Why is Goldfinger the general favourite?

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  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Per ora e il momento che verrà
    Posts: 6,145
    What I think it comes down to, is that GF was the first Bond film to really capture that special blend of ingredients that have become tropes of the genre.

    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.
  • Posts: 631
    Bond’s lucky in every film.

    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.
  • Posts: 2,898
    Bond’s lucky in every film.

    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.
  • Can anyone explain to me why Goldfinger goes to great lengths to describe his plan to the mobsters only to gas them?
  • Posts: 7,424
    Can anyone explain to me why Goldfinger goes to great lengths to describe his plan to the mobsters only to gas them?

    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.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,487
    Can anyone explain to me why Goldfinger goes to great lengths to describe his plan to the mobsters only to gas them?

    He just wants an audience to recognize how brilliant he is.
  • Posts: 14,781
    It's interesting how fans complain about the Kentucky location. I suppose Maibaum could have relocated Fort Knox to the Bahamas instead.
    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.
  • WhyBondWhyBond USA
    Posts: 52
    Can anyone explain to me why Goldfinger goes to great lengths to describe his plan to the mobsters only to gas them?
    So he can avoid paying them/ giving them a cut for partaking and investing in Operation Grand Slam and keep the gold all to himself.
  • WhyBond wrote: »
    GoldFinger is all about Bond getting lucky to accomplish the mission. It had nothing to do with his impeccable skill but his wits.
    Think how lucky everyone got when Bond turned Me. Galore to the "good side". That gas was supposed to kill everyone around Fort Knox.
    No other Bond film has displayed 007 getting lucky by a hair. Now it's more based on his skill set.

    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...
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited February 2020 Posts: 5,377
    Simply - I think it's down to the song and seeing a lot of the formula being soldified with this film.

    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.
  • WhyBondWhyBond USA
    Posts: 52
    WhyBond wrote: »
    GoldFinger is all about Bond getting lucky to accomplish the mission. It had nothing to do with his impeccable skill but his wits.
    Think how lucky everyone got when Bond turned Me. Galore to the "good side". That gas was supposed to kill everyone around Fort Knox.
    No other Bond film has displayed 007 getting lucky by a hair. Now it's more based on his skill set.

    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...

    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.
  • edited February 2020 Posts: 2,677
    Denbigh wrote: »
    I would've tried to make Jill and Tilly more involved in the plot.

    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.

  • Daniel316Daniel316 United States
    Posts: 210
    Tbh I think the reason Goldfinger is so heavily favorited is mainly because it established many key and established elements of the Bond formula which fair enough it did but idk if that's enough to Really mask it's flaws. Imo From Russia With Love not only did more for Establishing the Formula of Bond (Blofeld, Gadgets, Q, Bond girl with deep character, musical score by John Barry, A henchmen who's very in depth and is a rival to Bond, and the PTS to name a few) but was a much better movie and I feel it's kinda overlooked in favor of Goldfinger which is a shame honestly.
  • Posts: 2,898
    Denbigh wrote: »
    Simply - I think it's down to the song and seeing a lot of the formula being soldified with this film.

    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.

    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.
  • delfloria wrote: »
    If you were there...................you would know......................for all it's short comings, Goldfinger changed the world when it was released. There has never been another Bond film with the impact it had.

    ^^^ 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.
  • DwayneDwayne New York City
    Posts: 2,067
    A tough one to answer without resorting to the personal.

    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.

    https://www.mi6community.com/discussion/3952/the-first-bond-movie-was-shown-on-us-television-40-years-ago-today

    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.
  • I am well aware that I've been lucky in seeing Connery as Bond on the Big Screen circa 1965 and the Beatles on Ed Sullivan via the Small Screen back in the day. Pop culture was never better than in the '60s as far as I'm concerned. Don't get me started on Lee & Kirby's Fantastic Four comic books...
  • Posts: 1,841
    While I would never dispute GF's importance in not just the series but in film history, it reminds me of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. We're told it's the best and groundbreaking and all that and we should hold it in high esteem also, but without being around at the time to be a part of that it's hard for me to revere it

    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.
  • Posts: 1,413
    I still remember how stunned I was sitting in the theater as Goldfinger exploded on the giant screen. I and much of the audience had NEVER seen anything like it before. My whole world changed overnight. I had become an instant and fanatical Bond fan and even bought a DB5 many, many years later as part of my Bond fixation. This was the impact of Goldfinger. Did the first 007 film that you saw completely rewrite your history? Just wondering?
  • Daniel316Daniel316 United States
    Posts: 210
    I'm sure for most people it probably did tbh.
  • OctopussyOctopussy Piz Gloria, Schilthorn, Switzerland.
    Posts: 1,081
    There's no denying that Goldfinger is a great entry into the Bond cannon, but it gets too much praise, IMO. Personally I feel like it's the film that really introduced the gadgetry and gimmicks that would later plague the series. I have always felt that Thunderball is a much better, personally. I feel that GF would've been a far better film without them flexing the gadget-laden DB5 and rather had used it purely as a mode of transport for Bond to pursue Goldfinger. I guess I prefer Bond using his wits to escape a tough situation rather then the push of a button, to me Fleming's Bond has always been a bit of a Macgyver and used his intuition and training to outwit his opponents.
  • Daniel316Daniel316 United States
    edited February 2020 Posts: 210
    Tbh I didn't mind the gadgets at all, my issue mainly is The DB5 seemingly is there for showing off gadgets which is fine but not fine when Bond is captured and beaten so easily all the time even after getting advantages seemingly with the gadgets, it makes them look worthless. Like Bond spends 2/3 of the film captured or being beaten up, it feels like Bond was given a secondary Character role which feels kinda counterproductive for a Bond movie? That's my main issue with Goldfinger anyway along with lack of a bond girl with good substance, and the rather slow pacing at times.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    edited February 2020 Posts: 5,131
    Goldfinger is amazing and fairly faithful to Fleming's novel.

    "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.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,526
    Octopussy wrote: »
    There's no denying that Goldfinger is a great entry into the Bond cannon, but it gets too much praise, IMO. Personally I feel like it's the film that really introduced the gadgetry and gimmicks that would later plague the series. I have always felt that Thunderball is a much better, personally. I feel that GF would've been a far better film without them flexing the gadget-laden DB5 and rather had used it purely as a mode of transport for Bond to pursue Goldfinger. I guess I prefer Bond using his wits to escape a tough situation rather then the push of a button, to me Fleming's Bond has always been a bit of a Macgyver and used his intuition and training to outwit his opponents.

    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.
  • Daniel316Daniel316 United States
    Posts: 210
    Agreed Nicnac, the gadgets were one thing that made the series popular and what's it is known for today, I mean it's ammunition detractors of Bond in general use when they complain about how unrealistic Bond is to a real life spy lol. FRWL may have introduced Gadgets but I'd be fooling myself if I didn't acknowledge that Goldfinger was what brought them full force into the Bond fold and made them the wacky and fun gadgets that we all came to know and expect in Bond.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,526
    Exactly. Bond films are popular because of the fantasy elements. Otherwise we would all be watching John Le Carre adaptations.
  • Daniel316Daniel316 United States
    Posts: 210
    My thoughts exactly
  • Posts: 631
    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.

  • Ha! @Brudder, I'm going to have to write your "Dr No" theme song.... =))
  • OctopussyOctopussy Piz Gloria, Schilthorn, Switzerland.
    Posts: 1,081
    NicNac wrote: »
    Octopussy wrote: »
    There's no denying that Goldfinger is a great entry into the Bond cannon, but it gets too much praise, IMO. Personally I feel like it's the film that really introduced the gadgetry and gimmicks that would later plague the series. I have always felt that Thunderball is a much better, personally. I feel that GF would've been a far better film without them flexing the gadget-laden DB5 and rather had used it purely as a mode of transport for Bond to pursue Goldfinger. I guess I prefer Bond using his wits to escape a tough situation rather then the push of a button, to me Fleming's Bond has always been a bit of a Macgyver and used his intuition and training to outwit his opponents.

    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.

    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.
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