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movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Goldfinger

Starring: Sean Connery, Gert Frobe
Director: Guy Hamilton
Rated: PG
RunTime: 112 Minutes
Release Date: December 1964
Genres: 007, Action, Suspense, Classic

*Also starring: Honor Blackman, Shirley Eaton, Harold Sakata, Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell, Tania Mallett

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Review by Steve Rhodes
4 stars out of 4

1964's GOLDFINGER, the movie that set the gold standard for spy movies, stars Sean Connery at the peak of his form as the debonair and self-assured James Bond. GOLDFINGER has rightfully been called the best Bond movie that was ever made.

This film brings it all together perfectly. It has an intriguing and ingenious plot, fascinating gadgets, beautiful women, handsome men, lush scenery, great music, well paced action, and a certain indescribable magic. If spy-action films ever had a classic, then this is it.

This time Bond is on the track of an international gold smuggler extraordinaire named Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) -- this was back when gold was worth something. And Bond will find out that Goldfinger has a much more elaborate scheme than his usual simple arbitrage of moving gold illegally from place to place to take advantage of the artificial price differences. This time he's after the mother lode -- Fort Knox.

With 41,000 troops guarding Fort Knox and with the gold both heavy and voluminous, Goldfinger needs a truly ingenious scheme to get it out and that's exactly what he has.

Bond, who got his first gadget pack in the form of a briefcase full of goodies in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, hits the jackpot this time. Q (Desmond Llewelyn) has a very specially configured Aston Martin for 007. Where other cars might have controls for the electric windows, this one has knobs that fire machine guns, generate oil slicks, raise bulletproof shields, and, like the chariot in BEN HUR, stick out a device to cut the tires of the opposing chariot, er, car. But best of all is the hidden ejector button. If his passenger is too talkative or otherwise disagreeable, all Bond needs do is push a little button and his companion shoots straight up and out of the car permanently.

The story has many famous villains. As the non-talking Oddjob, Harold Sakata plays a man with a body stronger than steel and a hat that appears to made of it. Goldfinger, think Midas, is so obsessed with gold that he even kills one of his victims by painting every inch of her skin with gold paint. And, of course, who could ever forget any character who goes modestly by the name of Pussy Galore. What is surprising is that Pussy is played by Honor Blackman, the first female lead on "The Avengers," not as an airhead but as one of the smarter characters in the movie.

This time the gorgeous and exotic locales include the lush Kentucky Bluegrass country and the snow capped majesty of the Swiss Alps. Although the Alps are the more striking of the two, Kentucky looks especially lovely. We see the easy going life of mint juleps on the front porch as their drinkers are serenaded by the cricket minstrels.

Bond's overriding rule has to do less with his assignments than his libido. Whenever a pretty woman appears, he always arranges for an extension in his schedule so he will have time for a roll in the hay -- which he does literally in a scene with Pussy Galore. Bond sex is a special movie style. It consists of a quick but intense kiss followed by a cutaway to later. The sex is hinted at with cute puns and sexual innuendo, but never discussed explicitly. This produces enough titillation for the adults in the audience but stays harmless enough for the younger ones as well. Few movies these days (except Bond pictures) even attempt this style.

"Do you expect me to talk?" Bond asks of Goldfinger, who has pointed a gigantic industrial laser at the strapped-down and spread-eagled Bond. The laser is working its way towards Bond's private parts. "No," Goldfinger laughs. "I expect you to die!"

GOLDFINGER runs 1:52. It is rated PG for violence and sexual innuendo and would be fine for kids around nine and up.

My son Jeffrey, almost 9, liked the movie a lot, especially the car and the gadgets. He has seen the first three Bond movies now. He likes this one much better than FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE but likes DR. NO better than either of them. He hates the parts at the end of the films where Bond and the pretty woman don't want to be rescued.

Copyright 1998 Steve Rhodes

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