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Being considered as the one where it all came together for the first time will always be a valuable argument in its favour and it will always remain a reason for casual film fans to consider it one of the best.
It is very recongnisable and iconic to its very core. That being said, for me it's never been a favourite, though I've always felt 'urged' to put in near the top just because of its stature.
I've decided not to do that anymore. In terms of enjoyment GF sits near the 15th place for me. It's fine, but there are other Bond films I like better. It may have been the first to put all the pieces together, but I think others have done it better.
Particularly the Kentucky ranch scenes put my enjoyment of it to the test. It's a dull location, Bond sits around in his cell most of the time, Felix is easily mislead, the gangsters are brought up and killed off for no reason at all and the barn scene is even for 1964 rather tasteless.
There is also much to like in this film of course, but I can't say it comes anywhere near my top 10.
At the most basic level he’s lucky that bullets fired at him by goons tend to miss.
I don’t think the general praise for GF has much to do with Bond’s role in the storyline, though. The praise has more to do with Connery, the villains, the titles, Shirley Bassey, the ejector seat, the Fort Knox set, in general the overall air of early 1960s cool, something that can never be remade or recaptured because times have changed.
Everything that is cool about Bond, and the 60's, is captured here. Every scene now plays out like a classic - Connery entering GF's hotel room and introduces himself to Jill on the balcony, the painted corpse, the intro to Q and the Aston, the golf scene, the car chase, Bond tied on the table, the famous line from GF.
Admittedly the film loses some of its appeal in the last part, once Bond is caught and held at the ranch, but even then there are still memorable scenes - the barn, Oddjob's pressing engagement, Bond's fight with Oddjob at Fort Knox, Bond fighting GF on the plane.
But for all its faults, the classic memorable scenes far outweigh them. And the faults really are in the minority compared to many other Bond films.
There is no explanation. It's one of many plot holes in the film.
It also makes no sense that be would construct an elaborate death for one of the goons when they are all supposed to die anyway.
He just wants an audience to recognize how brilliant he is.
However, that would be like doing a KING KONG remake and placing the Empire State Building in Los Angeles.
The Auric Stud scenes do have a Pinewood back lot feel, though and some of the Kentucky footage is Miami.
I always liked the 2nd half of the film, though.
Are you trying to assert that his talent with the fair sex is NOT in Bond's skill set? I assure you, it definitely is one of his top skills...
I've honestly always found the film a bit of a struggle. It stops in all the wrong places for me.
I would've tried to make Jill and Tilly more involved in the plot. They're both in and out before we even know what Goldfinger's plot is. A lot of fans say they find Thunderball boring. I'd have to disagree. I think Thunderball stops in all the right places and is a good film outside of the James Bond series, Goldfinger not so much.
Yea it's a skill he has but turning Pussy Galore was pure luck. That is the allure of GoldFinger. Bond keeps failing objectives only to be liberated by luck that he is actually succeeding. Goldfinger is like 90% luck and 10% skill.
I think we saw just enough of them. Tilly is more involved in the book, but that's another reason why the film of Goldfinger is one of the few that's superior to its source novel.
TB stops in all the wrong places for me. I find myself skipping huge chunks of the movie - mainly all the underwater scenes. The best parts are at Shrublands, and then Connery in Nassau. Every time the film goes to another long underwater scene it loses pace and momentum.
And the ridiculously speeded up boat finale is just plain silly.
^^^ This. ^^^ If you'd have been there, you wouldn't have to ask. A few decades back -- long enough ago that video tape was the medium involved -- a friend asked to borrow a copy of Goldfinger. No particular reason, she just felt like seeing a Bond film and GF was what she asked for. I loaned her a copy of FRWL as well as GF, insisting that "Russia" was actually the film that hard-core Bond fans preferred. After a while, she returned them both, admitting FRWL may very well have been the better of the two movies -- but GF just hit the sweet spot for her.
And so it goes. GF is the gold standard by every reckoning and it really doesn't matter if you prefer CR or TSWLM or a film that hasn't even been made yet. 100 years from now in cinema retrospectives encapsulating series films, with 1 each representing the various franchises of Harry Potter, Star Wars, and the like, the one chosen to represent 007 will be Goldfinger.
In short, the premiere of Goldfinger on ABC’s Sunday Night movie in September 1972 was – for me - the “Big Bang” of my love affair with the character of James Bond – and with the film series. For those of us a little too young to actual see the early movies in the theater, the various TV broadcasts were – and continued to be for many years – a big deal. It didn’t matter if it was Connery or Moore, Dr. No or Moonraker (boy I riffed on that one the next day at school!), if a Bond movie was on television, it was must see TV.
I also, suspect, that watching Bond, partially as a result of GF, became a family event for many. I know that it certainly was in my household. Even after all of these years, the mere mention of “Goldfinger” (both movie and song), brings back memories of making a bowl of popcorn, and watching my mother mimic Shirley Bassey’s “finger gyrations” during the title sequence (If you’ve seen her perform the song live, you’ll know what I mean!). Goldfinger was also the last movie my mother watched before she passed away, and for those moments, I am forever grateful.
In some ways, seeing GF on TV in the 1970s was like seeing The Beatles on Ed Sullivan in 1964 (and I was too young for that). Yes, there were other bands, but it (they) was (were) the first. And, just as you can only fall in love for the first time, once in your life, being “first” has an oversized impact. Is GF the “best” Bond movie? No (IMO). But it is the one that I have the deepest connection to.
For whatever reason, ABC in the U.S. didn't seem to play GF as much as some of the other Bonds. I'd seen it before when I was younger, but by the time I had the chance to catch it in the early '80s when I became a big fan of the series with such high hopes from the accolades I'd heard, it just didn't resonate as much as I'd have hoped and still doesn't to this day.
I still hold Goldfinger as the best villain in the series, but it just doesn't come together as a whole. People complain about the TB underwater scenes and I feel the same about the Kentucky stud farm scenes and Leiter running around and all that.
"At the beginning of Goldfinger, James Bond emerges from black water sporting a seagull on his head, then proceeds to shed his wet suit to reveal a snazzy tuxedo replete with buttonhole. Larger than life, faintly ridiculous, completely cool, it is perhaps the quintessential James Bond movie moment to kickstart the quintessential James Bond movie. In short, Goldfinger is the Bond flick where 007 really hit his stride. From the broad strokes — exotic locale, vast Ken Adam sets, a large-scale finale — to the gracenotes (this was the first Bond film where Q grumpily talks 007 through his gadgets) it solidified the template yet was fresh enough not to feel formulaic. Moreover, no other 007 flick achieves such a perfect balance between glamour and action, sex and special effects, drama and comedy".....that's why.
You have to appreciate that in 1964 the gadget ridden Aston Martin was maybe the main reason the film was so popular. The audiences back then were being fed something totally new, and everyone lapped it up.
We can't look back from 2020, and say the film would have been better without the gadgets, because it wouldn't. Not in 1964.
And gadgets haven't 'plagued the series'. They have made the series what it is today. The gadgets, the girls, the quips, the cocktails. This is what film Bond was all about.
Take the PTS for instance. DN did not have one, FRWL did. So it was fifty-fifty at that point. When they made GF they had to decide whether to make a PTS (which would make DN the odd one out) or not make a PTS (making FRWL the odd one out). They chose to make a PTS, DN is the odd one out, and the tradition was set.
Ditto the title sequence. DN has an abstract thing with dots. FRWL has a sexy woman. With GF they could easily have gone back to dots. Or something else arty. Instead they decided to go with a sexy woman again, and thereby establish the trope.
Ditto theme songs. With FRWL they had Matt Munro singing “from Russia with love.” But there’s no song in DN, there’s no crooner warbling out “beware pretty girl when you’ve hurt your toe, he’s not a doctor, he’s Doctor No” or anything like that. Fifty-fifty again. When they made GF they had to make a decision, and the decision was to have a title song, and so the tradition was set.
A one-off appearance does not establish a tradition. A repeated appearance however does establish a tradition.
GF took some elements of DN and some elements of FRWL and blended them together and in doing so established certain traditions that continue to this day.
Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate that as stated, but I feel that a film like Thunderball manages to use those gadgets in far more grounded way, personally. It still has all the archetypal Bond trimmings introduced by Goldfinger but without being OTT. I mean even the Bell Rocket Belt used in the PTS was a real piece of machinery built for the US Army in the mid 1950's although the project was ultimately cancelled. You see the DB5 but it's only a mode of transport in the film, whereas the gadgets such as the Geiger counter watch or breathing device are more realistic, IMO. I agree that had Goldfinger was the film that really introduced a formula to the franchise and that's what has made the franchise survive. Just as aside that Goldfinger is in my top 5 films, whereas it was previously lower due to the reasons stated. I read the novel when I was travelling through Italy last year and I feel that it's faithfulness to the book is what made me appreciate the film again.