Anderson Tapes, The (1971)

Sidney Lumet’s “The Anderson Tapes” is a fast-paced, precisely directed thriller, with utmost attention to detail, about the master holdup plan of an ex-con (played by Sean Connery), and the strange electronic surveillances that have tracked him since he left prison.

Anderson seeks funds from the syndicate to back his massive, well-planned robbery, targeted at a lush Upper East Side apartment building.  He rounds up a gang of expert thieves, but he is unaware that he is being taped by various government agencies.

Knowing the site well, they break into unoccupied apartments and carry out the looting of each and every place.

The well-written scenario is penned by Frank Pierson, based on the novel by Lawrence Sanders.

The splendidly stage climax is particularly exciting in the way it is shot by Arthur J. Ornitz and edited by Joanne Burke.  Quincy Jones’s score contributes to the mood of the piece.

In addition to Sean Connery, who was at the end of his s James Bond era, the film stars Dyan Cannon, Martin Balsam, Ralph Meeker, Alan King, Margaret Hamilton, Garrett Morris and Christopher Walken, making his feature debut as the Kid.

This movie, one of the best caper movies in the 1970s, began a particularly creative phase in Lumet’s career, which saw the making of “Serpico,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” and “Network” back-to-back.

Running time: 98 Minutes.

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