Tuesday, March 15, 2016

007 Movie Rewatch – Goldfinger (1964)

(This is a revised version of a Persona Paper post.)


After blowing up a drug lab, Bond goes to Miami to relax. There he’s met by Felix with orders to look after Auric Goldfinger. Bond sees that Goldfinger is cheating at cards by having Jill Masterson watch his opponent’s cards through binoculars and relay what he has to Goldfinger through his “hearing aid.” Bond screws that up then takes Jill to bed. Later that night – while getting more Champaign – Bond is knocked out by Goldfinger’s henchman Oddjob. When Bond wakes up, Jill is dead, having been painted gold.

Bond goes to London and is told to discover how Goldfinger is smuggling gold. Bond plays golf with Goldfinger, betting bars of “lost” Nazi gold. Both cheat at the game, but Bond wins. Before Goldfinger leaves, Bond bugs his car.

Goldfinger flies to Switzerland and Bond follows. There he runs into Jill’s sister Tilly, who wants revenge on Goldfinger. Bond sneaks into Goldfinger’s factory and discovers that he is melting down gold and hiding it in the frame of his car. Bond also overhears Goldfinger talking about Operation Grand Slam. Tilly shows up again and trips an alarm. Oddjob kills her and Bond is captured.

Goldfinger ties Bond to a table and starts burning through it with a laser. He has all intention of killing Bond, but Bond mentions Operation Grand Slam. Not wanting to maybe tip things off, Goldfinger spares Bond.

Bond wakes up on a plane being flown by Goldfinger’s pilot, Pussy Galore. They end up at Goldfinger’s horse farm in Kentucky. Bond escapes from his cell and overhears Goldfinger having a meeting with various mob bosses. He tells them his plan to spray nerve gas – which they helped smuggle into the country – over Fort Knox. One of the bosses isn’t interested in hearing more, so Goldfinger pays him in gold and Oddjob is to drive him to the airport. The other bosses Goldfinger gases. Bond is recaptured, and tries to get a message to Felix with the leaving boss, but Oddjob kills him and crushes the car.

Bond works out Goldfinger’s real plan. Instead of stealing the gold in Fort Knox, he’ll set off a dirty bomb. With the American gold supply radioactive, Goldfinger’s gold will be even more valuable.

Bond works his magic on Pussy. The next day, they spray the gas over Fort Knox knocking out the soldiers and drive in. But it turns out that Pussy alerted the authorities and changed the nerve gas to something harmless. All the soldiers were just acting. There’s a big fight between the soldiers and Goldfinger’s men, Bond kills oddjob, and they stop the bomb before it can go off. But Goldfinger puts on an American uniform and escapes.

Pussy is going to fly Bond to Washington to meet with the President, but Goldfinger is on the plane. They struggle, a gun goes off and Goldfinger is sucked out of a window. Bond and Pussy parachute to safety.


If you asked people to name some iconic James Bond moments, two that would most likely come up are the girl painted gold and the lines, “Do you expect me to talk?” “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.” Both of those come from this movie, and with cool gadgets in his car, the iconic henchman of Oddjob, and Pussy Galore, Goldfinger is what you expect a classic Bond movie to be like. Having seen the twenty some movies in this franchise, this third movie seems to be when they finally got their feet under them.

However, there are some issues. One of the biggest is the whole car crush thing. It doesn’t make any sense. Why not just walk that one boss into another room, shoot him, and dispose of his body with the rest? Why shoot him, and then crush the car? I think Goldfinger even talks about having to recover the gold he paid the boss with from the crushed car. So why crush the car in the first place? If it was so important to shoot the guy off the premises – where you just gassed a dozen guys to death – why not just drive back without crushing the car?

But the most uncomfortable issue – and to be honest, it is a classic Bond move – is his “kiss a woman until she submits” routine. Even if she says “No” or tries to fight you, just hold her tight and kiss her for five seconds and then she’ll have sex with you. For some time before she met Bond, Pussy Galore was working with Goldfinger on his plan to kill untold thousands of people for money. But after one night of being rough handled by Bond, she changes her mind. As an extremely sexually frustrated teenager – for whom just the name Pussy Galore gave thoughts to – I just loved the idea of having sex. But watching it now is rather creepy, and saying, “Well, that was just the time,” doesn’t help much.

No comments:

Post a Comment