Anthony's Film Review
With the third film, the James Bond series really takes off...
Goldfinger is the James Bond film that establishes the "Bond Formula." It does so many neat things that it serves as a model for later films in the series. For example, Goldfinger may not be the first Bond movie to present a sequence before the actual opening credits, but it is the first to present a song during these credits. In addition, the pre-credits sequence can have nothing to do with the rest of the movie, as if it's simply about a day in the life of James Bond. It's an unexpected but creative way to start a movie like this. The rest of the formula consists of high-tech gadgets, beautiful women, exciting action scenes, and grandiose villainous schemes for Bond to save the world from. Yes, it's true that some of these elements were introduced earlier in Dr. No and From Russia With Love. With Goldfinger, however, the formula is perfected like a martini that is shaken, not stirred.
James Bond's mission starts out with the simple task of finding out how industrialist Auric Goldfinger smuggles his gold overseas. Soon, it leads to the discovery of a bigger plot known as Operation: Grand Slam. Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) himself is an unforgettable villain, possessing a mixture of charm and menace that makes him Bond's match. There is also the henchman, a silent Korean servant named Oddjob (Harold Sakata) whose razor-rimmed hat makes him a deadly foe. And then you have the sexy pilot Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman). She is one of the most memorable Bond girls, along with Jill and Tilly Masterson.
Of course, Bond has his own usual allies in the British Secret Service, also known as MI6. M is the no-nonsense superior who puts much faith in Agent 007. Miss Moneypenny, the only recurring Bond woman, brings a flirtatious cheer to Bond as he walks by her desk in either direction. Best of all, there is the old gadget expert named Q, played by the memorable Desmond Llewelyn. The character's name is actually Major Boothroyd, the head of Q Branch, but this is the first Bond film in which this character is simply referred to as Q.
One of the biggest thrills of the movie is James Bond's car, the Aston Martin DB5. With modifications that include a revolving license plate, hidden machine guns, a homing device, and an ejector seat, this is a secret agent's dream car. While Bond has different models of cars over the years, the Aston Martin DB5 remains the classic 007 car. There are many great action scenes, from the first scene to the climax at Fort Knox, but the ones in which Bond uses this car at his disposal are especially spectacular.
There are many other great things about the movie. Sean Connery is probably the most charming in this film out of all of his Bond films. The dialogue is just wonderfully written, including Goldfinger's classic line, "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die." There is plenty of humor and wit mixed with thrills and excitement. And lastly, Shirley Bassey's performance of the title song is just brilliant and is a great contribution to the series as a whole.
Goldfinger is not just a great film in the Bond series, but also a classic film in general. It propelled the Bond series forward and inspired the whole fictional spy craze, with numerous spy movies and TV shows inspired by 007. With every element in the film just about perfect, it is no wonder that Goldfinger remains a favorite among Bond fans. It is certainly on my own list of favorite James Bond films. Anyone newly interested in the world of James Bond should watch Goldfinger, because it shows what the hype is all about.
For more information about Goldfinger, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my reviews of the following:
Official James Bond Films
Unofficial James Bond Films