Bond, James Bond – Goldfinger

It’s time to review Goldfinger!  You know Goldfinger, it’s not possible you found this site and don’t know what Goldfinger is.  He’s the man with the Midas Touch!  According to this awesome poster I’m looking at, everything he touches turns to EXCITEMENT!

Year: 1964

Bond Actor: Sean Connery (Age:34)

Martini Count: 1

Women Slept With: 2

Villain’s Evil Scheme: To set off a Chinese dirty bomb in Fort Knox, destabilizing the World Economy and making the titular Goldfinger rich, Rich, RICH!

Meet the beginning of the modern iteration of James Bond!  Gasp as he shows off what an awesome ninja he can be by blowing up a drug cartel’s warehouse!  Stare in awe as Q labs provides a constant stream of wacky gadjets and sight gags!  Laugh as the normally calm and collected evil genius is constantly just <em>SO FURIOUS</em> with 007!  Become embarrasing aroused at the Bond Girl’s erotic name!  Oh no! Bond has got himself trapped in a death trap!  Will he be clever enough to outsmart to the mildly retarted guards?!  And then how will he deal with the impossibly tough bodyguard with the single defining characteristic?!

I kid not because I think Goldfinger isn’t a strong Bond film, it’s pretty good actually, but because I’m quite sad to see Bond’s ties to real world espionage go.  No more getting out of a jam with wits and a hidden knife for Commander Bond, from here on out for many films it will be all convenient toys, dumb luck, dumber henchmen, and attractive villanesses susceptible to Bond’s charms.  Goldfinger’s Bond is charming enough to convince Goldfinger’s accomplice to sleep with him in a room presumably paid for by Goldfinger who happens to be within waddling distance, but dumb enough to get caught and put into deadly situations again and again.

I am being so consternated no?!

Goldfinger does rank though as one of the more memorable villains.  His delivery of  the “I expect you to die” is absolutely flawless and sets the standard for dastardly evil geniuses.  His plot is particularly original and clever, though I suppose he could have waited twenty (or forty) years to let US banks basically carry out his plan for him.  Watching him with Bond though, makes him seem like a paunchy little bully.  As cool as he tries to be, he’s always on the verge of frustrated tears whenever Bond says something witty.  And he’s so cocky, he’s willing to risk the one henchperson (the delightfully named Pussy Galore) vital to his plan by leaving her to keep the man with the magic penis “occupied”.   Obviously Bond is able to not just bang Mrs. Galore back to the side of good, he manages to hump the lesbian out of her and make her just as hopelessly devoted to him as every other girl he meets.

Felix is not a subtle G-Man

Goldfinger’s action is pretty great, especially for the time, and the plotting is strong enough that I don’t mind that the US Government needs a British agent to solve her problems, or that the CIA (played by a stereotypically G-man looking Felix Leiter) is carrying out operations in the United States.   I don’t even mind the return of the evil nameless mute Chinese troops (horray racism!) or that the strongest female character in any Bond film thus far is fine with being ordered to basically sleep with an enemy agent (I expect nothing less than the finest mysogyny in a Bond film). The movie represents some of the coolest Bond moments you’ll see, but it also represents Bond acting shockingly dumb and lucking out that everyone else around him is just as dumb.  It also means we are one step closer to stunts emphasized with a slide whistle.  A <em>Slide Whistle</em>.

Bond Rating – (no) SPECT (involved) out of (no) SPECTRE (involved)

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One response to “Bond, James Bond – Goldfinger

  • Larry Holden

    Just a few quick notes on your article. Some of your comments dont’ seem to take into account the era in which the film was made and other’s are just a bit off the mark.

    1. Bond wasn’t in Jill’s hotel room (paid for by Goldfinger). She was in Bond’s room, and though he was dumb for humping her since she was had been a con artist for the villain, Bond probably assumed that Goldfinger was busy getting ready to skip town for fear of getting arrested by the police for his gambling. The problem I have is how Goldfinger could have known who Bond was or even if he was staying at that hotel since he only heard is voice over his earpiece.

    2. Though it is always presumed that Pussy was strictly lesbian, there is no reason to believe she may have been bi-sexual, which would explain Bond being able to have a go at her. I never assumed he screwed the lesbian out of her, I just assumed that after their tryst he was able to convince her how risky the whole plan was and especially when he revealed that the gas she was going to spray would mass kill people and not just knock them out. Most hired criminals are not all that loyal to begin with. After all, after what happened to the gangsters, Bond probably convinced her Goldfinger would kill her anyway.

    3. The CIA needed Bond in this operation because he had already been sent in to spy on him by the Service for the British Treasury, and since he seemed to them to already be in Goldfingers’ confidence, all they needed to do was keep tabs on the operation from a distance, though it should have been the FBI of course, but at that time those two agencies did not get along or shared each others intel very much.

    4. Never considered the Chinese troops a racists factor. China at that time was considered as much an enemy as the Soviets (and vice versa). Employing Goldfinger as free lance economic terrorist would have suited them fine. I always assumed the troops were part of the deal they made with him – they were there to safe guard the project as well as keep an eye on Goldfinger himself (back to that no loyalty amoung criminals problem). Dozens of Chinese in Switzerland? So what? They were at a private, closely guarded factory in a country that loves guarding secrets (especially anything to do with gold).

    5. When Goldfinger told Pussy to make Bond “comfortable”, I never assumed he was ordering her to sleep with him, only to guide him around the farm in view of the CIA in order to make them believe he was in Goldfinger’s confidence.

    6. My biggest fault with the film was always the gangster gassing scene. Why show them the plan in detail if he was just going to kill them within minutes of the meeting? Ego? Never made any sense.

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