Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Goldfinger (1964)

Goldfinger,1964, UK
Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Sean Connery, Gert Frobe & Honor Blackman
James Bond: Do you expect me to talk?
Goldfinger: No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die.

Film #71 of The December Project

I have only seen around 5 or 6 James Bond films, two of which were the first two films in the series 'Dr. No' and 'From Russia with Love', I had always wanted to see the the third installment 'Goldfinger', which is universally considered the greatest of Bond films. Having that prior knowledge of the first two films, I was really hoping I could keep up with this one and appreciate its apparent greatness.

Agent 007, James Bond is hired to infiltrate a Gold smuggler known as 'Goldfinger'. In doing so Bond stumbles upon the villains plan to contaminate the Fort Knox gold reserve.

I enjoyed 'Goldfinger' but can not really understand why it is considered the greatest Bond film. Sure I haven't seen all that many but is this really as good as it gets ? while its usually entertaining I just cant help but feel there is nothing of a huge importance taking place on screen. It doesn't help either that film features a really bland and unappealing villain. When Goldfinger first appeared on screen I thought to myself 'really this guy is the villain ?' I was hoping he might become more fearsome as the film progressed but he never did, how was he supposed to be so intimidating? because hes slightly overweight and wealthy ? hes semi-Asian bodyguard was ridiculous as well with his un-intimidating throwing hat and slow brisk walk.

The film features plenty of exciting action set pieces, plenty of chase and fight sequences that see Bond fight the odds against a pantheon of villainous henchmen. The film some typical and classic Bond action and is more often than not, well executed.

Connery was in his prime as 007 in this film, his exudes coolness and badassery here, and truly made the Bond role his own. The classic Bond one liners are present throughout as well as his ass kicking abilities. Connery was the man!

I'm not really sure what else to say about 'Goldfinger', for all my criticisms I still enjoyed the film, I think I was expecting a borderline masterpiece and I wanted to love this film so much but I couldn't help but feel that what I got was just okay. As I said I didn't really enjoy the Goldfinger character and felt he was just too clumsy and unappealing to be taken seriously as a villain, but Connery's Bond made up for it with his pure coolness and great presence.

I honestly think I enjoyed this years 'Skyfall' more than this and not because its recent and modern and 'Goldfinger' is dated and obsolete, I hate that kind of mentality, I honestly prefer films from the 20th century, but 'Skyfall' was a more emotive piece of filmmaking, which is something this film lacked. I still liked 'Goldfinger' but kind of felt hollow about it afterward. 


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