Movie Review by Dr Kuma
Starring: Sean Connery, Honor Blackman, Gert Frobe, Shirley Eaton, Tania Mallet
Director: Guy Hamilton
This, the third entry in the most successful movie series in history, is seen by many as the best 007 film and the one that the more cynical reviewers say has been copied ever since.
Although I’m a huge 007 fan I’ve actually never thought GOLDFINGER was the best film but seeing it once again on the big screen made me realise what a landmark film it is, not just in the Bond franchise but in cinema history as a whole.
It was this film that ushered in Cool Britannia in the 60’s. It was a time when Great Britain was just that and ruled the world of fashion, music and of course GOLDFINGER is a perfect encapsulation of that time. It also boasts the first screen appearance of the most famous car in history, 007’s Aston Martin DB5 (with accessories). GOLDFINGER ushered in a new wave of lushness that had been missing from British cinema screens obsessed with kitchen sink dramas. A ticket to GOLDINGER in 1964 was your passport to the wider world of palm trees and poolside cocktails. Your ticket now in 2007 is an admission to a time machine to a period that perfectly encapsulates the point in time when everything began to click, when the world literally became a bigger place. To travel this new world in luxury your best tour guide, to this day, was James Bond. He became, as Fleming himself said, “The man all women want and who all men want to be”.
In case there are any of you out there yet to see this cinematic milestone, the plot revolves around 007 investigating a gold magnate’s obsession for gold bullion. This weakness leads 007 to uncover a far greater threat to the stability of the world finances than anyone, bar Goldfinger, could possibly imagine.
This is the only time in the series that the scriptwriters improved on Fleming’s source material (as regards what Goldfinger actually intends to do with the gold in Fort Knox).
In the light of umpteen TV airings and the recent release of the Ultimate DVD of the film, is it worth going to see? That is a simple yes, as the big screen is where all 007 films should be seen. Their scope and grandeur will amaze those seeing them in this form for the first time. Even I, who’d seen the movie many, many times, was amazed by the print and the sound quality. It’s like seeing a new version of the film. The picture is so sharp that you can actually see where Connery cut himself shaving when he kisses the dancer in the pre-credit sequence (which is the best of the series along with the opening of THE SPY WHO LOVED ME). The editing, timing and performances are faultless as is the casting (bar Tania Mallet who is the worst actress in the entire series). Who can ever forget Goldfinger or Oddjob? It’s also worth hearing this film again as the sound quality is superb and not only highlights John Barry’s classic soundtrack but also why the movie won the first Oscar in the series for Sound when it was released.
In a summer of rather good blockbusters, I urge you to go and see the film that inspired today’s filmmakers and will continue to enthral long after these current movies have been forgotten. This really is the gold standard which all other thrillers should be measured.
Dr Kuma’s verdict: 007 stars out of 6 stars.