Fan Reviews - Goldfinger
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"Goldfinger" by Simon
Bond is sent to follow the tracks of Auric Goldfinger, a billionaire
whom the secret services suspect of smuggling large quantities
of gold. Bond first makes contact with Goldfinger in Miami, where
he seduces Jill Masterson, and forces Goldfinger into losing a
huge sum of money in a game of cards he intended to cheat. The
punishment for Jill is death - by being painted completely in
gold paint. The next meeting between the two is a high stakes
game of golf. Bond again scupper Goldfinger's attempt at cheating,
and Oddjob demonstrates his marksmanship, my taking the head off
of a statue with his blade-rimmed bowler hat. Bond follows Goldfinger
across Europe and into the USA, and discovers his plan to pull
off 'Operation Grand Slam' in Fort Knox. Bond must escape the
prison in which Goldfinger has placed him, and save, not only
the worlds most famous bank, but thousands of troops that guard
Pussy Galore (Honour Blackman) - Pussy Galore arrives
late on in the film, but is instantly memorable, thanks in no
small part to her entrance to the film. After Bond awakens from
a tranquillizer dart, we see the smiling face of Blackman; "My
name is Pussy Galore" to which Bond replies, "I must
Pussy is the flying ace, and personal pilot for Auric Goldfinger,
and is looking forward to completing the job, so she can receive
her share of the profits. Bond however, seems to bypass her insinuated
homosexuality, and she ends up in the arms of Bond, having helped
save the day. Blackman's performance is regarded as one of the
highest for a Bond girl. However, her almost wooden line delivery
and seemingly ineptness to making a movement and speaking take
away from an otherwise glorious character. 6/10
Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton) - Masterson is an accomplice
of Goldfinger's, helping him win thousands of dollars in cards,
by using high powered binoculars to read the cards of Goldfinger's
opponents from the suite balcony. When Bond finds Masterson, she
succumbs easily to Bond charm, and sleeps with Bond. For her betrayal,
however, she received death by skin suffocation - covered head
to toe in gold paint. Masterson is a character who never gets
a chance to really show any form of character. A few lines, and
flirtatious play with 007 in bed is all we see. The image of her
lying on the bed covered in paint, however, lives on in the memory,
and is one of the most recognisable scenes in cinema history,
let alone Bond history. 4/10
Tilly Masterson (Tania Mallet) - The sister of the ill-fated
Jill, Tilly is out to seek revenge for her sisters death. She
encounters Bond during a night when Bond is surveying Goldfinger's
premises. Masterson, however, isn't bothered about watching, instead,
she has a sniper-rifle, which she inadvertently uses to set off
an alarm. The ensuing case see's Masterson also succumb to death
at the hands of Oddjob, as her sister did. However, this kill
was Oddjob's specialty kill - his steel-rimmed bowler hat. Quite
possibly one of the worst Bond girls, full stop. Wooden acting,
bad delivery, and in fairness, not all that good looking. She
simply comes across as a 'silly' character, and does nothing to
enhance the film, other than aid the capture of Bond. 1/10
Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) - English billionaire Goldfinger
is a self admitted obsessive - obsessed with gold. The brutish
figure of a man holds the idea which could see him become even
more enormously rich than he already is. One of the better villains
of the series, Goldfinger provides a manner of different aspect
required from a Bond villain. A classic line (Do you expect me
to talk), a classic henchman in Oddjob, a perfect balance of genius
and madness, and the money to afford magnificent surroundings
at all times. Memorable for all the right reasons. 8/10
Oddjob (Harold Sakata) - The henchman of Auric Goldfinger,
Oddjob is an ex-wrestler. His skills don't lie with his fighting,
however. This magnificently strong man uses his bowler hat for
his skilled assassination method. The hat has a rim made of steel,
with a bladed edge, which, when thrown, can be fatal to the victim.
Oddjob is also a quiet henchman, preferring to use his actions
to say a thousand words, such as when he crushed a gold ball in
his bare hands. Sakata's performance is one of the best form a
henchman. He is to the Connery era what Jaws was to the Moore
era, which speaks volumes in itself. 9/10
M (Bernard Lee) - In his third outing as M, Lee provides
yet another solid performance. A genuinely good scene is provided
in his limited screen time, where he and Bond exchange general
banter across the table at Colonel Smithers house. 5/10
Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) - Moneypenny once again tries
to entice Bond to her, with the offer of baking him a cake. Before
Bond can answer however, M interrupts over the intercom reminding
her that Bond has an arrangement with him. Only briefly seen in
the film, but Maxwell still leaves as bigger mark as possible
for the screen-time. 6/10
Leiter (Cec Linder) - Had clad CIA counterpart in the
CIA, Leiter thinks that he has Bond covered at Goldfinger's Kentucky
ranch. The casting of Linder is somewhat puzzling. He seems many
times Bonds superior in age, and is unbelievable that it is the
same man ho could have shared adventures with Bond on Crab Key.
He also seems less like a CIA agent, and more of a C&A employee
in his actions. 1/10
Q (Desmond Llewelyn) - The first appearance of Q-Branch
sees Llewelyn excel in the role of Q. Goldfinger is the first
time the title Q is used. Some memorable moments include Q's scenes,
such as where we are first introduced to Bonds Aston Martin DB5,
and possibly his most famous line, "I never joke about my
work 007". Llewelyn still seems a little uncomfortable in
the role, but still manages a good performance as Q. 5/10.
Aston Martin DB5 - The first time the classic Bond car
is seen in the series. It is still the most memorable Bond car,
and is probably the most gadget laden, with the possible exception
of the BMW 750il in Tomorrow Never Dies. It includes rear mud-jets
and oil slick, rear raised bullet proof shield, front mounted
machine guns, and a remarkable ejector seat. The inclusion of
what would now be called Sat Nav was also seen as a major thing,
and was a revelation in the 60's, and seemed as daft then as remote-controlled
BMW's seem now, proving that Bond is always ahead of the times,
and never makes a wrong turn into sci-fi.
1937 Rolls ROyce III Sedance De Ville - Goldfinger's
personal car. The 1930's classic falls apart, and gold moulded
pieces used as replacements, and is the chosen method of smuggling.
The car, weighing in at a massive 7,000 pounds, was capable of
reaching 100MPH. The car was auctioned at Sotheby's, London, for
over 120,000 dollars.
Gadgets & Weapons
Golden Pistol - Even in his armoury, Goldfinger couldn't
resist the lure of using gold. The pistol is used to try and deceive
US troops he was one of them.
Goldfinger's Laser - At the time a seemingly sci-fi
gadget, the laser has bought with it one of the most recognisable
quotes in cinema history,
Bond: Do you expect me to talk?
Goldfinger: No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.
Goldfinger is one of the more memorable films for individual lines,
scenes or gadgets. As a complete film however, it still has some
downfalls. Some of the acting is frankly terrible, and in places,
the outcome all too predictable. It's remembered as a great film,
but it certainly isn't. It does however avoid being a bad film,
and instead qualifies to be one of the most middle-rated Bonds.
Out of 20 films, it'd be either 10th or 11th.
"Goldfinger" by zDBZ
The year was 1964, and producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman
had started the most popular motion picture series in cinema history
- James Bond. With Dr. No and From Russia With Love, both starring
Sean Connery as 007 and directed by Terrence Young, the foundation
was laid for the third feature - Goldfinger.
It proved to be the biggest step up in Bond's legacy until 1995.
Taking over the directing reins was Guy Hamilton, who had originally
been offered the job of directing Dr. No in 1962. Having the foundation
laid for him, Hamilton moved in to make Bond the biggest cinema
character of all. The gadgets became more hi-tech and apparent.
The villains and stories became larger than life. And, in Hamilton's
eyes most importantly, the humour was substantially increased.
Working with Paul Dehn, Bond veteran Richard Maibaum developed
the screenplay. Ken Adam fulfilled Broccoli's request for a "cathedral
of gold" within Fort Knox. And Sean Connery strapped on the
tuxedo for a third time
The film was an amazing smash-hit at the box-office, firmly launching
the Bondmania of the 60s. Bond was now the larger-than-life cinematic
superman, an elegant secret agent with a licence to kill and with
no regrets doing so, shooting out dry one-liners and winning over
every woman with the uttering of "Bond...James Bond."
It can be said that Goldfinger firmly established 007's place
in cinema history.
Despite in what it has done for the franchise, Goldfinger is
far from my favourite of the series. The film seems to rush and
for the first time, Bond becomes an action movie; focus is directed
on the gadgets, the one-liners, and the stunts, while story is
left off to the side. Ian Fleming's spirit seems far removed this
time, though this is a film adaptation, not book-reading.
One of the film's highlights is the cast. Gert Frobe delivers
wonderful expression and presence as Goldfinger; it's almost hard
to believe he was dubbed for the entire film. The first Bond supervillain,
he utters one of the most famous lines in cinema history: "No,
Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!" Felix Leiter's being played
by Cec Linder is one negative aspect of the cast. While his scenes
with Bond are well-written as if between two old friends, Linder
himself looks much older than Sean Connery and has almost no relation
to Jack Lord's character from Dr. No. Bernard Lee and Lois Maxwell
give their usual fine performances. Desmond Llewellyn is now firmly
introduced as Q, having been merely the "equipment officer"
in From Russia With Love. Also uttering one of the most famous
lines, he is a highlight of the cast and was, I feel, the best
thing that Goldfinger provided the series. Honor Blackman gives
a wonderful performance as the shrewdly-named Pussy Galore, and
the Masterson sisters are fantastic as well. Harold Sakata's silent
Oddjob; the first of the fantastic henchmen; comes through in
Sean Connery does well, but it is here where his performance
starts to slip. This is a problem for me mainly because Bond is
a bit too much of a superman here in this film, and Connery doesn't
have as many scenes to play as he did in the first two films.
With the moments he has he provides a good show.
The action is alright, though it lacks some of the energy of
later efforts. For what is essentially an action film, there seems
to be an adequate amount of the genre title.
Upon watching this film again this month, I realised something
I had not noticed before; that Guy Hamilton's look and style was...brassy,
for lack of a better term. He lacks the cool, smooth sophistication
of Terrence Young and later directors and seems to be too direct
in his style and cutting. The look of the film, as mentioned,
is brassy; too much so.
The music is another highlight of the film, providing John Barry
with his first major Bond score. The bold, brassy title song by
Shirley Bassey has wonderful colour to it and is one of the few
brassy things in this film that doesn't seem out-of-place.
As I've said above, my main problems with this film are: that
it is nothing but an action film, that Bond begins to become a
superman, and Guy Hamilton. The pace is too quick and on the whole,
the film just seems out-of-place following the first two.
Goldfinger has retained its legacy throughout the years, outshining
Thunderball, which out-grossed it and proved Bond different from
the action genre. It is still considered by many to be the best
film in the series. I'm not one of those people.
"Goldfinger" by Stromberg
Often fondly recalled as the favourite of many, Goldfinger is
the film that had the perfect mix and balance of every element,
the film that cemented the Bond formula for many years to come.
The film is filled with moments that will be treasured for many
years to come, and scenes that will make cinema history. There
was the Aston with the ever-famous ejector seat, Pussy Galore
and her girls, the quotes, Fort Knox, and the very man himself
Guy Hamilton took over the role of director, bringing a style
of Bond that was about showy sets, a focus on the characters,
a plot that was universally understood, and an easy going, enjoyable
nature that appeals. The film doesn’t have the gritty edge
of From Russia With Love, rather it takes the casual feel of Dr.
No and seamlessly matches it with the storyline. The pre-titles
are set in South America, where James makes his way into a drug-making
factory in a wetsuit. He takes the wetsuit off to reveal a spotless
white tuxedo – a classic moment of Bond. Bond destroys a
set of nitro glycerine tanks using an explosive, and makes his
way into a night-club unruffled to make contact with another agent.
The agent tells Bond not to return to his hotel, although Bond
disregards the information, and returns to his hotel to a woman
in his bath. Sensing danger and mystery in the girl, he then realises
why the agent gave him a warning – there are a set of assassins
waiting for Bond there. The inevitable fight breaks out, predictably
Bond gets the upper hand and sends the assassin and an electric
heater into the bath, and a fairly uninspiring set of pre-titles
In a nutshell, the main plot behind Goldfinger starts in Miami,
where Felix Leiter introduces Bond to Goldfinger, a bullion dealer
who has it all – fast cars, properties, a mute henchman
with a steel-rimmed hat called Oddjob, and a plan named ‘Operation
Grandslam’, which involves Goldfinger breaking his way into
Fort Knox, accessing the gold bullions there, and detonating a
bomb inside that will make the gold unusable for the next 58 years.
If the operation is a success, Goldfinger’s collection of
bullions will obviously increase dramatically in value.
The film features a host of classic moments – Jill Masterson,
lying on a bed, covered in gold paint is one that is a pleasure
to watch. Her sister, Tilly, is subjected to Obbjob’s hat,
and Goldfinger’s laser, which nearly signals the end of
007. Sean Connery combines the easy-going elements of Dr. No,
mated to the more action focused style in From Russia With Love,
and blends them to create what I feel is one of his finest portrayal’s
of Bond. Honor Blackman, often looked upon as most people’s
favourite Bond girl, plays Pussy Galore, and while I find her
performance isn’t as awe-inspiring as many think, she does
a fine job. Goldfinger, although with the burden of not speaking
English and having his voice dubbed, makes a good Goldfinger and
a good villain, though, like Pussy Galore, suffers from being
‘good, but not outstanding’. Oddjob, the mute henchman,
is another icon that has a villainous aura that appeals. Regulars
(M, Q, Miss Moneypenny) perform their normal routines to their
normal excellent standards.
The film is shot throughout Switzerland and America, with plenty
of exciting eye candy to look at. Particular highlight, and yet
another icon, is Ken Adam’s brilliant impression of Fort
Knox’s interior, its sterile simplicity a sight to behold.
Miami is used, and is shot with a casual, light, breezy feel.
Swiss scenes are defined and sharp. John Barry scores the film,
and the music is a pleasure to listen to alongside the action.
Clothing and the like are trendy 1960’s, and is mostly nice,
particularly Sean’s white tuxedo. Less impressive is the
disgusting outfit Goldfinger plays golf in.
So, Goldfinger, with all its icons plastered on top to keep people
raving, is also a decent film underneath. However, without such
moments as Fort Knox and the ejector seat, Goldfinger would be
another fish in the large Bond sea. Unfortunately, I sometimes
get the feeling that Goldfinger relies on these moments to keep
it interesting. However, it is a pleasant 2 or hours in front
of the TV, and has a pretty high ‘watchability’ rate.
"Goldfinger" by Overkill
Look up the word ‘iconic’ in an illustrated dictionary.
Chances are it will feature a picture of one of the following:
• A man taking up a wetsuit to reveal a pristine white
• A woman painted gold from head to toe
• A squat oriental with a deadly bowler hat
• An Aston Martin DB5 (with modifications)
• A man strapped to a table while a laser slowly crawls
up between his legs
These images were as much a part of the sixties as The Beatles
(with or without earmuffs), flower power, scooters, Carnaby Street
and ‘Mars Bar’ parties.
Yet these images all have one thing in common: they all came
from just one film. One film that not only re-invigorated an already
successful film series, but would be the springboard for a decade
of copies, spoofs, homages and general spymania: Goldfinger.
Even the name has become synonymous with a kind of entertainment
that old people claim they ‘just don’t make anymore’.
Here was the film that took what had gone before and refined it
into a formula so good Colonel Sanders and the Coca-Cola Company
would die to get their hands on it.
From the fantastically low-key (but exciting) pre-credits sequence,
to the gadget filled car chase, the laser table, Fort Knox and
the sting-in-the-tail finale, Goldfinger is, to this day, superb
Connery was never better as Bond than here. After finding his
feet in Dr No, and trying some proper acting in FRWL, here he
simply lets Bond take over his soul to the point that in the public’s
imagination they were one and the same. Check out his cool swagger
as he infiltrates Goldfinger’s hotel room (and his girlfriend,
the ill-fated Jill). The famous laser table scene shows another
side, and a side rarely seen in Bond movies since, with Connery
refusing to believe he is about to die, and desperately trying
to figure a way out, almost to the point where he’ll say
ANYTHING to get Goldfinger to switch the bloody machine off. (And
after watching the Making of… documentary you’ll too
believe that sweat and look of fear is real.)
Critiquing Goldfinger is rather like assessing The Bible or Van
Gogh. It’s just accepted that it’s a great movie.
Whilst Bond aficionados may argue their case for OHMSS, TSWLM
or LTK, your casual viewer will almost certainly plump for GF
as their favourite Bond (or at least the one that first comes
to mind). This universal appeal made it Channel 4’s choice
of Bond for its 100 Greatest Films poll a few years ago. It came
a very disappointing 79th (sandwiched between Snow White and Cabaret
if you’re interested).
As pure entertainment GF still stands today as an absolute classic;
as Bond film it lacks a little in the way of spectacular action,
but it still features one of the best combinations of Villain,
henchman and girl in the whole series. But it’s also where
the producers started to do away with Fleming (maybe as a result
of Fleming’s death just before it’s release), something
many fans dislike.
But for two hours of leave-your-brain-at-the-door fun, even forty
years on, you’d be hard pressed to find something better.