It's an Oddjob being Bond
When I reviewed the 2nd bond movie "From Russia With Love" I mentioned that one of its strengths was that it evolved various elements which were established in "Dr. No". And to be honest I can say the same about the 3rd movie "Goldfinger", because the creative minds behind the movie obviously looked at what people enjoyed about "From Russia With Love" and tried to give the audience more of what they wanted, evolving Bond in the process. What that means is that there is more action, more sexy women and more witty one liners than before and a bit more fantasy to it all as there are more gadgets as well. And to be honest it works although the negative to all this is the tightness of the storyline takes a knock as it becomes more convoluted but although still seriously enjoyable.
Having been asked to observe gold dealer Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe), it becomes personal for James Bond (Sean Connery - Darby O'Gill and the Little People) when he finds the attractive Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton - Carry on Constable), dead in bed painted from head to toe in gold paint. Wanting revenge Bond learns that the Bank of England have grown suspicious of Goldfinger's dealings as he appears to be amassing a quantity of gold and so Britain's top spy is sent to find out what his plans are. And Bond certainly gets a shock when he discovers what the ingenious Goldfinger is planning but can he stop him and get past his killer henchman Oddjob (Harold Sakata) as well as his loyal pilot Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman).
So as already mentioned "Goldfinger" feels like it has been created using analysis of what people enjoyed in "From Russia With Love" and whilst there are some positives to this there is also a negative, the storyline. Now the basis of the storyline, which is loosely based on Fleming's novel, is quite good as we watch Bond trying to befriend Gold Bullion dealer Auric Goldfinger to find out how he is transporting his Gold and this nicely evolves into some nefarious plans which Auric has. But the tightness which dominated the storyline previously is missing and with the exception of one, maybe two twists everything is very simple this time around. I suppose it works, it allows "Goldfinger" to be more about the action and fun but it is a shame to lose that intelligent storyline.
What this means is that "Goldfinger" ends up much more a visual movie, a movie full of iconic scenes especially the one which sees Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterson painted gold. And with it being a more visual movie it is also one which has more action and to be honest you are never far from one action scene be it the iconic laser between the leg scene or the iconic fight between Bond and Oddjob. The actual evolution of the action is definitely one of the plus points about "Goldfinger" as whilst there is plenty of drama there is also a slight humour to much of it, and lets be honest having a killer with a metal rimmed bowler hat is in anyone books a little bit comical. Plus of course the bad guys are not the only ones with gadgets in "Goldfinger" as not only does Bond get his iconic Aston Martin DB5 we also go inside Q's workshop full of gadgets being tested.
Along with more action there is also more attractive women for Bond to flirt with and if he gets his way seduce. Now whilst it's impossible not to love the name Pussy Galore, a character so wonderfully played by Honor Blackman, it is sort of one step to far, a little bit to innuendo-ish. And of course Honor Blackman is not the only sexy woman as we also have Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterson who may have given us the iconic gold body paint scene is even sexier when Bond meets her. Plus there are others, attractive air stewardesses and of course Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny for Bond to flirt with as well.
With so many attractive women around him it is little wonder that Sean Connery almost has a permanent smile across his face, who wouldn't. But as in the way other things have evolved Sean Connery has continued to evolve as well and we have more witty one liners than before and as already mentioned more flirting and more action hero heroics. If it wasn't for the fact that Connery delivers these one lines with such a dead pan face it could have become a step too far, but he pulls it off. Ironically whilst Gert Frobe plays are evil genius in Auric Goldfinger it is the mostly silent Harold Sakata as Oddjob who steals many a scene especially with the smirk which emblazons his face when fighting Bond.
What this all boils down to is that "Goldfinger" is for many the best Bond movie ever made and it certainly delivers not only all the elements that audiences expect from a Bond movie but both iconic scenes and iconic characters. For me it borders on being a little too much, a little too humorous and lacking in a tight storyline but it still works and it is impossible not to enjoy a move with a gold painted Shirley Eaton and Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore.