Monday 24 August 2015

James Bond is 85 tomorrow - happy birthday!

That's Sean Connery, of course, who's 85th birthday is on 25 August. Great actor as Bond but also in so many other films that are too numerous to mention. Here's a nice summary on the BBC website of his career and how he moved on from the 007 character to star in some great roles.

The Bond blogs and discussion forums will I'm sure be alive with debates about whether he's the best Bond or not.

1 comment:

  1. “The Bond blogs and discussion forums will I'm sure be alive with debates about whether he's the best Bond or not”
    These blogs have been discussing this for a long time!
    As for me, he will remain the best Bond for ever. We in the late 1950s, were a small group of university students having read Fleming’s Bond novels like Dr No, From Russia with Love and Goldfinger, were squirming uncomfortably as the machinations between Broccoli and Saltzman with their quest to secure the fund to bring the first James Bond on the big screen were being reported. Finally, a virtually unknown Scot from Edinburgh who used to be a lorry driver appeared on the big screen as James Bond in Dr No in front of us in 1962; we were mesmerised by the uncanny match between what in our minds the James Bond should look and act like, and what this unknown actor looked and acted- the way he looked and particularly the way he moved; our strong reservation about the producers Broccoli and Saltzman not giving the Bond role to a famous actor, despite the reported Flemings endorsement of this Scot as his image of the Bond, melted away within the hour. To us from that day, Connery remains the Bond. The Dr No novel film version ( there were many earlier Fleming’s Bond novels for the producers to choose) as the first James Bond film was so fortuitous that it portrayed the Bond character that Connery could depict so well. We realised then and there watching the film that a well known actor would have dragged us into shades of their other films. We doubted any other pair of producers would have taken the risk with an unknown actor. The credit of converting a former lorry driver into a suave Bond to us was solely attributed to Terence Young who remains our best Bond film director to this day. The set designs appearing in front of us were simple but superb; the music with the pleasant guitar twangs made the whole film so very watchable.
    Later in 1965 when watching The Ipcress File, I noticed how well Michael Caine became Harry Palmer. The producer was Saltzman who picked Michael Caine not a well known actor too then. To me then, it was clear that Saltzman must have had a strong say in the selection of Connery as the Bond as he was a co-producer of Dr No.
    Connery did very well as a character actor, picking and choosing roles offered, after leaving the James Bond franchise. No wonder, Peter Jackson first picked Connery to play Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy he planned to produce, even offering Connery, it was reported, a percentage of the film profit. Connery, it was also reported was sent the 3 Lord of the Rings books-each requiring consummate concentration and appreciation of what the Middle English professor J R R Tolkien crafted as the Middle Earth Story. Connery, it was reported later did not think much of this wizard, a monumental mistake, as it seemed he failed to check with Peter Jackson about the role of Gandalf in the film trilogy. Connery missed becoming the best Gandalf ever.