Connery Schmonnery

Posted: May 29, 2015 in James Bond

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And so as the title of the latest official Bond novel is released (Trigger Mortis, part of me is amused at the pun, part of me is groaning) it seems like a good time for the latest in my irregular series about Bond.

I’d going to give my opinion of each of the actors to have played 007. And who better to start with than Sean Connery, the first cinematic Bond, the man who defined the role and the man prevailing wisdom suggests is the best Bond we’ve ever had (or probably ever will have.)

Sean Connery is my least favourite Bond.

There, I’ve said it, you can stop reading now, maybe even stop following this blog, you might even decide to track me down and set up a picket outside my house brandishing placards suggesting I don’t know what I’m talking about. I know it’s a controversial stance, but the world would be boring if we all liked the same thing.

I’d start by pointing out that it isn’t that I don’t like Connery’s Bond, as I’ve said many times, I never met a Bond I didn’t like, but someone has to come bottom of the list and I’m afraid for me it’s the Edinburgh born former milkman.

So what is it about Connery that puts me off? I’ll be honest, his views on hitting women, his nationalism and his disdain for the role that made him do rub me up the wrong way, but the personal habits of a lot of actors and actresses vex me, yet I can still appreciate their art, and I still think he’s awesome in The Rock, Highlander etc., so my feelings for him as Bond are born out of the films he made and the character he played.

I think the quintessential failing of the character is that I can’t empathise with him. Yes he has that prowling tiger physicality, he’s unabashedly masculine, he’s brutal, sadistic, deadly and also has a neat line in humorous putdowns, but he’s never vulnerable, and never seems to really care about anyone else. Men and women die around him all the time and he never seems especially bothered, or if he is it lasts for about ten seconds, and this more than anything is why Lazenby trumps him, Connery is by far the superior actor, but by God I’m glad Connery chose to quit before On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, because I can’t imagine that final scene would have had anywhere near the power it does under poor derided George, in fact I imagine it might have played more like the start of Austin Powers: The Spy Who shagged Me; “Hang on, this means I’m single again!”

Even when Connery returned for Diamonds of Forever it was as if the events of the previous film had never happened, though clearly they must have, why else is he hunting Blofeld at the start? Maybe I’m being unfair, maybe it’s the way he was directed, but Christ, Sean, you’re hunting the man who killed your wife (ok technically you’re hunting the man who drove the car carrying the woman who killed your wife but still…) you could at least look vaguely vengeful.

He was a good 007, but when it comes right down to it, Dalton and Craig are far better actors, Moore and Brosnan are far more fun, and Lazenby had the good fortune to star in my favourite Bond film, which I’m afraid leaves Sean at number 6—tune in sooner or later when I continue my countdown. Be warned though, I may not do them in order…

Bond #001 TBA
Bond #002 TBA
Bond #003 TBA
Bond #004 TBA
Bond #005 TBA
Bond #006 Sean Connery

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Comments
  1. Mim says:

    Trigger Mortis? Sounds like an episode of Only Fools and Horses!

    I need to revisit the Daltons; I feel he was probably hampered by the era his films were made in (less sauce) and I remember him unfairly. Though it’s hard to separate the Bond from the films, and for that reason Brosnan is my least favourite. Too Bond-by-numbers for me.

    • starkers70 says:

      Well you’ll no doubt be interested in what I have to say about both Tim and Pierce 🙂

      Funnily enough I found a cover of a pulp detective novel called Trigger Mortis online the other day, of course one can never be sure that it’s authentic rather than a hastily put together mock up. Like I say on one hand I’m amused at the pun, but it’s also very bad! It does have the feel of something Fleming might have chosen

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