A Sean-a-thon is coming to cable on Friday (Nov. 6).
It’s a BBC America nod to Sean Connery, who died Oct. 31 at 90. His first three James Bond films will run back-to-back — “Dr. No” (1962) at 3:30 p.m. ET, “From Russia With Love” (1963) at 6 and “Goldfinger” (shown here) at 8:30.
Watch them in order and you’ll see the Bond films transform. “Dr. No” is a fairly straightforward, tough-spy tale. “From Russia With Love” also starts that way, adding some glitz in the later scnes. “Goldfinger” is sheer golden glitz, setting a pattern for decades to come.
You’ll see the transformation again on Nov. 29, when BBC America reruns those three movies, plus one apiece with Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. You also may agree on this: Craig and Brosnan are very good, but Connery is the ultimate Bond.
Which is what I wrote about the day of Connery’s death. Here’s that blog:
This is certainly a worthy subject, as is the debate over the best “Star Trek” captain. (Correct answer: Patrick Stewart.) But it’s not a close call.
Sean Connery — who died today (Oct. 31) at 90 – was clearly the best.
The Bond role requires an actor to be tough and macho, but with a sense of fun. That’s a tough combination: Tim Dalton was too serious … Roger Moore was too light … George Lazenby – well, don’t get me started.
Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig (the current Bond) have done a good job of balancing both. But Connery? As the song about Bond says: “Nobody does it better.”
We saw the macho part in the first movies – “Dr. No,” when a tarantula crawled across his torso … “From Russia With Love,” when he had a fierce fight confined to a train cabin. But we also saw the wit and fun.
This was a solid actor. After his third Bond film, he did an intense, black-and-white art film called “The Hill.” After his fourth, he took an explosive role in “A Fine Madness.” After his sixth, he quit being Bond.
Well, he did return once for “Never Says Never Again.” That’s when he and a beauty were in bed, a frequent situation for Bond. From that room, they saw an explosion in another.
That proved, Bond (Connery) said calmly, that they had the right answer to the question.
“What question?” Barbara Carrera asked.
Replied Bond: “Your place or mine?”
It was a line perfectly crafted for a droll Scotsman. Nobody did it better.