best film:  The Hill which I’ve seen twice and don’t understand why it’s not held in a higher regard amongst cinephiles and critics. It’s skillfully shot, features a large set piece (title of the film), and expertly written and acted (hello, career-best Sean Connery). I think it’s a masterpiece and better than any James Bond film, Marnie (top 10 Hitchcock film– #7 of 1964), The Untouchables (#4 currently in 1987), or The Man Who Would Be King (#7 in a crowded 1975). There’s solid depth here but I think The Hill is the best…

best performance:  … which is why having The Hill as his best performance is so key to his resume. I have him as one of the best male actors of 1964, 1965, 1975 and 1987 but he’s uncanny in The Hill. It’s a perfect anti-hero worthy of the best of Bogart or Paul Newman.  He’s intelligent and resilient and—like the film- unflinchingly intense. If all you know of Connery is the Bond series and maybe Last Crusade (or The Rock)—it’s exhibit A of what you need to see—Exhibit B would be The Man Who Would be King.

stylistic innovations/traits:  Connery had an incredibly strong career that spanned 40 years, included 20 archiveable films and several indelible characters and performances. Of course you have to mention his triumph as James Bond. The series peaked with Goldfinger (though I love Sam Mendes’ and Daniel Craig’s Skyfall) which was the third entry and pretty much was progressively weaker before and after. In a few films he’s merely sufficient (Never Say Never, You Only Live Twice, lacks some confidence in the first one Dr. No) but he’s excellent in From Russia With Love and Goldfinger of course. TSPDT does not have Sidney Lumet’s The Hill in the top 1000. I think that’s ridiculous (I have it in the top 300). Without that film, and Connery’s coup in it I don’t think I could have him ahead of some of the company I have him ahead of here on this list. He’s charming as Harrison Ford’s father in Last Crusade, commanding in his Oscar-winning performance in The Untouchables and boosts his resume again in Robin & Marion. 

directors worked with:   Terence Young (3)—with the Bond films, Lumet (2), and then once with Hitchcock, John Huston, Gilliam, De Palma and Spielberg

Top 5 Performances:

  1. The Hill
  2. Goldfinger
  3. The Man Who Would Be King
  4. The Untouchables
  5. Marnie

Archiveable films

1959- Darby O’Gill and the Little People
1962- Dr. No
1962- The Longest Day
1963- From Russia With Love
1964- Goldfinger
1964- Marnie
1965- The Hill
1965- Thunderball
1967- You Only Live Twice
1974- Murder on the Orient Express
1975- The Man Who Would Be King
1975- The Wind and the Lion
1976- Robin and Marion
1977- A Bridge Too Far
1981- Time Bandits
1983- Never Say Never Again
1987- The Untouchables
1989- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
1990- The Hunt For Red October
1990- The Russia House