Friday, 26 October 2012

Goldfinger (1964)

Bond is back! This time he has to stop Auric Goldfinger from contaminating all the gold at Fort Knox, so his own gold stocks will rise in value.

The film opens with what is now recognised as the Bond pre-title sequence where we find Bond on his last mission – here he blows things up and escapes in a wet suit, only for a white (completely dry) tuxedo to be reviled under it! We are now in the Bondian world. After Dr No and From Russia With Love (both are good espionage thrillers – more so with From Russia With Love) you’re taken into a larger scale adventure, larger stakes, larger sets, and larger henchmen! This film is with no doubt the blueprint for what comes for next few decades. This is the real first ‘Bond Movie’.

This film is just iconic, Jill Masterson killed by being covered in nothing but gold paint, Aston Martin DB5 and now Connery himself. Talking of icons - “Pay attention 007”. The first real Q scene is in this film, the DB5 being the first real gadget – radar, machine guns, revolving number plates, smoke screen, oil slick and of course the ejector seat! “…You’re joking!” “I never joke about my work 007.”. Llewellyn’s Q is a fantastic character, showing Bond contempt for not only how he treats the gadgets he makes, but also for how Bond conducts himself. A beautiful relationship is born.

Of course this blueprint sets up many more Bondian items upon the now checklist. Action scenes with bite, like the car chase around Goldfinger's factory. Characters are now…well, colourful is the best way to put it! Pussy Galore for one, a feisty femme fatale, a match for Bond. She can easily match him in cunning, guile and in may ways strength. The silent henchman was born in this film, Oddjob. A Korean bulk of a figure, who has a tendency to kill people by using his hat as a Frisbee! Goldfinger is the first really interesting villain, he’s not working for SPECTRE – he’s out for himself, his motivation is one of greed and the power that comes with wealth.
With the end of the film, the raid on Fort Knox, we see for the first time a large scale ending in the series. Here it doesn’t get much larger – a daylight raid on one of the most secure facilities, seemingly killing tens of thousands of soldiers, a nuclear dirty bomb and hundreds of extras fighting it out. This is just outstanding and even now nearly fifty years on it stands the test of time. Classic has never been used in a better context – this is an all time classic and is indeed the blueprint for what is to come.

This film doesn’t set a foot wrong from start to finish, perfectly directed and acted. The music score adds so much to the scale and is a character in its own right. Connery is just superb – you can tell he’s comfortable in the role by here, but more importantly he’s not lazy portraying Bond. It’s a clever, well-balanced performance. This film is James Bond perfection.

Rating: 5 out of 5.



  1. One of the worst Bond movies I have ever seen. The photography, music and Gert Frobe's performance could not overcome the bad writing.

    1. Thanks for your comment - it's always interesting to hear other points of view. I think we will have to agree to disagree on Goldfinger, but we'll be watching all the EON films over this weekend. Maybe we'll agree on one of the others?