Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

SEAN CONNERY Christopher Bray

SEAN CONNERY A Biography. Christopher Bray. Pegasus; 2011.

Less a biography than a career study -- Bray had virtually no access to either Connery or any close associates -- this book looks at how Connery became a star as 007, came to hate his close association with the role, then reinvented himself as a leading man and character actor as he got older. Connery played Lana Turner's love interest in Another Time, Another Place, the male lead in Hichcock's excellent Marnie, and did a few more Bond movies such as Never Say, Never Again before taking off his wig and playing several characters who were actually older than he was in real life. Bray is critical of Connery's acting in the early years, and doesn't seem to think much of James Bond movies, and there are times when he seems to be playing curmudgeon more than he is honest film critic, but the book is very readable. The book could be dismissed as one man's ruminations on his "man crush," but Bray does provide interesting and often cogent analysis of Connery's movies and performances in everything from Goldfinger to Outland to the awful Zardoz. Bray looks at Connery's unsuccessful first marriage to actress Diane Cilento, but there's almost nothing abut his relationship with his younger brother, Neil, who tried to make it in spy movies like Operation Kid Brother.

Verdict: Not the last word, perhaps, but an entertaining look at a highly intriguing actor and sex symbol. ***.

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