The Anderson Tapes (1971) Poster

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  • Newly released from jail after serving ten years for burglary, John "Duke" Anderson (Sean Connery) formulates a plan to rob all of the wealthy residents in the apartment building where his girlfriend Ingrid Everleigh (Dyan Cannon) lives. He rounds up some old friends and acquaintances, including The Kid (Christopher Walken), gay antique dealer Tony Haskins (Martin Balsam), driver Edward Spencer (Dick Anthony Williams), Spencer's friend Jimmy (Paul Benjamin), another newly-released con named Pop (Stan Gottlieb), and mobsters Angelo (Alan King), Angelo's pop (Frank Macetta), and Angelo's hitman 'Socks' Parelli (Val Avery), to help in the heist. What Anderson doesn't know, however, is that his friends are all under surveillance by various agencies investigating them for criminal activity, and everything Duke is planning has been caught on tape.

  • The Anderson Tapes (1969) is a novel by American crime writer Lawrence Sanders. The novel was adapted for the movie by American screenwriter Frank Pierson.

  • The New York State Narcotics Division was video-taping The Kid because he had previously been arrested for possession of drugs. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was keeping tabs on Haskins because he was suspected of importing fake antiques and fraudulently selling them as genuine articles. The House Internal Committee was tapping Spencer's apartment because of his alliance with the Black Panther Party. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was wire-tapping Angelo and his father because of their mob activities. They also installed undercover "plants" wearing wires (one was undercover as a waiter in the restaurant; another was undercover as Papa Angelo's nurse) to record their conversations. Ingrid's ex-boyfriend Werner Gottlieb (Richard B. Shull) bugged her apartment in order to blackmail her into being his exclusive mistress. All this surveillance inadvertently captured Duke Anderson planning his heist, since he had contact with all of the above people while they were being recorded by other parties.

  • Sgt Everson (Garrett Morris) and his team drop onto the roof the apartment building and silently make their way inside and down the stairwell. Sensing their presence, Duke locks all the doors to the stairwell and starts herding his accomplices into an elevator to make their getaway. Suddenly Haskins decides that he can't go through with it, so Duke tells him to stay with the residents (who have all been herded into one room) and give himself up. When Socks suggests using the residents as hostages, Duke shoots him as per orders by the Mafia. When the police hear the gun going off, they begin shooting their way through the locked doors. Duke is shot in the back as he makes a run for the elevator. The three remaining accomplices -- The Kid, Spencer, and Jimmy leave Duke behind and hop in the moving van. The van comes barreling out of the parking lot and is forced to crash its way through a line of police vehicles. Spencer and Jimmy are hurt in the crash, and police take them into custody. When the police open the doors to the back of the truck, The Kid comes barreling out in a smaller van, but it overturns and The Kid is killed. Pop gives himself up to the police, never wanting to be released from prison in the first place. Duke tries to hide by crawling into the chimney of Ingrid's fireplace, but he is later caught when the police hear him breathing on the audio equipment left behind by the detective who was snooping on Ingrid. As the police move Duke onto a gurney, he is asked to make a statement. Duke says, 'I'm always hammering on locked doors.' He is carried down in the elevator and taken by ambulance to the hospital, in the final scene, the FBI, the IRS, the HIC, and the Narcotics Division, realizing that they captured the heist plans on their tapes, all of which were made illegally, order their tapes to be erased.

  • Duke is referring to a scene earlier in the movie where he calls Ingrid a 'red hot woman', and she replies, 'If I were a red hot woman, you wouldn't want want what you can't're always hammering on a locked door.' The meaning: I want what I can't have.


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