Think of a Scotsman. Go on, seriously, imagine a Scot doing something Scottish. A man eating haggis while wearing a kilt. A man surveying the Scottish moors pensively, perhaps with a Scottish terrier. A gruff voice saying, “Scotland, land of thistles and bagpipes.”

Got someone? Right, fix him in your mind. Has he got a beard? Is he old, but still feisty? Rough, but gentlemanly?

You’re thinking of Sean Connery aren’t you?

Admittedly this post’s title and photo may have influenced your choice, but even without prompting, he remains the image of Scotland. More real than William Wallace and a better kisser, cleaner than anyone in Trainspotting, more gentlemanly than Ewan McGregor and less yellow than Willie from the Simpsons (although with fewer rippling muscles), there is something iconic about Sean that goes beyond the Bond and Indiana Jones franchises.

Which is why it’s such a shame that Sean Connery seems set for true retirement. "I don’t think I’ll ever act again,” the Scot said recently, “I have so many wonderful memories but those days are over.” And I think it’s only right to say goodbye to this man of legend.

Let’s take a moment to think of Sean. He’s got aura and magnetism and an overpowering charm that he doesn’t overuse. I love Sean. He’s perfect grandfather material and I love seeing him act with his understated yet imposing manner. If there was ever a man that all the ladies swooned for and all the men admired -“a dashing fellow I say!”- then it’s Sean. Many people, myself included, have worn a suit just hoping to look as good as he did. And the definitive “The name’s Bond, James Bond”? It’s his.

I don’t know about you but it chills me to think I’ll never see a new Sean Connery movie. His recent statement seems to have set the matter in stone but when you look at his most recent role it gets a bit suspect. His last film was the The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and to say it doesn’t showcase Connery at his best is a pretty huge understatement. That film stank. And there’s been no real acting since other than a voice role which doesn’t count. Though he avoided the Indiana Jones 5 debacle, turning down a part in the film, his good judgment still doesn’t change the fact that he’s left us with a pretty bad swan song.

So I think the best way to say thank you to Sean for his long and productive career, for all those popcorn films and those feel good moments is this:

“Sean, please make another movie. You’re better than The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. A cameo, a minor, minor role, just… something. It could be you sitting in an armchair just nodding faintly to the conversation and I’d be satisfied. After an emotional scene, a brief cut away to you holding a martini glass, wearing a suit saying “Shaken, not stirred” would be perfect. Anything would be an upgrade from your last part. I say this as perhaps the only person who enjoyed Entrapment: you can’t leave use with the Extraordinary League. It ain’t right.”

 

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