Sir Sean Connery has died aged 90, his family informed the BBC. The Scottish actor died peacefully in his sleep while in the Bahamas. Jason Connery told the BBC his father had been “unwell for some time.” “A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people round the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor.” Sir Sean Connery had celebrated his 90th birthday in August.
Best known for his portrayal of James Bond, the Scottish actor starred in a multitude of memorable films across his career. He won an Oscar in 1988 for his role in The Untouchables. He was knighted by the Queen at Holyrood Palace in Scotland in 2000 for his service to film. He was honored with the American Film Institute life achievement award and the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes.
He is one of these rare actors that you’d enjoy watching in any film, good or bad. He had such a charismatic and magnetic presence in all the roles he played on screen, that any mediocre story or film would find itself elevated by his performance. Connery starred in so many great films, playing a wide variety of characters, each as convincing as the next. Below is a list of some of his best films that are available to stream on digital platforms.
The James Bond Franchise
It was after starring in the first Bond, Dr. No, that Sean Connery became an international star. He would go on to play the 007 agent for six subsequent times. Bond author, Ian Fleming, famously did not favor Connery to portray his character. He though warmed up to him after seeing the film become a critical and commercial hit.
This summer, Sean Connery was voted the best James Bond in a Radio Times poll in the U.K. Out of the seven films from the franchise he starred in, Goldfinger (1964) is his most popular and the one that whould define the template for all the following Bond films in the franchise. From Russia with Love was the Scottish actor’s favorite Bond film that he starred in.
Dr. No, Goldinger and From Russia with Love are all available to rent on Prime Video.
Connery starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie in 1964 alongside Tippi Hedren. The film was disliked by critics at the time of its release, but is now praised by critics and academics alike. The master of suspense here depicts the life of a troubled woman named Marnie (Tippi Hedren) who is caught stealing by her boss Mark Rutland (Sean Connery). Instead of handing her to the police, Rutland endeavors to tame her and seduce her into his possession. The film explores sexual violence and psychological trauma in an effective way, but Sean Connery’s character is here far from sympathetic.
Marnie is available to rent on Prime Video.
The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
John Huston’s adaptation of a Rudyard Kipling’s novella, The Man Who Would Be King, showcases one of cinema’s greatest double act with Sean Connery and Michael Caine playing two ex-British soldiers who band together to seek fortune in the Afghan region. Set in the 19th century, Connery plays Daniel Dravot, the rogue ex-soldier who turns king, and enjoys the adulation a little too much, which will inevitably lead to his own downfall.
You can find the film to rent on Prime Video.
Robin and Marian (1976)
One of Sean Connery’s finest performances, Robin and Marian revisits the legend of Robin Hood. Connery plays an older Robin, returning from two decades of fighting battles at the side of Richard the Lionheart. This is a reflective Robin, who regains his youth every time he finds himself back with Marian, played by the brilliant Audrey Hepburn. The film is available to rent on Prime Video.
The Name of the Rose (1986)
Adapted from Umberto Eco’s brilliant novel set in 14th century Italy by French director Jean-Jacques Annaud, Sean Connery plays a renowned Franciscan monk, William of Baskerville, who travels to a Benedictine abbey where a suspicious death has occurred. While William investigates the murder with his apprentice Adso of Melk (Christian Slater), several other monks are found dead. Sean Connery’s performance in this film is just perfect as William of Baskerville, dominating the screen with his presence. The Name of the Rose did poorly at the box office in the U.S. but it proved quite popular in some countries in Europe. It won the César for the Best Foreign Film award in France, and Sean Connery won Best Actor at the BAFTAs.
The Untouchables (1988)
Brian de Palma’s crime film earned Sean Connery the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1988. Set in Chicago in the era of Prohibition, Sean Connery plays Irish-American officer about to retire, Jim Malone, tired of corruption within the police force, who helps Bureau of Prohibition agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) bring a stop to Al Capone (Robert de Niro) and his activities.
The Untouchables is available to stream on Starz via Prime Video.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Connery was most well known in the James Bond franchise, but also made an indelible mark on another franchise. In the third installment of the Spielberg/Lucas Indiana Jones saga, Sean Connery starred as Indiana Jones Sr., Indy’s father. Although Connery is only 12 years older than Harrison Ford, the pair play a fantastic father/son duo. The scene in which Connery and Ford are tied together is just pure joy to watch. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is on Prime Video.
The Hunt For Red October (1990)
Based on a Tom Clancy novel, The Hunt for Red October, sees Connery play Marko Ramius, a Russian submarine captain headed for the U.S. One is never sure what Ramius’ real motives are in John McTiernan’s film. Is Ramius out to launch a nuclear strike on the U.S., or is CIA analyst Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) right in thinking that he is in fact trying to defect? The ambiguity of Ramius’ character is magnified by Connery’s amazing performance in this film. You can rent the film on Prime Video.
The Rock (1996)
Michael Bay’s vastly entertaining action thriller, The Rock, features Sean Connery as a former British spy agent, John Patrick Mason. He is sent on an urgent mission with FBI chemical warfare expert, Stanley Goodspeed (Nicholas Cage) on Alcatraz Island to stop General Francis X. Hummel from launching a weapon on San Francisco. Connery’s role is a reminder of his Bond days. The film shows Connery’s commanding presence in action movies.
The Rock is on Hulu.
Finding Forrester (2000)
Connery plays William Forester, a reclusive author, in Gus Van Sant’s heartwarming drama. After writing one novel years earlier, Forrester now spends his days with his binoculars keeping an eye on his Bronx neighborhood. The recluse author soon befriends a young brilliant teenage student Jamal Wallace (Rob Brown) and becomes his mentor. Finding Forrester is available to stream through Prime Video.