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Goldfinger (1964)

The third Bond film and arguably the best ever, and certainly the movie which proves once and for all that Sean Connery was, is, and always will be the one true James Bond.

Goldfinger also worked remarkably well because of a strong trio of villains; Gert Frobe played the eponymous baddie, bullion-obsessed Auric Goldfinger (pictured at left), with a very convincing attitude of arrogance and self-confidence.

Goldfinger didn’t need physical strength because his number one henchman was Oddjob, the Korean butler, with incredible power and one hell of a bowler hat. Oddjob remains the best physical baddie in a Bond movie.

Harold Sakata doesn’t get any dialogue in the part but makes Oddjob work through his sheer presence.

You have to love a villain who gets whacked by the hero and responds with a bemused smile . . .

The final villain doesn’t really count since she changes teams (in more ways than one) by the end of the film. Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman) spends most of the movie as an employee of Goldfinger’s, but Bond’s sublime sex appeal persuades her to transfer over to the side of what’s right and proper before the action ends.

Goldfinger balanced all of the good things about Bond (action, humour, sex, and spectacle) and left out the excess that would mar the franchise in later years.

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This Bond film was also the first to make those fantastic gadgets an integral part of the movie and introduced us to the Aston Martin DB5 – one of the most popular 007 cars. Four decades later it remains the model that every other Bond film strives to emulate.

The film’s score became the first Bond soundtrack to hit the LP charts, and the title track – composed by John Barry – became the first Bond song to hit the singles charts with Shirley Bassey‘s now immortal rendition reaching the US Top 10 (and # 21 in the UK).

It’s a little-known fact that the lyrics to the title track were written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley.

Honor Blackman passed away peacefully of natural causes in April 2020, aged 94.

James Bond
Sean Connery
Auric Goldfinger

Gert Frobe
Pussy Galore

Honor Blackman
Oddjob

Harold Sakata
Jill Masterson

Shirley Eaton
Tilly Masterson

Tania Mallett
Felix Leiter

Cec Linder
M

Bernard Lee
Moneypenny

Lois Maxwell
Q

Desmond Llewelyn
Solo

Martin Benson
Midnight

Bill Nagy

Director
Guy Hamilton