Bonding with Bond, Day 3: Goldfinger

Community Manager Ryan Fujitani is watching all of the James Bond films in order.

This is Day 3 of my three-week journey, and my writeup is be on Goldfinger, another beloved Bond classic.


So far, watching the Bond films has yielded revelation upon revelation, as I saw the various elements that later films borrowed from them. I think, for example, that I would have appreciated the Austin Powers series on a far greater level had I seen Goldfinger first. Goldfinger vs. Goldmember, Pussy Galore vs. Alotta Fagina, Oddjob vs. Random Task, etc. And I promise that'll be the last comparison I'll make to Austin Powers for a while -- even I'm somewhat disturbed it's my first point of reference.

The beginning of Goldfinger immediately sets a different tone from its predecessor, as we see Bond swimming underwater with a faux duck pasted to the top of his head. After emerging and tossing aside the disguise, he deploys a grappling hook to scale a wall, dispatches a guard, breaks into a room full of heroin and explosive gas to plant a bomb, sheds his wetsuit to reveal a pristine white tux, and casually lights a cigarette as a blood orange explosion thunders in the background. This is how I had always pictured 007.

We also get our first look at Q branch, where all the spy gadgets are born, and Bond's classic, pimped out Aston Martin DB5. The familiar tools of the trade are starting to come together, and that's pretty novel to see for the first time. From simply supplying a Walther PPK, to providing an all-purpose briefcase, to building a bulletproof, machine gun equipped, oil-slicking, "homer" tracking luxury car, it seems Q's budget has gotten some attention.

One thing that's remained constant so far, however, is the level of sophistication and chivalry in Bond's adversaries. Dr. No practically treats him to an all-inclusive spa vacation; Red Grant maintains polite conversation even as he's about to blow Bond away; and here, Goldfinger plays a round of golf with him before attempting to split his coccyx up the middle with a laser. I suppose it makes sense on some level; if I could convince my greatest enemy to sit down, have a cigar, and discuss fixed rate mortgages, it'd probably be that much easier for my henchman to sneak up from behind and take the sucker's head clean off with his deadly... hat. Sadly, I fear quality nemeses like these have gone the way of the archaeopteryx.

There isn't as much womanizing in Goldfinger, partly because Bond is ordered to keep himself in check, and partly because Pussy Galore isn't the kind of woman who will stand for it. Her name is an utter tease, because she's so far the only woman who hasn't immediately disrobed upon making eye contact with Bond. But let's be serious here; this is James Bond. Does he end up literally rolling in the hay with PG (ha, ironic!) anyway? Naturally. I've come to expect it.

All in all, Goldfinger was a nice mix of its two predecessors, blending the playfulness and charm of Dr. No with the story and production quality of From Russia With Love. It was campy at times, but it also had some decent action and a relatively believable plot that was easy to follow, not that you need a 170 IQ to follow any Bond plot, it seems. Finally, I'm somewhat reluctant to admit it, but I think I'm finding I enjoy the sillier elements in these films more than anything else.

My favorite line: "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"

My favorite moment: The gassing of Fort Knox, which plays out much like the fainting goats viral video. It was so good I rewound it and watched it in double-time, which made it even better.

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Martha Boatright

"No, Mr. Bond I expect you to die!" is one of the greatest quotes in all movies, period.

Oct 23 - 06:07 PM


David Chung

Alotta Fagina, forgot about that name - subtle, yet brilliant play on words.

Oct 23 - 07:09 PM

inactive user

Jared King

GOOOOLLDFINGERR!! Alotta Fagina, I like it! This might be the best of the series, and that's saying a lot. "Casino Royale" meets it a the Bondometer. ALOTTA FAGINA!!

Oct 23 - 07:17 PM


Brandon R

Another great one-liner/quote from Goldfinger:

Bond: "An ejector seat, you must be joking!?"

Q: "I never joke about my work 007."

Oct 23 - 07:24 PM


RT-Ryan .

I also enjoyed the moment when the ejector seat actually gets put to use. That was good times. And another line I really enjoyed comes from the beginning of the film, when Bond knocks an assailant into a full bathtub, then smacks a space heater in along with him. The baddie expires in a fizzle and Bond says, simply, "Shocking... Positively shocking." Golden.

Oct 23 - 07:51 PM


Chris Moore

What else can be said about Goldfinger that hasn't already been said? It's pretty much required viewing for anyone interested in the Bond series. A spy movie masterpiece.

Oct 23 - 08:35 PM


Shawn Eastridge

Yesss!! Glad to see you enjoyed Goldfinger! It's definitely my favorite Connery Bond. Pure entertainment from start to finish (I can't even imagine how much fun this one was in theaters when it was first released). You simply don't get more classic than that Aston Martin, Goldfinger, Oddjob, ***** Galore, the granny with the machine gun, and the bomb that stops at 007 seconds. None of the following Connery Bond's quite live up to this one. But, if it's the sillier elements you are enjoying, wait until you get to Diamonds are Forever and Roger'll flip your jaint.

Oct 23 - 10:26 PM


Shawn Eastridge

p.s. hahaha, it edited out Ms. Galore's first name in my post...beautiful

Oct 23 - 10:54 PM


Shawn Eastridge

p.s. hahaha, it edited out Ms. Galore's first name in my post...beautiful

Oct 23 - 10:54 PM


Matt Ritchey

Ah, just wait, my friend, you have yet to witness the near-perfectness of THUNDERBALL!!!!!

Oct 24 - 12:04 AM


Adam Collins

This was also the debut of the Ford Mustang. This is my second favorite behind only FRWL. Thunderball being next, you are in for a ride. I can't wait to read your reviews everyday. This has been great and we are only 3 in.

Oct 24 - 06:08 AM


Raymond Hopkin

Your in for such a treat! I'm with you all the way, I've done the 'watching all the Bond film in order' thingy since 1985, just before I watched my first Bond movie at the theatres: "A View To A Kill", and then I watch them all again before each new one is released! (and yes, I'm in the middle of doing it again now!) I even read all the books in order every few years. The early ones are great, and yes, if you can just imagine watching them in the cinema for the first time back in the 60's, it does make you envious of them! They even did double bills of them (Dr.No/From Russia With Love, Goldfinger/Thunderball etc) Magic!! Don't let people tell you about the Moore ones being poor - they are still a lot of fun, and even if people say they are 'campy' or that Roger doesn't have that 'nastyness' that Sean had, don't listen to them! He has his moments of cold bloodied killing. (although even I have to admit he does sink to a new low in his last ones - he doesn't actually kill anyone in A View To A Kill - still enjoyed it though!)

Anyway, hope you enjoy your marathon as much as I'm doing, have fun!

Favourite Sean one: From Russia With Love
Favourite Roger one: Live And Let Die/ For Your Eyes Only
Favourite Timothy one: License To Kill
Favourite Pierce one: Goldeneye

Favorite overall: OHMSS (closely followed by Casino Royale)

PS: Are you going to do the whole thing and watch the Peter Sellers spoof from 1967 - it's absolutely bonkers! Makes no sense but has it's moments, way better that the Austin Power ones! (Favourite scene: Woody Allen escaping a firing squad by scrambling over the wall behind him, just to land in front of another firing squad preparing to shoot!!)

Oct 24 - 06:24 AM


Ian Kelleher

I'm digging this series. Can't WAIT to hear what you make of Diamonds are Forever. Anyway, Goldfinger is the one that all the others (until Casino Royale) were trying to copy. It's the seminal Bond flick, with all the seminal beats and moments. To me, it's the one that cemented all the cliches, which, come to think of it, is also a bit of a minus for the film.

OHMSS needs to be remade. That story rocks, and the film is a blast. Too bad that Lazenby gets such a bad rap.

Oct 24 - 07:00 AM


Derek Meadors

To each his own man. Do not be worried about liking the campy Bonds more than the serious Bonds. The great thing about the Bonds is there's something for everyone. For those wanting more serious, there's the first six films, thr Dalton films, Goldeneye and Casino. For campy fans there's Diamonds, the whole Roger Moore span, and the other three Brosnan films. Just have fun watching them and worry less about what some people on this site will think of you.

Oct 24 - 11:08 AM


Jay Rog

I think you will be surprise by how incredible the action scenes are in Thunderball for 1965. It won bet visual effects for a reason. Thunderball was the most successful James Bond film up until Goldeneye, so hopefully after you watch it you'll know why :)

Oct 24 - 01:03 PM


Mike PArker

You have a great trip ahead of you...but a word of advice.

Remove the original Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again from your list.

Nobody...and I mean nobody...considers them to be Bond films.

Casino is a spoof of bond films, and somehow (I guess through slippery legal action) they were able to use the James Bond name and the book title. Nothing else in common with the character. Calling it a Bond movie would be like calling Meet the Spartans a sequal to just isn't so.

As for Never Say Never was made by a different production studio when the rights to the character reverted or some such...and they basically used a different writer's script adaptation of Thunderball...which makes it the exact same movie...character names and all. Oh...not exactly the completely sucked. I have no idea how Connery didn't realize the lines he was reading sounded familiar...well I've heard he wasn't too bright.

I'm surprised the other folks in the office let you add those two to your list. Nobody will blame you if you save yourself a couple of agonizing nights watching those fakes.

Otherwise...enjoy...and this is making me want to do the Bond marathon thing all over again.

Oct 24 - 04:09 PM


RT-Ryan .

This is one of the best things so far about writing this article: seeing all the hardcore Bond fans come out and kick some knowledge at me. Thanks so much for your thoughts and encouragement; I'm really enjoying the trip so far. I can't respond to everyone, but I'll say a few things...

It's true, I'm enjoying the sillier elements in general, but I'm also able to see how and why the Bond mystique took over the world. These movies are grand spectacles, larger than life. boyo, I can imagine what it must have been like watching all these in the theaters - an incredible rush!

bondfreak, being that you are, well, a bondfreak, I take your words seriously. My writeup for Thunderball isn't as focused on the film itself as the first few writeups have been, so I will say here that I found it very enjoyable. It is, of course, hard to go back and watch some of these with an unbiased mind, having first seen the movies Bond has spawned that have such high production value and gigantic budgets, but they're still fun nonetheless. I hope you aren't disappointed by what I say in the Thunderball piece.

I am aware that those two films are quite out of place in the canon of Bond films, but we decided to include them for giggles anyway. I'm watching Casino Royale tonight, in fact, so maybe my writeup tomorrow will be allowed the luxury to be a bit more loopy.

Thanks again everyone, and keep reading and commenting. It's great to see.

Oct 24 - 05:37 PM


Patrick Clark

Still to this day my favorite of all the films--though I never really stopped to think why Goldfinger gave the whole lecture on his plot to all the mobsters then killed them haha whoever brought that up in one of these posts nice pull...

Fun little fyi for those who didn't know already (which probably isn't many people here, which is awesome) PG was written in the novel as a lesbian hence her initial resistance to Bond's advances and making Bond's sexual prowess appear that much more impressive since he is able to "turn her."

Oh and I agree on the Casino Royale spoof having been unnecessary but whatever thats cool you gave it a chance. However, as ridiculous as Never Say Never Again is, I definitely support the watching of that if anything out of respect for Connery, who always stated that Thunderball was his favorite of the Bond films he did--so even though it was a different production company, it was an intentional remake to update it to modern times (sound familiar?).

Oct 27 - 08:32 PM


Dan Last

Budget-$1m...Worldwide Box Office-$59.5m

Budget-$2m...Worldwide Box Office-$78.9m

Budget-$3m...Worldwide Box Office-$124.9m

Nov 2 - 10:41 AM


Dan Last

A scene where Bond passes by a Royal Mail van in Q-Branch which quickly transforms into a sniper platform and machine gun turret was cut, but can be seen projected on the dances in the title sequence. The atomic clock in Fort Knox was originally cut to end at 003, but it was later changed to stop on 007, hence the continuity error of the line "three more ticks".

Nov 2 - 11:21 AM

Michael W.

Michael Wilson

Ryan, I wish I had seen this 007 adventure plan of yours earlier than May of 2009. You could really have used someone to hold your hand a bit to help you on your path. It's probably impossible for anyone just seeing these films today to understand how different they were when first created in the 1960's. There had never, ever been any films like them before that time and just about every action adventure movie since has borrowed heavily from what they first put on the screen. The great thing that is happening today is that the new films are returning to a more serious approach that the original films first introduced. This may not be considered great if you're one of the people like like the "campy" films but for those of us who adhere to the spirit of the Ian Fleming creation, serious (with a touch of fun) is best. I've not read your review yet on the Roger Moore 007 films but suppose you'll enjoy them. I, however, never found them of interest and thought this part of the series was the low point. To each his own Bond, however.

May 18 - 10:45 PM

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