Wednesday, March 24, 2010

'Goldfinger' is Bond at his greatest

Goldfinger (1964)
Starring: Sean Connery, Gert Frobe, and Honor Blackman
Director: Guy Hamilton
Rating: Ten of Ten Stars

British secret agent James Bond (Connery) is sent to investigate suspicious dealings of megalomanical billionaire Auric Goldfinger (Frobe). Bond uncovers that Goldfinger is involved in criminal activity on a far grander scale than anyone had suspected in their wildest nightmares.

"Goldfinger" is the James Bond movie that set the standard for all the (good) James Bond movies that followed. It was the first to introduce wild gadgetry and a tongue-in-cheek tone, which took the series and character away from its Ian Fleming roots, but gave the series the elements that have sustained it for over 40 years.

This is also the best James Bond movie so far, and it features one my all-time favorite movie exchanges...

Bond (strapped to a table, while a laserbeam is slowly moving into position to slice him in half): Do you expect me to talk?

Goldfinger (with a laugh, as he walks away): No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die.

It's perhaps the only time in the entire series where the inflappable Mr. Bond was in genuine fear for his life, and Goldfinger still stands as the classiest, coldest Bond villian of them all. He also had the best sidekicks, from pilot Pussy Galore to Oddjob (he of the lethal bowler hat). From the opening titles through the final (and surprising) deadly encounter between Bond and the bad guys, every thing in this film works perfectly. The cast is fabulous, the pacing is flawless, and the John Barry/Monte Norman soundtrack still stands as one of the very best Bond scores.

They keep the gritty, depressing James Bond reboot that has been inflicted upon the movie going public. I'll stick with the classics.

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