That's No Moonraker: Goldfinger

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June 6th, 2020


Alex and Pete assess the value of 1964's "Goldfinger"





  • 3rd film based on the 7th book.
  • First Bond movie to be a blockbuster with a budget equivalent to the previous two movies combined.
  • Alex's quick summary: James Bond goes up against Goldfinger, a rich guy obsessed with gold who plans to bomb Fort Knox in conjunction with the Chinese, thereby destabilizing American currency and making his own gold more valuable in the process. Bond defeats him with the help of his former henchwoman and personal pilot Pussy Galore.
  • First time we have the theme song be the title of the film.
    • Performed by Shirley Bassey, who we'll hear from again.
  • Goldfinger body was Gert Fröbe. He was dubbed by Michael Collins for almost the whole thing.
    • You can hear his real voice in the distance while Bond is hiding under the scale model.
  • Woman in the title sequence is Margaret Nolan (see below).
  • All the scenes in Miami were filmed in London.
  • No scene of James Bond gambling in this film.
  • This is the first Bond movie with licensing and product placement deals.
  • Goldfinger is the first villain to trap Bond then leave, allowing him to escape, again setting a precedent.
    • Although lasers existed in 1964, they did not have the high-powered industrial lasers we have today: the laser table scene was done with special effects.
  • At Fort Knox, all the people falling down are just the same group of people falling down over and over.
  • First time we have the now archetypal "grotesque henchman" character in Oddjob.
  • Only a few exterior shots of Fort Knox are real, and they had to break the rules to get some shots.
    • All the interior shots are completely made up as they weren't allowed to even look at it for real.
  • Sean Connery hurt his back filming the fight scene with Oddjob.


  • The popular, critical, and cultural success of this movie. Many "Bond tropes" come specifically from this film.
  • Cold open.
    • One-off action set piece that doesn't have anything to do with the rest of the movie.
    • This sets a precedent for other James Bond films.
    • Bond has a duck on his head and a tuxedo under his dry suit.
  • Title sequence is now what we've come to expect: scenes from the movie projected against a woman painted gold.
  • The theme song is extremely on the nose. It does meet Pete's three criteria for consideration for top Bond song.
  • TV's "The Golden Girls".
  • The team of Fröbe and Collins.
  • Margaret Nolan ("Dink" the masseuse) was in A Hard Day's Night, she was "Girl at casino".
    • Shout out to Alphabeatical co-hosts Adam and John.
  • In the previous movie, Felix Leiter was played by Jack Lord, but he wanted too much money so they recast him (it's still the same character).
    • Played by Cec Linder, this is his only appearance as Felix Leiter. They swapped him at the last minute with the guy who Goldfinger cheats at cards (Austin Willis).
  • High stakes gin (card game): is that a thing?
    • Compare this scene of Goldfinger with James Bond's debut running the table at Baccarat. It's not as intimidating for introduction of a villain.
  • Just by virtue of showing up, James Bond seduces henchwoman Jill Masterson away from her boss Goldfinger.
    • "Brakefast" watch: three films for three.
    • "Skin asphyxiation" is not a real thing.
    • The in-universe forensics of how they pulled off the death-by-gold-paint.
  • 008 is name-dropped, implying there are other agents. Mentioned: what license plate numbers you can't get.
  • We know Bond movies are sexist, but this one is shockingly misogynistic.
  • Fan fiction where Felix Leiter and Dink get together.
  • Nazi gold: WWII ended only 18 years before this movie debuted; equivalent to Saddam Hussein's gold today.
  • Proper Q Branch scene.
    • Mentioned: the game Spy Hunter.
    • Star Wars crossover: George Leech (the guy wearing the bullet proof vest).
  • Product placement.
    • James Bond's signature car the Aston Martin.
    • Using a movie as an excuse by the filmmakers to take a vacation.
  • Of course James Bond is good at golf.
  • Seeking personal vengeance as a more efficient alternative to pursuing legal recourse.
  • Referenced: nominative determinism.
    • "Goldfinger" is a real surname.
  • Mr. Ling is Spectre 3.
  • The famous scene with the laser table.
    • "I expect you to die" as a twist on interrogation scenes from even older films.
    • The book is different than the movie: lasers did not exist in 1959 (when the novel was written).
  • Pussy Galore.
    • How they got the name past the censors. They took them out to dinner, made some campaign donations, and didn't use it in the promotional material.
    • Honor Blackman meta-humor on "The Avengers" TV series. Mentioned: the other Darrin.
  • A surrey with the fringe on top.
  • Background actors in the meeting of the organized criminals.
  • Fixed plot hole from the book.
  • The name "Cape Kennedy" dates this movie very precisely in time.
    • Unnaming places based on changing attitudes.
  • Michael G Wilson: third assistant director, shows up in this movie and then not again until The Spy who Loved Me but is in pretty much every other one after that because he is Cubby Broccoli's step-son.
    • He and his sister are currently in charge  of the franchise.
    • Gold Squadron vs. Champagne Section. Mentioned: the Fantastic 4, the video for "Total Eclipse of the Heart".
    • Karon Gardner was in A Hard Day's Night.
  • Mentioned: "The Saint" TV show.
  • The scene between Bond and Pussy Galore is very rapey and disturbing.
  • Referenced: The Indiana Jones fever dream theory.
  • Oddjob.
    • He's kind of the spiritual father of other famous henchmen like Jaws. He's like the Darth Vader to Goldfinger's Tarkin.
    • The quality of their fight scene.
  • Goldfinger briefly becomes the a man with the golden gun.
  • Ranking is inverse release order: Goldfinger, From Russia with Love, then Dr. No.
  • Bond makes a bad pun upon the death of his enemies. Not bad like "good" but actually bad in that they don't follow.
  • Connery got 5% of the gross from here on out.
  • James Bond will return in Thunderball.
  • Meta Notes

    • The Mythbusters tested a myth based on the cold open of this film. They concluded that it is possible to wear a tuxedo under your dry suit, scuba dive to reach a party and then (once you've removed your scuba gear) infiltrate the party without rumpling your tux and giving yourself away.
      • They also tested being painted with gold paint as a means of execution on a number of occasions, and found that although it's probably not a good idea, it is not deadly as myth proponents would claim.
    • This movie came out in 1964, but the UK would not formally adopt the metric system until the following year, so it is perfectly reasonable that Bond would refer to a temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Although they had been theorized as early as 1950, the first laser was not built until 1960.


    • Alex: Let's Bond this!
    • Pete: (x2) "Bond stubble". (singing, to the tune of "Goldfinger") Bonnnnnd stubble! Alex: (as Sean Connery's Bond) Bond stubble with "brakefast".
    • Pete: Goldfinger-Deck Officer: we did it. We figured out Star Wars.
    • Pete: (Singing, à la Shirley Bassey) Polllllllll Treidum! Alex: (finishing, also as Bassey) TK-421.
    • Alex: (In thick Connery accent) Kish me Mish Moneypenny.

    Star Wars names

    Star Wars pun names for Goldfinger  
    • Goldleader
    • GoldFN-2187

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