Monday, April 25, 2011

Movie of the Week - Goldfinger

This week’s movie is Goldfinger (1964).

The third in the James Bond Series, it is about Bond looking into suspected gold smuggler Auric Goldfinger, only to uncover a much bigger and devious plot. Director Guy Hamilton made four Bond films, this being his first (and probably best film of his career). Richard Maibaum wrote the script (he wrote thirteen Bond films in total). Hamilton also used Bond veterans composer John Barry, cinematographer Ted Moore and production designer Ken Adam on the film giving much the same feel as Dr. No and From Russia with Love. (My favorite Bond) Sean Connery stars; while series actors Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell and Desmond Llewelyn reprise their roles (Felix Leiter makes an appearance but is played by a different actor from his appearance in Dr. No). Honor Blackman, Gert Frobe and Harold Sakata highlight the supporting cast (and for fans of the Peter Sellers’s Pink Panther Series, look out for Burt Kwouk). What makes this film great is Connery’s performance as Bond – he epitomizes the era of the film while still appealing to modern day fans with wit and an aura of coolness (it is really a timeless performance, to some degree). The scale of the film is much bigger than the first two Bond adventures (leading to the big underwater action scenes in Thunderball and the overall huge scale of You Only Live Twice), and the villain is one of the more memorable. Interestingly, the film does not mention SPECTRE, the villainous group that plagued Bond through most of the early films, almost like it was a side adventure. The film has all the best parts of a Bond film: great villain, memorable women, an awesome Aston Martin, lots of locations, and Sean Connery’s perfect performance (plus maybe the best intro song of the series by John Barry and Shirley Bassey). Goldfinger is a must for James Bond fans and Sean Connery fans alike. Check out the trailer.

Available on Blu-ray, DVD and to Rent

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