Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Anderson Tapes


This movie shouldn’t be as obscure as it is. I loved it when it was new, and not only does it hold up, it turns out to be amazingly prescient. Sean Connery is a thief who decides to take down this entire apartment building in one operation, six luxury flats filled with treasure. But from his very first move he is recorded and filmed by the IRS, the SEC, the FBI, and maybe even the CIA, I lost track. Each of these agencies is looking for something entirely different, and they don’t even notice the big heist being planned right under their noses! It’s a brilliant conceit, and we see it unfolding like clockwork. Looking at the technology of the day—the FBI is hiding across the street using 16mm film cameras!—it is sobering to realize that this is stone age tech, and to understand just how thoroughly they can watch us now. This was Christopher Walken‘s first major film role, and good old reliable Martin Balsam shines in a departure role for him, as a gay interior decorator. Sidney Lumet directed from a book by Lawrence Saunders. Highly recommended.