Goldfinger (1964)

Goldfinger (1964), directed by Guy Hamilton.

The third Bond file swings back to the silly side of the orbit after the more serious From Russia with Love (1963). This one introduces the pre-credits prologue story, fascination with little gadgets and the armed car. Car chases and gunplay, crushing cars and the a-bomb timer countdown: it's pretty exciting after we get past the golf course.

Sean Connery's great talent is to sail through all the different moods with equal ease. Intense and tough when he needs to be, light and comical, smoldering lover: he does whatever's required and seems like the same character throughout, which is impressive.

We're still in the era of women as unchallenging conquests. Miss Galore (Honor Blackman) puts up some resistance, but switches sides after one intimate encounter with Bond. I like to think she believed him and had ethical qualms when he told her the nerve gas was fatal. In later years the Bond Girl (always a hazardous assignment) had to be more estimable, an appeal to female audiences.


[A naked woman steps from the bath, embraces Bond and complains about his gun...]

She: Why do you always wear that thing?

He: I have a slight inferiority complex.

I always presumed the title character was supposed to resemble Nikita Khrushchev:

He should have consulted the Evil Overlord rules, particularly:

#4: Shooting is not too good for my enemies.

#6: I will not gloat over my enemies' predicament before killing them.

#10: I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum -- a small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.

#15: I will never employ any device with a digital countdown. If I find that such a device is absolutely unavoidable, I will set it to activate when the counter reaches 117 and the hero is just putting his plan into operation.

#58: If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose dramatically and toss off a one-liner.

#84: I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the opposite sex.

Note that Odd Job kicks Bond's butt. 007 got lucky at the end.

John Barry score.

Available on Blu-ray.