The definitive action film. The third in the highly successful Eon productions James Bond film series (the first two were Dr. No and From Russia With Love, both superb, but this was something else). The first two had been directed by Terence Young with a rather solid style, however the third was directed by Guy Hamilton, who had been the assistant director on Carol Reed’s The Third Man, he gave it a more flowing direction and with a bigger budget he got a Shirley Bassey song and THAT Aston Martin.
It was perhaps just a fluke that Bond traded in his faithful Bentley (very John Steed) for an Aston Martin DB5, not really that different from the DB4, but with it’s ejector seat, machine guns, tyre slashers etc it nearly proved a match for Auric Goldfinger! It remains perhaps the most famous film car of all time, it certainly helped Corgi toys, who produced the biggest selling toy of all time and it was this that first attracted me to the film. It seemed that every Christmas I’d get a new one, but had broken the ejector seat by Boxing day and so I would have to wait another year for another!
The story basically revolves around James Bond trying to stop Auric Goldfinger from setting off an atomic devise, dirty bomb, in Fort Knox and making the entire gold supply to the USA radio active. Sean Connery gave his best performance here with brilliant support from Honor Blackman (as Pussy Galore fresh from The Avengers on TV), Gert Frobe (Goldfinger) and ex-wrestler Harold Sakata (as Oddjob).
The laser made it’s first appearance on screen here (taking over from a saw in the book) which comes with the most memorable line of any Bond film, “Do you expect me to talk?”, “No Mister Bond, I expect you to die!”
The series continues to conquer, but it never hit these heights again, even though the next film, Thunderball was the most successful at the box office, it was probably the worst Bond Connery made. Ian Fleming could be proud of this screen adaptation of his most famous creation.
London Premiere 01/08/1964
DF Viewing ITV 25/12/1977 (TV Premiere)