If you think the only good films that Sean Connery starred in were James Bond movies, we’ve got some news that is going to leave you both shaken and stirred. This Hollywood legend has starred in so many amazing films that it’s tough for even his biggest fans to keep track of them all (especially without the help of Q Branch). In fact, one of his best movies that is often overlooked or forgotten by fans is The Presidio, and you can stream this Sean Connery cop thriller on Paramount+ today.
The Presidio, starring Sean Connery, is streaming on Paramount+.
Despite being a film that most modern audiences aren’t aware of, The Presidio is absolutely chock full of great actors. For example, in addition to Sean Connery, the movie stars venerable onscreen cop Mark Harmon. If you only know Harmon as the silver fox who headlined NCIS for so many years, you may be pleasantly surprised to see him in his prime as he entertainingly butts heads with the older Connery throughout the film.
Also appearing alongside Sean Connery in The Presidio is America’s sweetheart Meg Ryan. She gives a great performance that definitely won’t leave you shouting “shut up, Meg!” at the screen: her chemistry with Harmon is palpable, and the sparks between them help to bring the tight script to fiery life.
Ryan plays Connery’s daughter, and the two of them have a fractured relationship that helps to lend the movie an air of genuine pathos.
But what is The Presidio about, exactly? In the film, Sean Connery plays the provost marshall of an Army base in which a Military Police officer is killed while investigating a break-in. Two San Franciso Police Department members are killed during the criminals’ getaway, and that’s when Mark Harmon’s SFPD Detective (who is also a former MP) is sent in to investigate.
It turns out that Mark Harmon’s character has some serious history (and serious baggage) with Sean Connery’s character. Harmon’s character was once partnered with the now-deceased MP, and back in the day, he arrested a superior officer for drunk driving.
The arrested Lieutenant Colonel insulted Harmon’s partner and Harmon assaulted him, and when Connery (the commanding officer) didn’t back Harmon, the younger man received a demotion and effectively left the Army in disgrace.
Meg Ryan gives a great performance that definitely won’t leave you shouting “shut up, Meg!” at the screen: her chemistry with Harmon is palpable, and the sparks between them help to bring the tight script to fiery life.
As you can probably tell, The Presidio is a strange brew of different genres and different kinds of storytelling. For example, all of this interpersonal drama and established history between our major characters seems more at home in a soap opera than a cop thriller, and the strong emphasis on investigation over action seems more at home in the kinds of police procedurals that Harmon would later specialize in.
Yet all of these disparate elements come together to create something that feels new and refreshing, and Sean Connery’s killer performance helps hold everything together when it seems like the narrative is in danger of falling apart.
When The Presidio first premiered, it ended up grossing $20.3 million in the United States and Canada as well as $31.6 million worldwide for an overall total of $51.9 million. While that number is nothing to sneeze at (that would be the equivalent of over $152 million in today’s dollars), we don’t know exactly how profitable the film was because its overall budget is unknown.
Either way, more people would likely have come to the box office to see Sean Connery if the movie didn’t have such strong competition: it had to compete against some major films, including Crocodile Dundee and Big.
The Presidio is a hidden gem starring the best James Bond actor to ever order a martini.
At the time, though, critics didn’t quite know what to make of The Presidio. It currently has a 39 percent critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with many critics complaining that there is not enough action in the movie.
However, it’s our opinion that this cop thriller doesn’t need wall-to-wall action to be seriously engrossing, and even the harshest critics acknowledged that the amazing performances from this awesome cast (especially Sean Connery) and solid direction helped elevate even the more mundane moments.
Ultimately, The Presidio is a hidden gem starring the best James Bond actor to ever order a martini. It has an interesting premise, unforgettable performances, and great cinematography. And you don’t need a cool watch from Q to check it out…all you have to do is stream this killer cop thriller on Paramount Plus today.