The third James Bond film, which certainly does hold up as well as it’s predecessors did. However, “Goldfinger” makes for a good, fun, spy adventure.
While “Dr. No” and “From Russia With Love” left us with some great villains, I don’t believe that “Goldfinger” topped them. However, Oddjob was a memorable henchman- not as superior as Grant was, but still a very intimidating man. “Goldfinger” seemed like a more laid-back and jokey villain. Perhaps this was because he had nothing to do with SPECTRE.
The film strayed from the first two Bond films in the aspect of equipment too. This is when Bond really gets a hold of some rather unrealistic gadgets- a car with an ejector seat, oil slicks, machine guns, and a GPS system. Though, the GPS seemed to prove how far Bond was ahead of his time, since we’ve just seen these appearing in cars rather recently. Of course though, these gadgets are pretty fun. I love the DB5- gorgeous vehicle, and after it’s used, we don’t really see much use of any other gadgets. Therefore, I think the presence of gadgets in the film weren’t too overbearing.
Goldfinger’s plot is rather grand and unrealistic. This is definitely the film in which the producers moved far from simple, intelligent, and realistic plots, to more unrealistic and massive plots. Though, I’ve always loved the idea of Goldfinger’s plot, no matter how impossible it seemed. The idea of tainting the gold supply at Knox, forcing people to buy from him, was quite smart.
The locations were interesting. Nothing too vibrant like Crab Key in “Dr. No”, but they were interesting. We saw some beautiful country land as Bond trailed Goldfinger, and we got a taste of some rural American locations- the “ranch” in Kentucky.
Barry’s score was excellent- nothing out of the ordinary. He captured the feeling of the film very well, and the use of the Bond theme mixed with the “Goldfinger” theme was great music to hear through out the score. My favorite piece of music is during the PTS, which includes the gunbarrel, and the espionage music for the scene following it.
Though Connery seemed like a natural Bond in the previous films, I could still sense it here- though he did seemed a bit laid back, in my opinion. He just didn’t seem to have as much of that energy and excitement as he did in the past films, for some reason.
Leiter was a disappointment. Alright- he seemed like a really nice guy in the film, but that actor was a bad choice. He seemed more like Bond’s American uncle than Leiter. It’s a real shame Lord wasn’t used again.
Pussy Galore was a decent Bond girl. Not anything really special, in my opinion, but decent. She had a certain attractiveness about her. She wasn’t drop-dead gorgeous like Andress, but there was something. And the chest of hers! Woooah!
The best scenes for me include the PTS and the finale. The PTS seemed so Bondian, with some classic spying, fighting, cigarette smoking, and romance. Not much more you can ask for in a Bond PTS. Then, the finale in the vault was great- the fight with Oddjob was pretty fun to watch.
My biggest problems with this film are Leiter and the gangsters. Actually, if they were modified in a way, I’d find this film a lot more enjoyable. Leiter should have been played by Jack Lord, as I mentioned- plain and simple. It would have kept the continuity, also. Then, the gangsters were just played by terrible actors. The only one who did an okay job was Solo. What a terribly written scene, in Goldfinger’s billiard room. “What’s with that trick pool table!?”… “I want my money Goldfinger!”… “So, PAY!”… Are you joking me?
Terrible. Actually, embarrassing to a certain extent. If I were showing a person their first Bond film, and chose “Goldfinger”- I’d probably fast forward through the gangster scene.
In summary, this film was rather disappointing when compared to “Dr. No” and “From Russia With Love”. However, it’s not terrible. I just found it a little too unrealistic, and there were a few bits (like the gangsters and Leiter) that I just plain-old didn’t care for. That’s not to say that this isn’t classic Connery Bond, though- because it surely is. I think the good over-powers the bad in this film.