Goldfinger (Guy Hamilton, 1964, UK)

Goldfinger is the quintessential Bond film. It brought the series from being a success to a global phenomenon. The fastest grossing movie of all time when it was released in 1964, the film had to be shown 24 hours a day in certain theaters to meet demand. While director Terence Young opted for a more restrained approach to the source material in Dr. No and From Russia with Love, Guy Hamilton brought a pizzazz and sense of humor to the material in Goldfinger - an approach which set the tone for the Bond franchise to come.
Hamilton’s vision of Bond initiated the era of Bond one-liners, larger than life villains, and - of course - gadgetry. Goldfinger is the first film in the series to make the gadgetry a notable component of the film, specifically through Bond’s Aston Martin DB5. The car has become so synonymous with Bond and Goldfinger, that it was dubbed “The Most Famous Car in the World” following the release of the film. Goldfinger started the trajectory of the Bond films to place a greater focus on gadgetry and cars than the Bond character, and for this some have viewed Goldfinger as the film which began taking the Bond franchise in a less interesting direction.
Still, the film is great fun, and an excellent time capsule (despite the fact that Bond’s misogyny is on full display in this film). It is the most eminently quotable Bond film, with an iconic line almost in every other scene. John Barry’s score here takes it to another level, and the theme song is the most iconic Bond theme song for a reason. The plot is relatively more complex than Dr. No or From Russia with Love. It is somewhat unusual in that Bond is a captive of the main villain for what feels like half of the film.


8/10

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