Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sean Connery's not-so-greatest hits

By Steve Evans

Sean Connery, the Academy award-winning Scotsman whose suave manner in a tuxedo was the epitome of 1960s cool, turns 82 next month.

Aside from his seven performances as the most famous vodka-martini-drinking spy in the world, Connery's oeuvre also includes such gems as Hitchcock's unfairly-maligned curiosity, Marnie, filmed in 1964 around Connery's Goldfinger shooting schedule, as well as the Disney children's classic Darby O'Gill and the Little People, in which we get to hear Sir Sean sing a song:

Apparently, Walt Disney was counting on American audiences not to discern the difference between Connery's Scottish brogue and a genuine Irish accent.

Connery was tailor-made for The Man Who Would be King, one of John Houston's last great films. And Connery won the Oscar, of course, for DePalma's The Untouchables. Given his pedigree as an action hero, he also seemed the logical choice to play Harrison Ford's on-screen father in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Great films, all, and by no means an exhaustive list.

While Connery will probably always be best remembered as the greatest actor to portray Bond, James Bond, here at Cinema Uprising we suspect there may be one or two films the Scotsman would just as soon forget. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comes to mind. But perhaps his most awkward moments are on display as the ruthless, diaper-wearing anti-hero Zed in John Boorman's insane 1973 film Zardoz. Hard to believe he could have read the script (or consulted with the costume designer) before signing on for this one.

Sir Connery, I would like to thank you personally for the James Bond films, which meant a lot to me as a teenager. In spite of your superstar status, you remain a consolation to millions of people everywhere who occasionally make bad wardrobe decisions, though perhaps not as bad as this one from Zardoz:

Love the boots, Sean.

Still, I'll stick with From Russia With Love (1963) and try to get that last image out of my head.

Cinema Uprising copyright © 2012 by Stephen B. Evans. All rights reserved.