Goldfinger (1964)

Goldfinger

Bond.  James Bond. Again.

Black Friday was good for me as I was able to pick Goldfinger up on Blu-ray for a reasonable price.  I’ve thought about getting the Bond Anthology on Blu-ray, but that’ll probably be somewhere down the road.

James Bond is dispatched to monitor Auric Goldfinger in Miami.  Along the way he meets Jill Masterson, an associate of sorts to Goldfinger.  Bond begins to uncover a plot to blow up Fort Knox, causing the value of gold to skyrocket and making Goldfinger a very rich man.  Along the way he uses his usual charms, makes love to women who then end up dying, getting captured, and ultimately saving the day.

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It seems there are two types of villains in Bond movies: those who want world power and those who want personal glory and fortune.  Another category is those who want revenge.  The ones who want world power, in my opinion, make for less enjoyable films.  It seems the personal vendetta and fortune tend to be more entertaining.  This one was no exception.  There seems to be less fight scenes in Goldfinger as compared to other Bond films, and although Goldfinger is certainly an imposing figure, he acts more as a puppet master who gets others to do his dirty work.

Goldfinger (1964)

Oddjob is probably one of my favorite enemies in the Bond films.  As I’ve previously stated, I love it when a character’s presence on-screen can do more than any words could.  Being a mute, Oddjob obviously relies on non-verbal communication when making a point.

It goes without saying that Jill Masterson’s gold-painted skin is one of the more iconic images in film history.  It just seems like something you don’t ever replicate.  As I’ve previously written, I was not a fan of Quantum of Solace.  One of the things that really pissed me off about that movie was  when they had the British agent in basically the same position on the bed covered in oil.  YOU DON’T MESS WITH A MASTERPIECE.  It should have been left alone, but that’s just what I think.

As far as Bond girls goes this one was pretty straightforward, but at the same time progressive given the time Goldfinger was released.  The Masterson sisters both do a great job in the limited time they’re in the film.  Jill is clearly the more recognizable of the two, given the gold painted scene.

Pusey Galore stands out as a Bond girl in the early years because of her fierce determination and screen presence.  “Pusey Galore was one of the few Bond girls to really have much in the way of character and intelligence.  While most are simply required to looking great and sigh ‘Oh James!’ on cure, Blackman’s charm, and some neat writing, made her strong character unforgettable.”

This was also a film that started and featured more prominently the gadgets from MI6.  It was interesting to see Desmond Llewelyn as a younger man.  Most of the Bond films I’ve seen lately with him in it are when he’s much older.  This was also the film that introduced the Aston Martin DB5, a car most guys would probably like to own, or at least drive.

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There’s something special about Sean Connery’s Bond.  I was talking with my dad a while ago about the latest Bond film, Skyfall, which we’d both seen.  He commented that he was a pretty hard-line traditionalist in the sense that for him, Connery’s Bond was in a class all his own.  While both he and I think Daniel Craig is doing great thus far as 007, Connery still is our favorite.  His ability to balance being a top-notch spy, while also having fun with the character is one of the things I enjoy most about him.  Roger Moore was too much of a goof for me, Pierce Brosnan had terrible writers, George Lazenby, well that goes without saying.  Timothy Dalton was my second favorite Bond, but he’s now third being Craig.  Connery toes the line in the balancing act of being fancied by the ladies and cheered on by the men.  His appeal as Bond seems wider because he can reach more people with his acting ability.  Connery gave an interview that was on the Blu-ray, and he’d made the comment that Goldfinger was his fourth film to do that year.  I can’t imagine all that work, but hey, he enjoyed it, and was a great actor.

I actually just looked up Sean Connery and saw that he’d made his first public appearance in 2 years back in May.  The article I read said he looked great, but honestly I was a bit taken back at how different he looked even compared to his last films.  It’s understandable though, he is in his 80s.

Overall I can see why this film stand out in the Bond franchise.  It has a strong Bond, female presence, and enemies.  It has a well-balanced story and action, but also fun and more lighthearted than the first two Bond films.  I will most definitely watch this one again, if not once then a few times.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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