Sean Connery: 10 Essential Movies

He would always be known as Bond — James Bond — and it’s near-impossible not to say those words without imitating Sean Connery’s deep Scottish baritone. But while the former lifeguard, bodybuilder and Mr. Universe competitor-turned-actor would help turn 007 into an iconic screen character, he was more than just the man who gave Bond his first license to kill. Before his passing at age 90, Connery had the distinction of working with directors ranging from Alfred Hitchcock and Brian De Palma, of winning Oscars and BAFTAs, of playing everything from soldiers to train robbers to kings. He became a de facto ambassador for his home country of Scotland and embraced the thick, oft-imitated brogue no matter who he played. He was a versatile actor and also a movie star, the kind of performer who could infuse roles with a certain kind of radiating, rough-and-tumble persona that you could only describe as Conneryesque.

Here are 10 essential Sean Connery movies that pay tribute to his range, his screen presence and his ability to make virtually any part, big or small, seem larger than life. Yes, Bond is in here — how couldn’t he be? But so are nine others that showed how funny, dramatic, heroic, villainous, formidable and flawed his characters were once Sir Sean got ahold of them.

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