If you were to ask me for my favourite actors of all time, Sean Connery is right up there.
The original James Bond passed away at his home in the Bahamas on Saturday 31 October, 2020 at the age of 90.
Connery laid down the marker as Bond. Roger Moore came close. Timothy Dalton, meh. George Lazenby was one and done. Pierce Brosnon flew the flag for Ireland, might be outside the top three. Daniel Craig is doing it for the new generation.
He set the bar, though. Often copied, never equalled.
As movies go, I don’t even think his run as James Bond was my first encounter with his on screen work. After all, the 60s and 70s were well before my time.
He was Indy’s dad (Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, 1989), the only man to escape from Alcatraz (The Rock, 1996), he won an Oscar chasing Al Capone (The Untouchables, 1988), sat at a round table with his knights (First Knight, 1995) and nicked all manner of artwork (kind of) alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones (Entrapment, 1999). Liked him in Rising Sun too.
As James Bond, however, Connery made a permanent mark on the cinema world and defined what it was to play a spy on screen.
While latter movies in the franchise have relied on fancy electronics, explosions and serious special effects, Connery’s Bond relied on suave sophistication and a glint in his eye that would get the job done.
You can read obituaries and grand remarks at the BBC, The Guardian, Sky, and The New York Times but for me, for November, it’s time to take a walk back through Sean Connery’s career on screen with some of my favourites.
I’ve bundled the James Bond era (minus Never Say Never Again) into the first section of the list and picked out a handful of others that you can throw your eye on across Netflix and Amazon Prime or pull from the Apple store. That said, for Irish subscribers, options for Sean Connery on streaming services are fairly limited. Expect that to change. Find his entire filmography on IMDB.
1. Dr. No (1962)
2. From Russia With Love (1963)
3. Goldfinger (1964)
4. Thunderball (1965)
5. You Only Live Twice (1967)
6. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
7. Highlander (1986)
8. The Untouchables (1988)
9. Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade (1989)
10. The Hunt For Red October (1990)
11. Rising Sun (1993)
12. The Rock (1996)
13. Entrapment (1999)
14. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
Sean Connery, born 25 August 1930 in Edinburgh, Scotland, died 31 October 2020 in Nassau, Bahamas.