Posted Sat Oct 31, 2020 at 06:15 AM PDT by Matthew Hartman
Unfortunately this time around, reports of Connery’s demise don’t appear to be greatly exaggerated. The BBC is reporting this morning that the iconic James Bond actor passed away today at 90 years of age leaving behind a legacy of incredible performances beyond his time donning tailored suits, a Walther PPK, and the keys to an Aston Martin with flamethrower, machine gun, and ejector seat.
I grew up in a James Bond house. My dad was a huge fan and bought all the tapes through Columbia House as they came available. I remember pulling You Only Live Twice out of a box of new VHS tapes and my dad putting that one on. It blew me away – the helicopter fight sequence remains my all-time favorite James Bond moment. While he remains most identifiable as 007, Connery had a long-ranging career.
One of my favorite theater-going moments of my childhood was seeing him play Dr. Jones Sr. in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Watching Connery and Ford on screen was a terrific pairing as two action superstars got to team up and stop the Nazis. The shot of a Nazi fighter plane on fire passing Indy and Dr. Jones in a car as they race through a tunnel still makes me laugh every time I see it.
While he finally earned his Oscar with a Best Supporting Actor win for The Untouchables, my absolute favorite Connery performance is his Daniel Dravot from Jon Huston’s 1975 classic The Man Who Would Be King. I loved the understated transition from being a con-man out to scam the natives of their wealth with his friend Michael Caine to becoming someone understanding the unfortunate weight of consequence. His final moment where he looks back at his friend one last time is a heartbreaker.
But trying to figure out what movie constitutes a favorite is a laborious process because you inevitably fall into the rabbit hole of constantly asking “What about that one? Oh yeah, that movie too!” To that end, here’s a quick list of my favorite Connery films ranging his entire career:
The Man Who Would Be King
Woman of Straw
The Name of the Rose
Hunt for Red October
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
You Only Live Twice
From Russia With Love
The Longest Day
The Wind and the Lion
While normally I would be filling today with scary movies, I was actually watching House of Wax when heard this sad news, I’m compelled to find a great Connery show. What is your favorite Connery film – or films since it’s so difficult to pick just one?
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