Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


GOLDFINGER (1964). Director: Guy Hamilton.

"I don't expect you to talk, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die." 

In the third and one of the very best of the James Bond movies, 007 (Sean Connery) must go up against cheat and murderer Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe), who has concocted a wild plan to loot Fort Knox -- although his plot has a cleverer and more sinister edge to it. Along the way he encounters Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton of The Million Eyes of Sumuru), a pretty associate of Goldfinger's who winds up smothered in gold paint; her vengeful sister, Tilly (Tani Mallet); the oddly likable, supremely confidant, if completely homicidal Oddjob (Harold Sakata), who can behead statues with his hat; the cool, competent pilot Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman of The Glass Tomb); and a granny who fires a machine gun at Bond as he races by in his fancy auto. Martin Benson [The Cosmic Monsters] appears as a hood named "Solo" who turns out to have a "pressing engagement" in a car-pressing machine. Stand-out sequences include the bit with Bond's private parts menaced by an approaching laser beam as he lies helpless on a table (Connery is convincingly apprehensive during this scene), and the equally suspenseful climax inside Fort Knox with Bond battling Oddjob as a bomb keeps ticking away. Connery is excellent as Bond, and Frobe is simply superb as Goldfinger, one of the most memorable -- if not the most memorable -- of all Bond villains. Goldfinger can be illogical at times -- surely the good guys could have come up with a way of keeping the bomb out of Fort Knox! -- but it's consistently entertaining, fast-paced, and well-acted, with a pip of an epilogue, everything awash in a fine score by John Barry, including the title tune warbled by Shirley Bassey.

Verdict: They don't make Bond films like this anymore! ***1/2.


angelman66 said...

Agreed, this is the very best of the entire series. Classy and slick. The death of the Shirley Eaton character is iconic, as is Bassey's rendition of the song. Mr. Connery was obviously still having a blast playing the character...which he would soon tire of...but that would lead to a whole parade of James Bonds, not necessarily a bad thing.

William said...

I loved Sean Connery in the role but also enjoyed Timothy Dalton, think Daniel Craig is excellent, and Roger Moore was fun as a more comic interpretation. I even liked George Lazenby in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." Did I leave someone out? Yes, I can't remember his name just this second but I thought he wasn't too bad, if not quite as good as the others. Pierce something or other? Pierce Brosnen!