Monday, November 5, 2012

My Favorite Bond: JB on Goldfinger

Our "My Favorite Bond" series continues with JB dipping himself in gold and championing the virtues of Pussy Galore.

50 Reasons Why I Love Goldfinger

1.    Best pre-credits “teaser” sequence…
2.    …that ends with one of the best quips in the entire series: “Shocking.”
3.    Sean Connery, inarguably the best Bond in the series’ history.
4.    The sight of Bond emerging from the lake in a wet suit and then taking it off to reveal a pressed, white tuxedo underneath.
5.    Best Bond theme song.
6.    The villain makes pocket money by cheating at gin rummy!
7.    Shirley Eaton painted gold — Yum.
8.    Score by John Barry, one of the best of the series
9.    Pussy Galore
10.    Miss Galore is clearly shown to be a lesbian; Bond “sets her straight” through sheer force of his machismo and will.
11.    “Hey Hey in the Hayloft!” Bond and Pussy’s fight in the barn.
12.    Fattest Bond villain. (Okay, that one’s personal.)
13.    Best Q briefing on new gadgets—
14.    “I never joke about my work, 007.”
15.    All that crazy shit going on BEHIND Q during that scene.
16.    Bond’s Aston-Martin…
17.    …and its famous ejector seat.
18.    One of the first Christmas presents I remember was the Corgi Toys’ miniature Aston-Martin. It was the coolest.
19.    That little car was the top-selling toy of 1964.
20.    The villain cheats at golf.
21.    Goldfinger is one of the few movies to make golf entertaining and suspenseful.
22.    Best henchman: Oddjob.
23.    Oddjob is so strong he can crush a golf ball with his bare hands — try it sometime. It’s harder than it looks.
24.    Death by razor-brim bowler hat.
25.    Pussy Galore.
26.    Best Bond villain scheme: irradiate America’s gold supply and render it worthless.
27.    Goldfinger was one of the first “next level” movie villains, like the latter Simon in Die Hard With A Vengeance or Joker in The Dark Knight. They are absolutely immoral.
28.    The laser-beam device Goldfinger straps Bond into, intending to melt his testicles.
29.     “Do you expect me to talk?” “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to DIE.” 
30.    A villain who serves Bond Mint Juleps -- Yum.
31.    Best “talking villain:” Goldfinger explains his mad scheme to his “investors” using huge, intricate models and relief maps minutes before he kills them — he’s just showing off.
32.    Death by car crusher.
33.    Pussy Galore.
34.    Is “Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus” the real inspiration for “Monty Python’s Flying Circus?” Think about it.
35.    “The taking of Fort Knox” is one of the best heist sequences in movie history.
36.    When things go bad at the end, Goldfinger instantly switches uniforms and shoots his own men — he is prepared for anything!
37.    The final fight between Bond and Oddjob, great fight choreography and one fight where Bond does not have the clear advantage.
38.    Oddjob smiling and motioning Bond to “hit him again.”
39.    The final time readout on the atomic device.
40.    Death by depressurizing airplane cabin window.
41.    Anytime a peculiar death scene in a movie is the subject of a segment on Mythbusters, you know the filmmakers have done something right.
42.    Pussy Galore.
43.    Latin America, London, Miami Beach, Switzerland, and Kentucky — this film is like taking a vacation!
44.    After a brief detour into cold war realism in From Russia With Love, Goldfinger writes the blueprint for the rest of the series.
45.    Entire film a testament to the skill and wit of legendary production designer, Ken Adams.
46.    Ken Adams was not allowed into the real Fort Knox. He had to guess at what the inside really looked like. Apparently, his guess was so on the money that it aroused the suspicions of the CIA.
47.    First Bond film to win an Academy Award, Best Sound Effects Editing.
48.    Goldfinger is not just the best—it is the best of the Connery films.
49.     Closing credit: “The End of Goldfinger. But Bond Will Return in Thunderball!”
50.    Pussy Galore
Other Bond Miscellany:

My Ranking of the Bond Actors: Connery, Craig, Dalton, Brosnan, Lazenby, and Moore.

Favorite Bond Theme Song: “Goldfinger,” sung by Shirley Bassey Runners-up: “Surrender” from the end credits of Tomorrow Never Dies, sung by K.D. Lang (it should have been used over the opening credits) and “You Only Live Twice,” sung by Nancy Sinatra

Least Favorite Bond Theme Song: “All Time High” (from Octopussy)

Favorite Bond Girls: Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman), Honey Rider (Ursula Andress), Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach), and Plenty O’Toole (Lana Wood)

Underrated Bond Movie: The Spy Who Loved Me

Least Favorite Bond Movies: For Your Eyes Only and Moonraker

Best Single Line in a Bond Movie: (Alec Trevalian to Bond in GoldenEye) “I might as well ask you if all those vodka martinis ever silence the screams of all the men you've killed... or if you find forgiveness in the arms of all those willing women for all the dead ones you failed to protect.”

Previously on "My Favorite Bond":
Patrick on On Her Majesty's Secret Service


  1. I love James Bond. Bond is half my cinematic childhood (the other half being Star Wars and Godzilla--I'm 150% percent man). We used to make Bond movies on my little Digital Blue video camera and edit in explosions everywhere. It was awesome. That being said, I was a reluctant Craig-Bond watcher, primarily because the advertisements didn't feel like they were advertising James Bond movies, but Bourne movies. Not that the Bourne movies are bad, but I have something pretty specific in mind when it comes to Bond movies, which is the archetype set up over fifty years. I feel like Casino Royale held onto this while trying to appeal to a more modern audience--fine. But then I watched Quantum of Solace, which turns Bond into little more than a brute force, machismo dolt with no gadgets and hardly even a girl. Maybe the ending is setting him up to be more Bondian in Skyfall, but with a mediocre record of one for one, I'm surprised Craig is your second favorite.

  2. Thanks F This Movie for getting me amped for Bond. I'm going back to watch all of the movies these next couple of months as I have only seen a handful of them. My first Bond was License to Kill which really didn't convince me to be a Bond fan off the bat. Then it was all that Bronsnan garbage (though Goldeneye is OK). Seeing Goldfinger in a film class double feature (w/Dr. Strangelove) in college was what turned the corner. I still remember the shocked response Sean Connery smacking poolside booty got from an audience of students. I'm really enjoying these columns. Keep up the good work.

  3. These columns inspired me to run to my local Best Buy and pick up many of my favorite Bond movies, which they were selling for $10 each. I picked up Dr. No, Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, and some of the more recent entries in the series, specifically Goldeneye and Casino Royale. I want to go back at some point and get Thunderball, On Her Majesty's Secret Service and The Spy Who Loved Me. It's going to be a Bond-filled month!

    1. I've been rewatching a BUNCH of Bond already, and seeing From Russia With Love again (coming soon to MFB!) made me realize it's definitely in the top five (it was only my second time seeing the movie). Your list of what you have/are going to get covers pretty much all the best titles!

    2. I too love FRWL, but it is a little grim. Rosa Klebb certainly belongs in the pantheon of great Bond villains. Shaw too.

    3. Rosa Klebb is, indeed, in the top 3 Bond villains, in my book, which may be a good part of why I enjoy that movie so much. However, that's not to say Goldfinger isn't a good (possibly the best) choice in terms of the movies. Honestly, becaue it embodies so much of what the Bond series is, it's probably the best entry overall, as far as I'm concerned, with Goldfinger being the best villain (Rosa Klebb being the second best and Blofeld in third).

  4. I like Craig because he has the toughness down-- clearly, he is capable of kicking your ass. He does lack a bit in the drollery department, although that us partially a function of the scripts he is given. My problem with Moore and Brosnan us that they both played the role too tongue in cheek. Connery had the best balance of machismo and absurdity. Bond needs both. Like his signature martini, it is a delicate balance.

    1. No need to justify Connery. As you say, his status is inarguable. The question is, for Craig, does his martini need more vodka? Or less Gordon's? I'm not sure I can say how I feel about him until I see Skyfall.

  5. I still have my Corgi Aston Martin. Everything works, but somewhere along the way I lost the "henchman" figure that gets shot out of the ejector seat. Damn!

    Oh, and Goldfinger is one fantastic movie. I know I slammed Cec Linder's Leiter in an earlier post, but he does have a terrific exchange with Bond at the end:
    Leiter: I told the stewardess, liquor for 3.
    Bond: Who are the other 2?
    Leiter: Oh, there are no other 2.

    1. I covet your Corgi! I probably swallowed mine.

  6. You really can't argue with this one. It is the quintessential Bond film. I think this was always on heavy rotation in my house growing up, so much so, when I was working at a camera shop in the 90's, a guy came in and had some pictures of his trip to Scotland blown up, and when I pulled the prints out I asked "Is that the Golf Course from Goldfinger?" It was. My co workers asked how the hell I could have recognized it. I did the finger gesture Goldfinger gave Oddjob when he cuts the head off the statue. At that time I don't think I had watched the movie in years.

    This was probably the first movie with GPS in the car too.

  7. Holy crimeny, JB's ranking of Bond actors is exactly right. Great to see the love for the under appreciated Dalton.