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Steam Sparky, Sparky

Bond 3: Goldfinger

I'm (re)watching the James Bond movies as research for BC:2007 and, mostly for my own benefit, am writing some notes about each one.

Bond movie no. 3: Goldfinger, released 1964. This film spawned two persistent myths that were debunked by MythBusters: that somebody whose skin is covered completely by gold paint will die of "skin suffocation" and that firing a gun through the window of an aircraft at altitude will cause explosive decompression that will suck out anybody who isn't strapped down and cause the plane to crash.


!!Spoiler Warning!!




The following is just a series of random observations, not a proper review or synopsis.

Opening sequence: James bond climbs out of some water next to an industrial complex wearing scuba gear and a model duck strapped to his head, sneaks into an artfully appointed hidden laboratory, sticks explosives to barrels labelled "Nitro", leaves the complex, takes his drysuit off to reveal a smart white suit underneath, sticks a red flower into his lapel, and walks into a night club. A sexy girl is waiting for him in a bath upstairs. While he's kissing the girl, he sees reflected in the girl's eye an assassin sneaking out from behind the wardrobe. Bond fights the assassin and eventually dispatches him by chucking him in the bath and throwing an electric heater into the water. "Shocking," he says, "positively shocking."

Bond steals Goldfinger's girlfriend, the gorgeous Jill Masterson, and stops him from cheating at cards. In retaliation, Goldfinger's henchman Odd-job knocks Bond out and kills Masterson by covering her head to toe in gold paint (supposedly causing "skin suffocation").

First time we see Q's labs. Bond is given an Aston Martin DB5. Bulletproof windscreen, revolving number plate, tracking device, smokescreen, oil slick, rear bulletproof screen, front wing machine guns, retracting blades on the wheel hubs, and a passenger ejector seat.

M gives Bond a bar of gold bullion to use as bait to get Goldfinger to talk to him. Goldfinger challenges Bond to a round of golf, betting the bar of gold against £5000. Goldfinger tries to cheat, but Bond tricks him and wins the game on a technicality.

Odd-job uses his steel rimmed hat to slice the head off a statue, then crushes a golf ball in his bare hand.

Bond uses the tracking device to follow Goldfinger to Switzerland. A mysterious woman tries to assassinate Goldfinger with a sniper rifle but misses and nearly hits Bond instead. He runs her off the road using blades on the wheels of the Aston, then offers her a lift, pretending he doesn't know anything about the assassination attempt. She turns out to be Tilly Masterson, Jill Masterson's sister, and she's dead set on killing Goldfinger in revenge for her sister.

Bond spies on Goldfinger's factory, where he is busily building Rolls Royce cars with gold body panels in order to smuggle gold around the world. He runs into Tilly again. The two of them get into a car chase with Goldfinger's henchmen. Odd-job kills Tilly with his steel-rimmed bowler hat and Bond is captured. One of the henchmen gets into Bond's car and orders him to drive into Goldfinger's compound at gunpoint. Bond uses the ejector seat to get rid of him. A little old granny with a machine gun shoots at Bond. Bond crashes after being confused by a mirror.

Bond wakes up strapped to a laser cutting table. Goldfinger sets it going with the beam gradually creeping towards Bond's crotch. "Do you expect me to talk?" asks Bond. "No Mr Bond, I expect you to die," replies Goldfinger, and starts to leave. Bond persuades him to turn off the machine by bluffing that he knows something about "Operation Grandslam."

When Bond wakes up again it is on a private jet to Baltimore with Goldfinger's pilot, Pussy Galore, who claims to be immune to Bond's charms.

Goldfinger has a flying display team made up entirely of extremely attractive young blonde female pilots.

Goldfinger invites a load of American gangsters to his ranch and shows them his plan to attack the gold depository at Fort Knox. His display team will spray nerve gas over the site and then they will blow up the perimeter fence and cut through the door with the laser cutter. I'm not sure why, but after telling them all his plans (with Bond watching from inside a model of Fort Knox), he kills them with the nerve gas.

Bond escapes from a prison cell by hanging from the ceiling and dropping down onto the guard's head when he comes in. He is soon recaptured by Pussy Galore.

Goldfinger tells Bond he's going to set off a dirty nuke inside the vault. He says the result will be to destabilise the Western economy and make Goldfinger's own gold an order of magnitude more valuable.

Bond and Pussy wind up having a roll in the hay together in one of Goldfinger's stables.

Goldfinger's plan appears to work perfectly until the gassed soldiers all suddenly wake up (Pussy switched the gas with something harmless and warned the authorities). Bond and Odd-job wind up locked in the vault together with the bomb, fighting it out. Bond eventually kills Odd-job by throwing his metal rimmed hat at some steel bars, then when Odd-job goes to retrieve the hat, he touches a live electrical wire to the bars, electrocuting Odd-job. They manage to disable the nuke with "007" showing on the timer.

Bond gets sent to have lunch with the President on a private plane, but Goldfinger hijacks it, with Pussy Galore at the controls. Goldfinger shoots at Bond and misses, blowing out a window. He gets sucked out of the hole, but Bond manages to hold on to a luggage rack. Bond and Pussy escape by parachute and the film ends with them lying together in some woods next to the sea. Pussy tries to signal to a rescue helicopter, but Bond pulls her back down: "Oh no you don't, this is no time to be rescued," he says, and kisses her.

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