For the release of The Name of the Rose, here are the top 20 Sean Connery films

For the release of The Name of the Rose, here are the top 20 Sean Connery films

James Bond, Robin Hood, William of Baskerville… What was Sean Connery’s best film?

The cinema release of Name of the rose, where the actor plays a strange Franciscan investigator, is an opportunity to restore some order to his film which cannot be reduced to Bond. How do you prefer your Sean? With or without mustaches?

20- The Longest Day by Ken Annakin (1962)
When we look today the longest daySean Connery does not mismatch in private dashing Scotsman among Hollywood superstars. Armed with his phlegm and his iconic eyebrow smile, he imposes his modernity and his European specificity, with the authority of those who are in their place. However, the film was released several weeks before Dr No and the 007 explosion. The best proof, undoubtedly, that Sean Connery would have become a star without Bond. And the opposite ? The question needs to be asked.

19- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Stephen Norrington (2003)
No one knows in 2003 that this film will be the last. Sean plays Allan Quatermain, who takes the Invisible Man, Captain Nemo and Dorian Gray on steampunk adventures torn between the dark serialism of Alan Moore’s comics, the visions of Stephen Norrington (the author of Blade) and the blockbuster demands of the studio (Fox) and its star-producer, who was looking for a franchise for his old age. The failure of the film will settle the question. Sean Connery, 73, will no longer tour. Norrington, 39, neither…

18- Highlander by Russell Mulcahy (1986)
Mid 80s. Sean is looking for himself. He did a little trick again by Bond (Never again Never) and understood that it no longer suited his baldness or his little paunch. The roles of old beaus? It lacks class. He is 55 years old. At this age, Alec Guiness was already a Jedi Master for eternity. So Sean in turn becomes a mentor, with a goatee and lovely training scenes in the mountains. As for eternity, let us say that the name of Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez did not have the posterity of that of Obi-wan Kenobi.

17- No Spring for Marnie by Alfred Hitchcock (1964)
In the 40s and 50s, Sean could have been Cary Grant, he could have been Ray Milland, Joseph Cotten or James Stewart… But Alfred would still have had to be truly Hitchcock, and not his morbid, terminal and (too much) version. conscious of being. Opposite Tippi Hedren, Sean plays an object of erotic fascination (which suits him) but never manages to rise to the rank of Hitchcockian hero. Sexually disturbing, yes, but not quite disturbing enough.

16- The Red Tent by Mikhail Kalatozov (1969)
In 1969, Connery passed his turn, leaving George Lazenby to play in one of the great Bond films (In Her Majesty’s Secret Service). His own film will be an Italian-Russian blockbuster about an airship expedition, turning into survival tragic on the ice floe. The star inaugurates his taste for hair transformation (white hair – without moumoute please) and for mystery guest roles: he appears mid-film, to embody its philosophical conscience and deliver its definitive moral .

15- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade by Steven Spielberg (1989)
A superb casting idea, almost too good to be true. In the contest of sass and casual charm, who is better between father (Sean) and son (Harrison Ford)? When it comes to comic rhythm, a little joke in passing and a crooked smile, Sean hits the mark every time, in a film whose spectacular dimension is (unfortunately) that of an 80s James Bond. The bob on his head evokes his dramas for grannies (An Englishman in the tropics) and reminds us that no one here takes things very seriously.

14- Zardoz by John Boorman (1974)
The film is what it is, an artifact of its time, between psychedelia and exploitation. But two things are unforgettable, definitively inscribed in the great pop cultural book: the gigantic flying stone mask that spits weapons and Sean’s priceless look, with his braid down to his buttocks, his big 70’s porn mustache, his black leggings and his scarlet red underpants. If he wanted to escape Bondian chic once and for all, he couldn’t do better.

13- Medicine Man by John McTiernan (1992)
A semi-remake of African Queen against a backdrop of the tragedy of deforestation. Alas, Connery’s (almost) first steps as a producer do not cope well with the rigors of filming in the Amazon, the outrageous (counter)performance of Lorraine Braco and the artistic paranoia of McTiernan. The film will be cut during editing then marketed as an action blockbuster, far from its humanitarian consciousness and its adventure comedy charm. On Sean’s side, his long post-hippie researcher hair can evoke Broken Ear.

12- Outland by Peter Hyams (1981)
In the early 1980s, when Star Wars, Encounter of the Third Kind And Above all Alien have been there, everyone wants their space film, with the big nowhere, the weightless scenes and the passageways of satellite stations (here in orbit around Jupiter’s moon). Outland will be one of the best of the lot, carried by an effective B spirit and the authority of Sean as sheriff of the cosmos, opposed not to extraterrestrials, but to the corruption of men.

11- Rock by Michael Bay
All the transformers in the world won’t change anything: the best of Michael Bay is the doublet Rock/Armageddonindefensible in terms of good taste but unassailable in terms of raw, uninhibited pleasure. Rock was to establish Nick Cage as an action hero, that was without counting on the old Scotsman who stole the film from him by having his hair cut, not without having it stolen in his turn by an Ed Harris in a state of grace. In short, in Rock, the actors are not bad. And casually, Sean Connery is first in the credits.

10- James Bond vs. Dr No by Terrence Young (1962)
In Casino Royale, Daniel Craig comes out of the sea in a swimsuit, showing off his pectorals under the waves. Fifty years before, it was another world, it was another Bond, in capri pants and pastel blue polo shirt, enjoying the plasticity of Ursula Andress. So, the times allowed that: we never got tired of watching him look at her. The actor’s hairy chest is no less the attraction of a tarantula scene which also remains famous (but a little less).

9- The Offense by Sidney Lumet (1973)
Sean and Sidney, these are five collaborations, which range from the unforgettable (Hill of Lost Menread above) long forgotten The Offense, which waited 35 years before being released in France, because its subject, the confrontation between a cop on the verge of burnout and a rapist of little girls, was scary. The experimental effects (hyper slow motion, subliminal flashes, trip music) are their age but underline the loss of sense, dizziness, obsession. At the origin of the project, Sean Connery considered it to be his best role.

8- The Great Gold Train Attack by Michael Chrichton (1978)
To attack the train, you have to copy four safe keys, to copy the keys, you have to recruit accomplices (superb Donald Sutherland), seduce young girls, make the upstarts escape, trap notables, burglarize cellars etc. etc. up to the attack scene itself, where the ex-007 runs onto the train at the risk of his life (post Keaton and pre-Tom Cruise stunts to the greatest effect). As a highwayman, top hat, beard trimmed to the millimeter, he is perfect. Sean Connery, what.

7- The Name of the Rose by Jean-Jacques Annaud (1986)
An investigation and adventure film written by an Italian, shot by a Frenchman, with a Scotsman who rolls his r’s in the role of a 14th century Franciscan monk who comes up against the Inquisition for his defense of heretics and of a frenzied rationalism. At the time of filming, Sean Connery was at a crossroads, hesitating between getting older on screen (the baldness of Five days that spring) and the refusal to age (Never ever again). The global hit Name of the Rose will decide for him.

6- The Untouchables by Brian De Palma (1987)
In a state of grace, Sean, with his cap, his baton, his indescribable attitude of an old cop who has known everything, seen everything, understood everything, especially the potential of young Elliott Ness (Kevin Costner). The film has taken a bit of an old-fashioned twist, but Connery’s Malone doesn’t move, notably thanks to his incredible death scene where, riddled with machine gun bullets, he drags himself on the ground and spits out his bloody reply. “what are you prepared to do?” » A well-deserved Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

5- The Hill of Lost Men by Sidney Lumet (1965)
The film that showed the whole world that there was indeed an exceptional actor behind James Bond. Lumet’s black and white, his sense of tragic theater are fabulous, like Sean and his friends, in the role of British soldiers sent to an inhuman disciplinary camp, far from the clean and noble image of His Majesty’s army . A large part of Connery’s humanist concerns (commitment, dignity, refusal of arbitrariness, high chin) find a first (and spectacular) expression there.

4- Traitor on command by Martin Ritt (1970)
The VF title is dedicated to the mustache of Richard Harris, an undercover agent among the Pennsylvania miners, to counter the influence of dangerous activists. The original title (the Molly Maguires) leans towards said activists, a secret society led by another mustache, that of Sean Connery. Between the treacherous cop and the criminal driven by an ideal, the film adopts the fatalistic point of view of the law. In terms of talent, the two genius actors look each other straight in the eye and shake hands. Tied.

3- In Pursuit of Red October by John McTiernan (1990)
However, Alec Baldwin is very good. Very, very good, even. But who remembers thatRed October should launch a Jack Ryan franchise? No, what remains of this classic is Marko Ramius, the Russian submarine commander with dark eyes and a dark hat, engaged in the most beautiful defection to the West in cinema. For the occasion, the star inaugurates the white fox beard-hairstyle combo with black highlights from his third career, the time when we no longer even thought of James Bond when he was on screen. And Jack Ryan even less.

2- Operation Thunder by Terrence Young (1965)
He is also wonderful in Goldfinger, Good Kisses from Russia or in the deliciously sixties Japan of You only live twice. But Sean Connery is even more irresistible in the inflationist Operation Thunder (mega-budget, cinemascope, non-stop action and gadgets), especially if we judge by the number of his female conquests, – four Bond Girls, his record, which makes him the most “me too” but the less #MeToo of the films in the saga.

1- The Man Who Would Be King by John Huston (1975)
It’s a childhood dream. An English colonial film directed by the adventurer filmmaker par excellence (John Huston), with the two greatest British actors of the 60s to the present day, the dark-haired Scotsman with the soft hiss Sean Connery and the blond Englishman with the cockney accent Michael Caine, finally reunited. The film at first seems to belong to the second, mischievous narrator and flamboyant Ringmaster, then surrenders (as is obvious) to the power of the first, the one in which the Natives of Kafiristan see Sikander, the “son of Alexander” , a King, a living God. In this extraordinary film adapted from Kipling (played by Christopher Plummer, also fantastic), Sean Connery deploys his two facets of his talent: equally at ease as a luxury supporting role (the first part of the film, and a good half of his film) than as a magnetic superstar, puffing up the screen with his Hungarian mustache, passing with a frown from the status of charming smuggler to that of Sun King, before calmly going the opposite way, in a parable on vanity of men, the volatility of destinies and the relativity of all things. Except from the genius of Sean Connery.

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