Thursday, 21 January 2016

Goldfinger (1964)

"Some things just simply aren't done. Like drinking Dom Perignon '53 at above 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Or listening to the Beatles without earmuffs."

Well, Bond's taste in music is pants, then.

Let's get one thing straight, first: I liked this film a lot. But... well, I like the James Bond films. I've seen most of them, some several times, but not all them. I haven't seen Goldfinger before for instance. But I'm vaguely aware that the received opinion of this film is that it's amongst the best. But, well, I liked it very much but I liked it's predecessors better.

Why? I'm not entirely sure. Perhaps it feels smaller in scale? Perhaps the locations aren't as big or exciting, with long scenes in golf clubs and dull cells, and Bond spending much of the last part of the film as a prisoner? I think it's mainly that Gert Frobe is ok but not all that good or charismatic. Even the "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!" moment underwhelmed me. Has popular culture led me to expect too much?

Still, Connery is awesome as ever.and the full on gadgetry emerges with the gadget filled Aston Martin and a glimpse into "Q" branch. There are done good set pieces, too, most notably Jill Masterson being killed from asphyxiation after being covered in gold paint, as so splendidly debunked in Mythbusters.

Honor Blackman is suitably icy as the deliciously named Pussy Galore, but.. well, the sexual politics of the Bond films have raised a good number of eyebrows up until now, with all the slapping and somewhat unreconstructed attitudes, but Bond quite unambiguously subjects Pussy to sexual assault. It isn't depicted as rape, with Pussy clearly shown to be yielding... but that in itself is troubling.

Still, it has the best theme tune so far and possibly ever. And is still a bloody good film.

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