Fade out, never fade away

Olivia de Havilland

Movie stars never truly die.

Their physical bodies leave this Earth, but thanks to celluloid, the stories they told live forever.

L to r, top to bottom: Kelly Preston, Ian Holm, Honor Blackman, Chadwick Boseman, Baby Peggy (Diana Serra Cary), Buck Henry, Lynn Shelton, Edd Byrnes, Tommy “Tiny” Lister.

For example, John Wayne passed in 1979, Audrey Hepburn in ’93.

But thanks to VHS tapes and DVDs, streaming channels, or revival theaters, their films are more-accessible to a modern audience than even back in the prime of their career.

Kirk Douglas

The year ending today was the same as any other in one aspect — we lost cinematic legends, both those whose names were in all caps, and those working behind the scenes.

L to r, top to bottom: Naya Rivera, Fred Willard, Wilford Brimley, Carl Reiner, Diana Rigg, Joel Schumacher, Brian Dennehy, Alan Parker, Max Von Sydow.

Honor their memories in the best way possible.

Keep watching their films.

 

Sean Connery

 

Robin and Marian

The rest of the story.

Picking up 20 years after the normal adventures of Robin Hood, this revisionist tale finds our hero now a weary soldier for life, fighting for King Richard over in France.

Returning to Sherwood Forest after things go sideways with his liege, Robin seeks out the true love of his life, who’s been kickin’ it as a nun in his absence.

But if eternal bliss is the goal, foes old and new must first be vanquished.

Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn make a couple for the ages, in a melancholy film no Robin Hood completist should miss.

The Hunt for Red October

Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead.

The only Russian seadog to speak with a Scottish burr (and what of it?), Sean Connery leads his men into a showdown with world-ending consequences in the first adaptation of Tom Clancy’s military thrillers.

Alec Baldwin is CIA analyst Jack Ryan, a part later inherited by Harrison Ford, then a parade of wanna-be’s, while the supporting cast is awash with Hall o’ Famers like Scott Glenn, Sam Neill, and James Earl Jones.

But it’s Connery, beard at full bristle, piloting his nuclear submarine into uncharted waters, who commands every scene.

Captain, my captain.

DragonHeart

Heart of a champion.

If you want the world’s last dragon to be truly memorable, having Sean Connery’s Scottish burr rumble deep in his throat is a great start.

A fun, entertaining odd-couple romp, this tale of dragon hunter Dennis Quaid forming an unlikely bond with his intended target was a big renter back in the VHS days, and it holds up strongly today.

The visual effects, which were nominated for an Oscar, still look crisp, while the interplay between man and monster is lovely.

Plus, every time Draco roars, the twinkle in the dragon’s eye is unmistakably Sir Sean’s.

The Untouchables

“They pull a knife, you pull a gun.”

After a lifetime of memorable silver screen roles, Sean Connery finally went home with the Oscar for Brian DePalma’s bristling cops vs. crooks showdown.

Mobster kingpin Robert De Niro comes out swinging a baseball bat and hittin’ homers off of people’s noggins.

Meanwhile, Kevin Costner is a true-blue good guy, but one with much to learn from the old dude next to him.

Brandishing a shotgun or a rosary, Connery’s beat cop is the heart and soul of a film which updated the old TV show, while finding its own unique path.