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SPECTRE, BLOFELD and the rest of that crowd never impress Bond, but Goldfinger does, which is why he is such an impressive villain, matched with the best Henchman with the best car and a great John Barry soundtrack and all these aspects make for an absolutely cracking Bond film.
The film's saving grace for me was Gert Frobe. He is by far the best thing going for the movie.
And me =D>
exposure always being played on tele time and time again its unfortunately got a bit boring as people have now seen it so many times.
This has hurt its value as a Bond film, well it has to me anyway.
I also agree with Char35t that Thunderball is more iconic and that is why Thunderball is my 2nd favourite behind Dr NO and always has been when the two films are incredibly similar.
Goldfinger does have great parts though solid vilian, top henchman, first rate theme song, DB5, Q's best film, iconic sets, golf scene, Connery nailing the part...............................Hey hang on a mo im talking myself into
re-classifying this as my new number 1.
However it does have one of the stupidist scene's ever though when the US military all pretend to be asleep
Also agree with the comment that was made that the film signals a bit of a shift in the connery films from assasin to superhero status which was a mistake bond looses his coldness.
Certainly for its soundtrack, Jill Masterson's golden paint, Connery's perf, the most Bond feeling, Goldfinger and Oddjob, Aston Martin DB5 !!!
Probably for Pussy Galore, the plot itself, Q...
Personally I would watch DAF over GF any day of the week. I can understand why GF gets the plaudits it does, the GOLF scene is wonderful. However, for pure ridiculous entertainment I'd take DAF. Plus, it's got the best Barry cue '007 and counting', the best theme tune and possibly the best sore.
ANALYSIS - Why 'Goldfinger' isn't the best Bond film and never was.
I've always had an odd relationship with 'Goldfinger'. Despite many fans and critics declaring it as the 'best' or 'quintessential' Bond film, I've always felt that the two films that preceded it where by far superior. As a result of this status 'Goldfinger' has achieved over the last 50 years I can't help but feel that the film comes with so much baggage even before you have sat through a minute of it.
Often films struggle to conjure up at least one indelible image that will endure for years to come but 'Goldfinger' is something of an anomaly as the film is littered with classic cinematic moments. For these reasons I've always felt it difficult to view the movie objectively and as a result I often find it difficult to immerse myself heavily into the film's drama.
However, despite saying this it's undeniable that GF is a fantastically entertaining yarn with the filmmaking brio on show from director Guy Hamilton and his cohorts always being highly creative and very inventive. For my tastes the film veers a little too heavily towards the fantasy genre opposed to the previous Connery movies which felt like they were set in the real world with fantastical elements. Moments like the military falling dead on the spot or characters such like Oddjob all feel a little too cartoony for my liking.
In this regard 'Goldfinger' feels like the forefather to the more outlandish Bond films like 'The Spy who Loved Me', 'Moonraker' and 'Die Another Day'. The more cartoony/comic-book-type of Bond films have never really sat that well with me. James Bond and the world he inhabits exists somewhere between fantasy and reality and there are aspects of 'Goldfinger's plot which veer far from this trajectory. The best segments of the film exploit this element well, for instance the laser table sequence which is totally ridiculous but still suspenseful and exciting. But other segments (pretty much every scene with Oddjob and his hat) just seem far too fantastical and at odds with the film and the rest of the series.
Personally I prefer the more scaled back approach in both 'Dr. No' and 'From Russia with Love', both these films for me perfectly blend together the sexy, exotic and dangerous world that James Bond lives in. 'Goldfinger', unlike it's predecessors, seems like a much more conscious attempt to make a more commercially viable product and as a result the sex and grit has been scaled back with more emphasis being placed on creating grand entertaining set-pieces to please mass audiences.
The attempt to make the Bond brand more commercial is no more evident than in the way 'Goldfinger' panders to the American market. The film primarily takes place in the US (despite many sequences being filmed in England) and the plot itself is very US-centric. At the time America boasted the largest cinema-going audience in the world and it therefore made sense that the Bond producers would actively chase after that crowd but I feel the movie is compromised visually as a result. One of the great things about 'Dr. No' was being transported to an exotic location which you may never have visited before, and in 'From Russia with Love' you get to go to a sexy, glamorous and chic locale where you'd imagine much intrigue and espionage was afoot. 'Goldfinger' is a little flat looking in comparison with the slight excursion in Switzerland proving far too brief.
The Americanisation of the Bond brand is further evident after Bond saves the day and is saluted by the US military and the CIA before hopping on a plane to meet the President. I don't think you'd see scenes like this in a Bond movie today (thankfully).
Guy Hamilton and Sean Connery:
For me GF heralded an era where the plot and story of Bond movies began to give way to an over-reliance on hardware and technology. It's a credit to Sean Connery's performance that he doesn't get overshadowed by all the gear (well at least for 2/3rd of the movie). For instance, take Roger Moore in 'The Spy who Loved Me'; Moore's performance is literally buried by all the excess on show with the actor proving the least memorial part of that movie. In the most part, 'Goldfinger' carries the balancing act off rather well with the gadgets proving to be very memorial and fun additions to the story that once again show the inventive nature of the filmmaking team behind 'Goldfinger' at work.
John Stear's magnificent Aston Martin DB5 is a marvel and Ken Adam's contributions are once again first rate. The whole Aston Martin chase, in particular, is so inventive and is expertly edited by Peter Hunt. It's a perfectly put together chase as we slowly see Bond dispatch each of his enemies using a new toy from Q at each interval, throughout you are salivating at the prospect of what else this car can do.
As I said the film is terrifically entertaining with a particular highlight for me being Guy Hamilton's direction. Throughout the film Hamilton acknowledges the ridiculous nature of Bond's world and and as a result his film is knowingly self-aware of the inherently silly nature of the plot, nonetheless the movie never descends into self-parody. Hamilton requires his actor's to play the scenes straight with no sly winking to the audience, in addition the craft of the film is impeccable so it's clear that 'Goldfinger' isn't a film to be laughed at instead you should be laughing with it.
Hamilton's filmmaking is undeniably inventive and often I found myself admiring his clever little reversals that outsmart and toy with the audience's expectations that appear throughout. For instance, take the scene between Bond and Oddjob in the vault; it seems that Oddjob has the upper hand over 007 throughout the fight, that is until Bond is able to grab hold of his foe's hat. The music changes suddenly and we see glint of victory in Bond's eye and a look of dread in Oddjob's; it would seem that the brute will be hoisted by his own petard. It makes dramatic sense that Oddjob will meet his demise this way but Hamilton plays with the audience's expectation and instead has Bond miss the throw and immediately the scene becomes much more dramatic and exciting as we lean closer to the edge of our seat to see how Bond will get out of this conundrum. This is 'entertainment' filmmaking at it's best and you get see the DNA of Hamilton's direction in many of the Bond films that followed, also his style is evident in other films that where clearly inspired by the Bond series like Steven Spielberg's 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'.
Hamilton pulls this trick off consistently throughout the film's runtime. For instance 007's hidden message in Solo's pocket would seem to be his calling card out of Auric Stud but it winds up being destroyed in the car-crusher and also after Bond is spared on the laser table he is abruptly shot. This device appears throughout the film and to me it shows Hamilton at his most inventive and creative best. While the sex and danger may be toned down somewhat the film is grand and audacious and it has noticeably earned it's plaudits as a result.
The performances are also great with Sean Connery really standing out. After 3 films it's clear that Connery has finally honed the 007 character in 'Goldfinger'. In the previous two films Bond was a little rough around the edges but it is in 'Goldfinger' it's seems that Sean has become more relaxed and effortlessly embodies the role of the gentleman spy. Connery is the living embodiment of nonchalance and cool, even when Goldfinger has him under lock and key Bond still waltzes around Auric Stud like he owns the place. He's also a fine actor and brings real nuance and subtly to the role whether it be the simple clenching of his jaw or a look from those menacing eyes. I have always found Connery to be a very confident and natural actor with nothing stagy or hammy about his performances.
Also pay attention during the more suspenseful scenes those are real beads of sweat growing on the great 007's brow. 'Goldfinger' was made before Connery's bitterness with the franchise began to blossom (apparently he had negotiated a 5% gross on this film's box office) and it's clear from interviews at the time and his performance that not only was he completely dedicated but he was also having fun.
He also looks very impressive and 'Goldfinger' gives Connery apt opportunity to operate at his full alpha-male instincts. When playing Bond a lot of the performance comes down to the 'look' and Bond never looked better than when Connery played him (I think every man in the world must have wanted that grey three-piece suit). I also can't quite get over how cool Mr. Connery looks whenever he learns against a bar in a tuxedo.
Craft and Summary:
As I have stated the craft of the movie is fantastic. In particular Ken Adam has to be singled out. His sets are stunning and often I was mesmerised how ambitious and grand they where for 1960's filmmaking standards. Take the whole of the Fort Knox exterior and interior as examples; Adam's work so vast and massively impressive even by standards today. There is an a breathtaking shot of Bond being lowered into the vault where the camera pulls out to capture the majesty of Adam's vision realised. However, for me the man of the match award goes to John Barry, his score is brilliant and the most enduring and classical element of the film. The music never fails to give me goosebumps but at the same time it can also be jaunty, suspenseful and exciting.
Gert Frobe is also perfectly vile and grotesque as Goldfinger. Goldfinger is such a ridiculous cartoon villain but Frobe makes the character easy to dislike and chews up the scenery with a very tasty role. Honour Blackman is also great and a very strong and sassy female presence in the film. I wish we had a little more of Pussy especially considering it is her who ultimately saves the day. Considering how well she worked throughout the film and given her chemistry with Sean it's a shame the film doesn't find something better for her to do in the final act of the movie. Cec Linder barely registers in his performance as Felix Leiter, while all the MI6 regulars are great with Desmond Llewelyn deserving to be singled out.
Another issue I had with the film was the plotting and story, for the most part the stakes seem virtually nonexistent. It is not really until the third act begins and Goldfinger's plan becomes clear that the film's story really comes to life with the execution of Goldfinger's heist being by far the best segment of the film for me. The finale in the vault intercut with the fight outside Fort Knox is a the highlight of the film and is expertly edited by Hunt. Also you may be pleased to know the film as aged rather gracefully (in the most part), with Pussy Galore's flying circus providing the only groanworthy moment.
So in summary, GF is a fun entertaining and breezy film (the pacing is breakneck, it's the quickest 110 minutes of your life) even though I feel that GF's status as the 'best' or 'quintessential' Bond film is slightly misplaced. However, it is a fun inventive piece of filmmaking even is it is slightly fantastical and cartoony for my tastes.
DN's latter half had hinted towards the bloat that would later become associated with the series but the first half of that film is in fact a rather scrappy little exotic thriller. The later part of the film (which is immensely enjoyable) is somewhat at odds with the previous section and creates something of a tonal discrepancy. Nonetheless, DN and FRWL are both grittier films than GF.
To me GF was an attempt to make Bond mainstream and produce an entertaining film for mass consumption. For instance, I don't think you'd ever see a scene like Professor Dent's assassination in a film like GF or a fight scene like the one with Red Grant in FRWL. In GF instead you have a fight with Oddjob which is pure comic-book stuff.
Whilst GF has all the ingredients that where plundered time and time again by the Bond producers, I personally think it is not the series's gold standard film. I think that status belongs to the likes of DN, FRWL, OHMSS, CR and SF.
GF had it all: beautiful women, cool gadgets, bigger than life villain, evil hulking henchman, a memorable theme song, and Sean Connery in his prime.
Yes, it is not as polished as later productions (smaller budget) but the movie will land on most lists as iconic, classic and trend setting.
I dunno...that Jinx gives Pussy a run for her money :p
Well said. =D>
I had long thought I was the only one who didn't see what the fuss about Ms. Galore or Tiffany Case was. Glad to know that I'm not the only one.
hmmm... Stubborn b*tch versus badass Asian who can actually match Bond (TND), actually competent businesswoman with a bad romance (TWINE), and a horribly incompetent NSA agent who works for Michael Madsen... Yeah, Wai Lin wins all over.
Bottom line: GF established the formula and the formulaic elements used and perfected in this third film has stayed with the franchise over the last half century.
But GF's dated mid-'60s vibe, combined with the previous viewing of the less bombastic FRWL, gave me the sense I was watching vintage, early landmark Bond. My young self felt very Bond-aficiondo like. But GF off the back of the more restrained FRWL, also made for a nice jolt back to the more brazen big screen Bond.
My buddies and I were boucing in our seats, spilling popcorn after the awesome pts and the Bassey bellowing that followed. We sure liked FRWL, but GF looked like it was shaping up to be something larger than life, and of course it delivered.
I walked out of the double bill feeling about 10 feet tall. There was nothing cooler in the world than Sean Connery as James Bond and he was at his absolute peak with GF.
One of the greatest films ever made, period.
My personal Bond favourite is DAF, because that's the film that introduced my slack-jawed self to the wonderful escapist world, but GF, I think all things considered, is the greatest Bond movie ever.
Blows me away, every time I watch it. I've probably seen it in cinema at least 10x, which would be my record for any cinema Bond, along with countless home viewings.
But even back in the day, upon first viewing, I could see that it had set the bar for both TB and YOLT, to go even bigger and be even more spectucluar, which both films certainly did.
And having watched 4 straight Blofeld films, as my intruduction to Bond, the iconic Auric just added further to the Bond mystique- ie yet another megavillain that 007 had to deal with, between battles with Spectre. I thought, what a world!! Colourful, glamourous, escapist, exciting, yet packed with real danger and suspense too!!!
GF is pure excitment and vintage Bond thrills. The impact of the full blown Barry scoring can't be understated either.
For many of us who first saw Dr. No when it was released in 1962, this was a film unlike anything we'd seen before. Today's viewers and those who came late to the Bond films will understandably not get it. I'm sure many, like me, didn't even know the film was based on a series of books. FRWL built up that first film. It was darker and more exciting, and Bond was cooler than ever. As the credits closed and announced Bond would return, all fell into place. I discovered the books and interest in Bond grew--pre-internet, no less.
Goldfinger exploded onto screens in the opening scene, followed by Barry's staggering brass into. This film built on the previous two, offering a grander villain, beautiful scenery, a scantily clad Jill Masterson, and a whole lot of fun.
Implausible? You bet! Cheesy? Definitely. Lacking the technical polish of today's films?
No doubt. But it's a period piece. But if one can't enjoy past films because they're not as technically well made as today's films, then one doesn't really like film. Nothing says cheesy and technically lacking as Casablanca, but, oh what a great film.
For original Bond fans, this was the film that blew open the series and maybe is even responsible for blowing it up.
After GF, it wasn't easy to go some place new. Throughout the series has been inconsistent, but occasionally the creative team gets it right.
After Thunderball, I never again experienced the awe of a Bond film, certainly not like those first four.
For me a good film is always one I want to revisit. In order of production they are FRWL, GF, TB, OHMSS, LALD, TLD, CR, SF. The two I re-watch the most are OHMSS & CR.
These two have the most adult and satisfying relationships of all the Bond films.