Goldfinger (1964) Directed by Guy Hamilton
Astrid is on tour for the next few weeks, so It's just me here.
I have not had a TV now for over 3 years. It felt and still feels quite liberating. Of course some of the time in front of the TV has been replaced by time on the computer. And then there is watching films. Having been ill over most of the summer I watched a lot of films not reviewed on this blog. I watched some of my favorite and assorted trashy gems : the Die Hard series, Independence Day, Shane, Jurassic Park, Bridge on The River Kwai, Citizen Kane, Escape To Victory, Johnny Guitar and lots more. At some point I got a craving for the Stallone movie Cliffhanger, but that has passed. But Bond. Where was James Bond, 007.
When I was around 12 years old, they had the British premiere on TV of Dr. No, the first James Bond picture. This was a big thing for everyone, in those days there were no multiple TV channels to choose from (only 3), so a famous movie premiere was a big deal. I remember Ursula Andress walking onto the beach out of the sea (a startling image for a 12 year old) and of course the nonchalant presence of Sean Connery as Bond. Connery has been the only actor to combine the wit, sophistication and cold-hearted presence required to capture the British steeliness of Ian Fleming's secret agent. Which brings us to Goldfinger.
The third in the series is the most iconic. The silver Aston Martin first appeared here, the golden corpse, John Barry's excellent Shirley Bassey sung theme song, the wittiest Bond one liners, a heightened sexual (sexist?) innuendo, the lead heroine is called Pussy Galore! One of the best Bond hard man villains in Oddjob and some of Bond's neatest gadgets. Hamilton brings a flow to the Bond series that keeps the picture pacy. He also injects a bit of 60's style, which in this case has aged well. At the heart is Connery, possibly disdainful at playing Bond, sporting some of Bond's greatest on screen wardrobe, a cool presence. This film has been hugely influential as regards the action movie genre, but fun is at it's heart and it still entertains. After Connery, the series became less interesting where humor and outlandish set design took over from intensity. I'll always remember my Bond this way.