Certain actors are favored for their distinctive looks, some for their extraordinary acting skills, or some for their unique voice, but there are a rare few who possess all three of these qualities; Sir Sean Connery is one of them. Connery is without a doubt one of the most legendary actors Hollywood has to offer. Born on 25 August 1930, Connery is a Scottish actor and producer who retired in 2006 with The League of Extraordinary Gentleman being his last movie. The actor who gave life to the James Bond franchise has won three Golden Globes, two BAFTA Awards and an Academy Award. In 1999, he received Kennedy Center Honors and in 2000, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Here are the 15 best Sean Connery movies of all time:
15. Robin and Marian (1976)
A telling of Robin Hood’s tale with a twist. James Goldman gave us a story about a 20 year older England since Robin Hood was seen last; all the characters now old and are realizing that their adventurous days are long gone. We learn that Robin Hood left Maid Marian and others behind for the Crusades with Richard the Lionhearted.
However, he soon returns as a different version of himself and hopes to win back his love. This movie is highly underrated but was finally recognized in 2002 by American Film Institute when it was nominated for AFI’s 100 Years…100 Passions but sadly didn’t win.
14. The Offence (1972)
A British psychological thriller based on a 1968 stage play by John Hopkins. A police detective beats a suspected child molester to death during interrogation. The story explores the varied and aggressive attempts of the detective to rationalize his act.
Another underrated movie, the acting of the main leads, Connery as the detective and Ian Bannen as the child molester, is breathtaking. The movie unfortunately was a major bomb at the time of release and disappeared from view. Still mostly unknown to many, it is a must watch for Connery fans as it is indeed one of his best performances.
13. The Anderson Tapes (1971)
This Technicolor crime film is based on a bestselling novel of same name by Frank Pierson. The story revolves around a criminal who has been recently released and plans to rob a luxury apartment block with his recently assembled team. Unknown to these gang of criminals, all of their steps are being watched and recorded by various government agencies. It is the first movie to focus on electronic surveillance.
Covert surveillance became a major movie theme in 1970’s after the Watergate scandal. Another one of Connery’s underrated movies that deserve appreciation. This was the first movie in which Connery finally managed to click with the audience and generate positive reviews aside from his famous James Bond role.
12. The Wind and the Lion (1975)
A brilliant adventure film loosely based on historic facts in which an American woman and her children are kidnapped by a gangster. This prompts the American president to send armed forced to Morocco on a rescue mission.
This movie was a success with the audience and proved to be the movie that strengthened the reputation of Brain Keith as one of the finest actor, gave the director John Milius his major hit of the time, and after The Anderson Tapes this movie finally helped Connery completely break his stereotype James Bond role.
A lesser known fact about this movie: shorty after its release, this movie was especially screened for the then American president Gerald Ford and his staff and was highly appreciated.
11. Finding Forrester (2000)
This drama film directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Mike Rich is a story about a teenager Jamal Wallace. He is invited to attend a prestigious school where he befriends a reclusive writer, William Forrester.
Not based on a true story but this the character of Forrester is often compared to J.D. Salinger, a real life writer. Connery brilliantly played the role of a loner writer who opens up to the young aspiring writer. The movie did pretty well in the box office generating $51,804,714 in the United States and a total of $80,049,764 worldwide.
10. The First Great Train Robbery (1979)
Based on the novel The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton who also directed this movie, is a story about a master thief in the Victorian Era. There’s no heist that Edward Pierce can’t pull off. For his next operation, he cooks up a complicated plan to rob a moving train, a heist that has never been done before.
This caper film portrays a delightful cinematography bringing Victorian Era to life. The dangerous stunts were done by Connery himself and he was singled out by a few critics for his exceptional performance. The movie also won an Edgar award for the best motion picture screenplay.
9. The Name of the Rose (1986)
Based on a novel of same name by Umberto Eco, this movie revolves around a mysterious death in medieval abbey. A renowned monk, along with his apprentice, travels to the abbey to solve the mystery. However, soon there is a series of suspicious deaths of monks leaving the abbey and the people in fear.
This is another underrated movie which did poorly at box office in America generating only $7.2 million but was extremely popular in Europe and generated more than $77 million worldwide. The movie earned a César for best foreign film award and two BAFTAs, including best actor award to Connery.
8. The Molly Maguires (1970)
Based on Arthur H. Lewis’ novel of same name, this movie is set in late 19th century and revolves around an undercover detective trying to unearth a secret society in a coal mining community.
This social drama film is partly inspired by true story of miners being exploited by the owners. With an exceptional cast, this movie failed to impress the audience back then but today, it is considered as one of the masterpiece.