Following the one-two punch of DR. NO & FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, Bond producers Albert R. Broccoli & Harry Saltzman decided to make their next Bond film, GOLDFINGER- a lavish affair. The result- Bond-mania! How does the film hold up forty four years later? Read on…
PLOT: Bond is pitted against a wealthy, Gold-obsessed billionaire- who seeks to dramatically increase his wealth by irradiating the American Gold supply- which involves detonating an atomic bomb in Fort Knox.
REVIEW: GOLDFINGER is probably the most famous of all the Bond films. Most people, even if they haven’t seen the film, can identify it’s iconic imagery- especially the gold covered nude corpse- which supposedly gets a big shout out in QUANTUM OF SOLACE. And don’t even get me started on the theme song! HE LOVES GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD!!!!!!
All in all, the film holds up very well as a mighty entertaining romp. However, I do feel that it’s one of the more dated films in the series. There’s a lot of stuff that goes down in this movie that would not pass snuff today, especially some of the casual misogyny. At one point in the film, Bond dismisses one of his many conquests (appropriately named Dink) by giving her a firm open-palmed slap on the ass, and telling her that it’s time for “man-talk”. YOWZA! And dig his seduction of Pussy Galore (tee hee hee). Basically Bond uses a few judo moves on her, and then forces himself on her. Next scene- this woman, who previously had been more than willing to participate in a plot that would kill thousands of people, is Bond’s love slave and willing to risk her life for him. I know Bond is good in the sack but COME ON!!!
Regardless, this film is fun as hell, and I shouldn’t be too P.C about a film that is obviously not meant to be taken too seriously. It’s loaded with action, gadgets & girls. What more can you ask for? It’s also one of the most consistently watchable Bond films of the series. I’ve probably seen the film at least twenty times over the years, and it never gets old or stale- which says a lot.
Connery is aces in this film- and looks like he’s having the time of his life. Obviously, at this point in his life, he was relishing being Bond (although within a few years he’s be tired of the role- growing increasingly bitter about it over the years). Connery is really in his prime here- and proves that while other actors play Bond, he IS Bond.
Auric Goldfinger is the prototypical Bond villain. Gert Frobe is so iconic in the role (despite being dubbed), that the producers even briefly considered bringing him back in DIAMONDS OR FOREVER as Goldfinger’s twin brother. Most modern Bond villains are essentially variations on this character- but Goldfinger was the original. Just as iconic is his henchman- Odd Job, played by wrestler Harold Sakata, and his killer bowler had. Remember the scene where he takes the head off a statue? Of course you do...
Honor Blackman is Pussy Galore!!! What a name!!! Despite the great name, Pussy Galore has never been one of my favorite Bond girls. Honor Blackman is certainly attractive, but the character never really worked for me. I’m actually more partial to the film’s minor Bond girl, Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton), who gets a famous gold paint-job courtesy of Mr. Goldfinger & Odd-Job.
BOND MUSIC: Great score by John Barry- and a great theme song sung by Shirley Bassey, which was so good she did two more (DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER & MOONRAKER).
BODY COUNT: 6- but it’s the quality, not the quantity in this one. Three of the villains have particularly memorable deaths- including two electrocutions, and one being sucked out of an airplane window.
Number of women Bond Sleeps with: 2, although it’s hinted that he’s slept with the aforementioned Dink- his masseuse (of course he has!!!), and he obviously has a previous sexual relationship with the treacherous dancer from the pre-credits sequence- so you could call it 4.
BEST ONE- LINER: “Where’s Goldfinger?” Bond: “Playing his golden harp.”
BEST DOUBLE ENTENDRE: Bond: “Who are you?” Pussy: “My name is Pussy Galore.” Bond: (with a smirk) “I must be dreaming.”
BEST GADGET: Q Branch goes all out on this one, supplying Bond with the sweetest of all rides: The Aston Martin DB5- complete with machine guns, bulletproof screen, extending tire shredders in the hubcaps, homing tracker, rotating license plates, and an ejector seat. Another cool thing about GOLDFINGER, is that this is the first installment where Q begins to bust Bond’s balls for screwing with his equipment, starting a tradition that would continue in all subsequent entries where Q (and later R) appears
RECEPTION: GOLDFINGER was the first mega-blockbuster in the series grossing $124 Million world wide, and $51 million in the U.S alone, which adjusting for inflation is about $469.4 Million, making it a sizable hit- and launching Bond Mania. At the time, it broke several Guinness Book of World Records for fastest grossing film.
GRADE: 9/10- sure it has it's flaws, but it's ridiculously entertaining