Summary: Special agent 007 has just come face to face with one of the most notorious villains of all time. And now he'll have to outwit and outgun this powerful tycoon to prevent him from cashing in on a devious scheme to raid Fort Knox - and obliterate the world's economy!
Review: Over the years, Goldfinger has become known as the gold standard (sorry, couldn’t resist) for Bond movies: so much so that the “Bond formula” is essentially based around this movie. It all started with the pretitle sequence, which was a mini-movie in itself. Bond quickly disrobes his wetsuit to reveal a perfectly-pressed white tuxedo underneath, quickly establishing his as a debonair and suave secret agent. He even gets his first pun in before the title sequence with “shocking, positively shocking.”
The quintessential Bond movie, of course, had the quintessential Bond theme, as Shirley Bassey belts out what is, arguably, the most recognizable theme song in the entire series: except of course for the Bond tune itself…but that doesn’t count.
As the movie continues, Bond continues to be on his A-game both in terms of the ladies (he hooks up with Dink and Jill before he even leaves the Miami hotel) and in regards to action. Also introduced early on, through the striking visual of his shadow against the wall, is Oddjob: yet another icon in the Bond movie canon. Without saying a word, Oddjob is both menacing and evil; he could send a shiver down the spine with a mere look. That said, his apparent invincibility to everything except raw electricity was a bit absurd and takes away from his character. For example, there’s no way Bond could punch his face with a solid gold bar and not have Oddjob feel a thing.
Moving along the villain arena we come to he of “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!” fame: Auric Goldfinger. Due partly to the aforementioned line as well as his voice (even though it was dubbed) and his plot to detonate a nuclear device inside Fort Knox, Goldfinger is one of the most memorable villains of the series. Ken Adams also helped the cause by doing a brilliant job with the sets: especially those related to Auric. His den with rotating pool table and metal window shades truly accentuated Goldfinger’s villainy.
Bad guys aside, Goldfinger features Pussy Galore, the woman with the most sexual name of the entire series. In addition, she was the first of the “bad girls” who would sleep with Bond and all of a sudden convert to the side of good. Heck, according to Ian Fleming’s original source material, Bond even made her turn straight. The movie also featured Jill Masterson laying naked, dead and covered with gold paint: an image so iconic that it landed her on the cover of Life magazine.
The movie also gave us our first look at Q's laboratory with the gags in the background as well as his gadgets for Bond. The crowning glory of Q's lab was the introduction of the Aston Martin DB5 which has become synonymous with Bond. Finally, Connery has achieved the perfect Bond character and along with a great script, supporting cast, and score, he made the best performance of his Bond career.
If I had to choose one main negative point about the movie, despite all the wonderful characters, Connery’s spot-on performance and classic sets, it would be that Goldfinger is, at its core, an unbelievable movie. The plot is far-fetched and, though still more realistic than future Goldfinger clones including Moonraker and A View to a Kill, was the starting point for the absurdity of later movies. As the film that all other Bond movies would be judged on, it would have been nice to see it more rooted in reality like From Russia With Love. Still, the movie is classic Bond and not a bad choice for the gold standard of the series.
Universal Exports Rating: 006
First use of the bulletproof vest anywhere. Featured in Q's lab, this invention was years ahead of its time and long before police officers used them.
Bond's first visit to America
First use of the Aston Martin DB5
First Bond film to be nominated for an Oscar
Tilly Masterson is the first person to drive a Ford Mustang in ANY movie, not just Bond
First time Bond visits Q Branch
First time a Bond girl is killed
First Bond movie not to deal with SPECTRE
The "golden girl" idea was based on a real Swiss fashion model who painted herself and died of asphyxiation. |
Pussy Galore was named after Ian Fleming's pet octopus.
The producers got hundreds of letters wondering why they could film in Fort Knox while the president wasn't even allowed in.
Over 75 percent of all moviegoers worldwide have seen Goldfinger at least once.
Already pushing the lines of decency with Pussy Galore's name, Bond's original introduction to her was: Pussy: "I'm Pussy Galore." Bond: "I know, but what's your name?" However, the scene was later changed to bond's current response of "I must be dreaming!"