Cast & Credits
Sean Connery James Bond
Gert Frobe Auric Goldfinger
Honor Blackman Pussy Galore
Shirley Eaton Jill Masterson
Directed by Guy Hamilton
Original Running Time: 1 hour and 50 minutes
After the gunbarrel sequence, the film opens up with a wonderful pre-credits teaser. A duck is swiming across a body of water. No wait! It's a fake duck attached to a head. It's attached to James Bond's head. He rapidly takes out a couple of guards and then sets up some timed explosives. Shortly afterwards he gets out of his wet suit and underneath it is a white tuxedo. He pulls a flower out of one of it's pockets and puts it in his lapel. After his mission to take out a heroin dealer is completed, he decides to go back to his room and take care of some unfinished business with a young lady. In the reflection of her eyes he sees his attacker and they get into a brawl. WIth a liitle ingenuity he gets out of a sticky situation and then makes a hilarious quip. This sets up the rest of the movie perfectly. It shows that there is going to be some intense action, but that this movie is also going to be fun and to not take it too seriously. Next we are treated to the classic theme song sung by Shirley Bassey. It is the gold standard by which all other Bond theme songs are measured. John Barry's soundtrack is even more brilliant than the previous film.
We join James Bond in Miami Beach after the titles. He meets up with CIA agent Felix Leiter and is told that he is to keep an eye on a certain Auric Goldfinger who happens to be killing all competitors at cards. After closer analysis, Bond figures out how he's doing it and exposes him as a cheat. The beautiful Jill Masterson is looking at his opponents cards through binoculars and relaying the information back to him through a phoney hearing aid. Bond let's him know that he's on to his game and tells him to lose or else the police will get involved. Next thing you know, Bond and Jill have dinner at the best place in town and then Bond's abruptly karate chopped in the back of the head. He wakes up and Jill is covered in gold paint.
M calls a meeting with Bond and explains to him the Auric Goldfinger is one of the worlds biggest gold smugglers. They are trying to figure out how exactly he is doing it. In order to help Bond on his mission, Q equips him with some rather helpful gadgets. One is a homing device. The other is probably the most famous car in cinematic history. It's an Aston Martin DB5 with a few extras. Those extras would include a bullet proof wind screen, rear smoke screen, oil slick, machine guns, and an ejector seat. This is the first great scene between Bond and Q. The dialogue cracks me up every time that I watch it.
The next time that Bond meets up with Goldfinger is on the golf course. Here we are officially introduced to his Korean mute assistant Oddjob (played by Harold Sakata - AKA Tosh Togo) who acts as his caddy. I'll be honest. Watching golf to me is about as exciting as watching paint dry, but somehow this film made it exciting. Once again Goldfinger is exposed as a cheat and Bond wins the match by default. To show his displeasure, Goldfinger orders Oddjob to take off his steel brimmed bowler hat and decapitate a statue.
Throughout the next section of the film we see Bond track down Goldfinger, find out how he is smuggling gold, see him in kahoots with an expert in nuclear fission, and are witness to the Aston Martin in action. Bond uses all of the gadgets equpped in his ride but perhaps the most impressive part of the chase scene is where a car blows up the second that it goes off of a cliff. Unfortunately for Bond, he eventually is caught knocked out cold in an accident and wakes up on a block of gold with a laser working it's way up to his crotch. What follows is one of the most memorable bits of dialogue in movie history. Bond asks Goldfinger, "Do you expect me to talk?"
"No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!!!"
Bond barely talks his way out of being castrated and gets shot with a tranquilizer gun. He wakes up on a plane piloted by Pussy Galore. She is flying him to Kentucky. Shortly after arriving we hear of Goldfinger's plan. The plan is to break into Fort Knox and not steal a thing. Without giving too much away, Goldfinger's plan is to devalue the gold in Fort Knox so his stock increases tenfold. The plan is brilliantly conceived and even Bond himself is impressed. The final act of the film is absolutely riveting. Goldfinger shows what a piece of work he is and the fight scene between James Bond and Oddjob is fantastic. James needs to use all of his intelligence in this one.
I absolutely adore this movie. The humor is brilliant, the villain's plan is detailed and almost sounds like it actually could work, and Oddjob is the greatest henchman in the history of the series. This is a man who will devotedly follow his bosses orders to the death if need be. The car is Bond's best and the music is wonderful. The movie is well paced and each scene flows smoothly from one to the next. Never do we feel as though anything's forced. I often ask myself which Bond movie is the best and always narrow it down to a few. I then ask myself if I could only watch one Bond movie for the rest of my life which would it be?
5 out of 5 for a Bond movie. If I was only allowed to watch one Bond film for the rest of my life this would be it. Connery is his usual amazing self, the villains are great, the whole thing is a classy affair, and best of all it's fun.
James Bond will return next Monday in Thunderball.
Proud member of the SONIC SUPPORT SQUAD
Tag "Sorry man. Someone pissed in my Wheaties."
"There are like ten games a year that sell over a million units." High Voltage CEO - Eric Nofsinger