Sean Connery is 90 years old today - here are his best movies and the last film he starred in

By Alex Nelson
Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 1:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 1:01 pm
(Photo: Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Getty Images)
(Photo: Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

Happy birthday to Sir Sean Connery, who turns 90 today (25 August)!

Born in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh in 1930, Connery went on to have a glittering career in film spanning more than 50 years.

He's also previously been voted "The Greatest Living Scot", "Scotland's Greatest Living National Treasure" in a EuroMillions survey, and People magazine's "Sexiest Man of the 20th Century”.

To celebrate, here we reminisce about some of Connery's finest on screen outings.

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    What are his best moments?

    Connery may be synonymous with James Bond, but where Daniel Craig's pouting modern day incarnation of the super spy is overly serious, the Scot's run as Mi6's finest is colourful and campy in the way the best 60s cinema is.

    1964's Goldfinger may not have been his first outing as the operative, but by this time he’d mastered the aura of devil-may-care suaveness and cold-hearted ruthlessness.

    Connery’s definitive post-James Bond role wouldn't come until Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables in 1987, but the film marked the moment the public finally accepted the break away from the 007 persona.

    Sir Sean plays the role of Irish-born beat cop Jim Malone, who becomes the confidant of Chicago prohibition agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner).

    Despite putting on a famously wonky Irish accent while rubbing shoulders with Robert De Niro, the Scot went on to win his first and only Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

    Two years later, Connery was cast as Indiana Jones in the third instalment of the franchise Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, despite being only 12 years older than Harrison Ford.

    Speaking at the presentation of Connery’s lifetime achievement award from the American Film Institute, Harrison explained that Connery brought his own ideas to the father-son dynamic. “Look, I’m his father. Whatever he’s done, I’ve done it first and I did it better,” Harrison said.

    Michael Bay’s 1996 movie The Rock saw Connery play elderly special agent John Mason, drafted in to stop a siege on Alcatraz as the only man who has ever escaped the legendary prison facility.

    The film is all action and little substance, but Connery’s role as an ageing British Intelligence officer meant fans got a glimpse into how a silver-haired Bond might’ve operated.

    What is Sean Connery’s best film?

    (Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

    In a recent study, Goldfinger - which came with a tagline that claimed “everything he touches turns to excitement” - was named Scotland's favourite Connery flick.

    The Bond film, which also starred Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore, came out on top, but is it Connery's best film from a critical standpoint?

    Review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes has Goldfinger as Connery's highest rated film, with an approval rating of 99%.

    Fellow Bond films Dr No and From Russia With Love tie at 95%, while films like 1981's Time Bandits and 1990's The Hunt for Red October both come with a weighty approval rating of 89%.

    What else has he done?

    The list of Scotland's favourite Connery films - compiled by analysing search trends to discover which Connery movies still attract the most interest - features a number of other classics.

    Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves - in which Sir Sean appears in an uncredited cameo role - is second, while original 1962's original Bond movie Dr No and the 1986 fantasy Highlander make up the top five.

    Much-loved movie Dragonheart also features high up the list, compiled by analysing search trends to discover which Connery movies still attract the most interest.

    What was the last film Connery starred in?

    (Photo: Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

    Connery's big screen career ended with a whimper, and the actor hasn't appeared on cinema screens since The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2003.

    The film - about an assortment of fictional Victorian era literary characters who act as superheroes - received a generally unfavourable critical reaction, with Empire Magazine calling it "dangerously close" to "one-star ignominy".

    His last feature length project was 2012 straight-to-video animation Sir Billi, in which Connery lent his voice to the titular character.

    The film is about a retired vet living in a remote Scottish village who encounters a goat who thinks he's a dog, and a beaver who was raised by rabbits...