lascivious queen with a riotous wig (borrowed from the "Diamonds Are Forever" set?) and heavily mascara-ed eyelashes. He provides the bulk of the film's humor through his committed, yet outre performance. It takes some getting used to, but in the end, he has truly created a memorable persona. Cannon exists mainly to slough around in flimsy outfits and bed down with Connery. Meeker shows up near the end to give a bizarre, yet strangely entertaining performance as a police chief (though his approach doesn't always gel with the material.) "Saturday Night Live" fans will be stunned to find Morris in a straight part as a SWAT member. It's interesting to see where technology was in 1971 and to see the attitudes and preconceptions of what people thought gays were (Balsam is not the only one in the movie.) The film does make effective use of flashback and nonlinear storytelling. It's just lacking that one little spark to make it a classic in the same league as several others from this genre.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 September 1971 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Anderson Tapes See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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