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April 5, 2013

Goldfinger (1964)
Director: Guy Hamilton
Actors: Sean Connery, Gert Frobe, Honor Blackman

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Synopsis: James Bond (Sean Connery) is sent on the trail of arch gold magnate, Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe). This trail goes from Miami, to Switzerland, and on to Kentucky, where Goldfinger has a sinister plan for Fort Knox….

Review: This is the definitive Bond movie. It contains a fantastic plot – realistic enough in its gold smuggling machinations but supplemented by a sensational Fort Knox conspiracy. It’s got a great villain in Goldfinger, the most famous henchman of the entire series in Odd Job, and a truly memorable Bond girl in Honor Blackman’s striking Pussy Galore. Revisiting this movie for the umpteenth time, I forgot just how exciting it all is. The plot really does rattle on by, and there isn’t one wasted scene. It features one of the most iconic pre-credits sequences in the whole series (Bond using the ‘duck’ diving suit, blowing up a factory, swiftly changing into a tux, before dispatching the final villain after seeing him in the eyes of the girl he’s romancing). The card scene in Miami and golf match in England are ingenious ways of setting up the battle of wills between Goldfinger and Bond, and of course, there’s the utterly unforgettable murders of the Masterson sisters – one spray-painted in gold and the other falling victim to Odd Job’s steel-tinted bowler hat.

Though there are explosions and pyrotechnics, what I like most about Goldfinger is how taut and gripping the action sequences are. They’re so classically dramatic they could almost work as silent pieces – and the apex of these are when Bond infiltrates Goldfinger’s metallic plant in Switzerland, then the climactic Fort Knox raid. The film’s Bondian cocktail is just perfect really, and certainly, if a ‘Bond virgin’ asked me which movie best represented what the series is all about, I’d recommend this one. (April 2013)

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