Never Say Never Again: Classic Connery Returns

48

Never-Say-Never-Again-Light-Grey-Suit

In a brief scene from Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery wears a similar outfit to what he wore back in the Bond films. The light warm grey semi-solid suit is similar to the light grey suits he wore in Dr. No, Thunderball and Diamonds Are Forever. His suit is the same cut as the other suits in the film: a button two jacket with natural shoulders and a clean chest. It has 3-button cuffs, flapped pockets and double vents. The trousers have a flat front. It’s a timeless suit and very flattering on Sean Connery.

Never-Say-Never-Again-Light-Grey-Suit-2

The shirt is a very light grey with a spread collar, front placket and button-down cocktail cuffs. The tie is a twist on a Connery Bond classic. It’s a grenadine, but it’s the first time Connery wears one in medium grey. However, just two years earlier, Roger Moore wore a medium grey grenadine tie in For Your Eyes Only. Connery ties his in a Windsor knot. His tie looks a little short, but it also looks like his trousers have sagged down a little. He wears his trousers with a dark grey belt that has a brass buckle.

48 COMMENTS

  1. I like this outfit and you’re right Matt, it looks great on Connery. For me, sartorially, “Never Say Never Again” was a mixed bag. This and the cream suit look great whereas the blazer and sports coats were only so-so. And as for the casual wear….
    This suit and the cream one have ant overall cut somewhat similar to Moore’s Hayward suits from this same period and both Moore’s and Connery’s versions just confirm for me that this style, when well tailored, is far more aesthetically tasteful than the current fashion in men’s suiting. Better the tie shorter as it is here and the lower button stance than the too long ties and too high buttoning jackets that currently decorate the high streets. My only quibble would be that he fasten the jacket and take his hands from his pockets for a more polished look.

    • David, he is acting, I assume. One of the the most important things in looking good in a suit is the ability to look as if the suit is part of you and moves with you. You cannot just stand still like a trussed dummy with everything perfectly in place, it simply doesn’t look right. It’s what the Italians call disinvoltura and in tailoring terms it means that you wear your clothes without being unduly conscious of them. Connery was a great mover despite being sartorially an ignoramus and that allowed him to get away with a lot and still look good. Roger and Pierce, very handsome men but stiff and unrelated in their natural motion.

  2. Yes, very elegant, although Sean way, way past his prime and just there to collect the money. The film was complete tripe. The flat front trousers look good and are slimming but I find they crease terribly once you sit down. I think the tie is a complete mistake and does nothing for the overall look. A light blue shirt would have been better as well.

    • I don’t think it’s fair to say Connery was just there to collect the money. He’d been working on the film as a writer since 1976!

      • Connery has always been about the money and never more so than when he resurrected the role of 007. It proves the adage that great heavyweights never come back. I am one of his biggest fans but facts are facts.

      • Wow, there is little love for this film. While I don’t think anyone would put this atop any “Best of Bond” list…it’s certainly far from the worst, both artistically and sartorially. I think anyone with a decent knowledge of the series could argue Roger’s last 3 Bond-films were money grabs.

      • I have to agree with Sir James Maloney and Ryan. The movie is decent enough, in the midrange of Bond flicks. There are plenty that are a lot worse, in my book (Connery made one of the worst of them, sartorially, artistically, and structurally). As for being about the money, so what? No one involved in these films (or most films, or other work) is doing it for artistic reasons. They expect to get well-paid. Of course Roger came back in 1981 for a big paycheck – and the result was his best performance in his best Bond film (anyone who claims Spy is either or both won’t get an argument from me however). On the other hand, you can forgo a big paycheck, and the result can be a lot of Woody Allen’s films over the last 10 years. Money as motivation and artistic achievement are not connected when so many elements go into making a successful film.

  3. My major gripe here is with Connery’s physical condition. The suit looks fine, but it’s obvious in the first picture that he is carrying some extra weight in the mid section. As such, he would have done well to follow David’s advice and button his jacket to hide this unflattering bulge over the belt.

    • Actually Connery was in better shape here than in DAF, but the low slung, flat front pants accentuate what little tummy he had left. Pleated trousers ALWAYS look more flattering, even on slim physiques, but especially on men who carry a few extra pounds around the middle.

      On a different note, I really liked the herringbone jacket and gray turtleneck Connery briefly wore at the beginning of NSNA (when he arrives at Shrublands). It is a classic country outfit, and it matches very well with the surroundings and with the Bentley he was driving.

      • No argument from me regarding his physical condition in NSNA v. Diamonds. I have always marveled at how much younger Roger Moore looked than Sean Connery for so much of his run as Bond, despite being older.

    • Well past his prime but pretty impressive for 53. At least he always had some sort of athletic physique, unlike Moore and Brosnan. Take a look at them now! I want to see what Craig looks like in 10 years time when his artificially pumped body turns to fat. Connery never worked out the same way.

      • Connery was a well built man, and at 53 he acquitted himself quite nicely. Though he was probably a solid 15-20lbs heavier here than he was in “Thunderball” he looked strong. Roger Moore had a square jawline, but aside from that he always appeared flabby or slightly out of shape.

      • I suspect if Connery had the role today, he would have personal trainers and dietitians on set to ensure his physique rivaled Craig’s (or exceeded it, based on his basic frame and his 1950s bodybuilding photos, at a time when it wasn’t as serious or as big business as it is today), along with cosmetic surgeons to administer Botox and Juvederm to make him look ten years younger. This is the reality of Hollywood today. Trust me, I live right in the middle of it.

  4. I loved the ensemble as it certainly recalls the suits worn in “Thunderball”, but I was disappointed by its all too brief appearance. I agree about the similarities to Roger’s suits of the same time, though personally I feel Connery looked better in them. Sure, his physique has filled out but he looks much more solid and evenly built when compared to Roger Moore’s appearance in “Octopussy”…Connery is the only person I’ve ever seen make pleats look appealing and that may have been a wiser choice.

  5. I like the grey suits, but this one is a tad too light. It’s alright, like the rest of the film’s wardrobe. Nothing too memorable. I too like the way Connery moves casually in his suit, without the stiffness I sometimes saw in Pierce.

    As for Connery, physically he is far more convincing in the role at 53 than Roger was at 55 in Octopussy. But I do think Roger generally looked younger in his face (probably helped by his dyed hair) than Connery did at the same age; I can’t agree that Roger looked younger in his mid to late 40s than Connery did in his 1962-65 peak.

    • Connery readily admitted that he looked 10 years older than his actual age throughout his life. Even in Dr No when he was barely 32 years of age, he looked immeasurably older. But he did look the best of the lot!

      • While we’re on this topic, Connery here is aged 52, in 1982 when this movie was being filmed. Craig was 8 years younger than this when he filmed “Skyfall” last year and from what I can see (despite Connery looking pretty awful at 40 in DAF) the original 007 still looks better and fresher here, at the end of his tenure, than Craig in the middle (?) of his. Pierce has probably aged the best of them all and just approaching 60 now could still pull one last Bond out of the bag.

      • David,
        I must disagree with you on Craig, which won’t be surprising. He looks his 44 years, but it is an athletic, well built, and strangely attractive to every woman I know 44. Connery looks like a middle-aged man of the era. Physically, he can still sell the role (barely) but I know of no woman who found him attractive in that movie. And I don’t think an audience can suspend its disbelief with a 60 year old in the role (which was almost tried in 1985 to poor effect).

      • Christian, agree with you 100% with the points you made above regarding the money motivation but here, as to Connery’s attractiveness as he aged, I can only go, as you too, by the reaction of women and I know that my wife (and many other women come to that) found Connery looked more attractive as he aged. She thought he looked very attractive in “The Hunt for Red October” and “The Russia House” for example and he was already 8 years older than here. Personally, I also would say he looked a lot fitter and healthier here than in DAF. It’d be interesting to see the female feedback on this one but I think the amount of ladies following Matt’s blog are rarer than hen’s teeth!

      • Disagree here, Christian. Craig is artificially pumped up for the role and has a physique that can only be sustained through regular hard work outs and dieting. Maybe a real secret agent would live like this. The beauty of Connery’s physique is that it is far more natural and I’m talking about the earlier films. It is what we would today call a swimmer’s physique, not a body builder’s. As far as attractiveness to women is concerned, dressed or undressed, my experience is that Connery is in a class of his own from 32 to 72.

      • I agree completely. My wife and most women I’ve talked to say Daniel Craig is not attractive, but then somehow is. Same thing with Jason Statham.

      • Fully agree. But take a look at some of Pierce’s photos out of shape. They are horrible.

      • David,

        I agree that for some reason, Connery did hit another high in in his fifties and sixties. And most women I know agree with your wife.

        One last point on the money – remember Connery turned down I think three million USD to do Live and Let Die.

      • Steve, Craig is certainly artificially pumped up for the role, as you said. But so is almost every Hollywood actor today. It’s a shame, but we can’t help it. And Connery certainly has a different physique than Craig, that may look better, but :
        -being much more taller than Craig makes his body perfectly proportionnate. On the other hand, Craig being not very tall and having a very developped upper body can makes him look even larger and also shorter.
        -perhaps Connery has a swimmer’s body, but he has been a bodybuilder for a long time before playing Bond… not a swimmer.

  6. Ahem… classic Connery, that’s perhaps a little too much to say… I must confess I find the outfit flat and boring. The all-grey monochrome look isn’t really flattering for Connery -but would it be flattering for anybody else ? I don’t think so.
    Allright the jacket is well cut, but these flat front pants and the ugly belt buckle -which looks like a casual belt meant to be worn with chinos or bermudas- achieve to make him almost look like an ordinary man in an ordinary suit, I think. Not James Bond at all -but it’s like the whole movie. The tie is nice, the shirt too I guess -although the button down cocktail cuff feature really makes me laugh-, but put together with the suit they are too flat.

    I don’t have the dvd of NSNA, I guess I have seen it twice and don’t want to see it again… But as far as I remenber, there was a cream suit that looked much better, and so did the two blazer ensembles.

      • David, I just think that a button-down cocktail cuff is too much. A simple (2-button, not one) cocktail cuff is very nice and adds some flair, that is certain. But I don’t see the purpose of adding buttons and buttonholes on the folded cuff -and to suppress . It just looks like “hey, look at my shirt, that’s a cuff you have never seen before…” Plus it remenbers be of a button-down collar. So I find it quite ridiculous.
        I guess as a Foster and Moore’s fan you will certainly defend it with fervor, but I will live with it…

      • I don’t actually disagree, Le Chiffre, as it’s purely a matter of personal taste. I also prefer the cocktail cuff without this feature myself (and I am not a big fan of button down collars although I occasionally wear them for a change) but I suppose “ridiculous” just seems too strong a sentiment then again I find the current too short, too tight style of suiting not alone ridiculous but juvenile, so, like I say, personal taste. Fair enough.

      • David, it’s curious you tell me you don’t like the current trend, as we were talking of something totally different ! I think I have said it many times before, but since you seem to believe I appreciate it, let me correct a point.
        First, I love Craig’s impersonnation of Bond.
        Then, I just hate the current style, that shrunken look. It looks like people wear suits one size too small -at least- and are happy with it. Not mentionning the fact that this “cut” is really effeminate. The styles I appreciate are in fact quite the opposite, I like the drape cut of the 30s-40s and the 60s Conduit cut a lot, and I appreciate also the 90s style-preferably if the suits are from Brioni 🙂
        Well, both things are compatible.
        And although I loved Craig’s suits in his first movies, but especially in Casino Royale, I thought the Skyfall’s ones were awful, -well, like the whole movie if you ask me.
        I hope this clears the point !

        And on another topic, let’s remenber that Lazenby was 30 when he made one of the best Bond movies -I hope I won’t create another debate, but I take this point for granted. So I don’t think youthness is a negative factor when you’re a Bond actor. On the other hand, wanting that an actor we appreciate stay and stay to play Bond even if he’s getting old -not only in age but also in term of shape and appearance, Craig being not particulary young either- is quite dangerous ; see Moore’s last movie. So I don’t think Brosnan in Casino Royale would have been a good idea… in DAD he was beginning to put some weight already, even if he still looked the part.
        But if you don’t like Craig, of course I can’t help it. It’s just a matter of personal taste, and so are lots of our comments about.

        Cheers.

  7. The belt spoils it and looks pretty 80’s to me (gray with that ugly buckle). But it is classic Bond: the Skyfall ‘Istanbul outfit’ is not really dissimilar in terms of colors.

    • Agreed. Much better if it had side tabs. Failing that, just a classic square buckle belt with the strap matching the shoes. Why they went with grey is beyond me… even white belts work in very rare circumstances.

  8. It’s amusing to follow the full scale war that almost breaks out when the physical shape of Connery and Moore is discussed. I think we can all agree that Connery looked slightly better and was at least a little more dedicated in Never than in Diamonds. But I don’t think it changes the fact that should Never be compared to the rest of them, it is the worst, given the poor story, poor actors, the many stupid scenes, video game, etc. etc…
    And for $5000.000, of course Connery was persuaded to come back for the money.
    Sch’est la vie. Such isch life…

    • R. Sterling, I agree. It’s definitely Connery’s worst for the reasons you outline, the production values overall. It’s still, not by a long shot, the worst Bond movie overall. It’s just the hideous dungarees that obliterate ones reserves of sympathy towards this movie. Then again, there is the one outstanding plus point of Barbara Carrera!!

  9. I do love that tie, grenadine ties are always a good decision. I think that the only reason that it looks a little short is because the knot takes up a lot of the cloth. After reading this entry I’ve added a grey grenadine to my list of Bond-inspired items that I’d like to obtain. Moore wore one also and it looks just as versatile as a navy tie. Looked for one at the New York Turnbull & Asser this afternoon but they didn’t have any. Still walked out of the store with two new shirts, but my addiction is an entirely different issue!
    I don’t think that this suit here is all that bad, to me it’s just average in every sense of the word. Classic proportions, nothing dated, subdued colors, seems to fit him well, it just isn’t as stunning as something from Sinclair, Castle, Hayward, or Brioni would be. He doesn’t look bad, just average. For a spy, that might be a good thing every now and then! This is a pretty classic look which I do appreciate.
    The Fifty Shades of Grey joke was pretty funny too.

  10. Aside from the belt and seemingly too-short tie (though not as bad as the pink monstrosity in DAF), this looks great on Connery.

    By way of comparison, you may want to review a similar grey monochrome look from Roger Moore in FYEO, which Matt covered earlier:

    https://www.bondsuits.com/?p=178

    Cheers,

    John

  11. Don’t you guys find it slightly odd , that in this particular Bond film , Connery wears a belt with his suit ? In all others , his trousers feature DAKS TOPS. I wonder what caused the switch.

    • This film isn’t a real Bond film but rather a knock-off Bond film, and I think the producers did their best at dressing Connery like he was dressed as Bond. Connery made it 12 years after he finished Bond and didn’t go back to the tailor he used for his Bond films, Anthony Sinclair. Either they didn’t approach Sinclair, or Sinclair may have been unable to meet the requests of the film production later in his career.

  12. I wouldn’t call NSNA a knock-off Bond, just like I wouldn’t call Manhunter a knock-off Thomas Harris/Hannibal film, just because it wasn’t in cannon with the Silence of the Lambs series. Or maybe I’d call any Bond film not based off of a Fleming novel a Knock-off. EON productions is not the creator of Bond. I would also argue as a film character Sean Connery certainly has more claim over screen adaption/creation than the producers at EON. And anyone who claims Sean has always been about the money clearly doesn’t know the history of Sean and EON. He donated the giant sum of his salary of DAF to Scottish International Education Trust. And anyone who thinks NSNA is worst than any Moore film or the Sacred OHMSS, that so many on this blog deem the best, I urge you to remove those rose tinted glasses stop judging the films solely on wardrobe and sign up for a film class.

  13. So flat front trousers in this film, darted trousers in Diamonds and pleated trousers in the 60s. What would you say is the best choice for Connery?

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