Thursday, June 4, 2015

What Are The Top 10 Sean Connery Movies Of All Time?

Can you name ten? is your favorite on the list? Do we even come close?

My Top Three... Sorry, personal opinion, creative licence, whatever!

Outland (1981)

With Capricorn One (1978) under his belt, and Alien a smash hit for Ridley Scott in 1979, when director Peter Hyams wanted to film a western, it was bound to turn to Science Fiction for a setting. Io, the moon of Jupiter is the backdrop and Connery gives a gritty, no-nonsense performance, winning him the Saturn Award for Best Actor, unbelievably, Connery’s first ever award. (Sorry, Untouchables fans, I’m a SF geek, Outland gets my nod.)

Medicine Man (1992)

Few can forget the images of pony-tailed Connery pulling himself with pulleys into the Amazon canopy with Lorraine Bracco. Sent into the rainforest to find Connery (researching ‘indigenous medicines’), Lorraine finds Connery has gone ‘native’ and forgotten his initial quest. Then, they think they’ve found the cure for cancer.

The Hunt for Red October (1990)

This was Tom Clancy’s debut novel, and led to one of the strangest wigs ever worn by Connery (he began wearing hairpieces from the first James Bond). Also starring Scott Glen, James Earl Jones, Sam Neill and Alec Baldwin as world-saving Jack Ryan. It’s the classic high-noon standoff once again, this time underwater. Good solid performances throughout. It netted $200 million worldwide.
A Movie Icon and a Movie Gem... one huge seller, one obscure western

The Untouchables (1987)

Winning Connery an Oscar for his performance opposite Kevin Costner and Robert De Niro. Directed by Brian De Palma (who had filmed Scarface 4 years before) Connery plays an Irish American cop (in a Scottish accent) bringing Al Capone to justice. (The Untouchables was nominated for another 3 Oscars)

Shalako (1968)

Based on a Louis L’Amour novel, it’s one of the best westerns I’ve seen, co-starring Brigit Bardot, Harry Andrews, and Honor Blackman. Filmed to compete with the spaghetti westerns of the day, it’s well acted with Sean walking through, tough and gritty as always. You may not even have heard of it, but Shalako was the 18th most popular movie of the year.
Great Movies, but how many of the list have you seen?

The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

A Rudyard Kipling novel, directed by John Huston. How can a film starring Connery, Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer not make the list? Huston had wanted Humphrey Bogart and Clarke Gable, but they died before plans could be made. Connery and Caine as British NCO’s in India become kings of a small country. Wonderful stuff.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Playing Harrison Ford’s dad, Connery manages to be wise-cracking, witty, cute, and bad-ass, all wrapped up in one cuddly bundle. It’s a great romp with Stephen Spielberg directing, and who can forget the chase scenes. This grossed $447 million, making it Connery’s biggest box-office hit.

The Hill (1965)

Directed by Sidney Lumet (12 Angry men, Network, The Verdict), The Hill is a gritty army/prison movie with the iconic ‘hill’ as a punishment. Set in the midst of his James Bond years, Connery acts this out of the park, showing skills never allowed in the Bond films. The result is dark, explosive and angry. It’s a great film on so many levels.
"Don't lose your head"... music by Queen, a mixed up mess of wonderful...

Highlander (1986)

This film is so all-over-the-place, it works! With music by Queen, a Scot played by a Frenchman (Christopher Lambert), a Spaniard played by a Scot (Connery), and a Russian baddie; Kurgan (Clancy Brown) played by an American… and historical scenes 1000 years apart, what can go wrong? Fantastic movie in many parts, superbly put together. And one of the best cameos ever; Spaniard Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez, played by a very Sh-cottish Sh-ean (emphasis added). But despite its parts 2,3,4 etc and the TV spin off, the initial movie lost money.
Which of these movies did you see? Did I hit any memories?

Robin and Marion (1976)

Co-starring Audrey Hepburn, Robert Shaw, Richard Harris, and Ronnie Barker as Friar Tuck. An aging Robin Hood is finding life difficult, and Maid Marion (among others) tries to persuade him to retire. Great fighting scenes, great cameos, and comedic lines galore as Robin Hood fights the Sherriff of Nottingham one more time.

Rising Sun (1993)

Wonderful smart-ass oriental guru Connery and sidekick Wesley Snipes investigate a murder in Michael Crichton’s novel with the aid of Harvey Keitel. Fast-paced, original and witty; it’s everything a police procedural should be. Connery is at his best striding through this like a Sh-cottish Sh-amurai. (Okay, I'll stop the Connery Sh's now)

Honourable mention; James Bond (1962-1983)

Over 21 years Connery played James Bond in seven films, and it would be jolly indecent if I’d left the list without mentioning at least one, but they’re all so good in parts, in their own way. But in my heart I know they’re not all in the top ten list, so I mention them all here as a genre… Dr No (1962), From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983). Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re iconic Sean Connery.

Close But No Cigar

A Bridge Too Far (1977) The Name of the Rose (1986) Entrapment (1999) Finding Forrester (2000) First Knight (1995) The Rock (1996) The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Dragonheart

Your List?

Did I hit the mark? Or fall disastrously short?
What are your favorite Connery films?
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