Release Details - Credits - Music - Cast - Notes

release details
Date of release: 17 September 1964 (UK), 22 December 1964 (US)
Running time: 111 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.66 : 1
Classification: PG (UK)

Alternative titles: Mission Goldfinger (Italy), Agent 007 Vs Goldfinger (Spain).

Directed by: Guy Hamilton
Produced by: Harry Saltzman and Albert R Broccoli
Screenplay by: Richard Maibaum and Paul Dehn
Production designed by: Ken Adam
Director of photography: Ted Moore BSC
Editor: Peter Hunt
Special effects by: John Stears
Stunt work arranged by: Peter Perkins
Main title designed by: Robert Brownjohn

Music composed and conducted by: John Barry

Main theme: "Goldfinger"
Sung by: Shirley Bassey
Lyrics by: Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley
Highest chart position: 21 (UK), 8 (US)

Musical notes: Although the theme song is now inextricably linked with Shirley Bassey there also exits a demo version performed by the actor Anthony Newley, who co-wrote the lyrics.
A sample from John Barry's score to the movie (from the sequence where Bond finds Jill's body) was used in a 1997 single by the Sneaker Pimps called "6 Underground".

James Bond: Sean Connery
Pussy Galore: Honor Blackman
Auric Goldfinger: Gert Frobe (dubbed by Michael Collins)
Jill Masterson: Shirley Eaton
Tilly Masterson: Tania Mallet
Oddjob: Harold Sakata (Tosh Togo)
M: Bernard Lee
Solo: Martin Benson
Felix Leiter: Cec Linder
Simmons: Austin Willis
Miss Moneypenny: Lois Maxwell
Midnight: Bill Nagy
Kirsch: Michael Mellinger
Johnny: Peter Cranwell
Bonita: Nadja Regin
Colonel Smithers Richard Vernon
Mr Ling: Burt Kwouk
Q: Desmond Llewelyn
Mai Lei: Mai Ling
Swiss Gatekeeper: Varley Thomas
Dink: Margaret Nolan
Brigadier: John McLaren
Atomic Specialist: Robert Macleod
Blacking: Victor Brooks
Capungo: Alf Joint
Hawker: Gerry Dugan

Q Branch Man in Bullet Proof Jacket: George Leech
Security Officer at Airport: Terence Brook
Brunskill: Denis Cowles
Strap: Hal Galili
Gangster: Garry Marshall
Henchman: Lenny Rabin
Sierra: Raymond Young
Sydney: Tricia Muller
Voice of Radio Newsman: Les Tremayne Flying Circus Pilot: Maggie Wright
Miami Hotel Maid: Janette Rowsell
Goldfinger's Waiter: Anthony Chin

The gunbarrel: The footage of Bob Simmons seen at the start of the first two films is used again, but the arrangement of the music is slightly quicker.

Using the title: As with the first Bond film, Goldfinger takes its title from the name of its villain. As if you didn't already know that.

The novel approach: Compared with the first two films, Goldfinger makes a few changes from the novel. However, this is entirely justified since the novel is probably one of the weaker entries in the Fleming canon. The literary Goldfinger intends to steal the gold from Fort Knox (compared with the more ingenious scheme of the film version), and in the novel the character of Tilly Masterson features far more heavily. She doesn't really do much before meeting the same fate of her movie counterpart at the end of the book. It's also notable that Fleming's Tilly and Pussy Galore (who is a gangster rather than a pilot) are both clearly lesbians, rather than being slightly butch as on film. Of course, when Pussy meets Bond she changes her allegiances (in more ways than one), resulting in a somewhat disturbing subtext.
It is also interesting to note that the novel does feature Bond driving an Aston Martin with Q Branch extras rather than his usual Bentley, although it was a DB3 rather than the more famous DB5 and it featured less ostentatious additions (including strengthened bumpers and lights which change colour to confuse anyone following the car at night).
The movie expands on other references in the novel; in particular the pre-credits sequence is based on the mission that Bond has just completed at the start of the book and is mentioned briefly.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Goldfinger is notable for properly establishing the character of Q, compared with Desmond Llewelyn's debut appearance as Major Boothroyd, the Equipment Officer in From Russia With Love. Q Branch itself also appears for the first time, with the whole sequence setting the trend for how subsequent films would treat Bond/Q scenes.

The Double 0 Section: This is the first film to acknowledge any other members of the Double 0 Section when M threatens to give the mission of investigating Goldfinger to 008 when he thinks that Bond may turn it into a personal vendetta to avenge Jill Masterson. Later, when Bond is having a close encounter with a laser beam he says that if he is killed he will be replaced by 008.

Locations: An un-named Latin American country (Mexico in the novel); Miami Beach, Florida, USA; various UK locations (the usual MI6 headquarters sequences in London, the airport from where Goldfinger flies to Geneva, and presumably the golf course, is near Southend-on-Sea in Essex according to the scanner map); the Swiss countryside and the Auric Enterprises factory near Geneva; 35,000 feet above Newfoundland; Friendship Airport, Batimore, USA; Auric Stud, Kentucky; Fort Knox, Kentucky. There's also a brief sequence with Felix Leiter in Washington.

The villain: Auric Goldfinger, a British bullion dealer and international jeweller. He is completely obsessed with gold, which is handy given his name (even his first name is derived from the Latin name for the metal). Goldfinger is wealthy man with many interests, owning a private jet, a 1937 Rolls Royce Silver Phantom 3 (registration AU1), an English golf club and a stud farm in Kentucky. His company, Auric Enterprises, has metallurgical facility in Kent, England, and a factory in Switzerland.
Bond is assigned to investigate Goldfinger when he is suspected of smuggling gold out of the UK. Bond discovers that he is achieving this by replacing the body work of his Rolls Royce with gold. However, Goldfinger is more concerned with a plan that he calls Operation Grandslam and has devoted 15 years of his life towards it. This involves detonating a cobalt-iodine atomic device within Fort Knox, irradiating the entire gold supply of the USA for 58 years, increasing the value of his own gold supply by ten times. Goldfinger is being backed by the Chinese (who will gain from the resulting economic chaos in the west). Goldfinger is of course defeated by Bond and dies when he is sucked out of an aircraft after his golden gun goes off during a fight with 007.
Goldfinger employed many oriental guards and servants. Chief amongst this was Oddjob, his mute Korean manservant armed with a razor brimmed bowler hat. Oddjob was electrocuted by Bond within Fort Knox.

The girl: Pussy Galore, Goldfinger's personal pilot. She is initially somewhat butch and "immune" to Bond's charms (the nearest the movie gets to confirming the lesbian origins of the character in the novel). However, Bond succeeds in persuading her to help him defeat Goldfinger. Pussy has judo skills and has trained her own all-female flying circus. It is implied that she is English; as well as Honor Blackman's accent, Goldfinger thinks that she may retire to England after Operation Grandslam.

Bond's conquests: Definitely Jill Masterson and Pussy Galore, but it is also implied that he slept with Bonita (the Latino woman in the pre-credits sequence) and Dink (the masseuse at the hotel).

Gadgets: Goldfinger introduces one of the most famous Bond gadgets in the shape of the silver Aston Martin DB5 "with modifications" as follows: machine guns behind the left and right front indicators; bullet proof glass; oil slick deployer from the rear light assembly (the first gadget used in the chase scene); smoke screen from the rear; rotating number plates, apparently "valid all countries" but we only see three - BMT 216A (UK), 4711-EA-62 (France) and LU 6789 (Switzerland); rear bullet proof screen; extending tyre slasher from the centre of the rear offside wheel; passenger eject seat operated by a red button in the gear stick. Apart from the last of these the gadgets are operated from a control panel in the armrest between the front seats of the car.
In addition Bond is supplied with a tracking device with a range of 150 miles compatible with the scanner in the DB5 (concealed behind the speaker grill). There are two versions - a large magnetic version and a smaller model that is standard issue and slots into the heel of Bond's shoe (although he initially hides it inside his razor). A compatible system is used by the CIA.
In Q Branch we see a parking metre that sprays tear gas and a brave volunteer modelling a bullet proof jacket despite the fact that it is "not perfected yet". Another gadget from this sequence was not used properly in the finished film, a modified Royal Mail van, although it is seen in one of the clips in the title sequence and can be seen in the background when Q is introducing the Aston Martin.

Recurring characters: The movie features the return of Felix Leiter, Bond's CIA colleague, introduced in Dr No and a semi-regular in Fleming's novels. Jack Lord, who played the role in the first movie, wanted equal billing with Connery in order to return so the part was recast with an older actor, Cec Linder. Linder was originally cast as Simmons, the card player whom Goldfinger cheats in Miami, and Leiter was to be played by Austin Willis, but their roles were switched.

Continuity: Bond notes that the opposition got close to Leiter in Jamaica, a reference to Dr No. He later asks Q about his Bentley, which he was seen with in From Russia With Love. Finally, when held captive on board Goldfinger's private jet he enquires about his attache case (which he used to good effect in the previous movie), only to be told that it was found to be damaged.

Oscars: This was the first Bond movie to gain an Acadamy Award when Norman Wanstall won the award for Sound Effects in 1964 for his work on the film.

I didn't catch the name?: 007 uses his trademark introduction (accompanied by a burst of the Bond theme) when he interrupts Jill Masterson when she is assisting Goldfinger to cheat at cards. He later attempts to introduce himself to Tilly Masterson but she interrupts him before he can complete his name.

Vodka Martinis: On board Goldfinger's jet Bond orders a "Martini, shaken not stirred" for the first time in the series. He also drinks Dom Perignon 53 with Jill, a disappointing brandy with Colonel Smithers and a Mint Juliep with Goldfinger at his ranch in Kentucky.

Gambling: While Goldfinger is staying in Miami he regular plays gin with a fellow guest called Simmons, although he cheats by using Jill Masterson to spy on the game and radio him details of his opponent's hand. Bond discovers the ruse and forces Goldfinger to lose ten thousand dollars. Later, Bond and Goldfinger play golf. The stake is initially a shilling a hole but things are soon raised to the gold bar that Bond has borrowed from the Bank of England (or its equivalent value, five thousand pounds). Bond wins by out-cheating his opponent.

Bond bits: Bond dislikes the Beatles (a rare topical reference in the movies). He uses a Penfold Hearts golf ball.

Other trivia: Tilly Masterson was Jill's sister who wants to kill Goldfinger in revenge. She initially tells Bond that her name is Tilly Soames.
Goldfinger's Red Chinese contact is Mr Ling, who is one of Bond's opposite numbers who has his own licence to kill. He is also an expert in nuclear fission. It is Ling who recognises Bond as a British secret agent. He is shot and killed by Goldfinger.
In order to support Operation Grandslam Goldfinger has used the services of a number of American criminals. In particular, Mr Midnight arranged the smuggling into the USA from Canada of the deadly Delta 9 nerve gas, Mr Strap organised the transportation of Goldfinger's task force from Mexico and Mr Solo arranged the shipping of the laser from Switzerland. Goldfinger is supposed to be paying each of them with one million dollars in gold bullion, but kills them without paying, although not before he has helpfully explained what Operation Grandslam was all about (it's implied that he simply liked performing for them and explaining how clever he is).

Anything else?: The opening credits feature clips from the film (and from its predecessor) projected on to some "golden girls", one of whom is Margaret Nolan, who plays Dink in the film.
When the flying circus is releasing what we think is the Delta 9 gas into the atmosphere we see a sign marked "Welcome to Fort Knox General Russhon". This is a reference to Charles Russhon who was a technical advisor to the film.
The countdown on the nuclear bomb just happens to be interrupted at 007. However, this was a relatively late idea and this is reflected in the fact that a line of Bond's dialogue refers to "three more ticks" before the bomb went off.

The Bond Film Informant was compiled by Matthew Newton. © Copyright MJ Newton. No part of this site may be reproduced without permission unless otherwise stated.

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