While investigating an apparently straightforward case
of bullion smuggling, James Bond stumbles upon an audacious
plot to raid the gold depository of Fort Knox...
was the film in which the gadgets took over. Not that you
can really blame the production team for the legacy they established.
As the additional documentary, The Goldfinger Phenomenon
explains, the public instantly fell in love with Bond's Aston
Martin DB5, with all its optional extras, and this movie saw
the beginning of the 1960s phenomenon that was Bond-mania.
the character of James Bond is sidelined not only by the DB5
but also by Goldfinger himself (played by the wonderfully
larger-than-life Gert Frobe), as 007 is held captive for most
of the second half of the film. Meanwhile, the action focuses
squarely on the planning and execution of the villain's raid
of Fort Knox. During this time, the audience is entertained
by Ken Adam's lavish sets, including those depicting the interior
of the gold depository itself, and also the "rumpus room",
within which Goldfinger explains the plot to his hired hoodlums
and the audience (a scene that would later be virtually reused
in 1985's A View to a Kill).
Barry's incidental score, incorporating a strident military
march, also helps to carry the movie forward, while the potent
screen presence of Sean Connery ensures that the viewer hardly
notices that Bond has taken a back seat.
audio commentaries reveal, among other things, some interesting
lapses of continuity. Again, these are not readily apparent
to the average viewer, who is carried along by the brash and
bold direction of Guy Hamilton as he leaves a lasting impression
on the series.
aspect that the documentary features curiously fail to discuss
is the interesting way in which the pre-credits sequence mirrors
in microcosm Bond's final confrontation with the henchman
Oddjob (Harold Sakata) towards the end of the movie. In either
case, Bond is left apparently defenceless (in the first instance,
the heavy reaches for Bond's own weapon, while in the second,
Oddjob reaches for the famously deadly bowler hat, which Bond
has just hurled uselessly into a wall). In either case, Bond
hits upon an innovative solution by electrocuting his opponent.
addition to the more familiar extras, this DVD also includes
a vintage radio interview with Connery. This "open-ended"
discussion is a cunning device that allowed radio stations
to insert the voices of their own disc jockeys, thus achieving
the illusion of an exclusive interview with the actor. Shocking!