Moviegeek5: Sean Connery
Sir Thomas Sean Connery, one of the most famous living Scotsmen, was born 90 years ago, on 25th August 1930 in Edinburgh. Starting small in a working class family, this tall and handsome scot, began a career in bodybuilding after a stint in the Royal Navy in his late teens, only to catch the acting bug while working backstage at a theatre. Connery became a household name worldwide as the actor who put the first indelible mark on Ian Fleming’s British agent, 007. Connery continued to have a good career alongside and after Bond, well into the late 1990s. Since 2005 Connery has been retired and has denied a return to the silver screen could ever happen. Apparently, he is enjoying retirement too much!
We have slected five films from Connery’s filmography below. Let us know in the comments below what your favourite Sean Connery role is!
Dr. No (1962)
“Bond, James Bond”. Those words spoken by Sean Connery launched a massively succesful film series, which is still going strong today and made Connery one of the most recognizable actors of his day. Many, though thy might recognise the breadth of Daniel Craig’s James Bond, still hold that Connery is the best Bond. He gave the popular novel character an instantly recognizable and memorable screen version which is branded into popular culture. Much of Connery’s Bond mannerisms and character traits was there from the get-go in a film that included many classic Bond features: an exotic setting, a shady villain, and sciency-fictiony weapons. Topped off with a iconic musical theme and one of the best character introductions in cinema history, this is a Sean Connery film not to be missed!
The Untouchables (1987)
Brian de Palma’s highly entertaining take on the famous gangster Al Capone (Robert de Niro) and the not-quite-so famous agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) who hounded him tirelessly with not quite straight means in order to bring him to justice. Connery plays an Irish-American cop who help Ness by adding some much needed grit and muscle. Connery’s characters is highly entertaining and very likable, despite Connery’s dismal attempt at an Irish accent!
Spielberg’s Indiana Jones movies are some of the best Hollywood adventure films (let’s not mention Kingdom of the Chrystal Skull, though…) and in my humble opinion, The Last Crusade is the best one of the three. This is in large part due to the introduction of Indiana’s father Henry Jones, Sr., played with bravado by a perfectly cast Connery. Jones (junior), who had been so sure of himself in the previous movies (except around snakes) shows a different side to his character as his estranged father brings out his inner teenager. A fun and ultimately moving portrayal of a father and son who are more alike than both care to admit, and a great twist on the previous instalments. One of COnnery’s most loved characters after James Bond – and with very good reason!
The Hunt for Red October (1990)
This late Cold War thriller, directed by John McTiernan (Die Hard, 1988), is based on the novel by Tom Clancy and features his famous character Jack Ryan (here portrayed by Alec Baldwin). The film became box office hit for Connery, who stars the commanding officer of a Soviet nuclear submarine, who might be defecting or trying to start a war. With smart directing, a good script, and a strong cast, many of whom like Connery, were able to draw on personal expericence from serving in the navy. This clever and action-packed thriller is one of the best in the small subgenre about nuclear submarines, and part of the honour surely goes to the always captivating Connery.
The Rock (1996)
Of the many good actions films to come out during the 1990s, The Rock is one of the more entertaining, particularly due to Connery’s tough-necked and ingeniuos con, tasked with helping a chemical weapons expert prevent a group of terrorists from using chemical weapons on the city of San Francisco. Connery and Cage are a really fun odd pair, and Connery brings bucket loads of charm to this well-crafted, and typical 1990’s, action flick. Just one of several good roles for Connery in the later part of his career, which proved that the silver fox till had a capacity to draw an audience far into his career.