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The pride of the British Secret Service, Agent 007 James Bond is on the trail of the "monomaniacal" Auric Goldfinger, "the man with the Midas touch," to try to find out how Goldfinger is smuggling his gold, and winds up trying to foil Goldfinger's dastardly plans to contaminate the gold in Fort Knox, which would give him ultimate economic power.
Screenplay by: Richard Malbaum and Paul Dehn, based on Ian Fleming's novel.
Directed by: Guy Hamilton.
This witty thriller starts the film with our hero James Bond (Sean Connery) stealthily sneaking into a private silo-type building in Jamaica to blow up a heroin-filled banana operation, to stop a smuggler. After finishing the job, he returns to his Jamaica hotel to hopefully have a romantic liaison with a Jamaican beauty, but winds up in a fisty cuff fight with a Jamaican thug sent to kill him. A big fight ensues, with the unfortunate thug being appropriately cooked, James Bond style.
After being equipped with special spy equipment, and a really cool car, with defense mechanisms in place, by Felix Leiter (Cec Linder), Bond moves on to his next assignment which is to investigate a bullion dealer, Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) who is suspected of stock-piling gold illegally through a smuggling operation. So, Bond is flown to Florida, where he finds Goldfinger vacationing in a resort hotel on the beach. Bond finds Goldfinger cheating at gin rummy, fleecing his competitor, by using an ear piece, by which a beautiful blonde young woman, Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton) can tell him what cards his unfortunate opponent has in his hand.
Using a smooth combination of charm, and firm but friendly force, James Bond moves in to foil Goldfinger's game, giving the competitor his money back in a unique way, and gaining another female bedmate, the beautiful Jill, at the same time. However, to spoil Bond's afternoon of delight, Goldfinger sends his henchman, Oddjob (Harold Sakata), who sneaks up behind Bond, as James looks for a cold bottle of champagne in the hotel fridge, and knocks him out. When James awakens, he finds Jill Masterson had been spray-painted entirely gold, which caused her to suffocate.
Thanks to the fast verbal tap-dancing of the American CIA, James Bond avoids detention by the Miami police and is whisked back to England to continue his investigation of Goldfinger. After a friendly game of golf with Goldfinger where Bond once again stops Goldfinger from cheating, and wins the game, Bond attaches a tracking device to Goldfinger's car, and starts following him throughout Europe. On the way, Bond bumps into another beautiful blonde woman, Tilly Masterson (Tania Mallet) who has plans to shoot Goldfinger with a high-powered rifle, because he had her sister, Jill killed. While he finds a unique way to disable her car and delay her, she unfortunately is killed by Oddjob, who does the deed by tossing his deadly hat at her neck, breaking it.
After a wild car chase around Goldfinger's factory, Bond is tied to a table, and nearly is cut in half by a laser beam, but is saved at the last minute when he lets Goldfinger know that he knows about Goldfinger's plan, called "Grand Slam."
Not wanting to take any chances that "Grand Slam" could be foiled, Goldfinger flies Bond back on a private jet to his Maryland horse farm. Bond finds a way to activate another tracking device in his shoe, to let his superiors know where he is, not that it helps him find a way out of the mess he was in. He is left to his own devices, using his own talents to try to save the day, and try to succeed in foiling the plot. And so it goes.
Goldfinger is a classic action, adventure comedy film not only because of its talented cast, skilled direction and well put together script that blends nicely the great action, witty, humorous dialogue, interesting gadgets, but also because it stars a character, James Bond (Sean Connery) who is every male's manly man ideal. Besides having the brains, daring and courage along with the emotionless cool to wiggle out of dangerous situations and having the fortitude get the job done, he also gets back at the dastardly wrong-doers, and has his way with all the beautiful women because of his natural charm, good looks, sexual prowess and skill in bed. No matter how tough the woman, he usually manages to successfully woe her by the end of the story, if she is capable of being turned.
The skillful direction was by the gifted, accomplished Guy Hamilton, who also directed the next three James Bond adventure films: "Diamonds Are Forever," "Live and Let Die," and "The Man with the Golden Gun," all which are films in this same genre, with various degrees of wittiness in the screenplays.
The enjoyable screenplay was written by Richard Malbaum & Paul Dehn, who based their screenplay on the novel by Ian Fleming, a former British Naval Intelligence Commander during WW2, who wrote many spy stories which focus on the adventures of the character of James Bond, Agent 007.
Richard Malbaum also was on board for many other Bond movies, including "Diamonds Are Forever," "Dr. No," "The Spy Who Loved Me," and "For Your Eyes Only." Paul Dehn went on to write the screenplays for the Planet of the Apes film series, and ended his long career with the masterpiece, "Murder on the Orient Express."
The talented cast more than did their part to bring this film to life.
Sean Connery is brilliantly convincing as the very capable, suave James Bond. Connery portrays Bond as a witty, dashing agent, who not only at the end of glorious adventure, gets his man, but also always makes time to make love to beautiful women along the way, and at the end of assignments as well. His reoccurring James Bond role in 6 films brought him fame, and really made him a big star. After many other acting experiences, Connery returns for one last time to play James Bond in "Never Say Never Again."
Gert Frobe, a well-known German actor, who made a very successful career out of playing "mostly heavies," and "brutish" characters, does a wonderful job portraying the dastardly, evil Auric Goldfinger.
Two characters that made a big splash with the viewing audience, as well as giving Bond some challenges to overcome, were Oddjob and Pussy Galore. A 6'11," 284 lb. Harold Sakata really enjoyed his role as Oddjob, Goldfinger's large, muscular employee who doubles as Goldfinger's henchman and chauffeur. Before he had turned to acting, Sakata was a silver medalist in the Olympic light-heavyweight weight-lifting at the 1948 games.
Honor Blackman was convincing as her character, the beautiful Pussy Galore, who was a tough, beautiful gal, with martial arts training. She worked for Goldfinger as a pilot and a flight instructor for Goldfinger's lovely female crew of flight pilots, who all have a mission to perform, "Rock -a -bye Baby." Will James Bond be able to use his charm and bedroom skills to woe this tough as nails gal, and change her bad attitudes and wrong way of thinking? You bet!
The wonderful musical score and title song, sung by Shirley Bassey, was composed by the talented composer, John Barry. No stranger to success, John Barry has been nominated many times and won 3 Oscars, and an emmy for his excellent work. He won Oscars for "Born Free," and "The Lion In Winter" to mention two, but his real talent for song writing is showcased in the songs he wrote for his Bond films, especially this title song, "Goldfinger."
The action sequences are well done and exciting, which is a trademark in other Bond films as well. The concluding battles in "Goldfinger," still give the audience exciting entertainment.
This film is rated PG. Parents should view this film first before letting their children see it. The action sequences in and out of bed are mild in comparison to today's action yarns, but people are killed, and James Bond is a big believer in sex for recreational purposes.