Ian Fleming's novel Goldfinger brings a lot of elements from his previous books together. It opens with a supporting character from Casino Royale meeting James Bond, recognizing him, and asking him to help with a card cheat, much as M. does in Moonraker.

The card cheat is Auric Goldfinger, and he cheats by having his secretary spy on the game with a telescope and radio him his opponent's cards. Bond catches him in the act, and forces him to repay his victim, plus 10,000 dollars to Bond.

Back in England, Bond is set on Goldfinger's trail. He is smuggling gold out of England. Worse, he appears to be Le Chiffre's replacement, the paymaster of SMERSH. Bond catches up with him at a golf course, where Goldfinger cheats, but Bond beats him at his own crooked game, to trhe tune of another 10,000 dollars. Goldfinger then invites Bond to his house, where a little snooping starts putting the pieces together.

Bond follows Goldfinger to the continent, where he learns the trick of the smuggler -- his armored Rolls Royce Silver Ghost is actually armored with plates of 18k white gold. In Europe, the plates are removed and relaced with real armor, melted down, recast into airplane seat frames for an Indian airline, installed, flown to India, and remelted there at a 200% profit. At this point Bond is captured by Oddjob, Goldfinger's human missile bodyguard -- karateka and, yes, armed with a steel bowler hat.

Rather than kill Bond as planned, Goldfinger puts him and the girl (Did I mention there was a girl? It's a James Bond novel, of course there's a girl. Three of them, in fact, although the only one who anyone remembers is Pussy Galore.) to work for him as executive secretaries on Operation Grand Slam, the planned robbery of Fort Knox, with the assistance of several groups of gangsters, including the Spangled Mob from Diamonds are Forever, now under new management, of course, thanks to Bond. Goldfinger's plan is to kill the entire population of Fort Knox by poisoning the water, then blow the doors off the vault with a backpack nuke.

Bond manages to get a message to Felix Leiter, his friend at Pinkerton, and they stop the plot in its tracks. Goldfinger escapes, captures Bond, and is instructed by his Russian masters to deliver Bond to them. Bond, with the help of the only gangster to escape (Pussy Galore, leader of the lesbian gang the Cement Mixers), kills the bad guys (Oddjob is the one sucked out the window), and returns to England, a secret hero.

Although this book is less racist than others in the series, it does perpetuate the myth of "All a lesbian really needs is a real man."

This write-up is about Goldfinger in general, but the Special Edition DVD in paticular.

Goldfinger - 1964 - Directed by Guy Hamilton
110 Minutes - Rated PG

Special Features

  • New Wide Screen Master
  • Audio Commentary by Guy Hamilton
  • Audio Commentary by Cast and Crew
  • The Making of Goldfinger Documentary
  • The Goldfinger Phenomenon Documentary
  • Behind the Scenes Still Gallery
  • Original Publicity Featurette
  • Sean Connery Radio Interviews
  • Original Theatrical Trailer and Radio and TV Ads
Technical Features The extras on the DVD were great, as they are on all of the Bond special editions. I think it's easier for MGM/UA to add extra features on the Bond films because of the rich history the series has. Both of the documentaries are well done, which helped my understanding of what was going on around the production. Basically, they had a hard time getting things done because of the following the first two movies had by 1964.

As for the film itself, Goldfinger , despite it's popularity with others has never been one of my favorite Bonds. The story is all right, but I found Gert Frobe somewhat lacking as the villain. Besides Frobe's acting, his dialog wasn't the best. For example, when the laser is cutting the table with Connery strapped to it, he says, "Choose you're next witticism wisely Mr. Bond, it may be your last." My problem is, if you're a sick fuck like Goldfinger is supposed to be, wouldn't you say, "..it will be your last."? (In my opinion, if you want the best of the Sean Connery Bonds try Dr. No.) However, the film did leave some great images. To name only two, Bond's Aston Martin DB5 and Shirley Eaton painted gold lying nude on a bed.

I purchased this as part of the first James Bond Gift Pack. I would buy it by itself, but it would not be the first Bond film on my shopping list.

Back to the DVD Review node

Another such DVD Review.

Actually, the transfer used for the Goldfinger Special Edition DVD was the same one used for the THX certified MGM laserdisc a few years ago. Otherwise, things are pretty accurate, with dual mono sound encoded in the Dolby Digital format.

Anyway, my own opinions follow.

A delightful throwback to why Sean Connery was the best Bond of them all. Director Guy Hamilton embued this chapter of the franchise with a wonderfully sophisticated sense of humour. It effortlessly sets up the elements of a classic Bond movie which has been replicated in every single decent Bond film since.. The ultimately crazy, maniacal baddie, the grand plan, the ingenuity of the gadgets (the Aston Martin ejector seat is a gas!), the gorgeous sidekick, the evil henchmen with a spin (bowler-hat decapitation).. Sheer cinematic joy, propelled using nothing but Connery's on-screen charisma.

The film does look it's age, particularly in the opening sequences, plenty of nicks and scratches on the source, especially on the first reel. It could have done with a digital cleanup. It's an anamorphic transfer, and does look crisp and detailed.

Dolby Digital Mono.. It does work, and John Barry's fun-filled score fills the room. "Just a Coldfinger!" :)

An nice wodge of extras, two nice commentaries, two "making of" documentaries one offering a retrospective, original television ads, radio interviews and a 200+ photo gallery.. Everything a Goldfinger fan would EVER want.

Auric Goldfinger:
Man has climbed Mount Everest,
gone to the bottom of the ocean.
He's fired rockets at the Moon, split the atom,
achieved miracles in every field of human endeavor...
...except crime!

Goldfinger is the third film in the Bond series, directed by Guy Hamilton, and released in 1964, a time when Sean Connery was still the only Bond. This is _the_ classic James Bond film, to many fans the definitive Bond, as it had cool villains, a suspenseful plot and introduced many of the features that would recur in all later films.

Teaser:

This time, the pre-credit teaser is an entire Bond adventure on it's own, withno direct relevance to the plot of the mainfilm. Bond swims to an oil refinery with a fake seagull on his head. After planting explosives in a drug lab hidden in one of the holding tanks, he strips off his wet suit to reveal a tuxedo, then makes his way to a nightclub just as the explosions start. He confers with an associate, then leaves to visit a Flamenco dancer who was performing in the club. While kissing her, an assailant behind him is reflected in her eyes. He and the man scuffle and Bond throws him into a bathtub. When the man goes for a gun, Bond tosses an electric appliance into the tub electrocuting the man. Bond walks away muttering,

Shocking. Positively shocking.

Plot:

When Bond first meets Goldfinger, he discovers him cheating a playing cards, humiliates him by forcing him to lose on purpose and the proceeds to steal his girlfriend, whom Goldfinger kills by covering her in gold in revenge. Excellent start for a good and lasting relationship.

And they meet again soon after, because Goldfinger is suspected of gold smuggling. In a game of golf, Bond wins, but only by cheating. Goldfinger, not used to losing, departs, even more in anger. Bond follows him to Switzerland using the homing device which Bond placed on the car. This scene also includes the granny with the machine gun, which cracks me up every time is see it.

After a car chase, including for the first time Bond's modified Aston DB5, Bond is caught and set to be killed by a laser, but Bond gains a respite by throwing a few random words he heard in the open. After escaping Bond finally witnesses Goldfinger's exposition of his plan to nuke Fort Knox, rendering the gold in there worthless to increase the value of his own cache. Bond is quickly captured again, but escapes once more by seducing Pussy Galore, Goldfingers "Henchwoman" (for the lack of a better term), manages to turn her against Goldfinger, and proceeds to tricking Goldfinger into believing his plan can still work.

Goldfinger proceeds to take over Fort Knox, but is trapped and attacked. But the bomb is already in place, with Bond handcuffed to the nuclear weapon and with Oddjob for company. So prepare for an electrifying showdown.

Goldfinger proves to have an excellent sense of situations, for when the tide turns against his forces, he proceeds to switch uniforms and escapes, only to kidnap Bond on his flight home. After a final showdown, he is sucked out of the window of the plane.

Pussy Galore: What happened? Where's Goldfinger?
Bond: Playing his golden harp.

Villains:

Auric Goldfinger, played by the german Gerd Froebe, is a millionaire industrialist, founder of Goldfinger Industries and supposed to be one of the richest men in England. He escaped from the East Bloc across the Berlin Wall and soon opened a small jewelry store in London (he was a jeweller in Riga like his father and grandfather). Goldfinger expanded his empire to include factories, biological institutes, horse breeding farms and research facilities. He has the largest private gold reserve in the world, though rumors of smuggling have somewhat tarnished that record.

Odd Job, played by Harold Sakata, is Goldfinger's personal bodyguard. Although of low intelligence and possibly mute (he does not say a word, even when electrocuted), he more than makes up for these deficits by his toughness, ability in hand-to-hand combat and skill in throwing his deadly derby hat.

Trivia:

Bond Girls: This movie has three, namely Shirley Eaton as the gold gilded Jill Masterson, Tania Mallet as Tilly Masterson, out to avenge her sister, nearly killing Bond in the process, only to be killed by a good throw from OddJob, and finally Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore, the pilot-"henchman" of Goldfinger's who remained lesbian and loyal only until she met Bond.

Pussy Galore: My name is Pussy Galore.
Bond: I must be dreaming.

Q's Toys: In this movie, we finally see the Aston Martin DB5 with machine guns, oil dispenser, smoke, bullet-proof shields, ejector seat, saw-blade from wheel-hubs and homer terminal complete with homers. There also is a machine gun in a dummy van, a parking meter that releases a smoke screen, a bullet-proof vest, a timing device with plastic explosive and the fabled seagull on top of a snorkel. Ah, never to grow up...

Q: ... reception on the dashboard, here. Audio-visual range a hundred and fifty miles.
Bond: Ingenious, and useful too. Allow a man to stop off for a quick one en route.
Q: It has not been perfected, out of years of patient research, ENTIRELY for that purpose, 007.
And incidentally, we'd appreciate its return, along with all your other equipment, INTACT
for once, when you return from the field.
Bond: Well, you'd be surprised the amount of wear and tear that goes on out there in the field.

There is also a myth that Gerd Froebe's original voice was actually dubbed in the English version because he sounded not German enough for the part. This of course angered Froebe, who had been practicing a more accentless English than that used by the other German actors of the time ("Ziz iz yua lahst woaninck!"), and he went on to dub his part in the German dubbed version himself. Thus, in the original version, we only got to enjoy Froebe's acting, while in the dub we also get to hear his voice.

Still, I liked the English sound of his unforgettable retort to Bonds:
Do you expect me to talk?:
No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"

(A scene also masterfully parodied in the Scorpio episode of The Simpsons)

Previous Bond: From Russia with Love, James Bond will return in: Thunderball

Goldfinger is a ska/punk four-piece band from Los Angeles, CA. Right around the time of Sublime, Goldfinger helped progress the ska movement in their own, undercurrent way. John Feldmann, guitarist and vocalist, along with Darrin Pfeiffer, drummer, and Simon Williams, bassist and vocalist, formed the base of the group along with a guitarist that dropped before any recordings were released. This phantom string plucker was replaced with Charlie Paulson using little material to learn from. In 1995 the band released a six-track EP titled Richter. This was received decently from the music community but was most popular on college campuses. This was the springboard that led Goldfinger to sign with Universal.

In 1996 the band released their self-titled album, a tour with No Doubt, the Sex Pistols, and Reel Big Fish, and a video of their song “Here in Your Bedroom”. This was also followed by a groundbreaking series of shows on the Vans Warped Tour. In 1997 the band released Hang Ups which did nothing more than keep them from sinking. Another strong life raft for the foursome was the cover song “More Today Than Yesterday”, which was featured on The Waterboy soundtrack. In 1998 Williams left the band and was replaced by Kelly Lemieux to record the cover album Darrin’ Coconut Ass: Live in 1999. The release of Stomping Ground in 2000 was accompanied by a European and American tour. In 2001 the band saw another edit when Paulson left. Just as Goldfinger attained a new label, Jive/Zoomba, Brian Arthur filled Paulson’s shoes. With Arthur on board they released their 2002 album: Open Your Eyes.

Goldfinger Discography (with notable tracks)

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