Connery's physical appearance in DAF

Hi everyone,

I always had a problem with Connery's physical appearance in Diamonds Are Forever. After all, he was only 40 at that time and "still in pretty good shape" in the two movies released before: The Molly Maguires (1970) and The Anderson Tapes (1971).

In DAF, he looks overweighted from head to toe and the scene where Bond gets undressed in front of Tiffany just after Plenty's "jump" shows it well. It becomes obvious when she puts the ashtray on his belly !

I definitely don't understand why Cubby didn't say anything during the shooting. What happended for God's sake ?


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Comments

  • HigginsHiggins GermanyPosts: 16,374MI6 Agent
    EON paid a lot of money to have Connery returning, so they where very cautious not messing up, with him.
    President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.

    Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!
  • walther p99walther p99 NJPosts: 3,394MI6 Agent
    Beyond not being in ideal shape for the character he wasn't as perfectly groomed either. They really toned down his massive eyebrows in his earlier Bond films, particularly Goldfinger. He did look much better a decade later in NSNA though.
  • SeanIsTheOnlyOneSeanIsTheOnlyOne Posts: 117MI6 Agent
    Sure they did, and the amount was something never seen before in Hollywood. For that reason, EON could have expected from Connery to be in good shape and much more involved. Instead of that, he was allowed to play golf between the takes...

    We all know Sean was reluctant to return but taking care of your body from the first day of shooting to the last is not an option when you play James Bond, it's a duty. I'm just surprised Cubby didn't say a word about that.
    I don't know if it would have changed the quality of the film but at least, it would have been pleasant to see him as classy as in the sixties.
  • SeanIsTheOnlyOneSeanIsTheOnlyOne Posts: 117MI6 Agent
    edited April 2020
    Beyond not being in ideal shape for the character he wasn't as perfectly groomed either. They really toned down his massive eyebrows in his earlier Bond films, particularly Goldfinger. He did look much better a decade later in NSNA though.


    Even before NSNA. Take The Man Who Would Be King (1975) for instance. He looks great to me.


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  • HigginsHiggins GermanyPosts: 16,374MI6 Agent
    Sure they did, and the amount was something never seen before in Hollywood. For that reason, EON could have expected from Connery to be in good shape and much more involved. Instead of that, he was allowed to play golf between the takes...

    We all know Sean was reluctant to return but taking care of your body from the first day of shooting to the last is not an option when you play James Bond, it's a duty. I'm just surprised Cubby didn't say a word about that.
    I don't know if it would have changed the quality of the film but at least, it would have been pleasant to see him as classy as in the sixties.

    I admire your enthusiasm, but that is not how Connery was and still is ticking.

    After GF, the James Bond role became an annoyance, a burden, he always felt that he received too little money for his part and there was hardly any ‚duty feeling‘ to be on his peak when playing Bond.

    It was not even about money, he could have probably gotten even more money out of it, if he‘d continued after DAF and I am pretty sure any criticism would have made him much less cooperative ( than he even was back then) .
    So Cubby was well advised to keep his mouth shut and people where still lining up to see Connery bloated as Bond.
    President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.

    Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!
  • The Red KindThe Red Kind EnglandPosts: 1,809MI6 Agent
    The relationship was reciprocal. Connery just phoned it in to a certain extent and Cubby knew having him back would get bums on seats.

    DAF vies with DAD in propping up my list.
    "Any of the opposition around..?"
  • welshboy78welshboy78 Posts: 9,855MI6 Agent
    Amazing he was only 40 in DAF. He looks way older in my opinion. Guess he was enjoying the good life too much
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  • Charmed & DangerousCharmed & Dangerous Posts: 7,114MI6 Agent
    Connery and Harry Saltzman were not on speaking terms, and there was a clause in Connery's contract which specified that Saltzman was not allowed on the set. Evidently Saltzman found out, was enraged and visited the Vegas set the same evening. He supposedly stormed up to Connery's trailer. Sean allegedly opened the door, said "Harry!" and kissed him on the forehead, which enraged Saltzman further and he stormed off, never to revisit.

    So it's unlikely that Cubby would want to rock the boat for any reason, particularly as United Artists' David Picker had gone out on a limb to get Connery back. The prospect of telling Connery to stop dodging salad would undoubtedly have sent him chicken oriental.
    "How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."
  • Charmed & DangerousCharmed & Dangerous Posts: 7,114MI6 Agent
    Connery just phoned it in to a certain extent and Cubby knew having him back would get bums on seats.

    Maybe I'm biased - I love DAF, it was the first Bond I saw at the cinema and the scene where Bond swings above the Whyte House was one of the seminal moments in my life - but I think Connery gives a brilliant performance in DAF.

    He ranges from humour ("Don't tell me - St Peter?") to controlled anger (when he slaps Plenty with his driving glove); his fight scene with Peter Franks looks brutal enough; he's suave in parts and when he shoots Blofeld's double, he looks deadly.
    "How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."
  • SeanIsTheOnlyOneSeanIsTheOnlyOne Posts: 117MI6 Agent
    Connery just phoned it in to a certain extent and Cubby knew having him back would get bums on seats.

    Maybe I'm biased - I love DAF, it was the first Bond I saw at the cinema and the scene where Bond swings above the Whyte House was one of the seminal moments in my life - but I think Connery gives a brilliant performance in DAF.

    He ranges from humour ("Don't tell me - St Peter?") to controlled anger (when he slaps Plenty with his driving glove); his fight scene with Peter Franks looks brutal enough; he's suave in parts and when he shoots Blofeld's double, he looks deadly.

    For some reason, I have a certain affection for DAF. Perhaps because it was the first Bond film with Connery I ever saw as a child. But I don't consider it as a good movie. The plot is ridiculous and I don't like Connery's performance in this one. We can see the man is fed up and except the elevator fight, the coffin scene and the soundtrack, it's difficult to find any real interest in DAF.
  • SilentSpySilentSpy Private Exotic AreaPosts: 750MI6 Agent
    I enjoy Diamonds Are Forever. But I think Never Say Never Again is a better final Connery Bond movie. Even though it is a remake of Thunderball.

    Connery's look in Diamonds Are Forever is disappointing though. I can't remember exactly what I thought when I saw the movie when I was young. I probably didn't mind that much. But I vaguely recall feeling that the look of Bond that evolved from Dr. No to You Only Live Twice really changed with Diamonds Are Forever.

    One of the Bond books mentioned that Connery's laziness or disinterest, I can't remember the word they used, with Bond started with You Only Live Twice. But I like that one because it's exotic. Bond is still running around and climbing the mountain. And he still comes off as a continuation of the character from Dr. No.
    "Better late than never."
  • 72897289 Beau DesertPosts: 1,675MI6 Agent
    I think it’s all in the untrimmed eyebrows and the toupee. If Big Tam is overweight in DAF, it’s not by much. Could be the crew wasn’t lighting him properly .,.
  • SeanIsTheOnlyOneSeanIsTheOnlyOne Posts: 117MI6 Agent
    edited April 2020
    7289 wrote:
    I think it’s all in the untrimmed eyebrows and the toupee. If Big Tam is overweight in DAF, it’s not by much. Could be the crew wasn’t lighting him properly .,.


    Connery's hair loss started before Dr No and the toupees they used in the sixties were very good. This one is terrible !
    I would have fired the costume designer for that :)) :)) :))

    What you say about the lighting is very interesting because there are some pics showing the man with a perfect (fake) haircut.

    I love this one for instance:

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    He looks five years younger and his massive eyebrows don't seem too aggressive. Replace the Strip by Tokyo streets and you get a YOLT promo pic !
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,064MI6 Agent
    When did he film The Offence? He was meant to be overweight for that. Perhaps he was preparing or something.

    TBF he was overweight for YOLT but did lose it in between films as for Shalako and the above mentioned.

    Looked good in First Great Train Robbery and in shape for Zardoz though is get up is rubbish!

    But same for NSNA really, he just didn't look quite right, seemed better in Highlander, he had more vitality.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,056Chief of Staff
    When did he film The Offence?

    About 8 months after DAF wrapped. This being one of the 2 films United Artists were to finance as part of his DAF deal, there were fairly strict time limits on how quickly the films were to be shot.
    (The second was never made.)
  • SeanIsTheOnlyOneSeanIsTheOnlyOne Posts: 117MI6 Agent

    But same for NSNA really, he just didn't look quite right, seemed better in Highlander, he had more vitality.


    I actually like the way he looks in NSNA. Right (fake) haircut, eyebrows trimmed and not overweight. Remember he was 52 during the shooting and in the movie they insist on the fact Bond is no more the fit young man he used to be, which is why M sends him to Shrublands. I even think he looks terrific in the Tango scene.


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  • MooresflaresMooresflares Posts: 30MI6 Agent
    he still looks pretty cool in this, maybe could have had a better syrup, but hes in still good shape for a middle age man, ive started to appreciate this film more over the last year or so, i used to think it was one of the worst but its great fun
  • nobodynobody Posts: 105MI6 Agent
    7289 wrote:
    I think it’s all in the untrimmed eyebrows and the toupee. If Big Tam is overweight in DAF, it’s not by much. Could be the crew wasn’t lighting him properly .,.
    Agree. Also the sideburns are a tad too long.
  • Shady TreeShady Tree London, UKPosts: 2,238MI6 Agent
    I think Connery gave a nuanced, engaging performance as Bond in DAF and, compared with his lean and waxy look in DN and FRWL, I'd say his image in DAF had the generous, fulsome appeal of an established super-star. It's my favourite look of his tenure as Bond and it's entirely apt for the louche humour and decadent mise-en-scene of the movie.
    Critics and material I don't need. I haven't changed my act in 50 years.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,091MI6 Agent
    Connery just phoned it in to a certain extent and Cubby knew having him back would get bums on seats.

    Maybe I'm biased - I love DAF, it was the first Bond I saw at the cinema and the scene where Bond swings above the Whyte House was one of the seminal moments in my life - but I think Connery gives a brilliant performance in DAF.

    He ranges from humour ("Don't tell me - St Peter?") to controlled anger (when he slaps Plenty with his driving glove); his fight scene with Peter Franks looks brutal enough; he's suave in parts and when he shoots Blofeld's double, he looks deadly.

    For some reason, I have a certain affection for DAF. Perhaps because it was the first Bond film with Connery I ever saw as a child. But I don't consider it as a good movie. The plot is ridiculous and I don't like Connery's performance in this one. We can see the man is fed up and except the elevator fight, the coffin scene and the soundtrack, it's difficult to find any real interest in DAF.
    It's a bit of a Marmite film. Love it or Hate it.

    Personally, while I thoroughly enjoy DAF, I recognise the film's defects. One of them isn't Sean Connery. He no more phones this performance in than he does the one in YOLT. I do agree he looks somewhat battered. That didn't particularly bother me when I first saw it and while it is noticeable, it doesn't particularly bother me now. All in all, I think it's rather a charming, tongue in cheek performance and his slightly weighty look doesn't effect this. He still gets the girls and does a fair amount of derring-do. The fights though (Peter Frank's excepted) do seem rather slight, suggesting this older Bond isn't quite in shape (Bambi & Thumper - really ? Connery probably looks at his most flabby here )

    The best of the film is the aforementioned White House sequence (beautifully shot by Ted Moore) the John Barry soundtrack & the humour. Like most of the Moore adventures 007 is almost an afterthought.

    No, what does rankle is the lack of a genuine threat. Lots of scrapes but nothing to seriously ruffle the mature, experienced, know-it-all unruffleable James Bond. ( "Pity about your liver , Sir... Well, if the collars and cuffs match... Wrong pussy... I was out walking my rat... Is that who it was? Just proves no one's indestructible... etc")

    I do agree that NSNA with it's clear allusions to 007's age handles Connery's slight weight gain better.
  • SeanIsTheOnlyOneSeanIsTheOnlyOne Posts: 117MI6 Agent
    Shady Tree wrote:
    I think Connery gave a nuanced, engaging performance as Bond in DAF and, compared with his lean and waxy look in DN and FRWL, I'd say his image in DAF had the generous, fulsome appeal of an established super-star. It's my favourite look of his tenure as Bond and it's entirely apt for the louche humour and decadent mise-en-scene of the movie.

    Well, when I see your username I guess you're in love with this movie :)
  • Shady TreeShady Tree London, UKPosts: 2,238MI6 Agent
    edited November 2020
    Shady Tree wrote:
    I think Connery gave a nuanced, engaging performance as Bond in DAF and, compared with his lean and waxy look in DN and FRWL, I'd say his image in DAF had the generous, fulsome appeal of an established super-star. It's my favourite look of his tenure as Bond and it's entirely apt for the louche humour and decadent mise-en-scene of the movie.

    Well, when I see your username I guess you're in love with this movie :)

    Yes, and I like Marmite too lol.

    In support of others who remark that Connery looked out of shape in DAF, my namesake might have quipped: "People say Bond has the body of Sean Connery. When they see what he's done with it they'll be madder than hell!"
    Critics and material I don't need. I haven't changed my act in 50 years.
  • HowardBHowardB USAPosts: 2,568MI6 Agent
    Connery's physical appearance in DAF is an interesting topic. Connery was 40, but looks every bit 50. He does look much more fit and younger in his two preceding films, The Molly McGuires ('70) and even sans toupee in The Anderson Tapes ('71).
    What's even more interesting is that he looks much more fit and very convincingly as what the young Bond of DN, FRWL, GF, and TB would look like as an older middle-aged Bond in several films he did some years later.
    Three that immediately come to mind are A Bridge Too Far ('77); Cuba ('79) in which for all intents and purposes he really looked like an older version of Bond; and Outland ('81).
    I guess Connery was just going through a phase around the time of DAF where he really didn't care. Of course as mentioned by others, the bad toupee, uncropped brows, and used car salesmen suites didn't help either.
  • 72897289 Beau DesertPosts: 1,675MI6 Agent
    Just having watched “Murder on the Orient Express”, I noticed that SC looks a lot like he did in DAF. So I would second my own and several others observation that the untrimmed eyebrows cause his face to look smaller and less expressive. Combined with a toupee that mirrored his own receding hairline, the result gave him a dull cast that clashed with his previous appearance as OO7.
  • Matt SMatt S Oh Cult Voodoo ShopPosts: 6,525MI6 Agent
    Somehow a 50-year-old Connery in Time Bandits looked 30 again. He hadn’t looked that good since Thunderball. It’s a shame he didn’t look that good in NSNA two years later.
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  • HowardBHowardB USAPosts: 2,568MI6 Agent
    edited December 2020
    Connery reportedly lost 20 lbs in preparation for NSNA. I doubt he did anything to prepare for DAF other than read the script and learn his lines.

    It appears Connery just did DAF because they were willing to pay him whatever he wanted and he probably just considered it reparations to make up for his believing he was underpaid for his previous Bond films.

    That being said, despite the bad hairpiece, bushy brows and paunch, Connery still brought the goods in that great elevator fight scene in DAF. Those scenes in Amsterdam were classic Bond and if the rest of the film could have matched that standard, DAF would have been a classic and we probably wouldn't be talking about Connery's appearance.

    The reality is, Connery did not look his best in YOLT, but that was more from a weight standpoint (the hairpiece and brows were fine).
  • superadosuperado Regent's Park West (CaliforniaPosts: 2,559MI6 Agent
    Though not a fan of how Connery looked in DAF, it seemed like it was in keeping with the times when even sartorial elegance had a touch of the wild and woolly look of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Everyone in that movie looked that way, Leiter, Peter Franks, the SPECTRE henchmen, Whyte, etc. And the one who most noticeably looked refined was Blofeld, perhaps intentional since he was the main villain?

    I think in OHMSS they upheld the “nice” look of Bond and his world to keep up standards, but IMO it was an artificial portrayal of the true culture of the day.

    For LALD, I think they carried forward the “real” look and feel of culture as they did in DAF, except that time it was Bond and not the villain who looked artificially preened above the other characters, like how he looked while visiting Harlem and even in sequences in which he dressed down for the occasion like in the scenes in Louisiana in which he still looked neat and stood out in his environment. In the end, it’s a decision in every Bond movie in how to strike a balance between portraying relevance in the real world vs. the fantasy elements of Bond.
    "...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....
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