The Heist movie has established its very own niche somewhere between the genres of crime drama and gangster films. Whilst there are a raft of (often British) heist films every year, it’s fair to say that it’s often a case of quantity of quality. There are, however, exceptions. Rififi, Reservoir Dogs, The Usual Suspects, Heat, Dog Day Afternoon and The Italian Job are all top-draw cinema. Sidney Lumet’s The Anderson Tapes isn’t quite in that league, but has its moments.
After a 10-year stint in jail, John ‘Duke’ Anderson (Sean Connery) returns to his old girlfriend Ingrid (Dyan Cannon). Finding her living in a high-class apartment, he soon concocts an plan to rob all the other tenants. With help from a sympathetic mafia boss (Alan King) he assembles a four-man crew. However, this is on the condition that one of the men is an unreliable psychopath named ‘Socks’ (Val Avery), who Duke’s expected to kill during the heist.
The Anderson Tapes is notable for a striking central performance from Connery, which is often considered the catalyst for him securing the Bond role. There’s deft direction from Lumet, clever casting and the first appearance on screen of a certain Christopher Walken. It’s an oddity in a sense as Duke’s every move is captured on surveillance by a string of government agents. This is a rather distracting device which doesn’t really add anything to the film. However, The Anderson Tapes is an impressive heist movie featuring some familiar faces and great several great cameos.
• High Definition remaster
• Original mono audio
• New audio commentary by Glenn Kenny
• Super 8 version (1975, 17 mins): original truncated home cinema presentation
• Original theatrical trailer
• Image gallery
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition exclusive 24-page booklet with a new essay by Thirza Wakefield, an archive review, Sidney Lumet on The Anderson Tapes, and a new look at the source novel
• UK Blu-ray premiere
• Limited Dual Format Edition of 3,000 copies
The Anderson Tapes is released on Dual Format by Powerhouse Films as part of the Indicator Series today.