Friday, March 30, 2012
(September 1964, U.S.)
What could be more fun in the world of cinema than a James Bond double feature? First GOLDENEYE, now GOLDFINGER! Whoopee!
For the record, my favorite James Bond film of all time is THUNDERBALL (1965). I mention this only because my personal pick goes against the general fan consensus. You ask any James Bond aficionado out there what his or her favorite film is and chances are they'll tell you it's GOLDFINGER. And who can blame them? The action is more relentless than its two preceeding films without being campy, it's the film that introduces us to the famous Aston Martin DB5 car with all its clever gadgets and weaponry, the film that gives us Oddjob, the most diabolical, lethal yet somehow very cute and charming "supernatural" villian of the franchise (thought I personally still prefer Jaws) with that unforgettable killer hat of his, and then, of course, there's the Bond girl with the most famous name in the franchise...Pussy Galore! I'll say it again just for the erotic fun of it...PUSSY GALORE (I can just hear every feminist in America cursing my name right now!)!
Among other things, GOLDFINGER is the only Sean Connery Bond film that does not involve S.P.E.C.T.R.E or the head villian, Blofeld. The character of Auric Goldfinger seems a more down-to-Earth bad guy who's ambition is not necessarily world domination, but rather the heist of the century involving Fort Knox, Kentucky that will make him wealthy (wealthier!) beyond recognition. He enjoys simple pleasures like gin rummy and golf, as long as he's cheating at them to win. Bond is, well...as Bond as Bond can be in nearly every Bond film. The fact that it's Sean Connery just makes it better, even when silly puns are involved. I must confess, though, that the only real appeal for me regarding Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore is her character's name. She's tough as nails and can match wits against 007, but I've never really felt the connection or chemistry between them. She spends much of her time resisting Bond's charms and then suddenly manages to fall for them instantly after one big kiss, prompting her to switch to the good side and prevent the death of thousands of people by switching gas canisters. Truth be told, if she didn't eventually fall for Bond, I'd swear that the character of Pussy Galore liked GIRLS!
One of the particularly interesting moments I've always noticed about GOLDFINGER is that it's one of the rare Bond films where we get to witness the great, tough-as-nails James Bond looking scared out of his wits for his life when he's strapped down and the deadly laster is headed right for the manhood between his legs. And why shouldn't he be? In the end, you see, no matter how tough we think we are, that's the LAST thing any man wants to loose.
Here's a small piece of trivia for you. GOLDFINGER was the very first Bond film to be shown on television in September 1972 on the ABC Sunday Night Movie. The premiere went off without a hitch except the opening gunbarrel icon was completely eliminated for whatever reason. A few shots were also cut to tone down the sex and violence. Actually, if it hadn't been for the ABC Sunday Night Movie, I might not have discovered any of Sean Connery's Bond films until I was much older with my own VCR. The first time I caught any of GOLDFINGER on television was during the sequence when deceased gangster Mr. Solo and his car are crushed to death in the hydrolic press and placed in the back of a truck to be returned to Mr. Goldfinger. I can still almost remember thinking to myself as a child, "Oh, geez!" Not a bad start to one's long standing relationship with James Bond films.
Favorite line or dialogue"
James Bond: "Do you expect me to talk?"
Goldfinger: "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to DIE!"