Goldfinger

(GB, 1964, 110 mins)
Director:
CAST Sean Connery, Honor Blackman, Gert Frobe, Shirley Eaton, Harold Sakata, Bernard Lee
Classification:
Introduced by James Bond expert Murray Gillespie

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The Bank of England has detected an unauthorized leakage of gold from the country, and Bond is sent to investigate. The suspect is one Auric Goldfinger, the richest man in the country. His dastardly scheme involves borrowing a nuclear missile from the Chinese in order to irradiate American gold reserves in Fort Knox, thus decimating the US economy while sending the value of his own gold holdings through the roof! (Not only that, he also cheats at golf.)

As critic Kim Newman noted, Goldfinger is the point where Bond films became their own genre. It’s a supremely confident piece of masculine wish-fulfillment. 007 seduces both of Goldfinger’s babes, Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton) and the memorably named (Sappho-inclined) Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman), and for his pains he’s tied to a table while a laser beam crawls up his inner thigh… There is also the bowler-hatted Korean minion Oddjob to avoid. Luckily Bond has a few cards up his sleeve too, like the ejector seat Q has installed in his Aston Martin. This is also famous for Shirley Bassey’s full-throated rendition of the John Barry theme song, "Gooold-Fin-Ger…He’s the man, the man with the Midas touch…"

"A dazzling object lesson in the principle that nothing succeeds like excess." Penelope Gilliatt