October 31, 2020

"Our nation today mourns one of her best loved sons. Sean was born into a working class Edinburgh family..."

"... and through talent and sheer hard work, became an international film icon and one of the world's most accomplished actors. Sean will be remembered best as James Bond - the classic 007 - but his roles were many and varied. He was a global legend but, first and foremost, a patriotic and proud Scot - his towering presence at the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 showed his love for the country of his birth. Sean was a lifelong advocate of an independent Scotland and those of us who share that belief owe him a great debt of gratitude." 

Said Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, quoted in BBC.

Goodbye to Sean Connery.

 

"Too bad you had to go — just as things were getting interesting."

ADDED: There have been 25 James Bond movies. I have seen 5 of them: "Dr. No" (1962), "From Russia with Love" (1963), "Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball" (1965), and "Diamonds Are Forever" (1971). 

There are 2 is one other Bond movies with Sean Connery — "You Only Live Twice" (1967) and "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969). The rest don't have Sean Connery. I've never gone to the movies to see a James Bond that was not Sean Connery. I realize there've been a lot of other James Bonds, but they have no meaning at all to me. 

What a big deal "Goldfinger" was in 1964 — the same year that brought us The Beatles. I was 13, and it seemed that the culture was going to serve us up endless amazing delights. Now, I'm nearly 70, and it doesn't feel like that at all. 

Why did I see "Diamonds Are Forever" in 1971 when I'd skipped "You Only Live Twice" and "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"? Because we went as a joke. We went to laugh at James Bond as an absurd remnant of the past. 

He was in many other movies, but the only one I saw was "Marnie."

AND: From 1953 (when he competed in bodybuilding contests):

86 comments:

Gilbert Pinfold said...

It’s odd that Nicola Sturgeon’s predecessor as First Minister was Alex Salmond...

gspencer said...

"No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die"

Leland said...

He died just before the franchise he made famous. One of my favorite actors, which I judge by the number of roles/movies I enjoyed watching him play.

rcocean said...

wow, 90 years old. Connery was a health nut, unlike many of contemporaries. Difficult to believe he and Steve McQueen were the same age. To me, he will always the REAL and best James Bond. Too often he was miscast. I mean, a Russian sub commander? An Irish Cop? But he was pretty good in:

Marnie
The Hill
A fine Madness
The Wind in the Lion (actually good as an Arab)
Time Bandits

Rory said...

RIP. I'm probably about a third-level Bond fan, but I love The Man Who Would Be King. Michael Caine is 87.

Unknown said...

It was oddjob I was thinking of when I saw the latest Trump advertisement of him tossing MAGA hats around. Cracked me up.

https://youtu.be/jJDXj6-54wE

gilbar said...

just so you all know, when he said "our nation" Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon sure as hell didn't mean Great Britain
Scotland Forever!!!

mikee said...

The need to have violence done to other people, to avoid having their violence done to you, is a constant throughout history, and recognition of this need is the reason for Bond's franchise. Change world politics, change alliances, change roles of women and men in the world, change borders, technology, culture, the need for self defense remains a constant.

Connery's best role was The Man Who Would Be King, although the last few seconds of his scene as king in Time Bandits are as well acted as any on screen.

And forgive me, one and all, but the parody of Connery on SNL as Trebeck's antagonist on Jeapardy are hilarious.

Wince said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

Althouse's comments about Bond being a relic in 1971 are funny. Here it is 2020, and we're on Bond film no. what? 30?

I had the same feeling about Bond in the mid-80s. I thought Roger Moore was the end of the line. I remember seeing Octopussy and thinking "Bond is over". But you have to give the producers credit for hiring Daniel Craig and rebooting the thing in 2006. Of course, the Bond's between Casino Royale and Octopussy were pretty dire. IRC, i saw most of them on DVD, and didn't bother to go to the theater.

gilbar said...

But he was pretty good in:

please don't forget
The Man Who Would Be King
The Longest Day (where he plays an Irishman!)

Francisco D said...

Sean Connery was an icon as Bond, James Bond.

I read the Ian Fleming books as an adolescent. If I recall correctly, the character was nothing like Sean Connery. Daniel Craig was more in line with Fleming's character, but Sean Connery will always be THE James Bond.

It is sort of like Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes. As much as I appreciate Jeremy Brett and Robert Downey, Jr. they re all pretenders.

Mr. T. said...

Sean Connery did not appear in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service."

etbass said...

Putin would hate him as the great Russian sub commander who defected.

chickelit said...

The Bond theme music was straight-up California surf guitar. That style emerged and flourished in that brief window between the end of Buddy Holly and the Beatles. It was the same window that gave us Bob Dylan. It approximately spanned the Kennedy era.

Larry J said...

He stared in the 1983 Bond film, Never Say Never Again.

gilbar said...

Our Professor confusingly says...
There are 2 other Bond movies with Sean Connery — "You Only Live Twice" (1967) and "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969).


Please don't tell George Lazenby, that you think that Sean Connery was in On He Majesty's Secret Service... It would make him sad, and make him have to say...
This never happened to the other fellow.


rcocean said...

I wonder what "Proud Scot" Connery thought of the current "Scottish" Muslim home secretary wanting to prosecute people for "Hate Speech" spoken in their own homes. IRC, Connery was quite the Male Chauvinist, and got into some trouble for claiming it was OK to strike your woman, if she ignored your warnings and kept pushing you and being obnoxious.

Anyway, I don't think the current Scottish Government is what Connery had in mind when he was pushing for Scottish independece.

Crimso said...

Connery wasn't in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," that was George Lazenby.

mockturtle said...

RIP, Bond. James Bond.

Yancey Ward said...

I have seen all the Bond films, but the Connery ones are special to me.

Connery also played Bond in "Never Say Never Again" in 1983. It was the second adaptation of "Thunderball". Not sure why it was made.

The Drill SGT said...

"On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969)

I think that is Starring: George Lazenby

JZ said...

The first line spoken by the Bond character in the first Bond movie is the most memorable line from all of the Bond movies. And Connery is the most memorable Bond.

SDaly said...

If you want a laugh involving Sean Connery, watch “Zardoz”.

Inread that Connery started out as a figure model. Would Althouse have been interested??

stevew said...

Trying to think of a movie of his that I didn't like or thought had a less than excellent acting performance and I've come up empty.

RIP

Amexpat said...

We went to laugh at James Bond as an absurd remnant of the past.

Yeah, how quickly James Bond went from being an exciting, exotic spy film to a self parody. But the early Sean Connery Bond films were great.

Sean Connery's most impressive achievement was having a successful movie career after Bond. Hard to do when everyone on the planet saw him as James Bond.

Wince said...

Why did I see "Diamonds Are Forever" in 1971 when I'd skipped "You Only Live Twice" and "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"? Because we went as a joke. We went to laugh at James Bond as an absurd remnant of the past.

And to see the chest hair.

In Diamonds Are Forever
See, a hairy chest attracts creative women!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I always thought that Sean Connery was extremely 'sexy'. Even when he was old and bald he still had that "IT" factor

Sad to see him go. Great that he was here and made movies that we can watch again. Dr. No was the first movie that I went to at the Drive In, without my parents. I don't remember if they knew I did that or not :-) Good memories.

narciso said...

Who fleming had in mind


https://www.limestonepostmagazine.com/big-mikes-b-town-hoagy-bix-carmichael/

narciso said...

The story of how lazenby bluffed his way into the role is choice.

Kate said...

Came here to pedantically say he was in "Never Say Never Again", a middle-aged Bond surprise. But, of course, others already caught it.

David Begley said...

I think his two best movies were “The Man Who Would Be King” and “The Untouchables.”

Paul said...

Sorry but when in Dr. "No" Connery sniffs and says, "That is a Smith and Wesson, you had your six" and clearly it was a Colt .45 Automatic and he had not had his EIGHT, I knew Connery, the screen writers, the editors, the director, etc.. knew nothing about guns.

Then again in the same movie Boothroyd gives Bond a PPK 7.62mm (.32) automatic and says it has "Like a brick through a plate glass window" again... what a gas. Well maybe the .32 will 'smash' a window but it ain't much of a round and the PPK has the worst DA trigger pull of any pistol, revolver or automatic, I've ever shot (and I've owned and shot a lot of 'em.)

Well that made the movie kind of hokie. Sorry but it did.

I've seen a lot of the Bonds... Daniel Craig is the best by far.

Blair said...

I am of Scottish descent, and would dearly love to see an independent Scotland, but not with that ghastly mong in charge of it. If an independent Scotland is run by the socialists in the SNP only to rejoin the EU, that's too high a price to pay.

JPS said...

etbass, 9:17:

"Putin would hate him as the great Russian sub commander who defected."

Putin would hate the name and fate of the zampolit:

"Putin could have caused complications. What did you think, he would just go away and sulk while we carried out our plan, is that what you thought?"

RIP, Sean Connery.

Unknown said...

My favorite Sean Connery bit was when he handed her the shoes.

He was terrific in The Name of the Rose. Maybe his best performance.

NMObjectivist said...

THE HILL with Sean Connery. (1965) A great character.

William said...

He was a landmark figure, more impressive than any role he ever played, including James Bond. I liked the way he played a Russian/Latvian submarine commander with a Scottish accent. No Oxbridge or Russian accents for Connery, Sean Connery....When he was in the Royal Navy, he competed as a boxer and won their heavyweight championship. That was Bond like. When the gangster Johnny Stompanato gave Lana Turner a hard time on a set he was working on, he knocked him out That was Bond like. Some of the early Bond films are now easy to parody, but in that time and in that place, he was the real deal......I've always modeled my behavior on his and tried not to act giddy or exultant after winning large sums at chemin-de-fer.

Douglas B. Levene said...

My favorite Sean Connery movie was Darby O”Gill and the Littlr People, a Disney children’s movie about Ireland and leprechauns. RIP, we’ll miss you, Sean.

Ralph L said...

It was the second adaptation of "Thunderball"

How does one tell?

Tina Trent said...

What mikee said. Masculinity, self-defense, and parody Jeopardy.

For a long time growing up, I assumed Greece played a much larger role in contemporary geopolitics because Bond movies were our family's flawed but fond lingua franca.

Nigel Cawthorne wrote a fascinating book about Fleming, the movies, and the books -- A Brief Guide to James Bond: How 007 Changed the World.

tcrosse said...

Which gives me furiously to think of other fine Scots actors, like Billy Connolly, Robbie Coltrane, Michelle Gomez, Peter Capaldi, Alan Cumming, Shirley Henderson.... That's just off the top of my head.

Roughcoat said...

The Man Who Would be King was a masterpiece for all involved: Connery, Caine, Sayeed Jeffrey ("Billy Fish"), Plummer and, of course, John Huston.

Connery was also very good as Gen. Roy Urquart in a Bridge Too Far.

tcrosse said...

Which gives me furiously to think of other fine Scots actors, like Billy Connolly, Robbie Coltrane, Michelle Gomez, Peter Capaldi, Alan Cumming, Shirley Henderson.... That's just off the top of my head.

Scotty, beam me up... said...

“Goldfinger”, in my opinion was Connery’s best Bond movie (people can argue otherwise). I have never figured out how the name of Pussy Galore for the main Bond girl got past the censors, especially in 1964. But then again, in the last decade, comedian Craig Ferguson would constantly say “here is a photo of my tit” and show a picture of the titmouse bird, aka tit. That must have irritated the CBS censors since they full well knew he was getting away with it in that way.

Roughcoat said...

"Peachy and I are NOT small men, Mr. Kipling."

Narr said...

Connery and Craig are the only actors I've ever accepted as Bond. Momjeans Brosnan? GMAFB.

Moore, Lazenby and other pretenders prove their status by the fact that nobody remembers anything else about them except they played Bond once or twice.

My wife's Outlander fangirl club is all over Scottish independence--"Scots want to live in a free country!" Others have noticed the rather shabbier reality of what a "free" Scotland actually means . . .

RIP.

Narr
If it's not Scottish it's CRAP!

chickelit said...

Mr. T. said...Sean Connery did not appear in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service."

Mad Magazine parodied that movie and styled its star as George Lazybee. My dad was such a Sean Connery fan that he took his teenaged and pre-teenaged sons to see it in the theater. Mom didn't go.

tcrosse said...

PS to my list of fine Scots actors let us not forget Alistair Sim and Deborah Kerr.

narciso said...

it's a much cheesier one with klaus maria brandauer as largo, fiennes who was in the avengers remake, is the nephew of a bond type character, ranulph, whose roman a clef inspired the killer elite remake,

mockturtle said...

My late husband insisted that Connery did not personify the 'Old Etonian' Fleming had in mind. But, to my mind, he was by far the best.

dgstock said...

Daniel Dravot and Peachy Carnehan (Connery and Caine) in The Man Who Would Be King. Best buddy movie made.

YoungHegelian said...

And to think that no one has mentioned that Sean Connery played the father of Indiana Jones!

Yeah, I know, not my favorite either, but it put SC in front of a whole new generation of eyeballs.

Narr said...

Lest we forget, and IIRC, Commander Bond's mother was Francophone Swiss.

Narr
Hybrid vigor

mockturtle said...

BTW, that b&w photo guy looks like an ad for a gay porn mag. Pretty-boy face and all.

Tomcc said...

It's rare that the passing of an actor makes me realize my own advancing age...so, damn.
I'd forgotten "The Man Who Would be King"; I'll see if I can find it to watch this weekend.

As a youth, I went to see "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and remember my profound disappointment when I realized they had hired a fraud to play James Bond.

Humperdink said...

"One ping only, Vasily." My favorite Connery movie.

loudogblog said...

My favorite miscasting of Sean Connery was in Highlander. He played a Spanish nobleman who was living in Scotland but he still had his Scottish accent. For the life of me, I don't know why they didn't just change the character to make him Scottish. When I saw him in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I could see that he couldn't act anymore. (And that made me a bit sad.)

Ann Althouse said...

"Please don't tell George Lazenby..."

Corrected.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks.

Ann Althouse said...

I feel like I have never even heard the name "George Lazenby."

Sorry, but my interest in James Bond is quite low. I saw "Goldfinger," which was a very big deal in 1964. Then I saw the 2 earlier films and wasn't too excited. Then "Thunderball" came out and I saw it, was very bored, and "realized" the James Bond craze was over. On to the next big thing....

Zach said...

Being Scottish added an element to the character that I'm not sure was originally on the page.

It seems to me that there are four quadrants to a good Bond:
Sexy
Sophisticated
Charming
Brutish

Brutish is the tough trait to integrate into the character. They tend to go all brutish (Timothy Dalton) or not brutish at all (Lazenby, Moore, Brosnan).

Craig has sexy, charming, and brutish, but I don't know if I would call his version of the character sophisticated.

Connery maxed out all four.

Tom C said...

Ann, I have seen all the Bond movies, and I recommend you try Casino Royale from 14 years ago. (Not the 50-year-old spoof, which starred Woody Allen as Jimmy Bond.)

Casino Royale 2006 was Daniel Craig's first appearance as Bond, and he made it quite a different Bond movie.

Peggtea said...

My dad, a year younger the Connery, died this June. One of his favorite movies was the Man Who Would Be King, which others here have referenced as a Connery favorite. We watched it every time it was on TV, bought it for him when VCRs first came out, then replaced it with a DVD, and yet still watched when it appeared on TV. One of my mom's favorites was The Rock, which we all enjoyed watching with her and mocking the epic overacting of Connery and Nicolas Cage,

WK said...

His fight scene in Presidio was great....

Joe Smith said...

Connery was an actor but he didn't really act.

As Bond he seemed like an actual tough guy who could beat the crap out of people.

It seemed that he could do that in real life too.

Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan were both pretty boys who couldn't beat up a 14-year-old girl.

"There can be only one."

Narr said...

@mockturtle1118am--

Now how would a nice lady like you know about that?

Narr
I'll take your word for it.

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

" I was 13, and it seemed that the culture was going to serve us up endless amazing delights. Now, I'm nearly 70, and it doesn't feel like that at all." I'm 71 and couldn't agree more. What an amazing era that was, especially the movies and the music. I feel extremely fortunate to have come of age during that time of wonder.

n.n said...

Connery. Sean Connery. Cool kid. RIP

tds said...

since nobody mentioned it - my favourite Connery's movie, Bonds excepted, is a sci-fi gem "Outland" (1981). I'll promote this movie until I die. link

narciso said...

yes mark harmon, seems to have borrowed the gruff presidio commander persona for ncis, which has served in goodstead for 17 years,

Maillard Reactionary said...

Unknown @10:14 AM: I remember the film well. Strange that no one else mentioned it.

Of course, Umberto Eco is undecipherable, which is a good place to be if you want to hide. I gave up on trying to read him.

Connery was great in every role. He disappeared into the part, like only the greats can do.

The subtalents always play themselves. But they are never interesting.

Equipment Maintenance said...

About fifteen years ago I got into a cab at the Augusta, Ga airport. The cabbie was staring at a signed photo of SC. He said he had just dropped him off at Augusta National Golf Club. He was beaming ! I missed him by,,.that much !

Narr said...

Outland and the previously-mentioned Zardoz were hoots.

My problem with the Craig Bond films isn't him, it's the preposterous plots and stunts.

Other than the superb and obvious Frobe as AG, who was the best Bond villain?

Narr
Best Bond girl?

Narr said...

I stayed up many a night until 2 or 3am reading Bond books with a flashlight under the covers.

Narr
Moneypenny especially stirred my imaginings.

MacMacConnell said...

Connery never made a bad movie, except Zardoz. We showed it ever year for Halloween at the frat house, it's a hoot.

Fritz said...

What? No love for Highlander?

Ralph L said...

it's the preposterous plots and stunts.

Yeah, the Venetian palazzo sinking? What was it, a boat for 500 years?

stephen cooper said...

The best James Bond you probably haven't seen was David Niven - in Casino Royale in 1967. Most of the movie was played for laughs, but there are about five minutes of Niven playing Bond straight that are as good as it gets.

Similarly, the best motion picture Roman emperor was not Olivier or Burton but Charles Laughton in an unfinished film.

Paul Snively said...

William: I liked the way he played a Russian/Latvian submarine commander...

Forgive me for being That Guy&tm; but: Lithuanian, the "Vilnius Schoolmaster."

Why, yes, I am as big a Tom Clancy fan as a James Bond fan. Why do you ask?

Norman said...

He looks like a Greek statue in '53.

Skippy Tisdale said...

AND: From 1953 (when he competed in bodybuilding contests)

I'm straighter than a statute mile, but that is fucking hot.

Earnest Prole said...

He was in many other movies, but the only one I saw was "Marnie."

Run, don't walk, to see Connery in The Untouchables. With the possible exception of LA Confidential, the greatest corruption-and-redemption tale in modern American cinema.

KellyM said...

When I lived in Boston, I used to go to the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square for some of their various film festivals. One year they showed a bunch of Bond films in order. The funniest part were the boomer parents who brought their kids to watch the films together and hearing their reactions to the dialogue and gadgets. I think if must have been the first time for these kids seeing these. I loved seeing them on the big screen, with a box of popcorn, as they were meant to.

AJ Ford said...

Ann,
If you pick only one other Connery film to watch, make it Robin and Marian with Audrey Hepburn. It is a nice code to the Robin Hood story - aging hero, the course of his love for Marion.

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...

He shails into hishtory.