Sunday, May 31, 2015
2015 in Crime Flicks: April
The Anderson Tapes - Sidney Lumet - Sean Connery plays the titular character a safe-cracker just out of prison and looking to put together a caper. He wants to knock over his girlfriend's entire upscale NYC apartment building for the high-end art, collectibles, antiques and cash caches. It's ambitious, ballsy, brazen, really and it's gonna take planning and most of all big front end money. Anderson hits up the local organized crime syndicate, in whose employ he he was caught and spent the next 10 years in prison, goading them into financing his score. Seems they've become like any other boring money making corporation and Anderson's enthusiasm and hutzpah are contagious - are we criminals or accountants? Adapted from the best selling novel by Lawrence Sanders it's not one of Lumet's most memorable NYC-centric crime flicks, but when you're up against Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Prince of the City and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, jeez, that's hardly a knock. It's a modest picture that succeeds and fails scene by scene. A solid cast, including the big screen debut of Christopher Walken, help the rough spots go down easy and keeps the whole thing a positive experience. Best moment: the tapes of the title are those on which Anderson and his team show up stumbling across multi-agency ongoing extra-legal domestic spying operations, and when you consider that the movie dropped into theaters before the Watergate scandal it makes for probably the most interesting touch of the whole she-bang. The final fate of said tapes elevates the picture to a slightly higher plane.