Wednesday, November 28, 2012

BOND 3: Goldfinger

Director: Guy Hamilton
Year 1964

Goldfinger is the third entry in the long standing Bond series, proving that three times is definitely the charm as Sean Connery comes back to reprise his iconic role with impeccable results. Helmed by Guy Hamilton in his first attempt at presenting the thrilling adventures of agent 007, the movie has a slick style that emphasizes the coolness of the series while at the same time filling out the world of Bond with a more excessive and exuberant fun-filled fashion. With its over the top villains, quirky gadgets, sleek visuals, and sexy women, Goldfinger continues in the same entertaining tradition in which its previous entries have so far established for themselves. The film builds upon what we already know about the Bond world by adding even more to the lucrative franchise in terms of lavish style, breathtaking stunts, and a charming hero that steals the show every time. Who could ask for anything more?

The film centers around a gold obsessed man named Auric Goldfinger, as he plots to raid Fort Knox and decimate the world’s economy. After having a run in with the infamous Goldfinger in Maimi, resulting in one of James Bond’s female flings being painted in gold and killed, James Bond makes it a priority to bring the madman down at any cost. Following the old saying, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”, Bond offers Goldfinger a lucrative proposition in hopes to get close enough to his organization and unfold his nefarious plot. Unfortunately for Bond, Goldfinger has a ruthless man servant named Oddjob, who would like nothing more than to severe James’ head from his neck, with the flick of his razorblade-brimmed derby. To make matters more complicated Goldfinger also has in his employment a ravishing pilot named Pussy Galore, whose stunning looks and headstrong attitude could very well bring about James Bond’s downfall.

Once again Sean Connery takes on the role of James Bond, marking his third appearance in the role and cementing his legacy as the quintessential 007. The originator of the cool demeanor and stylish swagger, Connery really lets loose this time out as he gives an extremely more playful mindset to the character. His smart remarks and witty banter are a mile a minute in this entry, and it seems that his appetite for the ladies has only increased since his first two outings. I really enjoyed the aura of fun that Goldfinger brings to the table and Sean just soaks it all in as the charismatic hero who always beats the odds. Needless to say, Sean Connery is my favorite of the Bonds and in this entry the fun of the James Bond character really comes into light.

As far as reoccurring characters in the series, Bernard Lee and Lois Maxwell reprise their roles respectively as ‘M’ and Moneypenny, and each of them give a dazzling performance. Maxwell especially hits the mark as Bond’s flirtatious co-worker. The sexual tension between these two is potent and the running gag between them has endured throughout the entire series even leading up to the newest entry Skyfall, in the most satisfactory of ways. When it comes to the rest of the women in James’ life, Shirley Eaton plays the lovely Jill Masterson, a reluctant employee of Goldfinger, while Tania Mallet takes on the role of her sister Tilly Masterson, a revenge seeking sibling you means to take the life of Goldfinger for the death of her sister. Last but definitely not least is Honor Blackman as the tantalizingly named Pussy Galore. Blackman is absolutely stunning in this film, and her character’s headstrong nature and curvaceous ways are to die for. Pussy Galore is definitely a Bond girl that stands at the top of the list of fantastically provocative characters.

That takes us to Goldfinger himself, who with the help of his man servant Oddjob, make for a formidable team. Gert Frobe embodies the role of Auric Goldfinger, as his cocky attitude and lust for wealth really take center stage. The man is a glutton for gold and you can see it in everything he owns and wears. There’s always a nice subtle touch of gold in all that he owns, from his private jet to his finely sewn clothing. Though he isn’t an intimidating presence physically, he leaves that dirty business to his henchmen and polar opposite, Oddjob. The pairing of Goldfinger with Oddjob, played by Harold Sakata, is a highly interesting one and this odd couple never ceases to entertain when sharing the screen. Both actors do an amazing job with their respective characters and you can tell that they are being swept up in the fun as much as we are.

Speaking of being swept away, this mission, as usual, takes Bond on a global journey around the world. From the posh and stylish hotels along the coast in Miami, to the rolling and twisting roads of Geneva, to a poppy farm in Mexico, to some quaint scenes in Baltimore, Maryland and Fort Knox, Kentucky, the film gives off a nice kaleidoscope of 60’s globetrotting goodness. Though not as exotic and international as some of Bond’s other missions, there’s a strange simplicity and tempered approach to the locations that really emphasis what it’s like to be a secret agent in this fictional espionage world, yet lavishly toned down. Even if Goldfinger’s globetrotting isn’t as impressive as 007’s more iconic outings, the over the top and expressive characters more than make up for the familiar territory covered in this film. Combine that with the impressive gadgets that ‘Q’, played by the incomparable Desmond Llewelyn, reveals to Bond and you’ve got yourself one outstanding entry that only serves to build on the legend that we all know and love. Goldfinger is a respectable admission in the series as it begins to really take hold on the things that make a Bond film great and really that’s all I ask with these films.

Goldfinger is a constant reminder on why we love the character of James Bond so much. He’s suave, confident, and always in control, even in the most dire of circumstances. The man is a living legend, born from fiction, and realized by an accomplished actor who is able to exude all of these qualities at the drop of a hat and simply put, it’s all just so much damn fun. From the remarkable gadgets, the picturesque locations, the astoundingly interesting villains, and the jaw dropping beauties that grace the film, you’d have to be dead inside to not at least get a thrill out of something that the movie provides.

As one of Connery’s best efforts, Goldfinger is a perfect example of the formula. We’ve got Gert Frobe as the ridiculously named Goldfinger, we’ve got Honor Blackman as the even more ridiculously named Pussy Galore, and we’ve got Harold Sakata as the strangely aptly named Oddjob. What is there not to like? With its tongue and cheek attitude and Connery’s perfectly delivered lines, Goldfinger is a Bond entry that really ups the fun factor while still focusing on the thrills and chills of the espionage world, and that’s a balancing act worth rooting for. Director Guy Hamilton takes his first stab at the series and really knocks it out of the park as he realizes the perfect combination of cheese and class, the very same formula that has gifted the longevity of the series and has made it so much damn fun to watch. Goldfinger is the gold standard to which the series would branch off from and you really can’t deny that this movie is…..

Do it James you suave bastard you.


Nothing like a backrub from a hot chick to get you smiling.

Well hello there.

You're looking in the wrong place Bond old boy.

Get your lazy gold ass up and answer the phone!

I'm Bond, James Bond, but you already knew that.

So you're a Caddy? What an Oddjob.

Holy shit! Grandma's pissed!

A little help here Goldfinger. My balls are on fire!

My name's Pussy Galore. My word!

I can see my Gold house from here.

What up G?

How about a roll in the hay? Shit ya!

The Odd Couple.

Someone needs to learn about sharing.

What do you think of my Gold little friend?

Any last requests? PUSSY GALORE!!!!

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