Sean Connery was a terrific actor and producer, a super-star who made it difficult for anyone to question his legacy. Although it’s been more than a decade since he retired from acting, the Scottish entertainer has remained very relevant to his fans and the industry. If you are a true fan of Connery, there are things you don’t need to be told about the man. For instance, you ought to know that his fame touched the sky following his role as Secret Agent OO7 in Bond movies, that he confirmed his retirement which was largely speculated on after the American Film Institute honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in June 2006, and that the following are the best Sean Connery movies.
Best Sean Connery Movies
12. MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (1974)
In this live picture adaptation of the eponymous novel by Agatha Christie, Sean Connery and the brilliant array of cast members including Ingrid Bergman, Alfred Finney, Lauren Bacall, and John Gielgud, are suspects of a murder crime. After a wealthy financier is murdered on the train, the passengers on board must present themselves to the brilliant detective, Hercule Poirot, as he tries to unravel which one of them is responsible for the murder and how the gruesome task was accomplished. The story holds your fascination all the way to the mindblowing end.
11. DR. NO (1962)
The fictional character, James Bond, is arguably the most iconic role the actor ever played in his versatile and accomplished career, so it’d be near impossible to make a list of the top 12 best Sean Connery movies without a Bond film or two showing up somewhere. He helped popularise the role of the British Spy with his abundant charm and knack for getting himself into and out of the most dangerous situations. He raised the bar for how action heroes are portrayed in this movie and his other features in the franchise, and many have struggled to shine brighter ever since.
10. FINDING FORRESTER (2000)
Gus Van Sant’s emotional drama features Sean Connery giving one of the best performances of his life as William Forrester, a once-celebrated author who had retreated from the outside world to live out the rest of his days as a recluse. However, he is forced to change his tune after he begins mentoring a brilliant young writer whose work promises to be the next best thing. Connery’s onscreen chemistry with his co-star Rob Brown is charged full of honesty, originality, and tenderness.
9. THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING (1975)
Although this movie was originally written for Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart, then later for Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, and again for Robert Redford and Paul Newman, it is difficult to imagine anyone other than Connery and Michael Crane as the lead protagonists. They played two former British soldiers who developed a friendship while serving in India and soon set out together to look for a strange land where they passed themselves off as gods. They somehow connived their way into becoming the rulers of the town and its inhabitants. It’s a very hilarious and entertaining movie to watch.
8. THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY (1979)
Movies about heists are incredibly fun to watch when executed properly and The Great Train Robbery is no different. Connery and his partner, played by Donald Sutherland, are criminal masterminds who hatch a highly dangerous plan to steal a huge gold shipment from a movie train. If their scheme succeeds, it would be the most audacious robbery to ever occur in the history of the nation. The time is ticking with calamitous intent and every scene is fraught with suspense that leaves you grabbing on to the edge of your seat. Will they be able to pull it off? You should definitely watch the movie and find out why it is one of the best Sean Connery movies everyone should watch.
7. THE ROCK (1996)
With Michael Bay overseeing this picture as director and Connery’s masterful performance, The Rock has earned a rightful place as one of the top best Sean Connery movies ever made. As usual, his larger than life persona serves as the backbone for the narrative. He plays a sketchy ex-convict while is the only prisoner to ever escape from the heavily guarded Alcatraz prison. Aided by a genius chemist, he has to return to try and stop a terrorist plot by a rogue military commander before he can succeed in poisoning San Francisco with deadly nerve gas. The film is full of adventure and magical stunts that will probably make you scream out with glee.
6. THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER (1990)
This rollercoaster thriller about a Russian nuclear submarine that veers off it’s intended target and heads for the United States instead is brought to life by an ensemble cast featuring Alec Baldwin, James Earl Jones, Scott Glenn, and Sean Connery. The CIA guys are in a scramble to uncover the true intentions of the sub and its crew before doomsday occurs. Connery is convincing as the Soviet captain who is the only person that really knows what on earth is going on. Hunt is definitely high up there in any ranking about the best Sean Connery movies, as well as the thriller genre as a whole.
5. THE HILL (1965)
The Hill is a military drama that sees Connery play a Sergeant Major who is tried and convicted for the assault of a superior officer. His punishment fits the crime: he is ordered to climb a large and impossible hill again and again while hot sun cooks the flesh on his body. It’s a simple movie that’s perfect for a chilled night in.
4. GOLDFINGER (1964)
Everything about Goldfinger is perfect. Connery reprises his role as James Bond and goes up against Gert Frobe’s phenomenal villain, Auric Goldfinger, who devises a plan to poison the Fort Knox reserve. From the storyline to the performance, jaw-dropping stunts, to the goosebumps-inducing musical score, the scenes in this movie belongs in a museum. Goldfinger is a perfectly contained madness and is an absolute delight to watch. It is one of the most formidable and captivating action thrillers you will ever see.
3. HIGHLANDER (1986)
Admittedly, this movie is not everyone’s cup of tea, but Connery’s performance in it makes it one to treasure. He plays a man who loses his life and everything he holds dear, but soon wakes to see that he in fact lost only a few years and a life’s worth of memories because he is eternal. Highlander is wonderfully executed and the core of its story is a hard one to not find relatable. I mean, who amongst us has not dreamt of living forever?
2. FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963)
The acclaimed actor has never been more dazzling on screen as when he is playing the dapper-looking English spy, James Bond. From Russia With Love is one of his finest performances as the villain-beating action figure. This time, his mission is to seduce the gorgeous Russian damsel played by Daniela Bianchi so he can try to reclaim a stolen encryption device before it gets into the wrong hands. His romance and chemistry with the Russian beauty left many asking for another pairing of Sean and Daniela.
1. THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987)
Connery picked up an Academy Award for his portrayal of Jimmy Malone, an ageing experienced and honest cop who teams up with Kevin Costner, a government agent who desperately wants to bring down Al Capone, played by Robert De Niro, and his ever-expanding crime syndicate. To do so, they must go up against the entire city and its corrupt milieu of politicians, lawmakers, and cops. The movie is influenced by real events about the crime kingpin, Al Capone, and how his reign was brought to an end. It is by far one of the top best Sean Connery movies out there.
Awards and Recognitions
Disregarding the foregoing, there a good number of Sean Connery movies that are worth seeing, like 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 1986’s The Name of the Rose, and 1981’s Outland. For his efforts, Sean received a fair share of prestigious awards. As already mentioned, his role in The Untouchables earned him the only Academy Award he won for Best Supporting Actor. Apart from that, Sir Thomas Sean Connery bagged three Golden Globes, two BAFTA Awards, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. That’s not all, he was knighted on the 5th of July 2000 by the Queen of the United Kingdom, Elizabeth II.
Sean is passionate about promoting the interest of his country and the human race at large. A co-founder of the Scottish International Educational Trust, the retired actor is admired for his philanthropy which has seen him support numerous charities over the years. To cite an instance, he donated all the money he was paid for his role in Diamonds Are Forever to the aforementioned trust.