If 2020 couldn’t get any worse; James Bond is dead. The one and only Bond that meant anything to me and the rest of my generation, has finally succumbed to mortality. In my opinion there was only one Bond; and that was Sir Sean Connery. Bold, brash, often uncouth, and extremely sexy. Can we still say sexy without a lawyer present? Bond was my young generation. The best generation; the 60’s.
Sean Connery brought an edge to Ian Fleming’s James Bond. He was the thug in a tux. The proverbial misogynist every woman loved. He was cool, square jawed, and tough. Sean Connery’s James Bond could drink a martini, light a cigarette, save the girl, and kill the villain without a hair out of place. He didn’t swagger, he walked into a room with the same powerful intention of his Aston Martin. Sean Connery didn’t just play Bond; he was Bond.
I stopped watching James Bond movies when Roger Moore decided to hang his Bond shingle. Both equally handsome and irresistible, they took the Bond character and reinvented it as their own without compromising who and what Bond was or supposed to be. A spy, a lover, a cad, and a free spirit. However, Sean Connery imbedded himself in Bond’s psyche. We could never tell where and when Sean started and Bond ended. A lateral motion of intertwined characteristics found in both; albeit one real and the other fictional, they assumed each other’s DNA like a second skin.
The era of spy films and TV series was at its peak in the 60’s. The Berlin Wall had gone up, Khrushchev was being a dick, and JFK had just told us that he had met the Soviet’s bluff in Cuba. We watched, we listened, and we turned to James Bond for a shred of hope in saving us from the likes of real life Goldfinger where nuclear annihilation had become a reality. We needed James Bond. He always got the bad guy and saved the world as we knew it without building a sweat.
Miniskirts, fast cars, beautiful women, booze, cigarettes, and villains. A wonderful combination that kept us wanting more. More of Bond and more of Connery. Connery’s career became relevant as Bond. His deep throaty voice with only a hint of Scot in it, kept us women glued to our seats and wishing we were being rescued by this burly man with a hairy chest. We all wanted to be Bond girls. Alas only a few were chosen.
Sean Connery’s movie career spanned in other directions besides Bond. Indiana Jones, Hunt for Red October, The Untouchables, and the list goes on pre and post Bond. But Sean’s fingerprints remain firmly etched in the character of James Bond. No matter how many “Bonds” followed him, Bond belonged to Sean Connery He owned it.
The early Bond movies sans gizmos and technology were the epitome of wit, charm, sexual innuendo, good versus evil, and testosterone. Bond in current times would be labeled as a misogynist. We really good give a shit. Manhood oozed out of every pour of his tanned muscular body.
Sean Connery was famous but private. He was every girl’s dream of a knight in shining armor. We never thought of him as anything other than James Bond. Men tried to emulate him and women drooled over him. In various interviews he admitted to taking on characters after his own personal life.
Born to poverty in Edinburgh, Scotland, he developed a thick skin which served him well when playing dark characters. He molded Bond into his own image. A moody often dark side to a man without roots and seemingly happy to be alone. Finding women but never attached. Each movie produced its own “Bond Girl”, the most famous being Ursula Andress. She was “the girl” in Dr. No. The movie launched her. Others like Honor Blackman and Diana Riggs (pre Avengers) were the first few Bond girls who went on to star in other TV spy series.
If I had to close my eyes and think of Bond, there is no one that comes to mind but Sean Connery. I remember a great line from one of my favorite movies “The First Wives’ Club”. A drunk Goldie Hawn tells the bartender that Sean Connery “…might be 300 years old but he is still a stud”. How true. Sean aged but never grew old. I never noticed his loss of hair, wrinkles, or age spots. I only saw James Bond. Impeccably dressed and holding a martini and a cigarette. That’s the Sean Connery I will always remember. Because that was Bond; my James Bond.