Language: English, Cantonese, Spanish
Genre: Action, Adventure
Director: Guy Hamilton
Cinematography: Ted Moore
Music: John Barry
This year marks GOLDFINGER’s 50th anniversary, the third BOND film after Dr. No. (1962) and FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963), however, it is my first encounter with Sean Connery’s ironic Bond impersonation, but is this the best Bond film ever? Not in a million years, I daresay. Hiring a German actor (Fröbe) to play the kingpin Goldfinger with his Cantonese-babbling henchmen and a Korean muscleman Oddjob (Sakata), the film’s premise is not only politically incorrect and logically peculiar.
Also, initially it might be glad to watch a Bond girl Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman) break the glass ceiling as a professional pilot and lead an all-female squad, it is utterly male chauvinistic to believe Bond’s irresistible sexual appeal (and the off-screen sex activity) could magically convince her to a be a key turncoat within one day. Only if Bond were bisexual, it would solve more problems in the world. And persistently, Goldfinger would not even think about to kill Bond instantly since he is kept as a captive for most of the time, even in the most logical moment, there is always a morbid need to kill Bond in a fancy way with precisely ticking time.
After 50 years, Aston Martin DB5 slightly loses its lustre and the so-called cutting-edge gadgets’ allure is also inevitably waning, but after all, it was a big-budget tentpole at then, John Barry’s inherently engrossing score and Shirley Bassey’s stunning theme song are timeless earworms. Unfortunately DP Ted Moore’s epiphanic creativity (one innovative shot from the reflection of a woman’s eyeball) does’t find a larger room in the standard studio production line.
Sean Connery is a perfect specimen of masculinity and debonair, and his unethical surrender to every attractive woman he meets panders for the taste of a majority of viewers who think beautiful flowers are either soon picked or just auxiliary for men’s voyeurism. Honor Blackman actually reflects a definite amount of dignity and freshness in the earlier procedure, which makes her treachery evens more nonsensical. Gert Fröbe, takes up a considerable screen-time, yet fails to impress as a classic Bond villain not just because his clumsiness and genial appearance, he simply doesn’t possess any kookiness to leave any traction although Shirley Eaton’s skin suffocation to death with gold paint is now a trademark in Bond series.
Director Guy Hamilton (EVIL UNDER THE SUN 1982, 7/10) would be a regular journeyman for Bond franchise (DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER 1971 and LIVE AND LET DIE 1973), and GOLDFINGER ultimately prompts the appreciation that what a boon SKYFALL (2012, 8/10) is, we have a Bond belongs to our own era, and we can witness the paradigm shift of the progress, days for cinephiles are getting better and better! If this is the highest achievement of a critic-acclaimed blockbuster 50 years ago could be, we should stop whining over most of our brainless equivalents with nostalgia, merely because the past is not so glamorous either.