Bond … James Bond
By Judy Berman
James Bond peels off his wet suit as he emerges from the water in the opening of the film Goldfinger and steps out on shore in a tux. It was the third film in the British spy series, and the beginning of my love affair with the MI6 agent James Bond (code name “007.”)
It is now the longest-running film series and celebrates its 50th anniversary with the opening of Skyfall starring Daniel Craig as Bond. The first Bond film, Dr. No, opened in 1962. There have been many admirable performers in Bond’s role. But, for me, the best is Sean Connery.
Shirley Bassey’s title song and the iconic opening as we first view the character thru the view of a gun barrel set the tone for an action-packed spy thriller in Goldfinger (1964). The cheeky spy, the gold-painted girl, humor and gadgets lured me in like Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) to a bar of gold.
That love of all that glitters was used as payback for betrayal. International jeweler, and suspected smuggler, Goldfinger had his former mistress and secretary, Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton), painted in gold when she left him for Bond. Bond explained to his boss that Masterson died because her skin couldn’t breathe because the paint closed off all the pores of her body. (This was widely believed at the time, but was later found to be false.)
“Incidentally, Goldfinger, was not the first film in which a person was killed by being covered with gold paint. That honor belongs to the 1946 Boris Karloff movie, Bedlam,” said Snopes.com.
Before Bond can get the goods on Goldfinger, he returns to London and heads to the lab of his weapons specialist “Q.” There, Q gives Bond two tracking devices, and a new car (a 1964 Aston Martin DB5) that is equipped with machine guns, oil slick, smokescreen, passenger ejector seat, tire slashers, bulletproof glass and revolving license plates.
Bond puts the car thru its paces as he pursues, and then tries to elude, Goldfinger. It doesn’t end well for the Aston Martin nor, initially, for Bond.
Who else could remain as unflappable as Bond when he’s strapped to a table and about to be cut in two by a laser? Bond’s memorable line to Goldfinger:
Bond: Do you expect me to talk?
Goldfinger: No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!
Bond didn’t, of course. He was able to dupe Goldfinger into believing he knew all about the villain’s Operation Grand Slam, as did his replacement, 008. Goldfinger did not want to risk word leaking out and ruining his plans to dominate the market for gold. So he takes Bond with him to the scene of his next crime: the gold in the depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
There, Goldfinger’s henchman, Odd-job is electrocuted. The weapon? Odd-job’s own lethal hat with a metal rim. Bond notes that Odd-job (Harold Sakata) “blew a fuse.”
Sad to say, the creator of the Bond books that led to the movies, Ian Fleming, never lived to see this film. His reaction to the screening of the first film, Dr. No, was “Dreadful. Simply dreadful.” I’m sure he would have been delighted with Goldfinger which was the first Bond film to to win an Oscar (category: Best Sound Effects).
For an excellent review of the newest Bond movie, Skyfall, visit Love Your Movies at: http://loveyourmovies.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/bond-celebrates-its-50th-anniversary-with-a-true-gem/
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Video clip from Goldfinger with title song by Shirley Bassey.
Snopes.com finds that the actress who portrayed Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton), in the James Bond film Goldfinger, did not die from asphyxiation after being covered with gold paint . http://www.snopes.com/movies/films/goldfinger.asp
Photo: 1964 Aston Martin DB5, produced by Corgi, as a tie-in to the James Bond film Goldfinger http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/98/1964_Corgi_Aston_Martin_DB5.jpg
I concur about Sean Connery, although Pierce Brosnan takes a close second. As soon as I saw him on Remington Steele, I knew he should be a Bond.
Pierce Brosnan also was an excellent Bond. He had just the right touch of humor, steel and danger.
I’ve never heard the Fleming quote about Dr No, Judy. Hilarious….I suppose it was the first, and low budget! Lovely post – the Bond films are so iconic.
We saw “Skyfall” with Daniel Craig today – wonderful. It definitely lived up to the legacy of the Bond films.
“Dr. No” was not one of my favorites and I’m pretty sure that I saw it after “Goldfinger.” Ian Fleming’s quote came from James Bond in film (Wikipedia). Glad you enjoyed this, Kate.
Love a good Bond film. Saw the new one with MLB on Friday night. We also thought it was outstanding. It’s made more in it’s debut than any other Bond film on opening weekend, so that’s a good sign. What a great legacy.
Dave and I saw “Skyfall” on Sunday. It had all the Bond elements – intense action, danger, and tremendous acting. Glad you and your MLB enjoyed the movie.
I like Pierce Brosnan and think he was a good choice but like you and Danielle, I feel Sean Connery is the best James Bond of all. Great story Mom! Love ya.
Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnana are both suave, sophisticated, and have panache. Glad you enjoyed the story, Jenn. You’ve got to check out “Skyfall.” luv, Mom
I love Bond movies. My mother had the Goldfinger album! I like Daniel Craig in the role, but agree that Sean is the best. AA Hubby and I are looking forward to seeing Skyfall – I love Javier Bardem, too, so he’s a bonus!
I’m betting you and your hubby will love Skyfall, AA. Javier Bardem was an unexpected treat. The last movie I remember seeing him in was “Eat, Pray, Love” and I adored him in that.
Oh, I adored him in that, too!!!
Is is just me or does she look like a life size Academy Award?
You better believe that a lot of guys would love to take that “trophy” home, Lisa. She was stunning with or without the gold.
Judy, Judy, Judy, won’t you accept my Liebster award?
Thank you for your sweet gesture, Tina. I’d be delighted to accept your Liebster award. Let me know what the rules are.
Hi Judy, Just come by my site and pick it up. Rules are on my post. Yeah!
Agree with you Sean Connery was the best! R & I are planning to watch Skyfall over this weekend. Thanks for this wonderful flashback Judy 🙂
“Skyfall” was excellent and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, Madhu. Riveting performance by Daniel Craig, also an excellent 007. Thank you.
Skyfall… is that the one where Queen Elizabeth jumps out of a plane, lands on her horse, and wins the Grand National? I’ve heard it’s excellent… : )
I’d hafta vote for Sean C., too, tho it was a mistake watching him drive that Aston Martin right before I took my driver’s test. Shirley Eaton still haunts my dreams– whatever happened to her? Probably still trying to get that paint off… : P
I loved Goldfinger, but I think From Russia With Love was the best. One thing’s for sure: after Goldfinger, the gimmicks and stunts took over, and any trace of reality went out the window with Bond’s empty martini glass!
Always a pleasure parachuting into your blog, Judy! : )
Always a pleasure reading your thoughtful and hysterical responses, Mark.
The Queen was stirred not shaken by her parachuting experience.
Sean Connery remains my fave. Shirley Eaton will always be the golden Bond girl … no matter the exchange rate.
I also love From Russia With Love. Rosa Klebb certainly “had her kicks” in that movie. Reality is highly overrated. But Goldfinger is the gold standard for me.
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