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GOLDFINGER

Goldfinger is the third film in the James Bond series and also the third to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Released in 1964, it is based on the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. The film also stars Honor Blackman as Bond girl Pussy Galore and Gert Fröbe as the title character Auric Goldfinger, along with Shirley Eaton as famous Bond girl Jill Masterson. Goldfinger was produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman and was the first of four Bond films directed by Guy Hamilton.

Agent 007 investigates a smuggling operation run by the obsessive millionaire Auric Goldfinger and uncovers a plot to irradiate the entire gold supply of the United States by detonating an atomic bomb inside Fort Knox with the help of his private pilot, Pussy Galore. Goldfinger was the first Bond blockbuster, with a budget equal to that of the two preceding films combined. Principal photography took place from January to July 1964 in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the American states of Kentucky and Florida.
 
The release of the film led to a number of promotional licensed tie-in items, including a toy Aston Martin DB5 car from Corgi Toys which became the biggest selling toy of 1964. The promotion also included an image of gold-painted Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterson on the cover of Life.
 
Many of the elements introduced in the film appeared in many of the later James Bond films, such as the extensive use of technology and "gadgets" by Bond and an extensive pre-credits sequence that was not a major part of the main storyline. Goldfinger was the first Bond film to win an Academy Award and opened to largely favourable critical reception. The film was a financial success, recouping its budget in just two weeks and is hailed as the series' quintessential episode, still being acclaimed as one of the best films in the entire Bond canon.

With the court case between Kevin McClory and Fleming surrounding Thunderball still in the High Courts, producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman turned to Goldfinger as the third Bond film. Goldfinger had what was then considered a large budget of $3 million, the equivalent of the budgets of Dr. No and From Russia with Love combined, and was the first James Bond film classified as a box-office blockbuster. Goldfinger was chosen with the American cinema market in mind, as the previous films had concentrated on the Caribbean and Europe.

Terence Young, who directed the previous two films, chose to film The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders instead, after a pay dispute that saw him denied a percentage of the film's profits. Broccoli and Saltzman turned instead to Guy Hamilton to direct; Hamilton, who had turned down directing Dr. No, felt that he needed to make Bond less of a "superman" by making the villains seem more powerful. Hamilton knew Fleming, as both were involved during intelligence matters in the Royal Navy during World War II. Goldfinger saw the return of two crew members who were not involved with From Russia With Love: stunt coordinator Bob Simmons and production designer Ken Adam. Both played crucial roles in the development of Goldfinger, with Simmons choreographing the fight sequence between Bond and Oddjob in the vault of Fort Knox, which was not just seen as one of the best Bond fights, but also "must stand as one of the great cinematic combats" whilst Adam's efforts on Goldfinger were "luxuriantly baroque" and have resulted in the film being called "one of his finest pieces of work."

Richard Maibaum, who wrote the previous films, returned to adapt the seventh James Bond novel. Maibaum fixed the novel's heavily criticised plot hole, where Goldfinger actually attempts to empty Fort Knox. In the film, Bond notes it would take twelve days for Goldfinger to steal the gold, before the villain reveals he actually intends to irradiate it with the then topical concept of a Red Chinese atomic bomb. However, Harry Saltzman disliked the first draft, and brought in Paul Dehn to revise it. Hamilton said Dehn "brought out the British side of things". Connery disliked his draft, so Maibaum returned. Dehn also suggested the pre-credit sequence to be an action scene with no relevance to the actual plot. Wolf Mankowitz, an un-credited screenwriter on Dr. No, suggested the scene where Oddjob puts his car into a car crusher to dispose of a dead body. Because of the quality of work of Maibaum and Dehn, the script and outline for Goldfinger became the blueprint for future Bond films.

Principal photography on Goldfinger commenced on 20 January 1964 in Miami, Florida, at the Fontainebleau Hotel; the crew was small, consisting only of Hamilton, Broccoli, Adam and cinematographer Ted Moore. Sean Connery never travelled to Florida to film Goldfinger because he was filming Marnie elsewhere in the US. Miami also served as location to the scenes involving Felix's pursuit of Oddjob. After five days in Florida, production moved to England. The primary location was Pinewood Studios, home to among other sets, a recreation of the Fontainebleau, the South American city of the pre-title sequence, and both Goldfinger's estate and factory. Three places near the studio were used, Black Park for the car chase involving Bond's Aston Martin and Goldfinger's henchmen inside the factory complex, RAF Northolt for the American airports, and Stoke Park Club for the golf club scene. Southend Airport was used for the scene where Goldfinger flies to Switzerland. Ian Fleming visited the set of Goldfinger in April 1964; he died a few months later in August 1964, shortly before the film's release. The second unit filmed in Kentucky, and these shots were edited into scenes filmed at Pinewood. Principal photography then moved to Switzerland, with the car chase being filmed at the small curves roads near Realp, the exterior of the Pilatus Aircraft factory in Stans serving as Goldfinger's factory, and Tilly Masterson's attempt to snipe Goldfinger being shot in the Furka pass. Filming wrapped on July 11th at Andermatt, after nineteen weeks of shooting. Just three weeks prior to the film's release, Hamilton and a small team, which included Broccoli's stepson and future producer Michael G. Wilson as assistant director, went for last minute shoots in Kentucky. Extra people were hired for post-production issues such as dubbing so the film could be finished in time.
 
Broccoli earned permission to film in the Fort Knox area with the help of his friend, Lt. Colonel Charles Russhon. To shoot Pussy Galore's Flying Circus gassing the soldiers, the pilots were only allowed to fly above 3000 feet. Hamilton recalled this was "hopeless", so they flew at about 500 feet, "and the military went absolutely ape". The scenes of people fainting involved the same set of soldiers moving to different locations. For security reasons, the filmmakers were not allowed to film inside the United States Bullion Depository, although exterior photography was permitted. All sets for the interiors of the building were designed and built from scratch at Pinewood Studios. The filmmakers had no clue as to what the interior of the depository looked like, so Ken Adam's imagination provided the idea of gold stacked upon gold behind iron bars. Saltzman disliked the design's resemblance to a prison, but Hamilton liked it enough that it was built. The comptroller of Fort Knox later sent a letter to Adam and the production team, complimenting them on their imaginative depiction of the vault. United Artists even had irate letters from people wondering "how could a British film unit be allowed inside Fort Knox?" Adam recalled, "In the end I was pleased that I wasn't allowed into Fort Knox, because it allowed me to do whatever I wanted." Another element which was original was the atomic device, to which Hamilton requested the special effects crew to get inventive instead of realistic. Technician Bert Luxford described the end result as looking like an "engineering work", with a spinning engine, a chronometer and other decorative pieces.

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Hamilton remarked, "Before [Goldfinger], gadgets were not really a part of Bond's world." Production designer Ken Adam chose the DB5 because it was the latest version of the Aston Martin (in the novel Bond drove an DB Mk.III), which he considered England's most sophisticated car. The company was initially reluctant, but was finally convinced to make a product placement deal. In the script, the car was armed only with a smoke screen, but every crew member began suggesting gadgets to install in it: Hamilton conceived the revolving license plate because he had been getting lots of parking tickets, while his stepson suggested the ejector seat (which he saw on television). A gadget near the lights that would drop sharp nails was replaced with an oil dispenser because the producers thought the original could be easily copied by viewers. Adam and engineer John Stears overhauled the prototype of the Aston Martin DB5 coupe, installing these and other features into a car over six weeks. The scene where the DB5 crashes was filmed twice, with the second take being used in the film. The first take, in which the car drives through the fake wall, can be seen in the trailer. Two of the gadgets were not installed in the car: the wheel-destroying spikes, inspired by Ben-Hur's scythed chariots, were entirely made in-studio; and the ejector seat used a seat thrown by compressed air, with a dummy sitting atop it. Another car without the gadgets was created, which was eventually furnished for publicity purposes. It was reused for Thunderball.

Lasers did not exist in 1959 when the book was written, nor did high-power industrial lasers at the time the film was made, making them a novelty. In the novel, Goldfinger uses a circular saw to try to kill Bond, but the filmmakers changed it to a laser to make the film feel more fresh. Hamilton immediately thought of giving the laser a place in the film's story as Goldfinger's weapon of choice. Ken Adam was advised on the laser's design by two Harvard scientists who helped design the water reactor in Dr No. The laser beam itself was an optical effect added in post-production. For close-ups where the flame cuts through metal, technician Bert Luxford heated the metal with a blowtorch from underneath the table Bond was strapped to. This scene would feature an exchange between Goldfinger and 007 that would become a movie classic.

 
Bond:
Do you expect me to talk?

 
Goldfinger:
No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die!

The opening credit sequence was designed by graphic artist Robert Brownjohn, featuring clips of all James Bond films thus far projected on Margaret Nolan's body. Its design was inspired by seeing light projecting on people's bodies as they got up and left a cinema. Visually, the film uses many golden motifs to parallel the gold's symbolic treatment in the novel. All of Goldfinger's female henchwomen in the film except his private jet's co-pilot (black hair) and stewardess (who is Korean) are red-blonde, or blonde, including Pussy Galore and her Flying Circus crew (both the characters Tilly Masterson and Pussy specifically have black hair in the novel). Goldfinger has a yellow-painted Rolls-Royce with number plate "AU 1" ("Au" being the chemical symbol for gold), and also sports yellow or golden items or clothing in every film scene, including a golden pistol, when disguised as a colonel. Bond is bound to a solid gold table (as Goldfinger points out to him) before nearly being lasered. Goldfinger's factory henchmen in the film wear yellow sashes, Pussy Galore at one point wears a metallic gold vest, and Pussy's pilots all wear yellow sunburst insignia on their uniforms. The concept of the recurring gold theme running through the film was a design aspect conceived and executed by Ken Adam and Art Director Peter Murton.
 
The model jet used for wide shots of Goldfinger's Lockheed JetStar was refurbished to be used as the presidential plane that crashes at the film's end. Several cars were provided by the Ford Motor Company including a Mustang that Tilly Masterson drives, a Ford Country Squire station wagon used to transport Bond from the airport to the stud ranch, a Ford Thunderbird driven by Felix Leiter, and a Lincoln Continental in which Oddjob kills Solo (a lone gangster who refuses to take part in Operation Grand Slam). The Continental had its engine removed before being placed in a car crusher, and the destroyed car had to be partially cut so that the Ford Falcon Ranchero pick-up truck on which it was deposited could support the weight. Felming wrote Goldfinger in 1959 and would recycle the Solo name when he helped develop the Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV series in 1962.

Since the release date for the film had been pre-determined and filming had finished close to that date, John Barry received some edits directly from the cutting room floor, rather than as a finished edit, and scored some sequences from the rough, initial prints. Barry described his work in Goldfinger as a favourite of his, saying it was "the first time I had complete control, writing the score and the song". The musical tracks, in keeping with the film's theme of gold and metal, make heavy use of brass, and also metallic chimes. The film's score is described as "brassy and raunchy" with "a sassy sexiness to it".

Goldfinger is said to have started the tradition of Bond theme songs being from the pop genre or using popular artists, although this had already been done with Matt Monro singing the title song of From Russia with Love. Shirley Bassey sang the theme song "Goldfinger", and she would go on to sing the theme songs for two other Bond films, Diamonds are Forever and Moonraker. The song was composed by John Barry, with lyrics by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse and the soundtrack album topped the Billboard 200 chart.

The film's marketing campaign began as soon as filming started in Florida, with Eon allowing photographers to enter the set to take pictures of Shirley Eaton painted in gold. Robert Brownjohn, who designed the opening credits, was responsible for the posters for the advertising campaign, which also used actress Margaret Nolan. To promote the film, the two Aston Martin DB5s were showcased at the 1964 New York World's Fair and it was dubbed "the most famous car in the world"; consequently, sales of the car rose. Corgi Toys began its decades long relationship with the Bond franchise, producing a toy of the car, which became the biggest selling toy of 1964. The film's success also led to licensed tie-in clothing, dress shoes, action figures, board games, jigsaw puzzles, lunch boxes, toys, record albums, trading cards and slot cars.

AV CLUB FEATURETTE DEPARTMENT

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Goldfinger Trailer - Directed by Guy Hamilton and starring Sean Connery, Peter Cranwell, Nadja Regin, Richard Vernon, Burt Kwouk. Someone is planning a major robbery of Gold that could destroy the economy. James Bond is dispatched by the MI6 and the Bank of England to find the people responsible and stop them.
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The making of Goldfinger. Buy Goldfinger here.

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Goldfinger was premiered at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on September 17th 1964, with general release in the United Kingdom the following day. Leicester Square was packed with sightseers and fans and police were unable to control the crowd due to the number of people. A set of glass doors to the cinema was accidentally broken and the premiere was shown ten minutes late because of the confusion. The United States premiere occurred on December 21 1964, at the DeMille Theater in New York City. Goldfinger was temporarily banned in Israel because of Gert Fröbe's connections with the Nazi Party. The ban, however, was lifted many years later when a Jewish family publicly thanked Fröbe for protecting them from persecution during World War II.

Goldfinger was generally a critical success and at the 1965 Academy Awards, Norman Wanstall (right) won the Academy Award for Best Sound Effects Editing for his work, making Goldfinger the first Bond film to receive an Academy Award. John Barry was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Score for a Motion Picture, and Ken Adam was nominated for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) for Best British Art Direction (Colour), where he also won the award for Best British Art Direction (Black and White) for Dr. Strangelove.

Goldfinger had a large impact on the rest of the Bond series as its script came to be seen as a template for all other Bond films to follow. It was the first of the series showing Bond relying heavily on technology, as well as the first to show a pre-credits sequence with only a tangential link to the main story. Gildfinger also introduced the first briefing in Q-branch, allowing the viewer to see the gadgets in development. The subsequent films in the Bond series follow most of Goldfinger's basic structure, featuring a henchman with a particular characteristic, a Bond girl that gets killed by the villain, big emphasis on the gadgets and a more tongue-in-cheek approach, though trying to balance action and comedy.

Goldfinger has been described as perhaps the most highly and consistently praised Bond picture of them all and after Goldfinger, Bond became a true phenomenon. The success of the film led to the emergence of many other works in the espionage genre and parodies of James Bond, such as The Beatles film Help! in 1965 and a spoof of Ian Fleming's first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1967. Indeed it has been said that Goldfinger was the cause of the boom in espionage films in the 1960s, so much so that in 1966, moviegoers were offered no less than 22 examples of secret agent entertainment, including several blatant attempts to begin competing series, with James Coburn starring as Derek Flint in the film Our Man Flint and Dean Martin as Matt Helm. On television there was The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (which Fleming had contributed too), I Spy, Mission Impossible, The Avengers, Honey West, Danger Man and Get Smart.

Even within the Bond canon, Goldfinger is acknowledged; the 22nd Bond film, Quantum of Solace, includes an homage to the gold body paint death scene by having a female character dead on a bed nude, covered in crude oil. Outside the Bond films, elements of Goldfinger, such as Oddjob and his use of his hat as a weapon, Bond removing his drysuit to reveal a tuxedo underneath and the laser scene have been homaged or spoofed in works such as True Lies, The Simpsons, and the Austin Powers series, when Dr. Evil's henchman Random Task throws his shoe at Powers.

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