The Man Who Would Be King

  • Directors: John Huston
  • Producers: John Foreman
  • Writers: Rudyard Kipling, John Huston, Gladys Hill
  • Genres: Action, Adventure
  • Actors: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, Saeed Jaffrey

While working as a correspondent at the offices of the Northern Star newspaper, Kipling (Christopher Plummer) is approached by a ragged, seemingly crazed derelict, who reveals himself to be his old acquaintance Peachy Carnehan (Michael Caine). Peachy tells Kipling the story of how he and his comrade-in-arms Danny Dravot (Sean Connery) traveled to remote Kafiristan (in modern-day Afghanistan), became gods, and ultimately lost everything.

A few years earlier, the pair of rogues had met Kipling at his office. After signing a contract pledging mutual loyalty and forswearing drink and women until they achieved their grandiose aims, Peachy and Danny set off on an epic overland journey north beyond the Khyber Pass, “travelling by night and avoiding villages”, fighting off bandits, blizzards and avalanches, into the unknown land of Kafiristan (literally “Land of the (Non-Muslim) Infidels”).

They chance upon a Gurkha soldier who goes by the name Billy Fish (Saeed Jaffrey), the sole survivor of a mapping expedition several years before. Billy speaks English as well as the local tongue, and it is he, acting as translator and interpreter of the customs and manners, who smooths the path of Peachy and Danny as they begin their rise, first offering their services as military advisors, trainers, and war leaders to the chief of a much-raided village.

The angry natives pursue him and Peachy. Billy tries to buy time by courageously charging the mob singlehandedly, but the pair are soon captured. Danny is forced to walk to the middle of a rope bridge over a deep gorge; he apologises to Peachy before the ropes are cut. Peachy is crucified between two pine trees, but is cut down the next day when he miraculously survives the ordeal. Eventually, he escapes, though his mind has become unhinged by his sufferings. As Peachy finishes his story, he presents Kipling with Danny’s head, still wearing its crown, thereby proving the tale is true.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

  • Directors: Stephen Norrington
  • Producers: Trevor Albert, Rick Benattar, Sean Connery, Mark Gordon, Don Murphy, Michael Nelson
  • Writers: Comic Book, Alan Moore, Kevin O Neill, Screenplay, James Dale Robinson
  • Genres: Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Sean Connery, Naseeruddin Shah, Peta Wilson, Tony Curran, Stuart Townsend, Shane West, Jason Flemyng, Richard Roxburgh, Max Ryan

In 1899, an attack on the Bank of England by a group of men who appear to be German soldiers using advanced weapons followed by an attack on a German Zeppelin factory by the same men this time dressed as British soldiers, leads Europe to the brink of war. An emissary of the British government, Sanderson Reed, arrives in a gentlemen’s club in British East Africa, hoping to recruit the legendary, but now aged, hunter and adventurer Allan Quatermain to investigate the situation. Though Quatermain’s sense of patriotism has waned, he wishes to protect Africa from war and agrees, especially after his lodge is attacked and destroyed by a band of assassins.

In London, Quatermain meets with the mysterious “M”, who explains his plan to assemble a modern version of a group of talented individuals known as the “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, which aids the world in times of need, in this case to combat the threat of the “Fantom”, who is the true mastermind of the current crisis, and ensure world peace, by stopping him from destroying Venice. Quatermain is introduced to Captain Nemo, Commander of the world’s only submersible vessel, invisible gentleman thief Rodney Skinner, who works for the government in hopes of an antidote for the invisibility serum he stole, and Mina Harker, a vampire and well-regarded chemical scientist. The group also recruits the mysterious immortal Dorian Gray, Dr. Henry Jekyll (who can transform into the superhumanly strong Edward Hyde under the effects of a special elixir), and a American Secret Service Agent Tom Sawyer; in Hyde’s case, he has to be hunted down by Quatermain and Sawyer before Jekyll offers his services for reprieve in London for his crimes as Hyde. With the team complete, the group takes off on Nemo’s submarine, the Nautilus, and set off for Venice. The group worry there is a traitor in their midst when flash powder is found in the wheel room of the Nautilus, and a vial of Jekyll’s transformation serum is determined to be missing. Naturally, all think that the invisible thief, Skinner, is the culprit, but nothing can be done about it since Skinner is nowhere to be found. Though the group reaches Venice in time, a series of bombs that has been planted under the city start to detonate shortly after, toppling buildings in a domino effect. The team decides that knocking one of the buildings out of the sequence is the only way to stop the chain of explosions. Nemo has a missile that can be fired from the Nautilus at the building in question, but only if a beacon can be set in place. Since Nemo can track his “automobile,” allowing it to serve as the beacon, Sawyer drives the car past the chain of explosions, as Gray and Mina disembark to fight the Fantom’s henchmen. Quatermain, meanwhile, notices and gives chase to the Fantom on foot. During the chase, The Fantom is unmasked and revealed to be M, who then escapes. At the same time, Sawyer crashes the car into the target building, while firing a flare, which signals Nemo to launch his missile. The building is destroyed, the chain of explosions stops, and Venice is saved. The League regroups at the Nautilus, where Quatermain reveals that M is behind everything. Nemo’s first mate also reveals that Gray, not Skinner, is the traitor, as he had been mortally shot by Gray, who escapes in an exploration pod. Nemo sets the Nautilus in pursuit, but a record is found from M and Gray, revealing that the League was a ruse so that M could steal physical elements from each of the League members, so as to construct an army of super-powered soldiers; Captain Nemo’s science and technology, Jekyll’s formula, Mina’s blood, and a sample of Skinner’s invisible skin; Quatermain was merely used to capture Hyde. M seeks to profit by starting a world war and selling armaments and weaponry based on the powers of the League to the combatant countries. As the record is played, it also releases a second, high-frequency signal which sets off three bombs in the ship, but Hyde is able to stop the ship from sinking.

The League assembles in Africa to bury Quatermain. As the group departs, a tribal witch doctor takes handfuls of dirt from Quatermain’s grave and begins a ritual chant. We are reminded of a witch doctor’s pronouncement, recounted by Quatermain at the beginning of the movie, that Africa would not let Quatermain die. The earth shakes violently, making the rifle that Sawyer had left on the grave shake. Lightning strikes Quatermain’s grave right before the screen cuts to black.

The Untouchables

  • Directors: Brian De Palma
  • Producers: Art Linson, Executive Producer, Raymond Hartwick
  • Writers: Original Novel, Oscar Fraley, Eliot Ness, Screenplay, David Mamet
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, History, Thriller
  • Actors: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Charles Martin Smith, Robert De Niro

Prohibition in the United States has led to an organized crime wave in the 1920s and early 1930s. Various gangs bootleg vast amounts of alcohol and control their businesses with violence and extortion. The problem is most serious in Chicago, where gang leader Al Capone (Robert De Niro) has almost the whole city (even the Mayor of Chicago) under his control, and supplies poor-quality liquor at high prices. Treasury Department agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) is put in charge of leading the crusade against Capone and his empire. Ness’s initial strategy is to conduct raids using a large squad of uniformed police officers, but his first attempt fails when he breaks into a warehouse storing umbrellas. Capone’s reaction to the next day’s newspaper headlines about the botched raid implies that someone on the force tipped his men off.

Embarrassed over the fiasco and seeking ideas for a change of tactics, Ness has a chance encounter with Jimmy Malone (Sean Connery), an incorruptible Irish beat cop who understands the way Capone does business, and decides to ask for his help. Malone urges Ness to become as ruthless as the gangsters he wants to take down: “He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way, and that’s how you get Capone.” Malone confirms Ness’ suspicion that a cop informed Capone about the earlier raid and suggests that, because of this rampant corruption, Ness should recruit directly from the police academy in order to find team members who have not yet had a chance to come under Capone’s influence. Italian-American trainee George Stone, formerly Giuseppe Petri (Andy García), is enlisted for his superior marksmanship and calm reactions under pressure. Joined by Treasury accountant Oscar Wallace (Charles Martin Smith), detailed to Chicago from Washington, Ness has built an incorruptible team, capable of combating Capone.

As he packs up his office, Ness contemplates the Saint Jude medallion that Malone had carried with him for many years (linked to his call box key), and which Malone had given to him before dying. Ness gives the medallion to Stone, reasoning that since Jude is the patron saint of police officers, Malone would have wanted him to have it. Out on the street, a reporter wishes to have a word from Ness, but Ness modestly downplays his role in the showdown. When the reporter mentions that Prohibition is due to be repealed and asks what Ness might do then, Ness smiles and responds, “I think I’ll have a drink,” then walks away into the busy Chicago streets.

The Hunt for Red October

  • Directors: John McTiernan
  • Producers: Mace Neufeld
  • Writers: Screenplay, Larry Ferguson, Donald Stewart, Novel, Tom Clancy
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller
  • Actors: Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill, James Earl Jones

Marko Ramius (Sean Connery), a Lithuanian, is captain of the Soviet Navy’s newest Typhoon-class ballistic missile submarine, the Red October, equipped with a revolutionary silent propulsion system known as a caterpillar drive. A naval veteran with nearly 40 years of experience, he was considered the best officer in the Soviet Navy. He has taken out the lead boat for each new submarine class, trained most of the officer corps, and has good political connections via his late wife. At the start of the movie, he is shown taking the boat out to sea, ostensibly for its first exercise with other units of the Russian Fleet. The captain, however, has another plan—to navigate the submarine to the coast of America in order to defect, as he considers the Red October to be a first-strike weapon that cannot be left in the hands of the Soviets.

To achieve this, he must murder Ivan Putin (Peter Firth), his political officer, who alone amongst his officers was not hand-picked in support of this action. With the ship’s doctor, Yevgeniy Petrov (Tim Curry), and cook, Igor Loginov (Tomas Arana), as witnesses, Ramius takes the late political officer’s missile key, granting him sole control over the ship’s missile systems. After this is done, Ramius reads substitute orders to his crew to support the mission (stating they will conduct missile drills off the coast of New York City and then sail to Havana for shore leave), and begins his long journey. He is at first discovered and tracked by the USS Dallas, an American attack submarine, but upon activation of the caterpillar drive he is able to break away. Meanwhile, Soviet authorities read a letter posted by Ramius prior to his departure, announcing his intention to defect. The Soviet Navy immediately puts to sea to locate and sink the Red October. One of the ships that joins in the hunt is the Alfa-class attack submarine V.K. Konovalov, commanded by Captain Tupolev (Stellan SkarsgÃ¥rd), a former student of Ramius. This causes a stir in Washington, D.C. when the activity triggers a reciprocal deployment of U.S. assets, as Russian intentions are unclear.

Concurrently, the saboteur, revealed to be Loginov, shoots at the captain, missing and instead fatally wounding the executive officer, Vasily Borodin (Sam Neill), along with damaging the fire control panel (leaving Red October unable to return fire). An alarm reveals that Loginov has headed into the missile launch area, and Ramius realizes that Loginov intends to ignite a missile launch mechanism, which would destroy the Red October. Ryan and Ramius go after Loginov, while Mancuso takes command of the Red October to deal with the external threat. As Ramius predicted, the Konovalov fires another torpedo which arms at launch. While chasing Loginov, Ramius is shot and injured, leaving Ryan to search for him in the submarine’s missile bay. As Loginov attempts to (and nearly does) detonate the launch mechanism of one of the missiles, he is gunned down by Ryan. Meanwhile, USS Dallas and Red October make a series of evasive maneuvers, causing the torpedo to target the Konovalov instead and destroy it. The crew of the Red October who had evacuated and were on board a U.S. Navy rescue ship witnessed the explosion and believed it to be the Red October that had been destroyed. Ultimately the submarine finds haven in the Penobscot River in Maine, and Ryan flies home—too exhausted to consider his fear of flying as he had not had a decent night’s sleep since before the film begins—with a teddy bear that he had promised for his daughter.

The Rock

  • Directors: Michael Bay
  • Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Don Simpson, Louis A Stroller, Sean Connery, William Stuart
  • Writers: Story Screenplay, David Weisberg, Douglas S Cook, Screenplay, Mark Rosner, Uncredited, Quentin Tarantino 1
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller
  • Actors: Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris

A group of rogue Marines from Force Recon, led by disenchanted Brigadier General Francis X. Hummel (Ed Harris), seize a stockpile of rockets armed with VX nerve agent, a modern chemical weapon of nightmarish virulence, to which they accidently lose one of their men to in the process. They then seize Alcatraz Island during a guided tour and take 81 tourists hostage in the prison cells. Hummel threatens the Pentagon with launching VX gas rockets against the population of the San Francisco Bay Area unless the government pays reparations, including compensation to the families of Marines who died on illegal, clandestine missions.

The Pentagon and Federal Bureau of Investigation decide to deploy a Navy SEAL team to retake the island and free Hummel’s hostages by stealth. In need of first-hand knowledge of the underground tunnels of Alcatraz, they are forced to release the imprisoned John Patrick Mason (Sean Connery): the only inmate of Alcatraz who ever successfully escaped (which was covered up). FBI chemical weapons expert Dr. Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage) — socially nerdy and bumbling — is also recruited to neutralize the VX gas threat. The two men and the SEAL team commence their raid on Alcatraz. Meanwhile, the Pentagon prepares a secondary countermeasure to Hummel’s VX gas rockets: readying prototype “thermite plasma” bombs capable of incinerating the poison gas, but which will also kill any person left on the island.

While Mason battles the traitorous marines, Goodspeed rushes to locate and disarm the last rocket. After extracting the VX from the rocket, Goodspeed is attacked by the last remaining Marine. Outmatched, Goodspeed uses a VX pearl that fell loose to kill the Marine by forcing it into his mouth, thus causing him to die horrifically as well as exposing Goodspeed to the toxin (at a lower concentration). Goodspeed then forcefully injects an antidote (atropine) into his own heart to save himself. Weakened, he desperately scrambles to the open ground to signal the command center to abort the airstrike, which would needlessly kill many hostages. However, the abort command is received too late by the pilots, and one accidentally drops the first of its thermite-plasma payload onto the island. Fortunately, the bomb misses the hostages’ cell block, and only throws Goodspeed into the water, where he is promptly rescued by Mason. When the FBI arrives to secure Alcatraz, Goodspeed informs them that escaping Mason was actually “vaporized,” hence releasing him to freedom, anonymity, and his estranged daughter. Before his departure, however, Mason tells Goodspeed the location of the secret microfilm he’d stolen, and the movie closes with Goodspeed and his pregnant bride Carla recovering the microfilm, along with half a century of state secrets. The film ends with Goodspeed and Carla discovering the true person who shot JFK.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

  • Directors: Steven Spielberg
  • Producers: Robert Watts, Executive producers, George Lucas, Frank Marshall
  • Writers: Screenplay, Jeffrey Boam, Tom Stoppard, Story, George Lucas, Menno Meyjes
  • Genres: Action, Adventure
  • Actors: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody, Denholm Elliott, Julian Glover, River Phoenix, John Rhys Davies

The 1912 prologue depicts Indiana Jones as a Boy Scout in Utah, battling grave robbers for an ornamental cross that belonged to Francisco VГЎsquez de Coronado. As the grave robbers give chase, Indiana hides in a circus train, where he uses a whip, scars his chin, and gains his fear of snakes. Although he rescues the Cross of Coronado, the robbers tell the sheriff that Indiana was the thief, and he is forced to return it. Indiana’s father, Henry, remains oblivious as he researches the Holy Grail, keeping meticulous notes in a diary that contains his life’s research into its whereabouts. The leader of the robbers, dressed similarly to the future Indiana and impressed by his tenacity, gives Indiana his fedora and some encouraging words. In 1938, Indiana recovers the cross from the robbers and donates it to Marcus Brody’s museum.

Indiana is taken to meet Walter Donovan at his penthouse in New York City. Donovan informs him that Indiana’s father has vanished while searching for the Grail, having used partial directions from an incomplete stone tablet as a guide. Indiana receives Henry’s Grail diary in the mail. Understanding that his father would not have sent the diary unless he was in trouble, Indiana and Marcus travel to Venice, where they meet Henry’s colleague, Dr. Elsa Schneider. Indiana and Elsa discover catacombs beneath the library where Henry was last seen, finding the tomb of Sir Richard—a knight of the First Crusade who is buried with a complete version of the tablet. The tablet provides a datum in the form of Д°skenderun, Hatay, allowing Indiana to interpret the remaining directions. Indiana and Elsa flee when the catacombs are set aflame by the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword. Indiana captures the cult’s leader, Kazim, who explains that the Brotherhood has guarded the secret of the Grail for centuries. Indiana explains that he only wants to find his father, so Kazim tells him that Henry was taken to a castle on the Austrian-German border.

The Joneses, Marcus and Sallah arrive to find that the Nazis are unable to pass through three “trials”—booby traps guarding the Grail. The four are discovered, and Donovan fatally wounds Henry with a gunshot to force Indiana to seek the Grail for its healing powers. Indiana finds ways past the traps using information from the diary; Donovan and Elsa follow. Indiana meets the last Knight of the First Crusade—kept alive by the power of the Grail—who has hidden the Grail among many false Grails that will kill anyone who drinks from them. Elsa selects a golden cup for Donovan, but when he drinks water from it, he rapidly ages and decomposes. Indiana, recognizing that Christ’s cup would be that of a carpenter, drinks from a wooden chalice—the Grail. He uses it to take water to his father, healing his gunshot wound instantly. Despite the Knight’s having warned them not to take the Grail from the temple, Elsa attempts to do so, causing the temple to collapse. Elsa drops the Grail and falls into a chasm attempting to recover it. Indiana almost meets the same fate until his father tells him to let it go. The Joneses, Marcus and Sallah flee the temple and ride into the sunset, after Henry reveals to the group that “Indiana” was the name of the family dog.