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Opinion: There was a lot more to Sean Connery than James Bond

October 31, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Even without 007 and his "license to kill," Connery, whose death at age 90 was confirmed early Saturday, would still deserve his knighthood -- and his global reputation as one of the most versatile of movie stars, writes Gene Seymour.

(CNN)Imagine a world where Sir Sean Connery never gets within smelling distance of the role of James Bond.

Connery's do-it-all-and-do-it-often work ethic was obscured by the James Bond image, which helps explains why he was so desperate to get out from under one of the most spectacularly successful tentpoles in movie history.

If, during Connery's tenure as Bond, you wanted to see what he could do away from whiz-bang set pieces, erotic horseplay and elaborate gadgetry, there were (to my mind) two standout movies: "The Hill," Sidney Lumet's 1965 World War II epic which Connery dominates as a British army sergeant who carries his anti-authoritarian tendencies with him into a desert stockade, and "A Fine Madness," Irvin Kershner's 1966 comedy in which Connery plays a volcanically moody poet whose writer's block rampages over everything and everyone in his path.

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