Bond Film: Sean Connery's Public Identity

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All films are made to be watched. Whether made for artistic or entertainment purposes, cinema’s success relies on audience interest. However, money is necessary to create these films; this money can be made through attracting as large an audience as possible. The concept of drawing such large audiences and profits for a film is known as high concept. Not all of cinema fits the bill of being high concept; usually, only those with straightforward enough plotlines to be explained in 25 words or less and a well-known film star at the helm, such as the James Bond franchise, qualify as fitting in this category. These films generate their maximum possible profit by being marketed to the largest audience base possible. This concept, coined in the early…show more content…
The Scot had risen to prominence in theatre prior to his casting as Bond, but it was through the Bond films that he became known to the general public. By the time of the 3rd Bond film, Goldfinger (1964), Connery’s public identity had become synonymous with his character. Such a relationship is a significant part of creating a high concept brand; because most of the cinema-going populace only knew Connery through the lens of Bond, the two were thought of as one in the same, which caused him to develop into one of the original male sex symbols for the decade and, in turn, augment the box office successes for the series’ subsequent installments. Justin Wyatt explains in his work High Concept that this occurs in many comparable franchises. “When a star’s persona is directly linked with a genre and the project under consideration adheres to this genre, then the film generally falls into the high concept category” (10). This remains true for the entire franchise: every actor who has played Bond becomes associated with and has his reputation elevated by the films’ status, thus becoming a star, and the films’ lofty stature in its action/adventure genre is further boosted by featuring these stars’ names on billboards. Each performance of Bond has been interpreted differently from previous versions in part to keep the franchise relevant to the continually changing societal ideals of masculinity. Though Bond as a character is designed to be a timeless hero written around fundamental traits that Fleming thought every man in his audience base should strive to embody, such as chivalry, charm, and confidence, each reworking of the character has introduced a contemporary tier. There is a world of difference between Connery’s original Bond and each recreation of the character, but each modification is vital to updating the current societally perceived ideal of

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