Bond-a-Thond #3: ‘Goldfinger’ (1964)

For the next 22 weeks, MTV Movies Blog will be running what we call the Bond-a-Thond. Every Wednesday we’re taking a look back at a single (official) Bond film, giving you the vitals and seeing how it holds up, right up until the release of “Skyfall” on November 9. Feel free to watch along with us and share your thoughts or just kick back and enjoy the Bond.

Goldfinger (1964)

Title Meaning: It is simply the last name of the film’s villain, Auric Goldfinger.

Plot: Originally under MI6 investigation for smuggling, Auric Goldfinger, a lover of all things, well, gold, attempts to blow up the U.S.’s reserve at Fort Knox to send the price of the precious metal skyrocketing.

Bond: Sean Connery

Villain: Auric Goldfinger, a man who has no problem cheating at gold or murdering 41,000 troops outside Fort Knox, played by Gert Frobe.

Bond Girl: Pussy Galore (yes.), personal pilot for Golfinger, played by Honor Blackman

“Bond, James Bond” Occurrences: 1.5 (he’s interrupted the second time)

Martinis: 1

Card Games: 0

Cigarettes Smoked: 1

Explosions: 2

Tuxes Worn: 2

Kills By Bond: 9

Most Creative Kill: After struggling with a would-be assassin, who he throws into a filled bath, Bond tosses an electric heat lamp into the water. For his post-mortem one-liner: “Shocking. Positively shocking.”

Gadgets: The legendary Aston Martin DB5, complete with machine guns, oil slicks, smoke screens, and, yes, an ejector seat

Mental State of Miss Moneypenny: Teasingly forward

Sexual Partners: 2 (Jill Masterson, Pussy Galore)

First Occurrence of Sex: 14 minutes in

Most Unrealistic Moments: Oddjob’s still iconic throwing hat continues to defy logic and physics. Not only does he decapitate a marble statue with it, but he murders Tilly Masterson.

Most “Bond” Moments: After Bond successfully infiltrates a fuel storage facility and blows it up, he slips out of his wet suit, revealing a perfectly pressed tuxedo underneath.

Sign of the Times: Bond sends away his masseuse/lover/disease recipient, Dink, by telling her, “Say good-bye, Dink. Man talk,” and then proceeds to slap her butt.

Place in Bond History: “Goldfinger” stands firmly as arguably the most famous of all Bond films. While Pussy Galore was not the first Bond girl with a double entendre for a name, her’s was by far the most explicit. There’s also the DB5, “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die,” Oddjob, and, of course, one of the greatest villains of the series, Goldfinger himself.

Review: “Goldfinger”’s place as the James Bond film comes from its complete mastery of every 007 trope. For that reason, it’s the perfect entry for any newcomers to the series to learn what 60s era Bond was all about. By “Goldfinger,” Connery’s performance becomes more reflexive than anything, slipping easier and easier into his license to kill.

We can also see here that the specifics of the plot matter far less than a charismatic villain and creative set pieces. MI6 originally begins to investigate Goldfinger because they suspect him of smuggling. From there, we get an exceptional Bond movie without any over-complication.

It’s difficult to praise the film that is universally and justifiable held as the best of the series. “Goldfinger” is a distillation of what makes the franchise great, making it as watchable as it likely was in ’64.

The Bond-a-Thond will return next week in “Thunderball.”

What do you think of “Goldfinger”? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!