Monday, September 7, 2020

The 007 Project: Goldfinger

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
007 goes after Auric Goldfinger, a gold smuggler who plans to break into Fort Knox and make the gold radioactive to increase the value of his own gold. Along the way, 007 crosses paths with Pussy Galore, the Masterson sisters, and Oddjob, a short and bulky henchman who uses a bowler hat as a weapon. 

Memorable Quote:
Do you expect me to talk?  ~Bond
No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.  ~Goldfinger

It's delightful every time Sean Connery says "Pussy!" with such charm and bravado -- my favorite is when she catches him listening underneath the Fort Knox map. 

The scene where Goldfinger is explaining his plan to a room full of American hoods. The acting is not good, and the scene doesn't add much value. 

Most interesting piece of IMDB trivia:
The name of gangster Mr. Solo is believed to be the inspiration for the naming of Star Wars character Han Solo.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • The actress in the opening scene appeared in From Russia With Love as Kerim Bey's mistress. For some reason the one thing I remembered about this opening was how the same measure of the Bond theme plays over and over (from 1:40 to 2:24). 
  • The Goldfinger song is a good one, and I like how bits and pieces of it appear throughout the movie. 
  • I dig the portrayal of early 1960's Miami, and the luxury hotel is quite something with a high dive and ice rink. I didn't realize that skimpy bikinis were so prevalent in the early 60s. The gal underwater in the swimming pool (8:41 mark) is about to lose hers. 
  • On the scene where Bond is at the fridge and gets hit on the head by Oddjob, Connery has said that his falling over wasn't acting because Harold Sakata (Oddjob) was that strong. 
  • I'm the furthest thing from a car aficionado, but even I think that those 1960 Aston Martins are awesome, and I'd love to have one. I'm guessing they're a little pricey, let me check......looks like you can get a DB5 for about 600K. That's a little more than I can afford at the moment. 
  • Director Guy Hamilton had the foresight to introduce the Q vs. 007 banter that became commonplace throughout the series. 
  • Another candidate for memorable quote:
    • Ejector seat?  You're joking.  ~Bond
    • I never joke about my work, 007.  ~Q
  • Goldfinger doesn't complain about Bond switching his golf ball?  For the record, I don't think Goldfinger is that great of a villain. Oddjob, on the other hand, is a bad dude. 
  • So Bond must be able to take his Aston Martin on the plane with him to Switzerland, which is surprising. And after he's caught in the woods and Tilly is killed, there's no way Oddjob and his crew would let Bond drive his own car. And with all the bullet holes that the old lady with the machine gun puts in the windshield (48:56 mark), there's no way that Bond wouldn't get hit. 
  • Speaking of Tilly, the actress is Helen Mirren's first cousin, and this movie was one of her only acting jobs. 
  • And yet another memorable quote candidate:
    • Who are you?  ~Bond 
    • My name is Pussy Galore.  ~Pussy
    • I must be dreaming.   ~Bond
  • Speaking of Pussy, she says, "You can turn off the charm. I'm immune." They don't play it up too much in the movie, but in the book they make it clear that she's a lesbian who Bond "cures", as Ian Fleming puts it
  • This movie begins a long tradition of the villain not just keeping Bond alive but also telling him the plan and keeping him nearby.
  • After Oddjob kills Solo, it seems unnecessary to destroy the car -- why not just dump the body?
  • So if Felix and the soldiers who got hit by the gas didn't actually get hit by any gas and were just pretending, that means that they knew the attack was coming (from being warned by Pussy). So why was it necessary to let the attackers get into Fort Knox before fighting back? 
  • The bomb stops at 007, but Bond says there were only three ticks left. The IMDB trivia says that the script called for three seconds, but the producers later changed the time display to 007 and didn't change the dialogue.

Final Analysis:
Connery hitting his stride, the memorable Oddjob and Pussy characters, the death by gold paint scene, fun locales, and a catchy theme song all add up to a good movie and one that I like better than the first two.

1 comment:

  1. Definitely my favorite of the Connery films with a strong story, settings, and action. The pacing was still fairly plodding at points but this would be one I'd be up to revisit, which can't be said of all of them. This was the first Bond movie I recall seeing. It aired on Halloween night 1985. Unfortunately the reason ABC was airing it because they pre-empted my show "The Fall Guy" due to terrible ratings on Thursday night. "Goldfinger" was a solid consolation prize though.