Third in the James Bond Film Series, this movie have Sean Connery playing again as the protagonist. “James Bond is Back in Action, Everything he touches turns to excitement” is what the poster claims. Let us look from our angle that whether it lives up to the expectations the first two movies in the series have made.
The movies Dr. No, and From Russia With Love were huge box office hits. Which make the task to create the next movie an even challenging task. There was no doubt the people love this British Secret Service agent, but providing the challenging task to him and making him conquer the enemies by let him retain his COOLness is challenging task. This time Guy Hamilton was the director, first time in the series. This time the antagonist have addiction of gold, interestingly.
|Producers||:||Harry Saltzman, Albert R. Broccoli|
|Screenplay||:||Richard Maibaum, Paul Dehn|
|Based On||:||Goldfinger by Ian Fleming|
|Starring||:||Sean Connery (James Bond), Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore), Gert Fröbe (Auric Goldfinger), Shirley Eaton (Jill Masterson), Harold Sakata (Oddjob), Tania Mallet (Tilly Masterson), Bernard Lee (M), Cec Linder (Felix Leiter), Martin Benson (Mr. Solo), Desmond Llewelyn (Q), Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny), Austin Willis (Mr. Simmons), Burt Kwouk (Mr. Ling), Richard Vernon (Colonel Smithers), Margaret Nolan (Dink), and others…|
In the pre-title sequence Bond successfully implants time bomb with a lot of explosives to a Nitrogen plant and returns to a party going on locally. When the explosion takes place he was there. A fellow congratulate him and advise him to not to visit the hotel. Though Bond have some unfinished business there waiting for him. There he was attacked by an assassin from whom he saved himself. The use of the eyelids of the lady and witty decision of Bond to throw a live electric lamp with wire into the bath tub full of water where the attacker was trying to take Bond’s gun to shoot him was delight to watch. And the dialog then after “Shocking, really Shocking” is witty, humorous and spontaneous all at the same time!
We are taken to the Miami then. It is a nice way to say “Welcome To Miami”. The introductory view is stunning too. The fellows jumping from the diving board to the swimming pool makes the stuff more delicious. So does the skating lessons. CIA agent Felix Leiter find James Bond taking a massage from a girl and asks him, “I think I found you in good hands”! He than conveys him the message from London telling him to observe bullion dealer Auric Goldfinger who eventually stayed in the same hotel. Goldfinger started a game of card with a pigeon (well he was a man, but was trapped to loose the game). Bond started observing Goldfinger and found that he is not a good card player as Felix suggested but rather a cheat. Bond gets into Goldfinger’s room and find Jill Masterson was there with a binocular. She was observing the opponent’s cards and tells it to Goldfinger via phone. The receiver was eared by Goldfinger in the form of a Walkman. Bond distracts Jill and forced Goldfinger to loose. Well, he doesn’t like to loose, but he had no choice.
Jill was impressed by Bond and they decided to meet over the dinner. There Mr. Oddfix, the man of Goldfinger comes in and hits Bond from behind making him unconscious. When he got back to his senses he found that Jill was no more. She was there on the bad lying wear nothing but the gold! She was painted with gold which eventually killed her by epidermal suffocation. Bond was shocked seeing the scene. It was unbelievable shock for Bond. We have never seen Bond in such shock in any of the first two movies. We can see the anger, helplessness, shame, cry and other emotions altogether on his face. The matter became personal for him. When he meet M at the London headquarters, we see the same. Where M found calming Bond and asking him that as 00 he have to treat this as any other mission. He also said that he had to observe Mr. Goldfinger not to borrow his girlfriend. Bond admitted that he was aware of his shortcomings and he want to complete the assignment in the spirit M have suggested, if he was informed all about the mission.
M asks him that what you know about gold. Then he arranges Bond’s meeting with the bank official and it is revealed that the stuff is all about gold smuggling. The thing yet to know for the secret service is to found that how he smuggles gold over countries. Bond demanded if he could get him meet socially with Goldfinger. It was arranged and Bond played golf with him. Bond won the game and then he was introduced to the abilities of Goldfinger’s manservant. Who can broke a statue merely with his hat. He was the one who killed Jill. Anyway Bond was able to set location tracer to the Goldfinger’s car so he can trace him. The incidents from this point forward are the real essence of the story and movie both. How James settles the thing is a delight to watch. We mostly see War as the main problem (be it a missile launch, submarine hack, plane sabotage, infiltrating assembly, provoking nationals against each other, pushing terrorism to the next level etc. But it must be remember that drugs affects the society and smuggling the economy. The impacts are beyond imagination and never need to take them lightly. Goldfinger is probably most different kind of villains we have seen in any Bond movies. Gert Fröbe made him alive with his act. It again proves that you need a villain to prove hero his worth, and super villain does the maximum for the hero anyway. We can consider him to the Joker of batman in terms of appearance.
Interesting stuff about the movie:
- As Amitabh was hit by Punit Issar accidently when shooting for Coolie, Sean Connery had to suffer back injury when the scene was being filmed where Oddjob knocks Bond unconscious in Miami.
- This is the film which made Sean Connery the fan of Golf.
- Orson Welles was considered as Goldfinger, but his financial demands were too high.
- Lasers did not exist in 1959 when the book was written, nor did high-power industrial lasers at the time the film was made, making them a novelty. In the novel, Goldfinger uses a circular saw to try to kill Bond, but the filmmakers changed it to a laser to make the film feel more fresh.
- It was the first of the series showing Bond relying heavily on technology, the tradition followed in the Bond films came then after.
Gold fascinates humans since centuries, and when the antagonist talks about not a few grams or even kilograms but tons of gold, it makes it interesting nonetheless. Overall a movie with balanced combination of thrill, suspense, humor, witty dialogs, technology, acting, quality music and cinematography and of course story. This was the film which turn James Bond into a phenomenon. A delight to watch, for movie lovers.