Wednesday, October 07, 2009

"The Anderson Tapes" foreshadows Nixon tapes, pre 9/11-law enforcement


Given the public perception and perhaps paranoia about security cameras (particularly in Britain) and even “red light running” and speed cameras (especially in Washington DC), a review of Sudney Lumet’s 1971 film “The Anderson Tapes” from Columbia (based on the novel by Lawrence Sanders) seems in order. Movie buffs may recall that Sean Connery plays a bad guy this time, John “Duke” Anderson, getting out of prison and engineering a Labor Day weekend heist of an upscale apartment building in New York City. The crooks are determined to get in, thankfully when people are away at the Hamptons, and all kind of 1970s tape recording technology and human intervention tries to stop them. But, just as with today’s pre-2001 environment, government fails to communicate and trips up over itself. They don’t even know what state Wichita Falls is in. Citizen watchdogs don’t help. The movie is strangely prescient of Nixon’s tapes, and the ending of the film has the government destroying them. I wonder if Richard Nixon watched this movie!

Christopher Walken makes his first appearance here as the good disco-looking “Kid”. There is a clever chase scene at the end, and some other odd images, as a man wearing a wire under his leg garters.

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