So, its 1973, and you’re Sean Connery. From 1962-1971, you gave arguably the definitive performance of the suave, irresistible and deadly spy, James Bond.
In fact, let’s not beat around the bush – the American Film Institute called your Bond the third greatest hero in cinematic history*.
So how do you follow that?
For Sean Connery, the answer was to put on a red loincloth, thigh high boots and… well, not much else, really.
This was the costume for Zed, the lead character in the 1974 film Zardoz, and the first film in which Connery was cast post-Bond. (He had cast himself in the low budget movie The Offence.)
It’s difficult to know how to describe Zardoz. Ostensibly a sci-fi post-apocalyptic movie, the plot, such as it was, seemed at times beyond comprehension.
Quite literally – the writer, producer and director, John Boorman, later stated that he himself didn’t understand parts of it.
Set in the year 2293, Connery played an ‘exterminator’ called Zed. The exterminators control the ‘brutals’, while the exterminators themselves are under the spell of a giant head, made of rock, called Zardoz. Zardoz later turns out to be derived from the Wizard of Oz.
Make of it what you will. The public didn’t make much of it, and it was a flop.
As for Connery, the New Yorker reviewer commented that he acted “like a man who agreed to do something before he grasped what it was.”
*Atticus Finch and Indiana Jones, respectively, in case you were wondering.