Sean Connery (1930-2020)

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Jack Kubrick
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Re: Sean Connery

#26 Post by Jack Kubrick » Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:37 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:26 pm
hearthesilence wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:50 pm
That turned out to be The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and allegedly its failure helped convince him that it was time to find something else to do.
Gene Hackman bowed out at very nearly the same time. I remember him on Larry King promoting a novel he'd just written and announcing his retirement in a rather low-key manner. I remember reading some years later that Tony Scott was trying to cast him in something. All due respect to Connery but that was more of a blow to movies, it wasn't much more than a decade before he won an Oscar for Unforgiven and was doing some of his best work afterwards. Going past some of his more celebrated roles here, but he's brilliant in Crimson Tide, a role that doesn't exactly drip off the page with a lesser actor in that part.

Payne was trying to approach Hackman out of retirement for the Bruce Dern role in Nebraska and Scorsese wrote a five minute cameo for him in Wolf of Wall Street. It's daunting one of our finest actors left the industry but I understand Gene was getting frustrated with the behind the scenes aspect of the job and he was notorious for being a difficult SOB during production of The Royal Tenenbaums. If the retirement meant less generic comedies with Ray Romano more power to Hackman.

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domino harvey
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Re: Sean Connery

#27 Post by domino harvey » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:18 pm

Mamet said Hackman was a nightmare on Heist, but it seemed like he still kind of respected his assholery because of course he would

beamish14
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Re: Sean Connery

#28 Post by beamish14 » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:34 pm

I met writer-director Floyd Mutrux (American Hot Wax, Dusty and Sweets McGee, etc.) a while back. He worked with Hackman
a bit as an uncredited script doctor on Scarecrow. According to him, Hackman has been living with dementia for a number of years, like
Joanne Woodward, another all-time great who has been out of the spotlight for a long time.

Calvin
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Re: Sean Connery

#29 Post by Calvin » Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:45 am


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JSC
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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#30 Post by JSC » Sat Oct 31, 2020 9:04 am

Very sad. Apart from the Bond films, the most fascinating part of his career for me is that period of roughly
1969-1976 when he deliberately took on parts in an effort to throw off the Bond image (The Offense, The
Anderson Tapes, Zardoz, The Man who Would be King, Robin and Marian
). He even did a brief turn on
television in the first story of Alan Owen's three part play Male of the Species.

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MichaelB
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Re: Sean Connery

#31 Post by MichaelB » Sat Oct 31, 2020 9:24 am

hearthesilence wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:56 am
beamish14 wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:00 am
I've always overlooked the ridiculousness of an Irish-American beat cop who speaks with his Scottish brogue.
I believe this is true of every Connery role. I haven't seen either in a very long time, but if memory serves, he has his usual Scottish brogue playing a Spaniard (or at least someone who lived as a Spaniard) in the Highlander films and a Russian in The Hunt for Red October.
I can't remember the exact quote, but it was something to the effect of "if you want an accent, you hire a character actor. If you want me, you know what you're getting by now."

Calvin
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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#32 Post by Calvin » Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:21 am

He was undoubtedly one of Scotland's best known cultural exports and, growing up, he was one of those figures who always came up during obligatory school presentations of 'famous Scots' - and probably the only one living, as the other usual suspects were Alexander Fleming, Robert Burns and Alexander Graham Bell. Indeed, I think he came out on top of a poll to find the 'Greatest Living Scot' at some point and he was one of the first (and definitely the best known) supporters of Scottish independence. While he had been absent from the cultural landscape for most of this century, his fame here has never waned.

For me, his best performances were for Sidney Lumet in The Offence and The Hill - the latter of which hasn't been released here since VHS; hopefully Warner get onto it or licence it out.
Last edited by Calvin on Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#33 Post by cdnchris » Sat Oct 31, 2020 12:24 pm

I loved the documentary around SHALLOW GRAVE where they were trying to cast Connery and they finally got him on the phone and then don't ask him. But I recall how excited and pleasant he was on the phone. I figured he would have been trying to get off the call as quickly as possible but that didn't appear to be the case.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#34 Post by FrauBlucher » Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:20 pm

Very sad. Quite a great resume but he is THE JAMES BOND.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#35 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:48 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:20 pm
Very sad. Quite a great resume but he is THE JAMES BOND.
His Bond was the definition of Cool, that peaked in Thunderball, and really set the standard for what a completely comfortable, confident, self-actualized man could look like as a fantastical ideal- like the goal you work towards in knowing it's impossible to achieve but seek progress towards the qualities they have nonetheless. Bold statement perhaps, but the game of cards with Largo is the funniest and most gratifying example of a Certified Winner in film history.

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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#36 Post by RIP Film » Sat Oct 31, 2020 4:47 pm

And in spite of being that self-actualized male ideal, he went on to do movies with no regard for that reputation. For me this was his lasting impression: a sense of zero pretension, it's all acting, pretend, entertainment, a job. Without which he probably wouldn't have done one of my favorite films, Highlander.

Nasir007
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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#37 Post by Nasir007 » Sat Oct 31, 2020 4:50 pm

RIP. Seems he had withdrawn from public life a long time ago.

I will fondly remember him as Bond - without a doubt the greatest Bond (he's superb even in Never Say Never Again). Just the quintessential leading man - we have had very few as perfect as him. Very canny guy with a keen intelligence that might not always be very discernible.

Bound to be remembered as undoubtedly one of the most famous and popular Scotts in history.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#38 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Oct 31, 2020 5:04 pm

RIP Film wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 4:47 pm
And in spite of being that self-actualized male ideal, he went on to do movies with no regard for that reputation. For me this was his lasting impression: a sense of zero pretension, it's all acting, pretend, entertainment, a job.
His best role (and film) in The Man Who Would Be King plays with this very image too towards your point- the inflated confidence becomes self-destructive megalomania, and the procurement of humility is revealed to be realistic while that fantastical self-actualization is not sustainable.

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Blutarsky
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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#39 Post by Blutarsky » Sat Oct 31, 2020 6:07 pm

This one probably has hurt the most in a while. As a kid, I was introduced to what film could be with From Russia With Love. While many have previously stated that he WAS James Bond, I will always hold a soft place for him as both 007 and Henry Jones Sr. in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Tonight I will be celebrating his life with Thunderball and Zardoz.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#40 Post by hearthesilence » Sat Oct 31, 2020 6:12 pm

therewillbeblus wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 5:04 pm
His best role (and film) in The Man Who Would Be King plays with this very image too towards your point- the inflated confidence becomes self-destructive megalomania, and the procurement of humility is revealed to be realistic while that fantastical self-actualization is not sustainable.
Well said. I would say that or Marnie would be my favorite Connery movie as well, and it's charming that his most detailed memory of that film (told during what may be his last public appearance ten years ago) was a local he passed by everyday to set. As Connery was driven along, he'd always see this poor guy slowly walking along with an enormous load of belongings (forgot what they were, but obviously it had something to do with his livelihood), so finally one day Connery stopped his driver and yelled at the guy to bring everything in the car. Much to Connery's bewilderment, he was waved off. Connery insisted but the guy responded that if he took a car, he'd have nothing to fill the rest of his day.

In some ways I kind of like Connery more for his persona outside of his work rather than his on-screen presence. He was clearly self-aware but comfortable about who he was (or how he was viewed) after he became famous, and he seemed very grounded in that respect. He knew some of his younger co-stars on The Untouchables were huge Bond fans and he was very avuncular towards them. And even little details made him seem like a complete professional - Lumet would recall him always bounding up the stairs and right on time for every morning of rehearsal.

This may be apocryphal, but a former gaffer (or grip?) told me that one time on The Rock, Michael Bay publicly humiliated an on-set assistant who brought him a cup of coffee that wasn't hot enough. He essentially screamed at him, told him he would amount to nothing in the business, emptied out the cup in front of him, slammed it back on his tray and told him to fetch another. Connery was there and he supposedly rushed up to Bay, grabbed him by the collar and yelled, "Don't you ever talk to your hard-working crew like that. If you do it again, either you won't be on this film anymore or I won't be."

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John Cope
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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#41 Post by John Cope » Sat Oct 31, 2020 7:15 pm

No love for The Name of the Rose?

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colinr0380
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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#42 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Oct 31, 2020 7:26 pm

His Sidney Lumet films (The Hill, The Offence) are his high points (the lesser celebrated Lumet film he was in was the multi-generational heist film Family Business as the grandfather who along with his eager grandson played by Matthew Broderick has to drag the father, Dustin Hoffman, into their latest scheme!), as is starring with Michael Caine in The Man Who Would Be King for John Huston (I think he arguably gets the more moving character arc of the duo as well!), but I do love his forays into science fiction the most with Zardoz (which has the most existentially melancholic 'time destroys all' ending of them all! Which in its kind of fascination with what happens post the storybook ending anticipates Robin and Marian in a strange way!) and Outland (which is basically High Noon in space).

I guess having made such an impact in Time Bandits doing the mentor/father figure role he went on to refine it in The Name of the Rose (which I like very much, John Cope!), along with The Untouchables and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (which is really all about the father-son dynamic than even the questing really, or at least that is the strongest aspect of the film). Even his sub commander in The Hunt For Red October or criminal mastermind (who is really just James Bond in an alternate universe where the FBI caught him breaking into Fort Knox that one time) in The Rock gets a kind of begrudging respect from our younger lead after their motives have initially been misunderstood!

I especially like his roles in Michael Critchton works: actually in a film directed by Crichton with The First Great Train Robbery and then in Philip Kaufman's adaptation of Critchton's novel Rising Sun (another experienced teacher-young rookie dynamic)

Plus he became an early internet meme with "You're the man now, dog!" from Gus Van Sant's Finding Forrester! (Finding Forrester unfortunately could not really compete with Van Sant's earlier Good Will Hunting and was pretty much overwhelmed by the same year's thematically similar Wonder Boys, but its not a bad piece of work. Though it is telling that Van Sant did that enormous swerve away from that kind of character drama into 'figures in the landscape' abstracted dramatics with Gerry, Elephant and Last Days after that!)

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hearthesilence
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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#43 Post by hearthesilence » Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:12 pm

I'll have to revisit The Russia House - I saw it only once in grade school, but I get the impression it's one of his better latter day performances (and probably his best post-'90s, though the competition is fairly spotty).

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knives
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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#44 Post by knives » Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:22 pm

I have never seen it mentioned in the wild, but I find one of his best roles and movies to the be in The Molly Maguires with Richard Harris.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#45 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:20 pm

Blutarsky wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 6:07 pm
Tonight I will be celebrating his life with Thunderball
Man, I know maybe one other person who considers this their go-to Connery Bond, and he was my childhood companion for annual all-weekend Bond-a-thons, so glad to read this!

hearthesilence, those are some warm stories- thanks for sharing

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JSC
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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#46 Post by JSC » Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:58 am

Rachel Roberts appeared with Connery in Sidney Lumet's film of Murder on the Orient Express and wrote this
little anecdote (quoted from a book of her journals).
One day a group of us, including Sean Connery, Albert Finney, Richard Widmark, Michael York, and Lauren Bacall,
were rehearsing at the Carlton Tower Hotel - this being a big, expensive production, they'd taken the ballroom, if you
please, for the rehearsals that Sidney Lumet always goes in for before we go before the cameras. On the dot of one o'clock
Vanessa (Redgrave) told us all to stop work and take a full hour off for lunch. It was an Equity rule, had been fought for
and must be obeyed, she said. Well, Sean was most indignant "We're not down a bloody salt mine," he said. "We don't need
an hour for lunch."

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ando
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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#47 Post by ando » Sun Nov 01, 2020 3:14 pm

Image

See ya, buddy. 60 Minutes piece ('92)

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hearthesilence
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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#48 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Nov 01, 2020 4:02 pm

therewillbeblus wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:20 pm
hearthesilence, those are some warm stories- thanks for sharing
No problem. There seem to be quite a few stories coming out that show how Connery was shaped by his poor upbringing. For example, his family shared a bathroom with two other families, and he sometimes went swimming at what I guess was the British equivalent of the YMCA just to "get clean." Even late in life, he said a real bath was still something special to him.

He was the one golfer at a distinguished Bel-Air country club who never took a caddy - he always carried his own golf bag. (FWIW, he never golfed until he learned how to for the James Bond films. Later on, it was how he met his second wife, who was an avid golfer herself.)

And when he was lured back to one last Eon James Bond production, he was paid a record 1.25 million pounds - but he deposited all of it with the Scottish International Education Trust, which he founded so that Scottish artists could apply for funding without having to leave their country to pursue their careers. (He also negotiated Eon to finance two back-to-back productions of his choice - those turned out to be The Offence and an adaptation of Macbeth that was abandoned when Polanski's production got off the ground first. So what might've been seen as a money-grab to some was never for personal profit but completely for charity and the freedom to do riskier artistic endeavors.)

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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#49 Post by Nasir007 » Sun Nov 01, 2020 4:24 pm

Great stories. I will just add what I have read over all these years. He started out as a bodybuilder and then developed a persona as a masculine leading man but wasn't pigeon-holed in his personal life. He was immensely interested in ballet and even wrote one though apparently it was never performed. And even more interestingly for me, I don't remember which Bond film it was but he in between scenes, he was on set reading Marcel Proust's 7-volume In Search of Lost Time. He also regularly read all of the great classics of world literature. I think great literature definitely has a refining quality. It changes a person, more specifically a person's mind and makes it more acute and curious in a lot of ways - always a sign of an intelligent thinking mind, and he clearly possessed that despite what his persona might lead you to believe. But in his best work, he did indicate unrevealed intelligence just below the surface. There was a worldliness to his Bond which was quite appealing.

Can you imagine any of the big leading men today reading Marcel Proust in between takes? I certainly can't.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Sean Connery (1930-2020)

#50 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Nov 02, 2020 12:52 am

Mamet has chimed in with another heartening story:
David Mamet wrote:During post-production [on The Untouchables] Sean was in Majorca, and we made a date to speak on the phone. Before our scheduled call my cousin called. She was in Ohio with a failed marriage, a husband who'd just lost his job, and, no doubt, the attendant kids down sick. In any case, she was beyond despair. I told her I'd have to get off the phone as I was expecting a call from Sean Connery, and I'd call her back after the business call.

She said, 'Give him my love. Please; I adore him. Tell him first thing.'

Then Sean called. I said, 'My cousin adores you.' He asked about her, and I sighed, and told him the tale of her troubles.

'What's her number?' was Connery's reply.

I gave it to him, he rang off, called her in Ohio, and chatted for half an hour. Rest in Peace.

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