Movie Review: GOLDFINGER

It doesn’t matter how old you are, or whether or not you have seen the movie from beginning to end. When someone says Goldfinger, you know it. The song, the painted girl, the gadgets, the title villain himself, the laser scene, Pussy Galore, Oddjob, etc.

Dr. No and From Russia With Love were the first two films in the Bond franchise, but Goldfinger was the first one to set the tone for the entire series for decades to come.

GOLDFINGER NOTES:

  • Not sure James needs the seagull on his head in the opening scene.
  • This is the first movie where Connery needed a hairpiece. And it shows. The top of his hair looks almost strawberry blonde.
  • Very cool editing having Bond look at his watch, light his cigarette, and have the bombs goes off all at once.
  • The “shocking, positively shocking” scene still holds up today, although I’m not sure that lamp was plugged in when Bond smacked it into the bathtub.
  • The combo of John Barry’s score with Shirley Bassey’s title song is dynamic 1-2 punch that is tough to beat.
  • I’m not a fan of the title sequence showing upcoming clips from the movie. Also, why slip in the helicopter scene from the last flick, From Russia With Love?
  • If there were ever a thing as “Bond goes on Spring Break” the scenes in Miami would be it.
  • Bond slapping his Miami girl’s ass, as he tells her to scoot off so he and his buddy Felix can have some “man talk”, is just one example that makes this the most misogynistic Bond movie. Or as some might call it… “a simpler time.”
  • Only Sean Connery could make a baby blue Terry cloth romper look cool.
  • Even though she is only in the movie for a few minutes, Jill Masterson (played by Shirley Eaton) makes a lasting impression.
  • How long did it take for her to be covered in gold paint? How long was Bond knocked out for? She suffocated from being covered in gold paint? Are we sure Oddjob didn’t karate-chop her?
  • 007 is really bad at his job in this film. His unnecessary meddling gets Masterson killed, her sister too eventually, and he presents himself as a target for Goldfinger.
  • Bond is at his snobby best when drinking Brandy.
  • This movie gives us our first ever Q branch scene. We get to see the legendary Aston Martin DB5 with all the bells and whistles. Q truly hates Bond in this scene.
  • Having GPS in a car must have blown the minds of 1964 audiences.
  • Goldfinger (played by Gert Frobe) is so badly dubbed throughout this.
  • The golf scene does nothing to change my belief that this sport is dull.
  • Don’t you think on Halloween caddies should dress up like Oddjob?
  • Bond’s caddie looks like someone out of Darby O’Gill and the Little People. Ironically, also starring Sean Connery.
  • Some similarities between the golf scene and the backgammon scene from Octopussy.
  • So let me get this straight: Goldfinger is obsessed with covering things in gold, he cheats, he lies, he’s overweight, he has a weird orange complexion…
  • Even though the clothes are from 1964, this might be the best dressed Bond has ever been. At the very least, he looks like he would fit in on Mad Men.
  • Oddjob’s hat baffles me. I know it has an iron rim. It can completely decapitate a statue, but not a human.
  • Bond does a lot of detective work in this movie, which I enjoy.
  • Oddjob speaks like a 16 month-old toddler.
  • In the novel, Pussy Galore is a lesbian. In this film, it’s only implied.
  • One of the rare times we see James with a 5 o’clock shadow. Also rare we get to see his handwriting.
  • Can we get a shared universe or crossover between “Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus” and “Octopussy’s Circus”?
  • James Bond in Kentucky is something you may never see again. And yes, you can see them drive past a KFC.
  • The mobsters cast in the film are from stereotype theater.
  • Goldfinger’s plan has a lot in common with Zorin’s plan in A View To A Kill. Replace gold with microchips, and a dirty bomb with an earthquake.
  • For those of you wondering what would have happened if Goldfinger’s plan had worked, Fort Knox’s gold would stop being radioactive in 2022. Only 4 years to go!
  • Pussy Galore has man-hands.
  • Connery saying “poo-say” is a delight.
  • I’ve never drank a Mint Julep. They look disgusting.
  • The car crushing scene sure does drag on.
  • The soldiers playing dead always cracks me up.
  • Goldfinger dressed up as an American General is pretty bonkers. The other soldiers can’t tell from his thick German accent? Do most military men carry a solid gold revolver?
  • Is Goldfinger’s death, being sucked out of an airplane window, the most embarrassing next to Kananga inflating and exploding in Live And Let Die?
  • Two gaffs really bother. The bomb defused at 007 seconds, while Bond says it was stopped with only three seconds to go. And there is clearly a man behind Goldfinger on the plane at the end of the movie. Where did he go?

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Bond’s coolest moment? Slipping out of his scuba wetsuit to reveal his white tux.

Bond’s most embarrassing moment? Flirting with the guard to get him to come into his cell and escape.

Bond’s best line?Manners, Oddjob. I thought you always took your hat off to a lady.”

Best acting performance? Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore ranks up there with the best Bond girls.

Bond’s most “sexual predator” moment? Bond forcing himself on Pussy Galore is the all-time answer to this question. All it takes is that barn scene for her to renounce her lesbianism.

Worst line in the movie? Bond being an old fuddy-duddy with his diss of the Beatles.

What I noticed for the first time after watching this for the 150th time? Pussy Galore’s co-pilot is reading a magazine while the plane is in flight.

Best action sequence? The car chase at night at Goldfinger’s plant.

Who or what is the title song about? It’s about the main villain and how James better watch out.

Best looking cinematic moment? The hilltop road scene in Geneva.

How could the villain have succeeded? By splitting Bond in half with his laser. Instead, he fell for Bond’s “Operation Grand Slam” bluff.

Which other Bond actor could have starred in this movie? This is prime Connery. Just like with Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me and Craig in Skyfall, the third time is the charm.

Does Bond ever think he might die? During the famous laser table scene. Without the words “Operation Grand Slam” he would have been killed.

What would have made the movie better? Cut the length of the golf scene and the car crushing scene. And keep in Bond’s original reply when Pussy Galore tells him her name. “I know, but what’s your name?”

What’s in a name? No alias for James in this one. And he could have used one.

What’s in a title? Goldfinger is not only the name of the villain, but it’s also the title of the novel by Bond author/creator Ian Fleming.

Drinking game: Take a sip of your Mint Julep each time “Goldfinger” is said.

“WTF?!” moment: The gun-totting grandma!

Fun fact: This is the only Sean Connery – James Bond movie without the evil organization Spectre behind the villain’s plan.

Overall ranking: 7th out of 24 movies.

Review synopsis: Despite looking very dated in our #MeToo #TimesUp era, Goldfinger remains as fun a Bond movie ever made. There’s a reason why most people consider it the best. I find it slightly overrated, but you can’t go wrong with all the elements involved. This was the start of the Bond phenomenon and it’s easy to see why.

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