Why is Goldfinger the general favourite?

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  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython “Baja?!”
    Posts: 8,019
    It’s worth bearing in mind perhaps that it’s GF which decided that the various Bond tropes indeed were tropes and not just one-offs.

    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.

    That's what I dig about the Connery era is that it was all groundbreaking. Nobody was deciding "we need a Bondian moment" because such a term never existed until it became a tradition. In fact there's only three films where Connery delivers "Bond. James Bond" (DN, GF, DAF).
  • Posts: 1,314
    James Bond Radio sum up the gulf in styles between FRWL and GF. FRWL seems like a film of the 1950s, les than a year later GF is the 60s in full swing. What a sea change!

    I love Goldfinger. Its got everything. Overly familiar maybe but it is 56 years old.
  • edited February 2020 Posts: 3,279
    Matt007 wrote: »
    James Bond Radio sum up the gulf in styles between FRWL and GF. FRWL seems like a film of the 1950s, les than a year later GF is the 60s in full swing. What a sea change!

    I love Goldfinger. Its got everything. Overly familiar maybe but it is 56 years old.

    Yes I agree with this. I watched FRWL again last night and boy does it look dated. Yes it is a very down-to-earth, straight forward, no nonsense spy thriller, yes the acting is great, yes it follows Fleming's book closely.

    But it feels like a 1950's movie. The scene at the end when Bond and Tatiana are on the gondola in Venice is very bad. The back projection just looks awful. I know this is how films were done back then, but surely they could have filmed that one scene actually on a gondola, seeing as they were actually filming there already.

    I get the budgets back then were still tight, but it really shows in the first 2 movies. By GF, the film looks like it had been made 10 years later.
  • edited February 2020 Posts: 631
    But it feels like a 1950's movie.

    Yes, my feelings too. If anything, DN feels the more modern movie, especially the second half when they’re on Crab Key.

    Both DN and FRWL were very successful but they were also very different films, and offered up two different paths for Eon to take. It’s interesting to speculate how things could have turned out if Eon had decided to go down the more Hitchcockian, less fantastical, cat-and-mouse spy thriller route, ie more FRWL.

    Instead they decided to follow the DN template, with Ken Adam sets, secret bases, comic book style villains with dastardly evil plans etc. Then they wrapped this template with some features of FRWL (like a theme song, a PTS, a threatening henchman and so on) and from this union of disparate elements GF was born.
  • RoadphillRoadphill United Kingdom
    Posts: 984
    Fair question. I think GF was the film that bridged the gap between Fleming and EON Bond. The one that really established a lot of the tropes the film's would continue to follow. And also, it does have several iconic moments.

    I understand what you mean, though. It's far from my favourite, but the impact it had on pop culture and the place it has in Bond fandom isn't to be underestimated.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    Matt007 wrote: »
    James Bond Radio sum up the gulf in styles between FRWL and GF. FRWL seems like a film of the 1950s, les than a year later GF is the 60s in full swing. What a sea change!

    I love Goldfinger. Its got everything. Overly familiar maybe but it is 56 years old.

    Yes I agree with this. I watched FRWL again last night and boy does it look dated. Yes it is a very down-to-earth, straight forward, no nonsense spy thriller, yes the acting is great, yes it follows Fleming's book closely.

    But it feels like a 1950's movie. The scene at the end when Bond and Tatiana are on the gondola in Venice is very bad. The back projection just looks awful. I know this is how films were done back then, but surely they could have filmed that one scene actually on a gondola, seeing as they were actually filming there already.

    I get the budgets back then were still tight, but it really shows in the first 2 movies. By GF, the film looks like it had been made 10 years later.

    What about the bad projection in the GF pool scenes???
  • Posts: 3,279
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Matt007 wrote: »
    James Bond Radio sum up the gulf in styles between FRWL and GF. FRWL seems like a film of the 1950s, les than a year later GF is the 60s in full swing. What a sea change!

    I love Goldfinger. Its got everything. Overly familiar maybe but it is 56 years old.

    Yes I agree with this. I watched FRWL again last night and boy does it look dated. Yes it is a very down-to-earth, straight forward, no nonsense spy thriller, yes the acting is great, yes it follows Fleming's book closely.

    But it feels like a 1950's movie. The scene at the end when Bond and Tatiana are on the gondola in Venice is very bad. The back projection just looks awful. I know this is how films were done back then, but surely they could have filmed that one scene actually on a gondola, seeing as they were actually filming there already.

    I get the budgets back then were still tight, but it really shows in the first 2 movies. By GF, the film looks like it had been made 10 years later.

    What about the bad projection in the GF pool scenes???

    The blink-and-you'll-miss-it scenes in the beginning?
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Matt007 wrote: »
    James Bond Radio sum up the gulf in styles between FRWL and GF. FRWL seems like a film of the 1950s, les than a year later GF is the 60s in full swing. What a sea change!

    I love Goldfinger. Its got everything. Overly familiar maybe but it is 56 years old.

    Yes I agree with this. I watched FRWL again last night and boy does it look dated. Yes it is a very down-to-earth, straight forward, no nonsense spy thriller, yes the acting is great, yes it follows Fleming's book closely.

    But it feels like a 1950's movie. The scene at the end when Bond and Tatiana are on the gondola in Venice is very bad. The back projection just looks awful. I know this is how films were done back then, but surely they could have filmed that one scene actually on a gondola, seeing as they were actually filming there already.

    I get the budgets back then were still tight, but it really shows in the first 2 movies. By GF, the film looks like it had been made 10 years later.

    What about the bad projection in the GF pool scenes???

    The blink-and-you'll-miss-it scenes in the beginning?

    Yes.
  • Posts: 3,279
    suavejmf wrote: »
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Matt007 wrote: »
    James Bond Radio sum up the gulf in styles between FRWL and GF. FRWL seems like a film of the 1950s, les than a year later GF is the 60s in full swing. What a sea change!

    I love Goldfinger. Its got everything. Overly familiar maybe but it is 56 years old.

    Yes I agree with this. I watched FRWL again last night and boy does it look dated. Yes it is a very down-to-earth, straight forward, no nonsense spy thriller, yes the acting is great, yes it follows Fleming's book closely.

    But it feels like a 1950's movie. The scene at the end when Bond and Tatiana are on the gondola in Venice is very bad. The back projection just looks awful. I know this is how films were done back then, but surely they could have filmed that one scene actually on a gondola, seeing as they were actually filming there already.

    I get the budgets back then were still tight, but it really shows in the first 2 movies. By GF, the film looks like it had been made 10 years later.

    What about the bad projection in the GF pool scenes???

    The blink-and-you'll-miss-it scenes in the beginning?

    Yes.

    I blinked and I missed it. Shows you how noticeable it was. ;)
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 4,932
    I love GF and will always place it near the top of my rankings. Not even Austin Powers making fun of Odd Job with Random Task is enough to bring it down for me.

    Goldfinger is such a great villain. He's a bit brutish and not very charming but he doesn't have to be. He thinks nothing of slicing Bond in 2 and walking away. He pays a girl to be seen with him but nothing more. This man is focussed on his gold and wealth.

    Bond is just so damn cool in this film. Connery plays him with aplomb and sets the template that others will follow and be compared to even to this day. Bond is captured and a prisoner of Goldfinger for most of the movie but you never feel like he's in jeopardy. I think this is a great thing, Bond is so cool and calm.

    I think GF is the first with BIG style and BIG touches throughout. Barry's soundtrack is let loose with lots of brass. You could listen to the soundtrack without ear muffs. Adams' sets are just so on point. I will always think Fort Knox vault looks like it was portrayed in the movie. I don't even question it. Goldfinger's room where the hood convention takes place has so many nice touches and allows the actors of the scene to interact and play around.

    I'm not crazy about the Leiter character in this film. He doesn't get much to do and seems to be working for Mi6 more then CIA. I always think if he's (Goldfinger) clean as far as CIA is concerned why is Felix following Bond around and providing support. I also think this is the first time the producers cast someone completely opposite in type to Bond. Not sure why Connery could have held his own against other good looking men.

    A great film and I enjoy to this day!
  • Posts: 1,703
    BTW, Goldfinger maybe the most FAMOUS but that doesn't mean it's the general favorite. As much as I like it, it is not my favorite.
  • Posts: 3,279
    delfloria wrote: »
    BTW, Goldfinger maybe the most FAMOUS but that doesn't mean it's the general favorite. As much as I like it, it is not my favorite.

    There is a reason why its famous, in that it hit the right notes and connected with many people.

    It is also widely seen as the favourite too, even if its not yours.
  • Posts: 1,703
    Point taken.
  • Four reasons I have it middle-of-the-pack instead of close to the top:

    1. The dialogue and acting during the "hoods convention" is among the very worst of the series. It derails the building tension and sends it into self-parody.
    2. Soooo Much Driving.
    3. The scene with Bond and Galore in the barn is too rapey...even for pre PC Bond.
    4. Every Connery film has a stretch or two where not much happens. GF may have a little more of that than most.

    But...the score is great, the villains are great, the climax is great, the PTS is great, and everything from Bond meeting Tillie to Bond spying under the model is some of the series' best work.
  • OctopussyOctopussy Piz Gloria, Schilthorn, Switzerland.
    edited February 2020 Posts: 1,081

  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    I’m going to massively simplify this.....

    It has Sean Connery, of course, and the best theme song, incorporating Shirley Bassey and lashings of John Barry brass....it’s also a very faithful Fleming adaption and is the blue print for the franchise.

    If one doesn’t like Goldfinger....one doesn’t really like Bond.

  • Posts: 7,500
    It’s worth bearing in mind perhaps that it’s GF which decided that the various Bond tropes indeed were tropes and not just one-offs.

    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.

    Lol. So Goldfinger is iconic for basically copying what's good in FRWL? You have to sell it better than that, man... ;))

    I like Goldfinger, but FRWL is the better film, hands down!
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    As a Bond fan and Fleming purist FRWL is far superior to GF. I much prefer FRWL. But the general public much prefer GF....the box office takings and critics said so.
  • Daniel316Daniel316 United States
    Posts: 210
    Agreed FRWL is the much better film by a large margin and frankly GF stole a good amount of credit FRWL deserves for shaping Bond into what it is.
  • Posts: 12,248
    I preferred GF most of my life, but in the last year or so FRWL has successfully leapfrogged it for me. It’s always possible it could go back someday though - who knows? I love them both and don’t imagine either leaving my Top 10.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 4,932
    The series hit it's stride in GF in many ways. Adams was given a more impressive budge and could do much more. Connery looked so damn cool. His threads (sans blue terry cloth jumper) were on point and stand up to this day. You have an OTT villain but not so over the top that he isn't believable. You have a henchman who brings menace. A plot that actually improves Fleming's plot but keeps the good stuff from the novel.

    Indeed GF owes some debt to FRWL as without a successful FRWL I doubt Broccoli and Salzman get to produce GF without it.
  • I'm sure that other than any given NEW Bond film at any given time, Goldfinger is the one that most people would get introduced to the franchise with. The Aston Martin, the golden girl, and the theme easily make it the most iconic film. Connery at his most charming and smoothest. The fact the two prior films were successful, and now this one partially takes place in the States... just brilliant timing to boost the series' popularity in North America to the stratosphere.

    The only other films to have that similar "iconic" and recognizable status from a non-fan, global standpoint seem to be The Spy Who Loved Me, GoldenEye, Casino Royale and Skyfall.
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