By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
Sean Connery: The Measure of a Man
By Christopher Bray (Faber and Faber, $45.00, hardback, 340 pages)
The chaotic matrix of the movie-making world is well scrutinised, along with how actor Sean Connery’s Bond films have contributed to “the infantilisation of cinema”.
It would be fair to say that this is also a spirited analysis of the meaning of being star-struck.
Vigorous, argumentative and paradoxically a winner, this is a biography and an insight into a scenario where a man’s life is controlled by the images he has created.
Sean Connery is synonymous with the suave image of Secret Agent 007, the “smooth operator James Bond”.
There will be some differing opinions, but for five decades this humble Scotsman, unprepared for the pressures of stardom, has become a figure of universal desire.
Bray is a clever writer who is acutely aware that we are all searching for a certain “completeness, and at least occasionally and momentarily we find it by gazing at certain movie stars … Not since the days of Bogart and Cary Grant, of Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn has anyone fulfilled that function as frequently and as potently as Sean Connery”.
Some remarkable observations include his former wife Diane Cilento being “part of the luck Sean Connery had”; best fight scene was in Brian de Palma’s The Untouchables (1987); if Steven Spielberg movies “paid obeisance to anything it was to Bond”; and John McTiernan’s The Hunt for Red October is regarded with “great fondness” by Connery fans.
Carefully researched, Bray reveals the influence that acting teacher Yat Malmgren had on Connery and makes special note of Connery’s physical presence. This analytical tribute is also critical of a world icon who has shaped countless dreams.
Sean Connery: The Measure of a Man is a remarkably vibrant and penetrating account from a fan.
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.