17th September 2014
50 years ago today, 'Goldfinger' premiered at the Odeon in Leicester Square, London, to hysterical crowds
By MI6 Staff
The third James Bond film, 'Goldfinger' was unveiled to an eager public at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on Thursday 17th September 1964.
The Kinematograph Weekly reported on September 24th that "5,000 fans fought the police outside the Odeon Theatre. In the near riots, the massive glass door of the theatre was shattered and police reinforcements had to be sent for."
Although Sean Connery did not attend as he was filming 'The Hill in Spain, Honor Blackman drew large crowds and was nearly swept off her feet by the over-enthusiastic fans and had to be rescued by the police. Also attending the premiere were Shirley Eaton, Gert Frobe, and producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman.
Following the premiere, Honor Blackman embarked on a tour of Rank Premiere Showcase cinemas in and around London and similar scenes of Bondmania ensued here and across the country when the 'Goldfinge'r road show moved on tour the country, calling at Leicester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow throughout October 1964.
Inevitably, Goldfinger shattered UK box office records, leading to United Artists re-issuing 'Dr. No ' - which raked in staggering figures at the box office. The success was repeated in the States when the film opened there on 21st December 1964, quickly becoming the fastest earning film made to that date. Bond fever was building, and it would be two short years before it hit astronomic proportions with 'Thunderball'.