Five Days One Summer (1982): Zinnemann’s Last Film Starring Sean Connery


(Ladd Company Releasing)

Fred Zinnemann, the highly acclaimed, multi-Oscar winner director (“High Noon,” “From Here to Eternity,” “A Man for All Seasons”) ended his Hollywood career with this disappointinglt listless feature.

Zinnemanns 22nd work in four decade career is based on the novel “Maiden, Maiden,” by Kay Bayle. Reportedly, he has been wanting to make it for decades, but, based on the evidence on screen, it’s hard to understand why.

Sean Connery, right after ending his own James Bond career, plays a mature man, who travels to the Swiss Alps with Betsy Brantley, a young woman who’s half his age.  He says she is his wife, but we know better.

Most of the tale, which is well shot, is set during a dangerous mountain climb that the couple takes with a young Swiss guide (played by Lambert Wilson), who the girl befriends and confides in. Through flashbacks, Connery unveils the mystery and reveals the true nature of his relationship with “his wife.”

But in the end, since we are not emotionally vested in the tale or its characters, the disclosure is sort of much ado  about nothing.