A man by the name of Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) has been smuggling gold and James Bond (Sean Connery has been assigned to the case. Bond finds out the Goldfinger has more intentions that involve Fort Knox.
Director: Guy Hamilton
Cast: Sean Connery, Gert Frobe, Honor Blackman, Harold Sakata, Cec Linder, Shirley Eaton, Tania Mallet
MPAA Rating: PG for action violence.
Run Time: 1hr 50mins
Fun Fact: Before getting big with the rock band Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page played rhythm guitar in the film’s title song.
Two years ago, I had started a James Bond series review having a new perspective on the films. I had never really gotten into them for the longest time because it didn’t really hold my interest. For some reason I decided to give it a new start and try and have a different opinion on them. I only ended up reviewing Dr. No and From Russia with Love and really enjoyed them. Where would Goldfinger end up? Would I end up enjoying this one like I did with the others?
I ended up enjoying the heck out of this film and it was a fun watch. It’s a well-paced film that doesn’t let up. We don’t get a dull moment. There is an equal amount of action, suspense, and just the right amount of exposition to balance it out. The sign of a good film is that every scene present on screen needs something going for it. Goldfinger has plenty of those scenes from the beginning to the end. In the opening scene we get a fantastically shot action scene that got me hooked from the very first minute. While the action scenes stand out, we get subtle moments just featuring some exposition that doesn’t drag on and make it boring. This is the film that really launched James Bond to the movie stratosphere. So, what are some of the things that this film makes it be that way?
Goldfinger expands on what James Bond is known for today. One of those things is the gadgets. We get things like the basic grappling hook gun and this film also features the first laser beam of the series. The shinning example of this expansion is the car that James Bond drives, the Aston Martin DB5. This car is full of gadgets and has some surprises too that I wasn’t expecting, and I couldn’t get enough of it. One of my favorite things about the action genre is a good car chase sequence. This film has quite a few good ones and one of them was shot at night. It isn’t just the car chases that had me in awe, it was also some well written dialogue performed some great actors….
Sean Connery is even better than he was in the previous two films. He just oozes with charisma and charm, and he just nails his lines perfectly. Connery has some fantastic one-liners as well in some key scenes. Opposite of Connery is Gert Frobe who plays the lead villain Goldfinger. The Goldfinger characterization seems ridiculous, a guy who is obsessed with gold and has a smuggling ring with it. In reality Goldfinger has a more sinister side to him and has a much bigger ambition to his crimes. Frobe also has some great lines to match Connery. The only gripe I really had was the Bond Girls in this one really didn’t bring anything to the table with progression. The relationships between them and Bond don’t have any chemistry and it shows. That is only a minor gripe that I have. What really shines though is the previously mentioned chemistry between Frobe and Connery.
Once again, we get the famous title song this time sung by Shirley Bassey, and it is my favorite title song of the series. Bassey has an incredible voice and range, and it shines in the song. This is also the first time that the title song was played in the beginning of the movie and that would be something that would stick with the series. If you know me, I’m a huge fan of great songs in movies and this cements it.
Overall, Goldfinger is a great film and it really elevated James Bond as a character. It has a piece of everything for everyone. We get great scenes of action and dialogue that balance the movie perfectly. There is even an awesome title song to go with it. The performances of Sean Connery and Gert Frobe are fantastic and when they are on screen together it gets even better. The chemistry between these two is off the chart. I just wish we had stronger Bond girls because they feel like they’re just there and the so-called romance between them and Bond feel forced. Hopefully that part of the series gets an upgrade in the next feature, which is Thunderball, a film that I am now very excited to see.