Sean Connery: European Film Academy Lifetime Achievement Award

by Andre Soares

Sean Connery to receive European Film Academy Lifetime Achievement Award

Sean Connery, best known for being the big screen's first James Bond, will receive the European Film Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2005 European Film Awards ceremony in Berlin on December 3. (Image: Sean Connery shirtless James Bond.)

Sean Connery first played James Bond a.k.a. Agent 007 in Dr. No (1962), featuring Ursula Andress. He quit the series in 1971, following Diamonds Are Forever, but twelve years later returned in Never Say Never Again. Then never again. (See also: “Sean Connery: James Bond Getting AFI Life Achievement Award.”)

Sean Connery non-James Bond movies

For the most part, Connery's non-James Bond movies and roles have been considerably less successful with both audiences and critics – e.g., John Milius' The Wind and the Lion (1975), with Candice Bergen; Richard Lester's Robin and Marian (1976), opposite Audrey Hepburn; Lester's Cuba (1979), with Brooke Adams; Ronald Neame's Meteor (1979), with Natalie Wood; Michael Crichton's The First Great Train Robbery (1979), with Donald Sutherland and Lesley-Anne Down; Peter Hyams' Outland (1981); and Richard Brooks' Wrong Is Right (1982).

Admittedly, there have been several exceptions to that rule. Among those are John Huston's The Man Who Would Be King (1975), opposite Michael Caine; a supporting role in Brian De Palma's Kevin Costner star vehicle The Untouchables (1987), which earned Connery a sentimental Academy Award; and, playing Harrison Ford's father, Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).

Sean Connery's “prestige movies” include Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie (1964), Sidney Lumet's The Hill (1965) and The Offence (1972), and Fred Zinnemann's Five Days One Summer (1982).

EFA Lifetime Achievement Award recipients

Prior to Sean Connery, European Film Academy Lifetime Achievement Award winners include Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni, French actress Jeanne Moreau, French director Claude Chabrol, Spanish director Carlos Saura, Irish actor Richard Harris, Italian film composer Ennio Morricone, and the (mostly) British comedy team Monty Python.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Women bypassed by the European Film Academy

Curiously – or perhaps not so curiously when one compares the European Film Academy to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – Jeanne Moreau is the only woman on the list since the European Film Awards were first handed out in 1988.

To date, European actresses Danielle Darrieux (whose career stretches all the way back to 1931), Michèle Morgan (a relative newcomer, having begun working in films only in 1935), Deborah Kerr, Leslie Caron, Sophia Loren, Micheline Presle, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Isabelle Adjani, Monica Vitti, Stéphane Audran, Maggie Smith, Julie Andrews, Hanna Schygulla, Bibi Andersson, Julie Christie, Irene Papas, Judi Dench, and Liv Ullmann, director Agnès Varda, and producer Margaret Ménégoz have not been deemed worthy of the European Film Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sean Connery “shirtless James Bond” photo: United Artists.

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