Countdown to Skyfall: Goldfinger (1964)

Countdown to Skyfall: Goldfinger (1964)

GOLDFINGER (1964)

BOND: Sean Connery

DIRECTOR: Guy Hamilton

BOND GIRL(S): Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore), Shirley Eaton (Jill Masterson)

COOL GADGETS: Bond's famous tricked-out Aston Martin vehicle.  It has everything: sonar tracking, ejector seats, weaponized hubcaps, and more!

THEME SONG: "Goldfinger," sung by Shirley Bassey.  Bold, brassy, and hugely memorable.  Every other theme song will try to live up to this one.

IMDB PLOT SUMMARY: Investigating a gold magnate's smuggling, James Bond uncovers a plot to contaminate the Fort Knox gold reserve.

ICONIC MOMENTS: The whole movie is one big iconic moment.  Most people point to Goldfinger as the best Bond movie, and you can kind of see why.  The gold-painted girl.  Odd Job throwing his hat at a statue and decapitating it.  Bond tied up with a laser coming for his crotch.  This exchange: "Do you expect me to talk?" "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die."  Pussy freakin' Galore.

FUN FACTS: When Bond discovers Jill Masterson dead in bed and painted gold, John Barry's music has the same few notes that Sneaker Pimps would use a few decades later to great effect in "6 Underground."

VERDICT: Goldfinger may be the most iconic Bond movie, but I don't think it's necessarily the best.  There are some great action sequences: my favorites are an awesome car chase early involving the Aston Martin, and Bond's face-off against Odd Job during the climax.  I love when Bond is trying to get out of his handcuffs before Odd Job can run down the stairs to stop him.  The lack of music in that scene really works.  Plus, Odd Job rules.  Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) may not be the likeliest of Bond villains (too old, too big), but he's an effective one.  I'm not so sure about Pussy Galore as a Bond love interest though.  Bond gets off a good line after hearing her name ("I must be dreaming"), but the two don't have much chemistry.  There is an extended golfing sequence that seems to go on too long (tip: never use golf as a thrill-mechanism), and for most of the second half, Bond is just in Goldfinger's custody and doesn't have too much to do.  Still a must-see though, if only because Goldfinger defines the entire Bond franchise.

GRADE: B+

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