James Bond locks horns with an international gold smuggler who plans to break into Fort Knox.
The third instalment of the popular franchise sees the formula find its feet and deliver a near perfect cocktail of action, humour and sixties style to create a magic that the producers tried – unsuccessfully – to recapture for the following two decades. One of the obvious reasons for Goldfinger’s success is Bond’s nemesis himself; gone are the camp caricatures of the previous films, replaced by a cold, calculating criminal mastermind who proves a match for 007, especially during the classic “interrogation” scene; “Do you expect me to talk?” “No Mr. Bond. I expect you to die!”. Honor Blackman also makes a stronger, more independent Bond girl and we see Q Branch for the first time, providing an assured and charismatic Sean Connery with plausible gadgets and his iconic Aston Martin. The one liners and sexual innuendo also make an appearance but are done with the kind of wit and subtlety that disappeared during the crass Roger Moore era and John Barry’s superb score has the same kind of enjoyably brash swagger that Connery had himself developed for the part.
Goldfinger is probably the best of the early Bond films and only the recent reinvention Casino Royale has come close to surpassing it.