The Rock was one of Sean Connery's favorite films from his 1990s output, alongside Entrapment with Catherine Zeta-Jones. While the latter film was a slower, methodical film, The Rock was Michael Bay's second film following Bad Boys and his second team-up with Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson. It would prove to be one of Simpson's final producing credits and an explosive entry from Bay that fans still adore. These explosions matter and they mattered to Sean Connery too.
It was a semi-return to Connery's spycraft early days with a mix of Die Hard, military machismo and hardcore action for the former James Bond. Connery plays John Patrick Mason, a British spy locked up for decades without any charges who is also the only known survivor of an escape from Alcatraz Island.
That comes in handy when Ed Harris and his Marines take the island, hold 81 visitors hostage and demand $100 million from the U.S. government to pay his men and families of soldiers lost to clandestine efforts without compensation. It seems noble on the face, but the penalty for failing to pay is the launch of rockets filled with VX nerve gas into San Francisco.
So Mason is pulled out of prison, reluctantly offered a pardon by the FBI to secure a route into the prison for Navy SEALS before ending up tethered to Nicolas Cage as Stanley Goodspeed for the bulk of the movie. It's excellent, and you need to watch it if you haven't. Once you have or if you're a fan, you'll understand why Connery's passing on Saturday had people rushing to relive the film. Cage spoke highly of Connery after news of his passing.
"I admired Sean so much. I was happiest when I was working with him - his wisdom, humbleness, and extreme honesty has guided me ever since I met him," Cage said according to PEOPLE. "He was my friend and greatest teacher in cinema. The first movie star to lead the way in combining drama, action adventure, and comedy. He did it all effortlessly and with dignity. Maestro, you will be missed."
Many fans felt the same way and felt the film showed just how powerful Connery's presence was on film, even when he wasn't James Bond. Scroll down to see some of the memories and scenes fans enjoyed.
Rest in peace legend Sir Sean Connery. Can’t forget the childhood memories of James Bond and The Rock— Kayode Adewole (@meetnisterooy) October 31, 2020
Tributes and praise for Connery flooded out throughout the day Saturday. Once news spread, many took to social media to deliver words of thanks and memories of Connery's films. The Rock was at the top of many people's lists.
Resht in Peash legend 🥺🖤🙏🏼— Alpha Cat Zingano (@CatZingano) October 31, 2020
My favorite all time movie of Sean Connery is The Rock
Whats yours? pic.twitter.com/KnzRkSDUSf
Did I ever mention that in college, the only DVD I owned for 4 years was “The Rock”. I watched Sean Connery and Nic Cage more times than I can count.
I guess what I’m saying is, thanks Sean. 😢— Jesse Cox (@JesseCox) October 31, 2020
The film holds a special place for Connery fans, right next to his role as Harrison Ford's father in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. Both held a gold spot near fan's hearts, with these two offering examples.
Rest in Peace Sean Connery 🙌
Two of my fave film of his were The Last Crusade and The Rock.
Rest easy, Legend. pic.twitter.com/2h9W50uZo3— FrappKenstein⚡😈👻🧟♂️🧛♂️🧞♂️ (@FrappMocha) October 31, 2020
The Rock is the best Sean Connery movie. RIP legend pic.twitter.com/XLESPLZtvp— Josh Elman 🇺🇸 (@joshelman) October 31, 2020
The Rock stands as a favorite for a lot of people. It's the start of a string of films where Nicolas Cage was the top action star in the nation. It's Michael Bay before his explosions got too big for audiences to handle. And it's Connery without any frills.
My dad recently told me that I'm named Sean because he watched The Rock on TV the night before I was born and he loved Sean Connery in that film.
Proud to be named after a genuine film legend. RIP https://t.co/8SSjFyOtGX— 🎃The Seanmower Man🎃 (@seanhub_) October 31, 2020
Connery's long career didn't matter to most. While they loved his early movies, including James Bond, The Rock stands out for a lot of fans.
The Rock is the best Sean Connery movie. Don’t @ me. pic.twitter.com/NhdEyipve4— Lauren Katzenberg (@Lkatzenberg) October 31, 2020
Y’all 😭 he’s gone. He was amazing and my first silver fox when I was in high school 💖 I loved him in ‘The Rock”. RIP Sean Connery 💔💔 pic.twitter.com/1DvVkAyTah— The Jelli Monster (@starjelligram) October 31, 2020
Connery's passing also brought out a lot of the attracted fans from across his career. Despite his advanced age at the time, Connery could still make hearts flutter. The Rock landed in that sweet spot.prevnext
While Sean Connery was amazing and best known for Bond, my favourite film for him was The Rock as Mason - it just worked so well.
Always hoped for one more film.
Rest in peace you legend. pic.twitter.com/ejwhcRo14n— DrGandalf (@drgandalf52) October 31, 2020
Some fans clearly wanted one more film from Connery after The Rock. They got a few, but his final films would be far from the praise that The Rock gained. Many would rather remember him for The Rock and Bond over The League of Extraordinary Gentleman.prev