The Anderson Tapes (1971)

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Released 15-Jun-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-The Bone Collector, The Odessa File
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1971
Running Time 94:51
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Sidney Lumet

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Sean Connery
Dyan Cannon
Martin Balsam
Ralph Meeker
Alan King
Christopher Walken
Val Avery
Dick Anthony Williams
Garrett Morris
Stan Gottlieb
Paul Benjamin
Anthony Holland
Richard B. Shull
Case ?
RPI $14.95 Music Quincy Jones

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Sean Connery stars as burglar John "Duke" Anderson in the early 1970s heist classic, The Anderson Tapes, directed by Sidney Lumet with Frank Pierson's great screenplay based upon the best-selling 1970 novel of the same name by Lawrence Sanders.

    When burglar and ex-safecracker John "Duke" Anderson (Sean Connery) is released after ten years in gaol, he is angry. Angry that he lost ten years of his life, and angry because his relatively petty crimes cost him a decade. He observes the gulf between punishments for white-collar and blue-collar crimes, and the general hypocrisy of modern life, early on in the film:

    "What's advertising but a legalized con game? And what the hell's marriage? Extortion, prostitution, soliciting with a government stamp on it. And what the hell's your stock market? A fixed horse race. Some business guy steals a bank, he's a big success story. Face in all the magazines. Some other guy steals the magazine and he's busted."

    Upon release, Duke immediately renews his relationship with his old girlfriend, Ingrid (Dyan Cannon). Ingrid lives as a kept woman in a high-class New York apartment block.

    However, once inside the building, which is filled with New York's elite and their possessions, Anderson sees the opportunity and he almost immediately decides to burglarize the entire building in a single sweep, filling a furniture van with all the loot.

    Of course he'll need this project to be financed, and he turns to a Mafia boss, Pat Angelo (Alan King) for help, and an amoral antique dealer, Tommy Haskins (Martin Balsam) for advice.

    Duke then hand-picks his crew from people he trusts. Unfortunately for him, the loan comes with a cost - he has to include the mafia's brutish soldier, Socks Parelli (Val Avery), in his team as well.

    However, this is the early 1970s - the Watergate era - when the technology of bugging and tracking devices and general surveillance was becoming ubiquitous in certain circles in cities such as New York. As a result, Anderson is being watched, followed, and recorded by numerous secret agents from various agencies and groups.

    Anderson plans the heist to take place over a labor day weekend. His crew cuts the telephone lines and alarms, and methodically hold the residents hostage, as they rob each apartment. Despite all the surveillance, the law enforcement agencies seem oblivious to the robbery.

    While the film's style and appearance is very dated by today's standards, the acting and direction are top notch, and as with all good caper films the script is excellent.

    Of note, the film also introduced audiences to Christopher Walken as The Kid.

    Not surprisingly, a remake is currently in the works.

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer is limited by the age of the grainy source material.

    The PAL transfer is presented in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness is okay, but a lot of the material shot on location looks a little soft. The black level is a little grey, and the shadow detail is often poor, such as the interior of the basement at 10:52.

    As one might expect with a non-big-release film of this vintage, there appears to be minimal restoration work, and the colour often appears a little washed out. The skin tones are a little orange.

    MPEG and Film to Video artefacts are not a problem, but a variety of film artefacts appear throughout.

    English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Arabic, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish and Turkish subtitles are present. The English subtitles are accurate.

    This is a single-sided, single-layered disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio sounds very dated, mono, and is often flat and tinny.

    There are five audio options on this DVD: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). The stereo sound is not surround encoded, and I assume it was taken from a mono source.

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are fine.

    The minimal score is provided by the great Quincy Jones. Unfortunately, the continual use of 1970s computer and electronic sounds becomes very annoying very quickly.

    There is no surround presence or subwoofer activity.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    The extras are slim.


    A simple menu.


R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Strangely, this US film only seems to have been released on DVD in Region 2 and 4. The Region 2 and 4 versions are the same.


    A great caper movie, albeit a little dated.

    The video quality is slightly disappointing but still very watchable.

    The audio quality is mono.

    The extras are slim.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Friday, September 01, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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