Release year: 1964
Director: Guy Hamilton
Screenwriter: Richard Maibaum, Paul Dehn, Ian Fleming (based on the novel by)
Starring: Sean Connery, Gert Fröbe, Honor Blackman, Shirley Eaton, Tania Mallett, Harold Sakata, Bernard Lee, Martin Benson, Cec Linder
Ratings: 1 Oscar: Best Sound Effects.
Moviegeek Sunday Classic #330, week 44 2020
While investigating gold magnate Goldfinger (Fröbe), Bond (Connery) discovers a plot to take down Fort Knox. Now he must dodge killer hats and try to lure Goldfinger’s personal pilot Pussy Galore (Blackman) over to his side to save the world yet again.
Probably one of the best known Bond songs as well as one of the most memorable Bond girl names as well as the equally memorable baddie Oddjob with his deadly bowler hat, Goldfinger continues the tradition of thrilling and adventures spy movies. The Bond movies has a unique way to almost be self-mockery while still remaining almost too sophisticated for its own good. This is mainly due to the great character James Bond is and helped tremendously by the way the charismatic Connery (The Rock, 1996) plays him. Here he is up against Goldfinger, played by German actor Fröbe (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 1968) who is less colourful than some of the other bad guys and therefor almost more intimidating. Shirley Bassey’s Bond song is still one of the best known and best working, a stylish musical set up for a classy film with Connery once again playing Bond as cool and irresistible to the other sex. The gadget level keeps expanding with the Aston Martin with extra equipment becoming one of the best known movie cars but this still has a gritty and serious touch through the menacing and cold Goldfinger delivering one of the most famous Bond quotes (you know which one!) and the inanely memorable laser scene. Goldfinger is gold.
NB: The trailer contains spoilers:
It’s in this movie that Q’s character really clicked. Director Guy Hamilton advised Desmond Llewelyn to inject humor into the character, thus beginning the friendly antagonism between Q and Bond that became a hallmark of the film franchise.
Ian Fleming partially based the title character of his original 1959 novel “Goldfinger” on the controversial Modernist architect Erno Goldfinger. When he learned that Fleming was naming the villain of his new James Bond novel “Goldfinger”, the architect threatened to file a lawsuit against Fleming’s publisher in an effort to stop the book’s publication. Fleming’s publisher then contacted the author to inquire whether Fleming might consider renaming the character, and the novel. Fleming replied that he’d be delighted to alter the name, if he could change the name of the character, and the novel, to “Goldprick”. Fleming’s publisher quietly settled the architect’s lawsuit out of court.
Gert Fröbe spoke very little English, so British actor Michael Collins dubbed his voice. Director Guy Hamilton instructed Fröbe to speak his lines (in German) quickly, which would assist the dubbing. Reportedly though, Fröbe was speaking English in a few scenes which reduces the awareness of the dubbing. In the trailer, Fröbe’s own heavily accented voice is heard when Goldfinger tells James, “Choose your next witticism carefully, Mr. Bond, it may be your last”. Fröbe dubbed his own voice in the German dubbed version of the movie, too.
Picture copyrights: Warner Home Video