The (Non-Bond) Films of Sean Connery

edited November 2020 in Actors Posts: 4,340
I started similar threads for Dalton and Brosnan:

http://www.mi6community.com/index.php?p=/discussion/8666/the-films-of-pierce-brosnan-non-bond#Item_29
http://www.mi6community.com/index.php?p=/discussion/8627/the-films-of-timothy-dalton-non-bond/p1

So let's talk Connery's films. He's retired now but it's fair to say that after Bond Connery is the actor who did best. Not only did the series make him a bonafide star but he went on maintain his marquee status successfully over the years.

I mean he worked with Hitchcock, Sidney Lumet and won a Oscar. Not bad at all. No other Bond actor has really matched him since.
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Comments

  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    edited February 2014 Posts: 3,157
    Some of my favourite Connery films are Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Untouchables, The Wind and the Lion and Murder on the Orient Express.

    To be honest, I prefer Connery much more in his non-Bond roles than as Bond.
  • edited February 2014 Posts: 38
    I love Connery no matter what he's in. Indiana Jones and the Last Cruasade is my favorite "non-Bond" film of his but he's also great in The Hunt for Red October and The Man Who Would Be King. He's in a Western with Brigitte Bardot called Shalako. It's worth watching just to see Connery in a Western.

    And of course, Sir Wynter in The Avengers!
  • Posts: 6,396
    If I was to recommend one Connery performance? It would be The Offence.
  • Agent007391Agent007391 Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start
    Posts: 7,833
    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (my favorite Connery film)
    The Untouchables (he's what makes Kevin Costner watchable)
    The Rock ("Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and f*ck the prom queen.")
  • Posts: 7,642
    I always love Robin & Marian with Connery, Robert Shaw & Audrey Hepburn. The movie is fun and sad and the cast is bloody brilliant.
  • edited February 2014 Posts: 12,367
    SaintMark wrote:
    I always love Robin & Marian with Connery, Robert Shaw & Audrey Hepburn. The movie is fun and sad and the cast is bloody brilliant.

    Best Robin Hood film I've seen by far. Love how Robert Shaw is the baddy too. Bond vs Red Grant round two :D
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 19,709
    Marnie.

    Connery plays his part the way he does in FRWL.
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    edited February 2014 Posts: 13,305
    The Hill is another Connery film worth watching. The Man Who Would Be King, The Longest Day, The Name of the Rose, The Hunt for Red October and A Bridge Too Far as also very fine work.
  • If I was to recommend one Connery performance? It would be The Offence.

    I second this. Connery is great in this film. Interestingly this was the film Connery made with UA as part of his deal to secure his return as Bond in 1971. There was another non-Bond movie that Connery had in his contract that would have seen him in the director's chair but it never came to pass.

    'The Offence' however is a very interesting film and is somewhat surprising and a total departure for Sean. Not only does he look nothing like Bond but the character he plays is a very complex individual.

    tumblr_m85enmOO8v1rs1ef6o1_500.jpg

    Connery did another film around the same time called 'The Anderson Tapes' that I've seen. I remember it not being great and having a vey weird score that I imagine was hip and cool at the time but now badly aged. The film though does feature a young Christopher Walkern. However, there is one memorial scene in the film where Connery's character condemns society and capitalism that has always lingered with me:

  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Kingdumb of Norway
    Posts: 41,539
    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (my favorite Connery film)
    The Untouchables (he's what makes Kevin Costner watchable)
    The Rock ("Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and f*ck the prom queen.")

    Those are all magnificent. I also like him a lot in Highlander and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I was really excited when Meteor came out, but that was a bummer. Not due to Connery, though.
  • SaintMark wrote:
    I always love Robin & Marian with Connery, Robert Shaw & Audrey Hepburn. The movie is fun and sad and the cast is bloody brilliant.

    This is simply as true as it gets! Great,great Film (and touching as hell)!!!
  • edited February 2014 Posts: 2,299
    Sean Connery is perhaps the last of the great, larger-than-life film stars. His career, like that of Clark Gable (the golden age star Connery most resembles), is filled with lots of lousy films and poor decisions (why bow out with the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Why not King Lear?), but he's made enough great films to have a great career.

    I join in praise of The Offence. The film is badly paced (its first half drags badly), but once Connery is given a chance to act, he turns in a volcanic performance, a study in repression and rage. Connery explored aspects of his screen persona that were never touched on before or since. His most daring, draining, and astonishing role.

    The crown of Connery's career, outside Bond, is the mythic trilogy of The Wind and the Lion, The Man Who Would Be King, and Robin and Marian. It was such work that made Pauline Kael write "with the glorious exceptions of Brando and Olivier, there's no screen actor I'd rather watch than Sean Connery. His vitality may make him the most richly masculine of all English-speaking actors." Kael also remarked on Connery's "confidence in himself as a man. I don't know any man since Cary Grant that men have wanted to be so much."
    It's that self-confident masculinity that allowed Connery to play an Arab chieftain, a Victorian adventurer, Robin Hood, King Arthur (First Knight), Agamemnon (Time Bandits), Shakespeare's Hotspur (An Age of Kings), and King Richard the Lion-Hearted (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) with such authority, with so little self-consciousness, and with sly, twinkle-eyed humor.

    Oh, and at the risk of being thought insane, I would like to praise Zardoz. I freely acknowledge that the film is bat-s**t insane, pretentious, incredibly silly, and features Sean Connery running around in a diaper, bandoleros, and thigh-high go-go boots (later on he appears in a wedding dress). And it begins with a giant stone head whizzing around, shouting "The gun is good, the penis is evil!" But that's also why the film is kind of awesome--it has its own kind of demented integrity, and is stuffed with ideas that are interesting even when half-baked. And Connery projects enough gravitas to anchor the film, which might otherwise fly off into cloud cookoo land. Who else could give life to lines like "I love to see them running. I love the moments of their deaths - when I am one with Zardoz."
    If you want to get stoned without taking drugs, take Zardoz.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Kingdumb of Norway
    Posts: 41,539
    One of his best films ever has to be The Name of the Rose. Very atypical role for the man. A medieval Sherlock Holmes type having spent his whole life in celibacy with books, religion and philosophy. Connery is excellent in it.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,447
    Revelator wrote:
    Sean Connery is perhaps the last of the great, larger-than-life film stars. His career, like that of Clark Gable (the golden age star Connery most resembles), is filled with lots of lousy films and poor decisions (why bow out with the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Why not King Lear?), but he's made enough great films to have a great career.

    I join in praise of The Offence. The film is badly paced (its first half drags badly), but once Connery is given a chance to act, he turns in a volcanic performance, a study in repression and rage. Connery explored aspects of his screen persona that were never touched on before or since. His most daring, draining, and astonishing role.

    The crown of Connery's career, outside Bond, is the mythic trilogy of The Wind and the Lion, The Man Who Would Be King, and Robin and Marian. It was such work that made Pauline Kael write "with the glorious exceptions of Brando and Olivier, there's no screen actor I'd rather watch than Sean Connery. His vitality may make him the most richly masculine of all English-speaking actors." Kael also remarked on Connery's "confidence in himself as a man. I don't know any man since Cary Grant that men have wanted to be so much."
    It's that self-confident masculinity that allowed Connery to play an Arab chieftain, a Victorian adventurer, Robin Hood, King Arthur (First Knight), Agamemnon (Time Bandits), Shakespeare's Hotspur (An Age of Kings), and King Richard the Lion-Hearted (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) with such authority, with so little self-consciousness, and with sly, twinkle-eyed humor.

    Oh, and at the risk of being thought insane, I would like to praise Zardoz. I freely acknowledge that the film is bat-s**t insane, pretentious, incredibly silly, and features Sean Connery running around in a diaper, bandoleros, and thigh-high go-go boots (later on he appears in a wedding dress). And it begins with a giant stone head whizzing around, shouting "The gun is good, the penis is evil!" But that's also why the film is kind of awesome--it has its own kind of demented integrity, and is stuffed with ideas that are interesting even when half-baked. And Connery projects enough gravitas to anchor the film, which might otherwise fly off into cloud cookoo land. Who else could give life to lines like "I love to see them running. I love the moments of their deaths - when I am one with Zardoz."
    If you want to get stoned without taking drugs, take Zardoz.

    Superb post @Revelator. I remember reading the Kael quote, and I've even paraphrased it myself on occasion, simply because I agree with it totally.
  • edited February 2014 Posts: 6,396
    I absolutely adore The Man Who Would Be King. The old adage of "they don't make em like this anymore" it so true. This film is the very definition of an epic. Whilst John Huston was a terrific filmmaker, I often wonder how it would turn out in the hands of David Lean.
  • edited February 2014 Posts: 11,175
    I love the ending to that film. You almost get tears in your eyes when Connery is on the bridge and starts singing. I can imagine when he eventually passes this will be played at some point.

    SPOILER ALERT:

  • Sure feels like going over old ground, but most memorable Connery work outside of the James Bond series, would have to include

    The Hunt for Red October

    Rising Sun

    The name of the rose

    The Rock

    The Anderson Tapes

    Outland

    Entrapment

    The Untouchables


    If I had to pick one out above all others, then The Rock would just about edge it. I can't abide the irritating Cage, so Connery gets all the accolades going for that one. Name of the rose and The Untouchables would be up there also, but Rock would appear most favorite. I really enjoyed his John Mason (?) character's disputes and scenes with the Ed Harris character (unable to remember the name)

    Edit - Frank Hummel

  • Posts: 1,322
    I liked the one he did with Don Sutherland , otherwise not seen much of his non-Bond work.....Anderson Tapes was decent afai remember.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,989
    My favorite Connery, without a doubt, is John Huston's THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING, based on the Kipling story. Huston had been sitting on the project for years. In fact his original plan was to make the film with Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable.
  • Posts: 13,234
    One of his best films ever has to be The Name of the Rose. Very atypical role for the man. A medieval Sherlock Holmes type having spent his whole life in celibacy with books, religion and philosophy. Connery is excellent in it.

    A great underrated movie and one of, if not THE, most underrated performances of Sean Connery. I remember hearing a fellow student when I was making my medieval master degree that it didn't work because Sean Connery equaled sex and virility, not celibacy and monk's life. But he sold William of Baskerville. He played a very believable asexual intellectual.
  • KerimKerim Istanbul Not Constantinople
    edited March 2014 Posts: 2,629
    Yes, Zardoz was very memorable.

    zardoz-1973-08-g.jpg

    1974-zardoz-002-sean-connery.jpg
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 16,349
    The Hill has to be one of the finest non-Bond movies a Bond actor has ever starred in.
  • edited April 2014 Posts: 4,340
    'Marnie' is a great Connery movie. Today the film is considered one of Hitchcock's under-appreciated classics but back in 1964 it was a critical flop. The film is full of depth and nuance and is surprisingly dark and sober. Hitchcock grapples with a lot interesting and often perverse themes (many of which have found their way in numerous other Hitchcock films); including, the relationship between men and women, childhood trauma, psychological and mental health issues. Like 'Vertigo' the film is majorly concerned with a male character becoming obsessed with a woman and his attempts to possess and own her.

    Connery's character on paper, Mark Rutland, is the villain of the piece. He traps a young woman with psychological and mental health issues in a bid to 'cure' her, he blackmails her into marriage and later rapes her. However, Hitchcock and Connery make the character very charming and his interest in Marnie never seems perverted, instead Mark genuinely seems to care for the girl. He does provide Marnie with redemption at the end but in getting there he does oppress her. I'm not sure how I feel about Rutland and as far as I'm concerned that is a commendable thing Hitchcock has pulled off.

    It would have been a rather easy decision to make the Rutland character an out-and-out villain but instead he is far more complex. Connery is an extremely natural performer and never does he become hammy or too stagy, however I would have liked the character of Mark to have had a little more bite on occasion. It was an interesting decision to cast 'James Bond' in this role as Connery had a reputation as the hero at this point so playing such an ambiguous character was an interesting move. For those concerned he is also operating at his full Bond powers throughout the film as well:

    3381.jpg.pagespeed.ce.Mo4wQoI3Yp.jpg

    The film though belongs to Tippi Hedren. She gives a fantastic performance of a psychologically damaged woman. She brings a tragic vulnerability to the part, so much so that it is almost understandable why Mark feels such a need to protect her. Marnie is a very interesting and layered character; she is a compulsive thief and liar and harbours massive psychological issues. In a surprise twist the film does reveal the root of Marnie's mental issues and it is very shocking indeed (and somewhat surprising for 1960's standards let alone today). In the pre-production leading up to making the film the role of Marnie was heavily sought after by many actresses and I can see why. Tippi brings a lot to the table aside from having a brittle fragile nature she at times can seem borderline psychotic which in turn makes a very sympathetic character seem slightly unpredictable and in turn difficult for the audience to fully support. Marnie could have been portrayed as a classic heroine but like with the Rutland character, Hitchcock refuses to deal in absolutes and makes the characters suitably ambiguous.

    The film though is little overly-long and the script has little wit to it and it is a little expository-laden and overly concerned with psychoanalysis at times. But despite being relatively dry an affair, the film is very compelling and the characters are interesting and multifaceted.
  • Connery looked and acted so bired with the role after YOLT. But he was still better than Roger Moore. Why did OP make more money than NSNA? I know SC's last three Bond films weren't well-made but OP is not the best film.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,989
    Why did OP make more money than NSNA?

    The public, at that point, preferred Roger and his take on the character. In my opinion, both were pretty weak Bond films.
  • Birdleson wrote:
    Why did OP make more money than NSNA?

    The public, at that point, preferred Roger and his take on the character. In my opinion, both were pretty weak Bond films.

    It's so hard to believe BUT as I was watching the films from the beginning, I did have a bit of sentiment to Moore in AVTAK whenever the theme song would flute-bust in the background. Still, not quality or substance just sentiment which didn't mean as much business as the Craig films do to keep audiences both fans and non-fans alike interested.
  • Posts: 2,299
    Kerim wrote:
    Yes, Zardoz was very memorable.

    And once seen, it can NEVER be unseen. That goes for any film featuring Sean Connery in a wedding dress.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,989
    Revelator wrote:
    Kerim wrote:
    Yes, Zardoz was very memorable.

    And once seen, it can NEVER be unseen. That goes for any film featuring Sean Connery in a wedding dress.

    Haven't seen it since the mid-seventies. I think I didn't understand it then.

  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 16,349
    Birdleson wrote:
    Haven't seen it since the mid-seventies. I think I didn't understand it then.
    I saw it at a small community cinema in the mid-Seventies, and lots of folk were smoking weed during it, so I remember thinking I understood it, but I realised later it was just the contact-high.
  • Posts: 1,322


    :D ;)
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