From The Vault: Sean Connery’s 15 Best Films

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From The Vault: Sean Connery’s 15 Best Films

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On this the day of Sir Sean Connery’s 90th Birthday Film Frak Adam is sharing a FROM THE VAULT post written 13 years ago as a 77th Birthday and Retirement celebration.

It’s been a long while since Film Frak Adam contributed a FROM THE VAULT post so here’s a brief explanation. Before Film Frak Adam was the Frakker he was John Doe and like everything else in this universe all cinema itself is interconnected on a molecular level. Slowly over time he plans to import many of his older reviews over to this new site under the banner of FROM THE VAULT. The format is simple, anytime he reviews a film here and it can be thematically (actor, Director, narrative etc) linked to a previous critique from the old site he will be sharing. When a review or article can coincide with a real world event like a retro-screening, personal curiosity or current event can be reflected, transfers happen.

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“I’m an actor – it’s not brain surgery. If I do my job right, people won’t ask for their money back.” – Sean Connery

On August 25th 2007, the Scottish performer forever immortalised with his delivery of the name “Pussy Galore” turned 77 years old. Recently retiring from the biz after his abysmal experience on the embarrassing League of Extraordinary Gentlemen triggered the announcement.
“I’m fed up with the idiots, the ever-widening gap between people who know how to make movies and those who green light them. I don’t say they’re all idiots – I’m just saying there’s a lot of them. It would almost need a Mafia-like offer I couldn’t refuse to do another movie.”– Sean Connery

This is a prime time to look back at the highlights of this former Mr Universe contestants’ impressive filmography. Avoiding flawed favourites (EG: Zardoz, Highlander, Hunt For Red October, Rising Sun, Medicine Man) John Doe is focusing instead on the quality motion pictures that exemplify the charismatic performers versatility and powerful screen presence.

Universally acknowledged as the embodiment of Ian Fleming’s hard man super spy James Bond, it would be foolish to start anywhere else but From Russia With Love (1963). Ruthless and still rough around the edges, this is the quintessential 007 before he went the comic book route with Goldfinger.
“I have always hated that damn James Bond. I’d like to kill him.” – Sean Connery

Personally, JD thinks that Connery’s most focused and complete portrayals came when he was in the hands of Director Sidney Lumet (Dog Day Afternoon, 12 Angry Men,Network). Collaborating 5 times together (The Hill, The Offence, Murder on The Orient Express, The Anderson tapes, Family Business), for Johnny The Hill (1965) stands out as the screen idols finest moment in front of the camera. An anti war story with a difference as a British WWII military stockade Sergeant disciplines his fellow countrymen including Sean with torture.

Connery himself cites The Offence (1972) as the work he is proudest of and it’s hard to disagree. As an unhinged policeman who brutally interrogates a suspect to death and then must deal with the psychological consequences, he bravely avoids the schtick.

Donning a handle bar moustache for the Agatha Christie tale Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and as the wire tapped thief in the Anderson Tapes (think The Conversation with a heist) he would unite once more with Lumet for the uneven but entertaining comedy Family Business.

That rounds out the top few, below is the complete top ranking list of 14 Sean Connery films that John Doe considers the best.(In no particular order).

Sidney Lumet’s The Hill (1965) – The Offence (1973) – Murder on the Orient Express (1974) –The Anderson Tapes (1971)

Terence Young’s From Russia With Love (1963)

John Huston’s The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

Jean-Jacques Annaud The Name of the Rose (1986)

John Milius’s The Wind and The Lion (1975)

Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits (1981)

Richard Lester’s Robin and Marian (1976)

Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables (1987)

Richard Attenboroughs A Bridge too Far (1977)

Martin Ritt The Molly Maguires (1970)

Alfred Hichcock’s Marnie (1964)

John Lemont’s The Frightened City (1961)

Here is a fantastic behind the scenes Cannes documentary on the making of The Hill.

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