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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 16.07%
Average: 7.14%
Pretty Bad: 1.79%
Total Crap: 3.57%

1 review, 50 user ratings

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by MP Bartley

"The One That's Still The Best."
5 stars

James Bond movies are so well known now that everyone could construct their own like a lego set. There's the pre-credit sequence, then the title song, the requisite bunch of gadgets, the icy villain and wackily-named sidekicks...they all come pre-packaged with easily identifiable parts. It's easy to forget then, that at some point all these factors came together for the first time. 'Goldfinger' is that point and is also the moment that James Bond went from a superb literary adaptation to a cinematic icon in his own right.

After one of the best pre-credit sequences in any Bond film (totally unrelated to the rest of it, but like a mini-film in itself) we jump straight into Shirley Bassey's brassy song, again, one of the best in the series (Gold-FINGAHHHH ! Da da daaaa!) and it's clear that this is confident Bond film, strutting with style.

Bond is assigned to trail self-made millionaire and gold magnate, Auric Goldfinger (Gert Froebe). As an aside, was there ever any question when he was a kid as to what he would grow up to do with a name like that?

The British government suspect Goldfinger (the man with the midas touch, that spiders touch...) of gold smuggling and want Bond to find out how he's doing it. Bond has more personal reasons for going after Goldfinger, as he suspects he killed his personal assistant (Shirley Eaton) after she spent the night with Bond and helped Goldfinger lose a big game of cards. How did she die? Of skin suffocation after she was painted from head to toe in gold paint. This is how cool 'Goldfinger' is, I didn't even know anyone could die like that until I saw it.

Because make no mistake 'Goldfinger' is very, very cool indeed. Guy Hamilton stepped into Terrance Young's shoes to direct here and he brings with him a previously unseen sense of glamour, panache and sex. Whereas the first two Bond films were made to be tough and intelligent, Hamilton makes 'Goldfinger' sexy and colourful. He fills with the screen with bags of charm and humourous winks to the audience that say, yes this is ridiculous, but damn isn't it fun?

Because 'Goldfinger' was the first to introduce truly outlandish plots to the film world of 007. As we realise that Goldfinger has far more on his agenda than simple smuggling as he plans an attack on Fort Knox and the assembling of a dirty nuclear device. It's an utterly silly plot (the attack's led by five blonde bombshell pilots), but Hamilton goes at it with such confidence that you can't help but be dragged along. The car chases are superb, the fight scenes brutal including a bath-tub electrocution ("Shocking. Absolutely shocking"), really inventive deaths and a belter of a showdown at Fort Knox.

He never goes so far as to make it overly stupid however and retains the smaller, more intelligent scenes. One of the most threatening scenes in the film is a simple game of golf, which is weapon free, but still loaded with menace.

The other aspect that 'Goldfinger' introduced was the idea of Q as a much more important character. We get the first tour of his lab and Q's classic line "I never joke about my work 007". Llwellyn strikes up an instant rapport with Connery as the touchy inventor and the reckless student respectively. And we also get the movie car to trash all other movie cars - the Aston Martin DB5 - complete with (yes!) ejector seat. It's arguable that 'Goldfinger' should be criticised because it introduced the trend of gadgets over intelligence and wits, but when they look so cool as they do here who's complaining?

The confidence of the production rubs off on the actors. Connery has never been more comfortable in the role which now fits him like a glove, favouring the more charming aspects of Bond here rather than his ruthless touch in the first two. He's so cock-sure but likeable in the role now that this is the moment that women wanted him while men wanted to be him.

Aptly though, Goldfinger is only the second (and the last) villain to get the film named after him and he utterly dominates the film, coming second only to Blofeld as the best villain of the series. Froebe treads the line between insane genius and gibbering psychopath brilliantly and is a joy to watch whether he's lusting over gold or twitching in delight when he's threatening Bond with castration by laser. He also gets the best line of a Bond villian ever "No Mr. Bond I expect you to die!". It's another sign of the films confidence that for the first time they sent Bond after a self-financed villain and not a SPECTRE member. Of the first 7 Bond films, 'Goldfinger' is the only one not to feature SPECTRE.

Harold Sakata should also get a mention as Blofeld's steel-rimmed bowler hat wearing driver/assassin. Like the film, he's a great concept and great in execution, a constantly smiling menace.

Honour Blackman as Pussy Galore (what a name...) also makes a great impact. She may not have been the best-looking Bond girl but she certainly had the sparkiest chemistry with Bond and manages to to hold her own with Connery, a feat arguably unmatched by any other Bond girl.

The film isn't flawless. M doesn't have much to do in 'Goldfinger' (Q steals much of his thunder) and Cec Linder is a dull Felix Leiter. But these are tiny niggles in an otherwise hugely entertaining and thrilling escapade.

'Goldfinger' is probably the film that cemented Bond's status with a gold stamp. A few years down the line, the theme song of another Bond film was 'Nobody Does It Better'. How true, and he was never done better than in 'Goldfinger'

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originally posted: 07/20/04 00:26:20
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User Comments

10/16/12 Dr.Lao If you only see one Bond movie, well, you should see more but make it this one 5 stars
5/21/12 keith miron Goldfinger and Live and let die are my favorite Bond films 4 stars
4/12/10 Black Lance Not bad 3 stars
12/13/08 Ravenwest Good Film 4 stars
10/11/08 mark gibson Yes one the best, and most impressive of the series. 5 stars
1/28/08 JV35 Only 4-star 4 stars
7/21/07 Sugarfoot This is where the series peaked, there were some great entries after, never this great. 5 stars
4/24/07 David Risser Ok, better than the previous Bonds. 3 stars
3/09/07 David Pollastrini liked the theme song 3 stars
1/22/07 action movie fan great sunning bond classic!!!! sets and gadgets are amazing!!! cars are the olny dated aspe 5 stars
12/30/06 R.W.Welch The Film that made the franchise. 5 stars
1/03/06 Anthony Feor Need i say more 5 stars
11/20/05 chris two words - best ever 5 stars
10/26/05 Nick Probably my favorite bond movie 5 stars
5/26/05 tony A very good sequel. Sometimes slow at parts. But otherwise Very Good!!! 4 stars
3/24/05 indrid cold Quite dated, but still the only Bond worth seeing unless you're a big fan. 4 stars
3/01/05 Red man It's gay. so old fashioned. Every bond is the same. Fuck college for making me study it. If 1 stars
1/26/05 Tom Benton The best Bond film ever. Connery and Frobe are outstanding! 5 stars
1/08/05 keithers.. An amazing bond film.... 4 stars
11/24/04 Mark Louis Baumgart A bit long, coulda been a mini-series. Love Odd-Job. Better than I remember it. Bond rules! 5 stars
11/17/04 C Vega The Movie That Really Got The Bond Franchise Going And Rightly So. Excellent! 5 stars
8/17/04 Herolder A classic 5 stars
7/28/04 Mike Devans Best Bond film. 5 stars
7/21/04 arctic I enjoy early Beatles & Rolling Stones; I also enjoy watching Connery as Bond. 5 stars
7/20/04 Chris ALL BOND MOVIES ARE GREAT 5 stars
7/20/04 Jack Bourbon Sean Connery has a good golf swing 5 stars
6/01/04 Nobody Somewhat silly and unbelieveable, but aren't all Bond movies like that? 4 stars
5/08/04 Littlepurch Brilliant. Yes this IS a classic and always will be. Best Bond film and the best Bond! 5 stars
2/11/04 king of cool this movie rules""""""" sets are amazing 5 stars
12/27/03 earl hofert hilarious! 5 stars
11/29/03 john Connery has never been better and Gerd Froebe is sensational! 5 stars
10/12/03 Monster W. Kung Wow, and THIS is a classic? Absurd and ridiculous. 2 stars
10/11/03 JimmyC Sweeeeeet Movie "I dont expect you to talk, I expect you to die!" 5 stars
9/06/03 Dimitri Aubert Nice one, Sean at his best. I want pussy Galore back! 5 stars
7/06/03 Paul S. Too many classic moments to mention - Oddjob, Fort Knox, Laser, Cheating at cards, Pussy 5 stars
2/28/03 Paul Coleman Outstanding entertainment! Probably the best of the Bond films! 5 stars
1/14/03 alien assassin the definitive Bond movie !!!! 5 stars
11/20/02 Jack Wolverton The Best James Bond Movie. 5 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum Hands down one of the best Bond films 5 stars
9/17/02 CVJ Brilliant in every way the second best bond movie 5 stars
3/19/02 Bjorn Yesterday It's probably not fair of me to rate this, since I hate all Bond movies.! 1 stars
2/06/02 Andrew Carden This Movie Is Terrible...NOT! This Is Great! 5 stars
2/05/02 Race Bannon The Best Bond 5 stars
1/25/02 murat first great bond adventure sad to see the only connery -bond movie don't exist spectre 5 stars
9/09/01 Henry Ginsberg One of the best Bond movies ever. 4 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) One of the best James Bond movies, and maybe one of the best Sean Connery movies. 4 stars
7/20/00 Goldfinger The 007 movie that all others are compared to, but can never surpass. 5 stars
4/08/00 Gremlin If you don't like this, you suck, don't bother with the others, the perfect Bond movie 5 stars
10/24/99 The Bomb 69 great action 5 stars
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  22-Dec-1964 (NR)



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