Goldfinger 1964 ★★★★★
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
David Valkenet’s review published on Letterboxd :
This review may contain spoilers.
Ultimate Mission 007 - Part 3
The Bond - Connery feels very settled into the character and his performance is very enjoyable. Especially during the iconic laser scene.
The Bond Girl - Honor Blackman is perfect as Pussy Galore. I’m a little torn on the way her character progresses, as she is a fairly strong female that I would have kind of liked to see her not fall under Bond’s charms, but then again, it’s a Bond film and what good would he be if he couldn’t woo ever single woman on screen (and in the audience) and convince them to sleep with him.
The Villain - Goldfinger is the most dynamic villain so far. His plan is far fetched and ridiculous, but so is his persona. His accent is great, I love how he’s usually happy and smiling and his death by de-pressurisation was a fitting end for one of the series most iconic villains. Also, “Auric” is the most fittingly obvious first name for this villain. Love it.
The Henchman - Oddjob really marks the first outlandish henchman. Where Robert Shaw seemed like a trained assassin using cunning, Oddjob is a mute Frisbee enthusiast with what I assume must be a razor-sharp bowler hat. He fits the tone of the film perfectly and as a kid was a stand out for me. He was so scary because he used and everyday object as a lethal killing device. His electrocution death was pretty traumatic when I first saw it. I had no idea what was going on, though I recognised the call-back to the earlier kill when Bond trows the fan in the bathtub to kill the bad guy. I thought Bond actually had super-powers.
The Gun - Nothing much to speak of. Bond still has his Walther PPK and has a Colt 45 hidden under his seat in his Aston Martin.
The Car - The Aston Martin DB5. I’m no car enthusiast, but this is a pretty nice looking machine with awesome features including: revolving license plate, the ability to spray oil and smoke from behind into whoever is chasing you, machine guns behind the head lights (reminiscent of Stallone’s car in Death Race 2000), bulletproof shield, tire slashing hubcap thingies and of course the ejector seat. Need I say more?
The Location - No stand out location unlike the other films. Perhaps Fort Knox?
The Gadget - This is the first time we get a glimpse into Q’s gadget lab. I remember this so vividly from watching it as a young boy and being filled with amazement and wonder. In this film the main gadget is Bond’s Aston Martin, though I guess he does get those two homing beacon things. They were pretty cool, and I like how they were concealed in the sole of his shoe.
The Cold Open - Love Bond’s duck disguise, love Bond’s white suit and love Bond’s use of his woman as a human shield.
The Credits - I love these credits. A similar theme to From Russia With Love, but more effective as a woman painted gold is a much more evocative image than a belly dancer.
The Theme - John Barry is such a valuable part of the franchise, with the ability to pen classic and memorable tunes and themes. Case in point: Goldfinger. Shirley Bassey’s soaring and shrill (in a good way) vocals makes this
General Thoughts - I like this movie more every rewatch. I found it overrated at first, and thought Goldfinger wasn’t in it enough plus Bond didn’t even diffuse the bomb at the end! Watching it in sequence with the films previous helped me enjoy the silly nature and appreciate what until this point is the most far-fetched evil scheme.
The scene where Goldfinger explains his great plan to all the gangsters and then proceeds to murder them all still sticks out as a little lazy writing, but Ken Adam’s wonderful set design is distracting enough – even if Bond’s vantage point makes little sense.
This also seems one of the main inspiration for all the Bond parodies, from the German megalomaniac, the ejector seat, the girl painted gold (what a fantastic image), the laser, and many more.
James Bond will return in Thunderball