Film Preview: Sean Connery Season, 24 – 28 August, Filmhouse, Edinburgh

29 Jul

Now this is impressive: Edinburgh’s Filmhouse bring a short season of Sean Connery films to the masses this August topped off by an appearance by The Man Himself on Sunday August 24. And there’s not a Bond film in sight.

Hopefully everyone reading this blog has seen a Sir Sean film at some time in their life. Whether it’s the suave, effortlessly cool performance of Goldfinger or his turn as Indy’s dad, Professor Henry Jones Snr in Indiana Jones in the Last Crusade, Connery is undeniably a bone fide movie star.

The Filmhouse has invited Connery to introduce his own favourite film, Sydney Lumet’s The Hill (1965) on Sunday 24 August. The film takes place in a World War II British disciplinary camp in the Libyan desert. Trooper Joe Roberts (Connery) is sent to the camp for disobeying orders and attacking his superior officer. He arrives to find a camp terrorised by Staff Sergeant Williams (Ian Hendry), with soldiers being made to run up and down the titular hill in the blazing sun.

Watching Connery here, making sly comments to Williams while on parade, rounding on his cellmates or going head-to-head with the officers, is electrifying. Another superb performance comes from Ian Bannen as Staff Sgt. Charlie Harris, the only compassionate officer in the camp. Here’s the trailer:

Also being shown is another Sydney Lumet classic, The Offence (1972) in which Connery plays the jaded Detective Sergeant Johnson who has seen it all in a 20-year career. Faced with investigating a case of child molestation in a small town, Johnson is pushed over the edge by suspect Kenneth Baxter (Ian Bannen) with terrifying results. The Offence screens on Monday 25 August.

The Man Who Would Be King (1975), Robin and Marian (1976) and Hitchcock’s Marnie (1964) round-off a brilliant week for fans of both Sir Sean and great films.

Preview by Jonathan Melville

See the Filmhouse website for full details of the Sean Connery Season.

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