Happy 80th birthday, Sean Connery

As we type this, it’s Aug. 25 in Scotland, the land of Sean Connery’s birth. So here’s happy 80th birthday, Sir Sean, the first film James Bond.

Connery, of course, helped make 007 a phenomenon. There was that simple, yet powerful, introduction:

There were a number of memorable moments:

Of course, there were some critics:

But seriously, Terence Young, the first 007 film director, once said the three reasons the Bond films succeeded were, “Sean Connery, Sean Connery and Sean Connery.”

That may overlook Young’s own contributions (coaching diamond in the rough Connery about clothing and the right foods), Ken Adam’s sets (his sets make the modestly budgeted Dr. No look expensive) and John Barry’s music. But it was Connery that drew movie goers to theaters to see the film adapations of Ian Fleming’s novels. Fleming himself, initially not liking the casting, grew to appreciate Connery.

Connery had a fabulous film career that extended far beyond James Bond. Still, 007 remains the role that defines that career. And it’s Connery that first made Bond a film hero. Whether it be in action:

Or wooing the opposite sex:

WSJ profiles Ian Fleming Foundation’s Doug Redenius

The Wall Street Journal, in its Personal Journal section, ran a profile of Doug Redenius, the Ian Fleming Foundation vice president who supervises that group’s efforts to acquire and revamp vehicles that have appeared in James Bond movies.

The story by Mark Yost has this passage:

The 54-year old has been a postal worker for more than 30 years and married to the same woman for almost as long. But through luck and determination this humble, middle-class Bond enthusiast from Illinois, who has been a fan of the films and of Agent 007 since the age of 8, has managed to amass the largest collection of James Bond cars in the world. You could call him Q’s archivist.

Unfortunately, for much of the year, this impressive 33-item collection is sitting in a barn in a cornfield here, about 10 miles from St. Ann, Ill., where Mr. Redenius grew up. But he is hoping to change that. He has partnered with the city of Momence, one of many dying river towns in the Midwest. Together, Mr. Redenius and Momence are hoping to raise enough money to build the Museum of Bond Vehicles and Espionage. At the bare minimum, they’ll renovate an abandoned used-car dealership, hoping to draw about 20,000 visitors a year. If they can find a rich benefactor, they’d like to build a $1.5 million, 14,000-square-foot exhibit space, designed by the hip Chicago architecture firm Gensler.

You can read all of Yost’s story BY CLICKING HERE. That link also includes a slideshow of some of the vehicles stored at Momence, Illinois. If you’re looking for a copy of the print edition, the story is in the D section (page D5 of the edition we saw).

Also, from the HMSS archives, you read about Redenius’ personal collection (which is separate from the foundation vehicles) BY CLICKING HERE.