Goldfinger is one of the most iconic films in the James Bond series. Released in 1964 and directed by Guy Hamilton, the film quickly broke Box Office records on its way to becoming the fastest grossing film of all time.
This film is often cited as the quintessential Bond film, featuring all the elements that have made the series so enduring: gadgets, fast cars, beautiful women, and, of course, the suave and debonair secret agent himself.
The plot of Goldfinger follows Bond, played by an incomparable Sean Connery in his pinnacle, as he travels from London to Geneva to Kentucky to investigate a gold magnate named Auric Goldfinger, played by Gert Frobe.
Bond discovers that Goldfinger is plotting to irradiate the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox in order to make his own gold more valuable. Along the way, Bond encounters a cast of memorable characters, including the iconic Bond girl and wonderfully named, Pussy Galore, played by Honor Blackman and the formidable henchman Oddjob, played by Harold Sakata.
The film was a critical and commercial success, and it became the first Bond film to win an Academy Award for Best Sound Effects Editing in the following year 1965.
Goldfinger has since become a classic of the spy thriller genre and a touchstone for Bond films to come. The film’s success can be attributed to its deft blend of action, humour, and sex appeal, and some of the most iconic scenes in Bond history.
These include the famous opening sequence in which Bond emerges from the water in a wetsuit and removes it to reveal a perfectly tailored tuxedo. And of course the Aston Martin DB5 equipped with some unforgettable gadgets, including the ejector seat, front loading machine guns and a bullet proof shield.
Overall, Goldfinger remains a must-see for fans of the James Bond franchise and a classic of the spy thriller genre. Its blend of action, humour, and unforgettable characters has mase it an evergreen film that sits well almost sixty years later.
James Bond infiltrates and destroys a drug laboratory in Latin America, before heading to Miami to relax. M has other plans for hime, however, and gets word through to him to observe Auric Goldfinger, a wealthy bullion dealer.
Goldfinger is staying at the hotel, and Bond soon discovers that he’s cheating at a high-stakes game of cards, with the help of his employee Jill Masterson, who’s spying on his opponent’s cards and telling Goldfinger through an audio connection.
Bond interrupts them and makes sure Goldfinger loses. Jill Masterson is really impressed with Bond’s dexterity and suave behhaviour and ends up back at his hotel room.
After making love, Bond goes to get some more Dom Perignon 53 from the fridge, but is knocked unconscious by Goldfinger’s henchman Oddjob When he comes around, he finds Jill naked and dead on his bed covered head to toe in gold paint.
After returning back to London, Bond is rebuked by M, who tells Bond he was only supposed to watch Goldfinger and not borrow his girlfriend. In a meeting with M and the governor of the Bank of England and is tasked with the job of finding how Goldfinger is smuggling gold out of the country.
Q supplies Bond with a brand new Aston Martin DB5, specially equipped with front loading machine guns, an ejector seat, bullet proof windows and shield, revolving registration plates, and a rotating tire slasher. He’s also given two tracking devices.
Bond then arranges with a country club to pair him and Goldfinger and the two have a round of golf. The two agree to play for a bar of Nazi gold bullion. Goldfinger knows Bond is up to something and warns him not to interfere in his affairs.
Goldfinger introduces his henchman, the Korean Oddjob, who skilfully throws his steel-rimmed hat at a statue and splices its head off. Bond isn’t deterred and places one of the tracking devices in the boot of Goldfinger’s Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedanca de Ville.
Bond follows Goldfinger to Geneva, Switzerland, but is seemingly shot at by a sniper. Bond chases the sniper in his DB5 and slices her car apart with the rotating tire slashers.
The sniper turns out to be Jill Masterson’s sister, Tilly, who was trying to shoot Goldfinger. She attempts to assassinate Goldfinger again, but Bond foils her, discovering who she is.
They’re then chased by Goldfinger’s henchmen, and as Tilly is running away Oddjob kills her by throwing his hat at her.
Bond gets into his DB5 to get away but one of the henchmen are in there, but he disposes of him with the ejector seat. Bond manages to get away, but crashes into a wall and is then picked up by Oddjob.
Goldfinger has him tied down on a slab of gold and intend to use his laser cutter to slice Bond in two, but Bond fools him into believing he knows about his ‘Grand Slam’ masterplan, which he overheard him mention earlier.
Goldfinger spares his life, and tranquilizes him. When Bond comes around he wakes up to a beautiful woman, who introduces herself as Pussy Galore. ‘I must be dreaming’ sniggers Bond, who is then looked after by Pussy, the pilot of the plane Bond is travelling in, and her private cabin crew Mai-Lai.
Pussy Galore flies Bond to Goldfinger’s stud farm near Lexington, Kentucky, where Bond is locked up in a dungeon cell. Bond escapes and witnesses Goldfinger’s meeting with American mobsters, and hears Goldfinger explain all about his Grand Slam.
Goldfinger’s plan is to release nerve gas into the atmosphere at Fort Knox, killing the personnel and allowing his private army to breach the Bullion Depository.
But instead of stealing it he intends to drop an atomic bomb on Fort Knox and make all the gold depository radioactive, and in doing so making his own gold much more valuable.
Goldfinger is aware that Felix Leiter and the CIA are keeping an eye on Bond so he makes sure it appears Bond is well looked after. He tells Pussy to wear more revealing clothes and look after Bond.
The two head to a barn, and Leiter sees it all through his binoculars, thinking Bond isn’t being held captive and is instead well looked after.
Bond and Pussy Galore are in the barn play fighting, and Bond tries his best to seduce her. She’s feisty and doesn’t fall for his charms easily, until Bond pins her down and kisses her, and then she falls into his arms and the two make love.
Operation Grand Slam launches, but on Bond’s side now, Pussy alerts Washington of the plan, and the nerve gas gets replaced with a harmless substance.
The substance still knocks out the army and all within range of Fort Knox, and Bond who is handcuffed to the huge bomb finally gets free, only to be confronted by Oddjob.
Oddjob launches his lethal hat at Bond, but 007 manages to dodge the deadly weapon. The two engage in a heated fight, but Bond finds himself unable to inflict any harm on the formidable henchman.
As the fight continues, Bond notices a loose electrical flare, and connects the flare to some nearby metal beams, causing a deadly surge of electricity to surge through Oddjob’s body. The henchman falls to the ground, lifeless and finally dead.
Bond then quickly turns to the bomb and manages to stop it with only seven seconds left, and foiling Goldfinger’s Grand Slam plan altogether.
Bond is then ushered onto a flight to meet the US President at the White House, who wants to personally thank him. Felix Leiter tells Bond not to worry about Goldfinger, who won’t get far according to the CIA agent.
Bond boards the flight piloted by Pussy, but is confronted by Goldfinger in the main cabin. The two fight and Bond manages to cause an explosive decompression that blows Goldfinger out of the plane.
The plane is now out of control and despite their best efforts, it crashes to earth. Bond and Pussy are thought to have perished, but they miraculously survive by parachuting to a secluded area.
They are both relieved and grateful to be alive, and they take some time to enjoy each other’s company in their newfound solitude.
Sean Connery as James Bond in Goldfinger
Goldfinger is one of the iconic Bond films, and much of it is in part to the way Sean Connery portrayed the secret agent. Connery is often considered the best Bond actor, and his portrayal of the suave spy in the movie stands out as one of the best, arguably showcasing Connery’s talents at their finest.
From the iconic opening scene, where he emerges from the water in a wetsuit and changes into his white tuxedo after his mission is complete, to the climactic final showdown with Auric Goldfinger, Connery commanded the screen with charisma and effortless cool.
Throughout the film, Connery’s Bond is at his most suave and sophisticated, and the film offers some of his most iconic quotes.
Bond gets the better of a henchman in the opening scene, who ends up in the bathtub, Bond finishes him off by throwing an electric fan in, and his response is ‘shocking, positively shocking.’
Auric Goldfinger has a man and car crushed, which Bond responds, ‘ah you said he had a pressing engagement.’
But it was his meeting with Pussy Galore that offered the most iconic quote of the film. Coming around after being tranquilized, she introduces herself as ‘Pussy Galore.’ Bond smiles to himself and says, ‘I must be dreaming.’
Of course, it wasn’t just the quotes that made it one of Connery’s finest. His action scenes were up there with the best, the gadgets used were iconic, and him driving the Aston Marin DB5 just seems so natural.
Connery’s physicality added to the character of Bond. He was a natural athlete and his athleticism was showcased in the film’s action sequences, which he performed with ease and grace, and this was visible in the fight scenes.
His dualling competition with Auric Goldfinger and his flirtatious banter with Pussy galore made it such an iconic performance, and one that installed Sean Connery as arguably the best James Bond.
The film’s villain, Auric Goldfinger, is also considered one of the best in the series, with actor Gert Fröbe bringing a certain charm and sophistication to the role.
The main Bond villain has a commanding presence and an unwavering calm demeanour, often charming those around him with his affable personality. He’s a wealthy and successful businessman, whose main interest is growing his already extensive stash of gold bullion.
He’s a notorious cheater and gambler, often using his cunning wit to gain an advantage over his opponents, such as using a two-man operation just to win by cheating at cards.
One of Goldfinger’s most defining traits is his meticulous attention to detail. He is a perfectionist in everything he does, whether it’s in his business dealings or his meticulous plans to commit his Grand Slam plan.
He enjoys sharing his ideas, and takes pride in his well thought out plans. This is evident throughout with Bond, and also with the gang leaders who are at his lair to see his Grand Slam presentation.
In his interactions with James Bond, Goldfinger’s charm and personality are on full display. The two share a mutual respect for each other’s cunning, which makes their verbal exchanges highly entertaining.
Auric Goldfinger’s calm demeanour is often complimented with Bond’s suave personal skills, making for a dynamic relationship between the two. But of course, they’re foes and some of their interactions are highlights throughout the film.
None more so than when Bond is looking like he’s about to be lasered to death, Bond enquires, ‘I suppose you expect me to talk?’ ‘No Mr Bond,’ says Goldfinger. ‘I expect you to die.’ It’s a legendary quote and typical of the Bond villains overall performance.
Oddjob is one of the most iconic henchmen in the James Bond franchise. Played by Harold Sakata, he’s a towering figure with a powerful build and a menacing demeanor, known for his unwavering loyalty to his boss, Auric Goldfinger.
Oddjob’s most distinctive feature is his invincibility. It’s like he’s immune to harm, which makes him an unstoppable force in battle. This attribute is prominent throughout as he powers his way through every encounter.
Oddjob’s skill with his bowler hat is probably his defining characteristic, however. He is a master at using the hat as both a lethal weapon and a practical tool to carry out Goldfinger’s bidding.
When Bond first meets Oddjob, Goldfinger instructs him to showcase his unique skill by throwing the hat at a statue, effortlessly slicing off its head. Throughout the film, we see Oddjob’s lethal skill with the hat on full display. He dispatches Tilly Masterson, who attempts to run away from him, by throwing the hat at her with deadly precision, instantly killing her.
Other than his physical strength and impressive skillset, Oddjob’s unwavering loyalty to Goldfinger is unquestionable. He dutifully chauffeurs his boss around, caddies for him at golf, and executes his orders without hesitation, including the gruesome task of killing and painting their victim gold.
Pussy Galore is one of the most iconic Bond girls to have graced the silver screen. Played by actress Honor Blackman, Pussy Galore is a skilled pilot, expert martial artist, and a woman who was not afraid to take on James Bond himself.
As the leader of a group of female pilots who works for the villainous Auric Goldfinger, Pussy Galore is initially loyal to the notorious criminal. However, it soon becomes clear that her ultimate loyalty was to herself, as she looks to profit from Goldfinger’s schemes.
She flies Goldfinger’s private jet and it’s here where she meets Bond in one of the James Bond series most iconic scenes. The two are initially frosty as Pussy wants her boss’s schemes to work so she will benefit financially.
Pussy Galore’s mastery of judo and karate was one of her most impressive attributes, showcased in a memorable scene when she and Bond go into Goldfinger’s barn.
As they engage in a playful exchange of both physical combat and flirtation, and despite some initial uncertainty about her feelings towards Bond, Pussy is ultimately drawn to him and the two stop fighting the obvious chemistry that’s pulling them together. Pussy then switches her allegiance to help Bond bring down Goldfinger and his empire.
Played by Shirley Eaton, Jill Masterson is a key player in Auric Goldfinger’s criminal scheme, aiding him in cheating at cards using her high-powered binoculars and radio communications. However, her involvement in the plot proves to be her undoing, as she’s later killed by her employer.
Bond catches her helping Goldfinger cheat, and the way he speaks to the Bond villain attracts him to her. The two end up going to Bond’s hotel room where they spend some time together.
This leads to her death as Goldfinger instructs his henchman Oddjob to kill her and leave her naked and painted from head to toe on Bond’s bed, as a warning to him.
She only played a small part in the film, but the scene with her laying on Bond’s bed is one of the iconic scenes in cinema history and has cemented her place in Bond history.
Goldfinger is one of, if not the best best James Bond movie and so it’s packed full of quality scenes, but we have chosen two to include.
Q introduces Bond to his new Aston Martin DB5
One of the most memorable Goldfinger scenes is when Q introduces Bond to his brand new Aston Martin DB5. Q, played by the late Desmond Llewelyn, is known for his quirky gadgets and the pride he places in them.
As Q starts to introduce it, Bond seems stoic and uninterested, but as Q goes on about the car’s ‘modifications’ Bond intrigue perks up. He even jokes about using the car’s radar to find the nearest pub, something Q doesn’t appreciate.
Q then goes on to explain other features, such as the machine guns hidden behind the car’s headlights, the smoke screen, the tire slashers, and the revolving license plates. With each feature, Bond’s interest grows, and he listens more attentively.
Watch the scene
It’s when Q shows him the red button on the gear stick that he finally has Bond’s undivided attention.
‘Whatever you don’t touch it…’ warns Q. ‘Because you’ll release this section of the roof, and engage and fire the passenger ejector seat.’
‘Ejector seat, you’re Joking?’ responds Bond. ‘I never joke about my work, 007’ a clearly incensed Q shoots back.
The scene is a classic moment from the James Bond franchise, and really introduced Q as a key player going forward, and of course it was the first time we ever got to see the incomparable Aston Martin DB5.
My name is Pussy Galore
The ‘My name is Pussy Galore’ scene is a classic moment in cinematic history. The name Pussy Galore is an obvious double entendre, as was the way with the earlier Bond movies, but the scene is played out masterfully.
Bond is coming round from being tranquillized, and as his vision clears, he sees an unfamiliar but beautiful woman standing before him pointing a gun at him.
Honor Blackman’s introduction as ‘Pussy Galore’ is not only memorable, but it’s also intriguing due to the way she delivers it. As she introduces herself, her fidgety facial expression adds a layer of mystery and allure to her character.
Watch the scene
After she introduces herself, it helps Bond quickly regain full consciousness, as he smiles to himself, saying, ‘I must be dreaming.’ This truly captures the essence of the scene, and in that moment, it’s clear that Bond would like to ‘have his wicked way’ with Pussy.
Their banter in this scene and throughout the movie thereon is laced with innuendo, but it is clear that there is a genuine attraction between the two. Even if it’s hidden behind Pussy’s firewall of profession (greed), who’s working for Goldfinger and will get rich from his schemes.
Goldfinger – Sean Connery at His Finest
Goldfinger is one of the best Bond films ever made, and it is easy to see why. From the opening scene to the thrilling conclusion, the movie is packed with action, suspense, and intrigue.
Sean Connery as James Bond for the third time, and arguably his best. He does it all in this film, and even uses the DB5 for the first time ever.
The film features a memorable villain in Auric Goldfinger, whose obsession with gold drives him to his most audacious plan, and even takes on America’s biggest gang bosses in doing so.
The chemistry between Sean Connery’s Bond and Honor Blackman’s Pussy Galore is also one of the highlights of the movie. From their meeting to the end scene, it certainly helped the movie become such a success and helped both their careers, no doubt.
Goldfinger‘s influence can be felt in subsequent Bond films, as well as in popular culture more broadly, and almost sixty years after production, it certainly stands the test of time.