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
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 --
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
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