2 July 2010 | dfle3
Sean Connery shines as Bond. The first great movie. 85/100
In his 3rd outing as super spy James Bond, Sean Connery gives his finest performance in this role. He's suave in this movie in a way that he wasn't before...especially compared to the debut of this franchise ("Dr.No"). Never before has he been this likable...you just want to be with him...or better yet, be him! (hmmm...that's if you are a bloke).
There are times in this movie when his attempts at bon mots or interaction with women aren't his high points, but they are buried under the rest of his charismatic performance.
When I first saw this movie a month or so back, I was looking at scoring it around 8/10. Having watched it again the other day, I have to say how pleasurable it still was...the lovely chemistry between Connery and Honor Blackman, and just the winning persona of Connery as Bond in this movie. The first two Bond movie don't really have that 'repeat' viewing quality. For me, this is ultimate Connery as Bond movie. The plot is simple and Goldfinger's personal assistant is one of the most memorable henchman in the franchise...more memorable than some of the principle villains in the past or future movies.
The U.S.A. (Miami, Kentucky); Geneva.
Seemingly legit businessman Auric Goldfinger is suspected by Bond's organisation (MI5) of being a gold smuggler, so James is assigned to find out how Goldfinger is managing to smuggle gold undetected. Just by the by, you do get a nice snapshot of the business of gold early on in the movie...the world's changed since then...the British currency no longer is supported by the value of Britain's gold reserves. As for Goldfinger's actual scheme...it's wonderfully ambivalent...initially I just found it totally absurd, yet it does have its own diabolical logic which makes it insanely sensible!
Looking at the end credits, it seems that the scenes supposedly shot in the US were done at Pinewood studios, in England...the studio made famous by the Bond movies. With this bit of information, it sort of makes sense now why the Americans didn't really sound convincing to me...but maybe they are real American actors, and not British impersonators.
This is the first Bond movie to 'tick all the boxes' as far as the franchise formula is concerned:
Yes. You get the iconic gun barrel graphic, theme music and gunshot. Then the pre-theme sequence which now appears for the 2nd time, after the first movie did not feature it.
Movie title theme:
Yes. The first Bond movie where the theme song is at the start. And this is the first classic too...by Shirley Bassey, of course. Surely the greatest exponent of this formula. The lyrics pretty much give you the back story to Auric Goldfinger!
Yes. Bond comes off as patronising a couple of times in his dealings with women...by what he says ("Man talk") or a slap on the bum. This is a minor quibble, as he does come across as cooler other times, even when he isn't being the perfect gentlemen to some of the female characters.
Silly female character names:
Yes. You get the impression that "Dink" is a rather lame attempt at this formula, but gosh, you ain't seen nothing yet! One of the male characters has a rather odd name...literally. Both of these names gets 'satirised' in one of the Austin Powers movies.
Yes. Thank God that even M has gotten sick of this trait by now! (he describes one of Bond's digressions as a "lecture"...bravo M!).
Yes. Second time in a movie, after the debut movie didn't have it. A fixture now.
End credits teaser:
Things to look out for:
Famous last words by Bond:
He makes a gratuitous comment about The Beatles, which had by then taken the world by storm...note how it combines old world taste in music with Bond's signature snobbery!...not often you hear the phrase "The Beatles" and "earmuffs" in the same sentence!
"My dear girl, there are some things that just aren't done, such as drinking Dom Perignon '53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. That's just as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs!"
This might be the first mention of other "00" spies...and that they may be better for some assignments than Bond is...as M lets him know, not too subtly.
Bond's prowess -
Not sure, but maybe the principle female character in this movie is supposed to be a lesbian...it seems to be hinted at, obliquely. Bedding her would surely cement the Bond legend, right? S.P.E.C.T.R.E. - you can't look at them. It's not featured in this movie...which might actually be why I like it so much.
The end credits mention a technical adviser called "Russhon"...which is a name that appears in the movie...on a sign near Fort Knox. Speaking of which...how is accurate is the representation of Fort Knox?