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Watch Goldfinger (1964), Story, Stars, Reviews & All You Want To Know About A Great Movie

Sep 17, 2022
Watch Goldfinger (1964), Story, Stars, Reviews & All You Want To Know About A Great Movie

Watch Goldfinger (1964), Story, Stars, Reviews & All You Want To Know About A Great Movie

 

Goldfinger (1964)

While investigating a gold magnate’s smuggling, James Bond uncovers a plot to contaminate the Fort Knox gold reserve.

Goldfinger is a 1964 spy film and the third instalment in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, starring Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It is based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. The film also stars Honor Blackman as Bond girl Pussy Galore and Gert Fröbe as the title character Auric Goldfinger, along with Shirley Eaton as the iconic Bond girl Jill Masterson. Goldfinger was produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman and was the first of four Bond films directed by Guy Hamilton.

The film’s plot has Bond investigating gold smuggling by gold magnate Auric Goldfinger and eventually uncovering Goldfinger’s plans to contaminate the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox. Goldfinger was the first Bond blockbuster, with a budget equal to that of the two preceding films combined. Principal photography took place from January to July 1964 in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the United States.

Goldfinger was heralded as the film in the franchise where James Bond “comes into focus”. Its release led to a number of promotional licensed tie-in items, including a toy Aston Martin DB5 car from Corgi Toys which became the biggest selling toy of 1964. The promotion also included an image of gold-painted Eaton on the cover of Life.

Many of the elements introduced in the film appeared in many of the later James Bond films, such as the extensive use of technology and gadgets by Bond, an extensive pre-credits sequence that stood largely alone from the main storyline, multiple foreign locales and tongue-in-cheek humor. Goldfinger was the first Bond film to win an Oscar (for Best Sound Editing) and opened to largely favorable critical reception. The film was a financial success, recouping its budget in two weeks and grossing over $120 million worldwide.

In 1999, it was ranked No. 70 on the BFI Top 100 British films list compiled by the British Film Institute.

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Goldfinger (1964) Trailer

Goldfinger (1964) Reviews

Not every man would like to be James Bond, but every boy would. In one adventure after another, he saves the world, defeats bizarre villains, gets to play with neat gadgets and seduces, or is seduced by, stupendously sexy women (this last attribute appeals less to boys younger than 12).He is a hero, but not a bore. Even faced with certain death, he can cheer himself by focusing instead on the possibility that first he might get lucky. He’s obsessed with creature comforts, a trial to his superiors, a sophisticate in all material things and able to parachute into enemy territory and be wearing a tuxedo five minutes later. When it comes to movie spies, Agent 007 is full-service, one-stop shopping.

James Bond is the most durable of this century’s movie heroes, and the one most likely to last well into the next–although Sherlock Holmes of course is also immortal, and Tarzan is probably good for a retread. (The “Star Wars” (1977) and “Star Trek” movies are disqualified because they do not have a single hero or a continuous time frame.)One reason for Bond’s longevity among series heroes is quality control; while almost all the Bond films have the same producing team, Tarzan has been the hero of films of wildly divergent quality. And while Holmes has inspired more revisionist interpretations than Hamlet, Bond is consistently Bond: He remains recognizably the same man he was in 1962, when “Dr. No” first brought Ian Fleming’s spy to the screen.

Even the crypto-Bonds, like the oddball David Niven hero of the maverick “Casino Royale” (1967), or the spoof Bonds, like Our Man Flint and Matt Helm, follow the general outlines of the Fleming legend. He is an archetype so persuasive that to change him would be sacrilegious.

Of all the Bonds, “Goldfinger” (1964) is the best, and can stand as a surrogate for the others. If it is not a great film, it is a great entertainment, and contains all the elements of the Bond formula that would work again and again. It’s also interesting as the link between the more modest first two Bonds and the later big-budget extravaganzas; after this one, producers Albert “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman could be certain that 007 was good for the long run.

At 111 minutes, “Goldfinger” ties with “Dr. No” as the shortest of the James Bond films, and yet it probably contains more durable images than any other title in the series: the young woman killed by being coated with gold paint; the steel-rimmed bowler of the mute Korean assassin Odd Job (Harold Sakata); the Aston-Martin tricked out with deadly gimmicks and an ejector seat;

Bond’s sexy karate match with Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman); the villain Goldfinger with his gold-plated Rolls-Royce, and of course the laser beam pointed at that portion of Bond’s lower anatomy that he most required if he were to continue as hero of the series.

The Broccoli-Saltzman formula found its lasting form in the making of “Goldfinger.” The outline was emerging in the first two films, and here it is complete. First, the title sequence, establishing Bond as a sex hound while linking him with a stunt sequence or a spectacular death. Then the summons by M, head of British Secret Service, and the briefing on a villain obsessed by global domination.

The flirtation with Moneypenny. The demonstration by Q of new gimmicks invented especially for his next case. Then the introduction of the villain, his murderous and bizarre sidekick, and his female assistant/accomplice/mistress. Bond’s discovery of the nature of the villain’s evil scheme. Bond’s capture and the certainty of death. Bond’s seduction of the villain’s woman. And so on, leading always to a final scene in which Bond is about to enjoy his victory reward: the sensuous fruits of his latest conquest.

“About to enjoy.” An essential phrase. There are no extended sex scenes in the Bond pictures, only preludes and epilogues. “Bond sex is a special movie style,” observes the critic Steve Rhodes. “It consists of a quick but intense kiss followed by a cutaway to later.The sex is hinted at with cute puns and sexual innuendo, but never discussed explicitly.” Starting with the Venus-like appearance of Ursula Andress from the sea in “Dr. No,” all of the Bond movies have featured beautiful women, but in a publicity tradition, they appear nude not in the movies, but in an issue of Playboy that hits the stands right before the premiere.

“Goldfinger” contains a classic example of the Talking Killer Syndrome, one of the entries in my Little Movie Glossary. Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) has captured Bond and has him under his complete control. Indeed, all he has to do is remain silent and the laser will slice Bond from stem to sternum. But Bond dissuades him with some quick thinking, and is released to become Goldfinger’s prisoner.

Goldfinger, like many another Bond villain, seems to have the makings of a frustrated host: It must be galling to have the most elaborate secret hideaways on earth, and no way to show off.

So Goldfinger flies Bond to his horse farm in Kentucky, where Bond is able to eavesdrop on the outlines of a Chinese-Goldfinger scheme to assault Fort Knox–making the gold baron Goldfinger the most powerful man in the world, while the Commies benefit from world chaos. Later, in a pleasant chat, Goldfinger foolishly answers all of Bond’s remaining questions, such as, how he could possibly remove those tons of gold?

This stretch of the film is founded on a fundamental absurdity. Goldfinger has assembled the heads of all the Mafia families of America at his Kentucky farm. He pushes buttons, and the most elaborate presentation in movie history unfolds. Screens descend from the ceiling. Film of Fort Knox is shown.

The floor itself rolls back, and a vast scale model of the fort rises on hydraulic lifters (with Bond hidden inside). Goldfinger tells the mobsters what he plans to do, Bond listens in, and then shutters fall to lock the Mafioso in the room, and they are immediately killed with poison gas.

My question: Why bother to show them that expensive presentation if you’re only going to kill them afterward? My best guess: Goldfinger had workmen crawling all over the place for weeks, constructing that presentation, and he wanted to show it to somebody.

Bond is played in these early films, of course, by Sean Connery, who took the bloom off the role for all of his successors (George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan) while simultaneously sidetracking his own film career.For several years no one could think of Connery as anyone but Bond, and he left the series after “You Only Live Twice,” in 1967, returning for “Diamonds Are Forever” after the Lazenby fiasco, and a last time in “Never Say Never Again” (because he owned the rights to that property). The other Bonds were not wrong in the role (even Lazenby has his defenders), but they were not Connery, and that was their cross to bear.

Connery had the sleek self-assurance needed for the role, and a gift with deadpan double entendres. But he had something else that none of the others, save perhaps Dalton, could muster: Steely toughness. When his eyes narrowed and his body tensed up, you knew the playing was over and the bloodshed was about to begin.

Fleming’s James Bond novels took off in the states only after it became known that they were President Kennedy’s favorite recreational reading. Indeed, the more we learn about JFK, the more we see how he resembled Bond, or vice versa.

At a time when “Swinging London” was overtaking pop culture, the Bond series was perfectly positioned (although Bond makes a rare lapse of taste in “Goldfinger” when he recommends listening to the new Beatles with earmuffs on). But Swinging London has swung, and Bond stays on. He has reinvented himself now for 37 years, through all the changes in geopolitics and lifestyles, and a new Bond film just went into production: “The World Is Not Enough.” If you count “Casino Royale,” it is the 21st Bond film, not that 007 will ever really come of age.

  • Roger Ebert –  Roger Ebert
  • Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

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Goldfinger (1964) Credits

Goldfinger movie poster

Goldfinger (1964)

Rated PG

110 minutes

Cast

Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore

Gert Frobe as Auric Goldfinger

Lois Maxwell as Miss Monypenny

Sean Connery as James Bond

Tania Mallet as Tilly Masterson

Cec Linder as Felix Leiter

Harold Sakata as Oddjob

Bernard Lee as M

Produced by

  • Albert Broccoli
  • Harry Saltzman

Directed by

  • Guy Hamilton

Screenplay by

  • Richard Maibaum
  • Paul Dehn

Music by

  • John Barry

Edited by

  • Peter R. Hunt

Cinematography by

  • Ted Moore

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Goldfinger (1964) Plot

After destroying a drug laboratory in Latin America, MI6 agent James Bond vacations in Miami Beach. His superior, M, via CIA agent Felix Leiter, directs Bond to observe bullion dealer Auric Goldfinger at the hotel there. Bond discovers Goldfinger cheating at a high-stakes gin rummy game, aided remotely by his employee, Jill Masterson.

Bond interrupts Jill and blackmails Goldfinger into losing. After a night with Jill, Bond is knocked out by Goldfinger’s Korean manservant Oddjob. Bond awakens to find Jill covered in gold paint, dead from “skin suffocation”.

In London, the governor of the Bank of England and M task Bond with determining how Goldfinger smuggles gold internationally. Q supplies Bond with a modified Aston Martin DB5 and two tracking devices. Bond meets Goldfinger at his country club in Kent and plays a round of golf with him, wagering a bar of recovered Nazi gold.

Goldfinger attempts to cheat, but Bond tricks him into losing the match. Goldfinger warns Bond against interfering in his affairs, and Oddjob demonstrates his formidable strength. Bond trails Goldfinger to Switzerland, where he meets Jill’s sister, Tilly, who attempts and fails to assassinate Goldfinger.

Bond sneaks into Goldfinger’s refinery and overhears him telling a Chinese nuclear physicist, Ling, that he incorporates gold into the bodywork of his Rolls-Royce Phantom III to smuggle out of England. Bond also overhears Goldfinger mention “Operation Grand Slam”, and encounters Tilly, who again tries to kill Goldfinger.

An alarm is tripped and Oddjob kills Tilly with his lethal steel-rimmed hat. Bond is captured and strapped to a table with an overhead industrial laser, the beam slicing toward him. Bond lies to Goldfinger that MI6 knows about Operation Grand Slam. Goldfinger spares Bond’s life so that MI6 can think he is safe.

Pilot Pussy Galore flies the captive Bond to Goldfinger’s stud farm near Louisville, Kentucky in a private jet. Once there, Bond escapes his cell and witnesses Goldfinger’s meeting with American mafiosi, who are supplying materials for Operation Grand Slam. Goldfinger plans to breach the U.S. Bullion Depository at Fort Knox by releasing delta-9 nerve gas into the atmosphere, killing the personnel.

The mobsters ridicule Goldfinger’s scheme, particularly a Mr. Solo who demands to be paid immediately before the others are gassed to death by Goldfinger. Bond is captured by Pussy Galore, but attempts to alert the CIA by planting his homing device in Solo’s pocket as he leaves. Unfortunately, Solo is killed by Oddjob and his body destroyed in a car crusher along with the homing device.

Bond confronts Goldfinger over the logistical implausibility of moving the gold. As Goldfinger denies an intent to steal it, Bond deduces from the presence of Mr. Ling that Goldfinger has been offered a dirty bomb by the Chinese government, to detonate inside the vault to irradiate the gold for decades. Goldfinger’s own gold will increase in value and the Chinese gain an advantage from the economic chaos. Goldfinger warns that any attempt to interfere will result in the bomb being detonated at another vital U.S. location.

Operation Grand Slam launches with Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus spraying gas over Fort Knox, seemingly killing the military guards and government personnel. Goldfinger’s private army breaks into Fort Knox and accesses the vault as Goldfinger arrives in a helicopter with the bomb. In the vault, Goldfinger’s henchman, Kisch, handcuffs Bond to the bomb. Unbeknownst to Goldfinger, Bond convinced Pussy to alert the American authorities, after which the gas was replaced with a harmless substance.

Goldfinger locks the vault with Bond, Oddjob, and Kisch trapped inside. When the U.S. army attacks his troops, Goldfinger kills nuclear expert Ling in a ruse and escapes. Kisch attempts to disarm the bomb but Oddjob throws him to his death. Bond frees himself with Kisch’s key, but Oddjob batters him before he can stop the bomb. Bond electrocutes Oddjob to death, then forces the lock off the bomb but is unable to disarm it. After killing Goldfinger’s men, U.S. troops open the vault. An atomic specialist rushes in and turns off the device with seven seconds left.

En route with Pussy, Bond is flown to the White House for lunch with the president, but Goldfinger hijacks the plane. In a struggle for Goldfinger’s revolver, the gun discharges and creates an explosive decompression that blows Goldfinger through the ruptured window. Bond and Pussy parachute safely from the aircraft before it crashes. Leiter’s search helicopter passes over the pair, who have landed in a wood. Bond declares: “this is no time to be rescued”, and draws the parachute over himself and Galore.

 

Goldfinger (1964) Box office

Goldfingers $3 million budget was recouped in two weeks, and it broke box office records in multiple countries around the world.[6] The Guinness Book of World Records went on to list Goldfinger as the fastest grossing film of all time.[6] Demand for the film was so high that the DeMille cinema in New York City had to stay open twenty-four hours a day.[84] The film closed its original box office run with $23 million in the United States and $46 million worldwide.

After reissues, the first being a double feature with Dr. No in 1966,[86] Goldfinger grossed a total of $51,081,062 in the United States[87] and $73,800,000 elsewhere, for a total worldwide gross of $124,900,000.[88]

The film distributor Park Circus re-released Goldfinger in the UK on 27 July 2007 at 150 multiplex cinemas, on digital prints. The re-release put the film twelfth at the weekly box office.[91] Goldfinger would again receive a re-release in November 2020 in the wake of Connery’s death.

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Goldfinger (1964) Critical Response

Derek Prouse of The Sunday Times said of Goldfinger that it was “superbly engineered. It is fast, it is most entertainingly preposterous and it is exciting.”

The reviewer from The Times said “All the devices are infinitely sophisticated, and so is the film: the tradition of self-mockery continues, though at times it over-reaches itself”, also saying that “It is the mixture as before, only more so: it is superb hokum.”[72] Connery’s acting efforts were overlooked by this reviewer, who did say: “There is some excellent bit-part playing by Mr. Bernard Lee and Mr. Harold Sakata: Mr. Gert Fröbe is astonishingly well cast in the difficult part of Goldfinger.”

Donald Zec, writing for the Daily Mirror, said of the film that “Ken Adam’s set designs are brilliant; the direction of Guy Hamilton tautly exciting; Connery is better than ever, and the titles superimposed on the gleaming body of the girl in gold are inspired.”[73]

Penelope Gilliatt, writing in The Observer, said that the film had “a spoofing callousness” and that it was “absurd, funny and vile”.[74] The Guardian said that Goldfinger was “two hours of unmissable fantasy”, also saying that the film was “the most exciting, the most extravagant of the Bond films: garbage from the gods”, adding that Connery was “better than ever as Bond”.

Alan Dent, writing for The Illustrated London News, thought Goldfinger “even tenser, louder, wittier, more ingenious and more impossible than From Russia with Love… [a] brilliant farrago”, adding that Connery “is ineffable”.[76]

Philip Oakes of The Sunday Telegraph said that the film was “dazzling in its technical ingenuity”,[77] while Time said that “this picture is a thriller exuberantly travestied.”[78] Bosley Crowther, writing in The New York Times was less enthusiastic about the film, saying that it was “tediously apparent” that Bond was becoming increasingly reliant on gadgets with less emphasis on “the lush temptations of voluptuous females”, although he did admit that “Connery plays the hero with an insultingly cool, commanding air.”

He saved his praises for other actors in the film, saying that “Gert Fröbe is aptly fat and feral as the villainous financier, and Honor Blackman is forbiddingly frigid and flashy as the latter’s aeronautical accomplice.”[79]

In Guide for the Film Fanatic, Danny Peary wrote that Goldfinger is “the best of the James Bond films starring Sean Connery … There’s lots of humor, gimmicks, excitement, an amusing yet tense golf contest between Bond and Goldfinger, thrilling fights to the death between Bond and Oddjob and Bond and Goldfinger, and a fascinating central crime …

Most enjoyable, but too bad Eaton’s part isn’t longer and that Fröbe’s Goldfinger, a heavy but nimble intellectual in the Sydney Greenstreet tradition, never appeared in another Bond film.” Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times declared this to be his favourite Bond film and later added it to his “Great Movies” list.[81]

The film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives a 99% rating and an average score of 8.6/10 based on 69 reviews. The website’s consensus reads, “Goldfinger is where James Bond as we know him comes into focus – it features one of 007’s most famous lines (‘A martini. Shaken, not stirred’) and a wide range of gadgets that would become the series’ trademark”.[82] Goldfinger is the highest-rated Bond film on the site.

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Goldfinger (1964) Accolades

American Film Institute lists

  • AFI’s 100 Years…100 Thrills: #71
  • AFI’s 100 Years…100 Heroes and Villains:
    • Auric Goldfinger: #49 Villain
  • AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes:
    • “A Martini. Shaken, not stirred.”: #90
  • AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs:
    • “Goldfinger”: #53
  • AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) – Nominated

 

Goldfinger (1964) Movie Info

Special agent 007 (Sean Connery) comes face to face with one of the most notorious villains of all time, and now he must outwit and outgun the powerful tycoon to prevent him from cashing in on a devious scheme to raid Fort Knox — and obliterate the world’s economy.

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