Blast from the past

Barely Anyone Knows My Favorite Sean Connery Movie (And I Love That)


It almost feels like it’s all mine. A movie just for me. Without the obligation to share it. And to be honest, I love that not that many people have heard about my favorite Sean Connery movie. It’s OK. It’s perfectly OK.

Sure Sean Connery was the OG James Bond. He was a megastar too. He was an Academy Award winner. And he was an incredibly versatile actor. Prior to his passing at the age of 90, Connery built up a career that spanned more than 5 decades. And in that career, he played heroes, he played spies, cops and criminals. And he played monks and immortal highlanders. Sure he was 007, but at the same time Sean Connery was Richard the Lionheart and Robin Hood. He was King Arthur and Allan Quatermain in one of the wackiest movies ever. He was incredible and he will be missed.

But he was just a regular Joe in my favorite movie. Playing By Heart is the title and you can go ahead and watch it. It’s really good. Connery plays Paul in this 1998 movie. Just your regular Paul. An elderly husband and father to three grown daughters who’s about to renew his vows with his wife (played by Gena Rowlands). He was sympathetic, kind, sassy and lovingly supportive in Playing By Heart, and I love that. His character also harbored a secret, but it all worked out in the end.

I just love this movie. Not to mention it has an incredible cast too. Well, besides Sean and Gena of course. Gillian Anderson, Madeline Stowe and Angelina Jolie play his daughters, and Anthony Edwards, Ellen Burstyn, Jay Mohr, Ryan Phillipe, Dennis Quaid and Jon Steward are in it as well.

Playing By Heart is an incredibly written movie with fantastic well-developed characters. Each of the characters in this movie are intertwined and well developed to the point you remember them. Long after you finish watching it. And the dialogue! Oh, my god. Willard Carroll (who wrote and directed the movie) can sure write a fantastic dialogue. You can clearly see when a writer loves his character. He goes out of his way to make them memorable in every scene, and that’s what’s happening here.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a small supporting character or a leading character, each of the characters remains embedded in your brain. You care about them, you love them and you empathize with them. Even when they do silly stupid things. Like lie and cheat on their spouses for instance.

But Sean Connery’s character in this movie is different than any other character that he’s played before (and since to be honest). He’s an ordinary man, and that’s what I love about it. There’s nothing extraordinary, or special about Paul and it’s a nice change. I think it’s one of the reasons that he took on the role. The simplicity and the down to earth nature of the guy are endearing. He’s a charmer of course, but he’s your everyday suburban dad and a charmer at the same time.

I love Playing By Heart, although both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert gave it a thumbs down.

Oh, here’s a fun fact that I encountered while doing this post. Sir Sean Connery took just $60,000 as his salary for this movie, as he was keen to play a character his age in a relationship with someone his own age. This was a far cry from the $14 million he earned on The Rock (1996).

See? I told you he loved this movie and this role. If you have the chance to watch it, do it. You’ll thank me later.


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