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Science Fiction Double FeatureThe Science Fiction Film as Cult Text$
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J. P. Telotte and Gerald Duchovnay

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381830

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381830.001.0001

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Sean Connery Reconfigured: From Bond to Cult Science Fiction Figure1

Sean Connery Reconfigured: From Bond to Cult Science Fiction Figure1

(p.68) 4. Sean Connery Reconfigured: From Bond to Cult Science Fiction Figure1
Science Fiction Double Feature

Gerald Duchovnay


This chapter focuses on Sean Connery, a star who deviated from the expected and challenged performance codes at a relatively early stage in his career, and did so perhaps most spectacularly within the realm of science fiction (sf). At the height of his popularity, Connery opted to deviate from the Bond persona, as well as from the mainstream performance codes embodied in his portrayal of agent 007 by choosing a role in John Boorman's sf effort Zardoz (1974), a film in which he played Zed, a rapist, killer, and truth seeker. The resulting film — and Connery along with it — was universally panned. But in bringing together elements of sf and fantasy, as well as some of the impulses established in the Bond films, Zardoz forced audiences to experience a kind of shock of difference, especially if they recognized the multiple conjoined characteristics, or paradoxes, built into the Connery persona and revealed by John Boorman's sf text. Connery's performance as Zed contextualizes one dimension of the cult film's ‘double feature’ character.

Keywords:   Sean Connery, science fiction, James Bond, actors, Zardoz, John Boorman, cult films, sf genre

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