johnlink ranks GOLDFINGER (1964)

Watched my second Connery/Bond flick in the past couple of weeks, the first being DR. NO. In that review, I mentioned that I really remember liking GOLDFINGER, but that DR. NO may have been even better. It’s been several years since I saw GOLDFINGER, so I was curious how it stood up.

I watched GOLDFINGER (1964) on 11.12.11. It was my third viewing of the film.

This, the third in the Bond series, is the one where it really catches its groove and creates the formula for all that would follow. The gadgets are started here, for better or for worse. There is a clumsiness to how this is all handled. As would become laughable as time went on, it was amazing how obscure and seemingly unnecessary things like an ejector seat would be utilized at exactly the right moment. However, I did like the fallibility of Bond in this. Despite his gadgetry, he is constantly being beaten up, abducted, and bested. Strangely, he has very little to do with the outcome of this film. Though his penis does get the girl to change her mind about being villainous, he goes through the climax (no pun intended) without having any idea that a rescue may be coming (no pun intended). He also nearly sets off the bomb before an expert steps in. While he is by no means powerless, he is not the lone hero of this story.

This film’s biggest advantage is the interplay between Connery as bond and Gert Frobe as the titular character. However, the writing has Bond and his new nemesis in too many awkwardly crafted situations which should just end with Goldfinger killing him. Or, put another way, when someone has successfully escaped capture multiple times, why would you leave him strapped to a bomb while you walk away. Wouldn’t you just put one in his head and have it over with? This became much parodied in the AUSTIN POWERS films, that over-talking villain syndrome, and for good reason.

The elaborate set up for the Fort Knox explanation is very cool. But the writers inexplicably kill off everyone involved once it is explained. So, basically, Goldfinger spends probably tens of thousands of dollars to set up a display room, shows it off to some people, and kills them immediately. Logic gap there.

Despite its flaws, this is still an iconic and fun Bond film. I certainly could have done with less situations which made me roll my eyes, but the car chases are wonderfully realized, the fight choreography is (mostly) improved, and a sniper moment is classic both in execution and, later, in explanation.

Bond is still human here. He makes a mistake which gets a girl killed, and then is not able to avoid getting another killed as well. He doesn’t have control over every situation, he just pretends he does. That certainly makes him all the much cooler. He is not invincible by any means, as would later happen (especially in the Brosnan flicks).

Having seen this on he heels of DR. NO, I prefer the original bond flick to this. But I wouldn’t turn up my nose at GOLDFINGER either, it certainly is a wonderful entry into the Bond canon.





~ by johnlink00 on November 13, 2011.

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