Is Goldfinger really the best Bond film?

A review of the James Bond film Goldfinger

The third outing for Sean Connery’s Bond was the film Goldfinger, which is generally regarded as one of the best of the James Bond films to date. It usually tops polls as the fan favourite and despite some decent efforts from Casino Royale and Skyfall, Goldfinger still manages to come out on top.

But is it really the best Bond film? It is not my personal favourite, but if you look at it from the hardcore Bond fan point of view, it certainly ticks a lot of those boxes. Here are some reasons why it deserves the praise it continues to get:

  • Sean Connery is on form. After the success of the first two films, Connery is firmly in his stride as James Bond. Assured, relaxed and slick with the one liners, he has had time to find his feet and you feel he has been playing Bond all his life
  • The larger than life Auric Goldfinger is a presence to be reckoned with. A convincing and memorable performance from Gert Frobe brings this villain to life
  • The infamous laser sequence. Watch any ‘Bond best clips countdown’ show and this will always be in there. You know Bond is not going to get zapped yet every time you watch it you think it may just happen!
  • Honor Blackman brings style, glamour and sauce to the role of Galore and is more than a match for Connery. A feisty feline of a Bond girl…or should that be Bond lady?
  • Fort Knox is a superb end finale location, great scale and tension surround the last twenty minutes or so of the film
  • Ah! Oddjob. Silent and deadly. Though we all know you cannot actually crush a gold ball in one hand
  • The golf sequence. I used to think this was dragged out. Then I read the book. It isn’t and is actually a wonderful scene with great character play from Connery and Frobe
  • A lot of paint was used to turn Jill Masterson fully gold. A small patch was apparently left unpainted so her skin could breathe. Her sacrificial role remains a haunting moment in Goldfinger
  • The theme song is epic. A sterling showcase of vocal talent from Dame Shirley Bassey
  • Tilly Masterson is a great character and her dramatic departure in the woods, courtesy of Oddjob, is tense and distressing to watch

I could probably do another ten points, but for the moment I have assured myself that Goldfinger deserves to be ranked highly in the all-time Bond greats.

(Author Benjamin Fastnedge – themovieandthemuse).


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