James Bond

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Goldfinger about to slice Bond in half with a laser.

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Two Aston Martin DB5s were built for production, one of which had no gadgets.

Goldfinger (1964)

In the pre-title sequence, James Bond destroys a Mexican drug lord's base with plastic explosives and defeats an assassin by electrocution. The story begins in Miami Beach, Florida, with CIA agent Felix Leiter delivering a message to Bond from M to watch Auric Goldfinger. Bond foils Goldfinger's cheating at gin rummy by distracting his employee, Jill Masterson. After blackmailing Goldfinger into losing, Bond and Jill consummate their new relationship in Bond's hotel suite. Bond is knocked out by Goldfinger's Korean manservant Oddjob, while Jill is covered in gold paint and succumbs to epidermal suffocation.

In London, Bond learns that his true mission is determining how Goldfinger transports gold internationally. He plays a high-stakes golf game with his adversary (with a recovered bar of Nazi gold as the prize); despite Goldfinger's cheating, Bond wins the match. Goldfinger warns Bond to stay out of his business by having Oddjob decapitate a statue by throwing his steel-rimmed top hat. Undeterred, Bond follows him to Switzerland, where he unintentionally foils an attempt by Jill's sister Tilly Masterson to assassinate Goldfinger for the death of her sister, Jill.

Bond sneaks into Goldfinger's plant and overhears him talking to a Red Chinese agent about "Operation Grand Slam." Leaving, he encounters Tilly as she is about to make a second attempt on Goldfinger's life, but accidentally trips an alarm. Bond attempts to escape using his modified Aston Martin DB5 car. During their escape, Oddjob breaks Tilly's neck with his hat. Bond is soon captured and Goldfinger has Bond tied to a table underneath an industrial laser, which slowly begins to slice the table in half. Bond lies to Goldfinger that British Intelligence knows about Grand Slam, causing Goldfinger to spare Bond's life until he can determine how much the spy actually knows.

Bond is transported by private aircraft flown by Goldfinger's personal pilot, Pussy Galore, to Goldfinger's Kentucky stud farm near Fort Knox. He escapes and witnesses Goldfinger meeting U.S. mafiosi, who have brought the materials he needs for Operation Grand Slam; at the end of the briefing, Goldfinger has them all killed. Bond is recaptured, but soon learns that Goldfinger intends to irradiate the U.S. gold supply stored at the Depository at Fort Knox with an atomic device, therefore rendering it useless for 58 years and greatly increasing the value of his own gold. This will also give the Chinese increased power following economic chaos in the West.

Operation Grand Slam begins with the women pilots of Pussy Galore's Flying Circus spraying lethal nerve gas over Fort Knox to dispatch its garrison, though Goldfinger had told Galore that the soldiers would just be rendered unconscious. However, Bond had earlier seduced her and persuaded her to contact the CIA, who had then replaced the poison with a harmless gas. The military personnel of Fort Knox convincingly play dead until they are certain that they can prevent the criminals escaping the post with the bomb. They choose this plan because Goldfinger had earlier suggested that if thwarted at Fort Knox, there was no telling where he might explode the device, so the CIA knew their scheme had to trap both Goldfinger and his bomb beyond reasonable hope of escape.

Goldfinger's Chinese agents gain entry to the vault. Oddjob handcuffs Bond to the atomic device and lowers both into the vault. As Goldfinger and his men prepare to leave, Army forces surround them and all but wipe them out. Goldfinger has planned for every contingency, however: under his heavy coat is a colonel's uniform, and from a pocket he retrieves a proper military head covering. He even kills his Red Chinese contact to cement his authenticity as an American military officer (and prevent the man from giving him away).

Goldfinger's henchman Kisch, forced to retreat to the vault, intends to shut off the bomb. Oddjob kills him by throwing him off a balcony before he can do this. Bond retrieves the man's keys and frees himself from the handcuffs, but before he can disarm the bomb, Oddjob races down the stairs and attacks. Bond manages to duck under Oddjob's lethal hat, but the fight proves that Oddjob is the superior combatant. Finally, Bond retrieves the hat and tries to throw it himself without success. It wedges in between two of the bars of the vault. When Oddjob tries to recover it, Bond executes a sliding move that allows him to touch a high voltage cable to the metal gate, electrocuting Oddjob with current which is conducted through his own metal hat.

Turning to the bomb, Bond manages to force the lock by hammering on it with a pair of gold bars, but the mechanism inside baffles him. Nothing he tries seems to shut it off. Finally, he prepares to yank a wiring harness loose in desperation, but before he does a hand reaches over his shoulder. It belongs to an atomic specialist who reaches in and shuts off the device with a switch. The timer stops at "007".

With Fort Knox safe, the US President invites Bond to the White House to thank him. Bond boards a Lockheed JetStar for Washington D.C., but Goldfinger and Pussy Galore have hijacked it. Bond and Goldfinger struggle for the latter's gold-plated revolver and accidentally discharge it and shatter a window. Goldfinger is blown out. Bond rescues Galore, and they parachute safely onto a beach.


  • Sean Connery as James Bond (007): A British MI6 agent who is sent to investigate Auric Goldfinger. Connery reprised the role of Bond for the third time in a row. His salary rose, but a pay dispute later broke out during filming. After suffering a back injury when filming the scene where Oddjob knocks Bond unconscious in Miami, the dispute was settled: EON and Connery agreed to a deal where the actor would receive 5% of the grosses of each Bond film he starred in. It was while filming Goldfinger that Connery also became a fan of golf.[2]
  • Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore: Goldfinger's personal pilot and leader of an all-female team of pilots known as the Flying Circus. The character's name follows in the tradition of other Bond girls names that are double entendres. Blackman was selected for the role of Pussy Galore because of her role in The Avengers.[1] Concerned about censors, the producers thought about changing the character's name to "Kitty Galore",[3] but they and Hamilton decided "if you were a ten-year old boy and knew what the name meant, you weren't a ten-year old boy, you were a dirty little fucker. The American censor was concerned, but we got round that by inviting him and his wife out to dinner and [told him] we were big supporters of the Republican Party."[4] During promotion, Blackman took delight in embarrassing interviewers by repeatedly mentioning the character's name.[5]
  • Gert Frbe as Auric Goldfinger: A wealthy man obsessed with gold. Theodore Bikel auditioned for the role of Auric Goldfinger but failed.[5] Frbe was cast because the producers saw his performance as a child molester in a German film.[1] Frbe, who did not speak English, said his lines phonetically, but was too slow. In order to dub him, he had to double the speed of his performance to get the right tempo.[4] He was dubbed over by Michael Collins.[1]
  • Harold Sakata as Oddjob: Goldfinger's lethal Korean manservant. Director Guy Hamilton cast Harold Sakata, an Olympic silver medalist weight lifter, as Oddjob after seeing him on a wrestling programme.[1] Hamilton called Sakata an "absolutely charming man", and found that "he had a very unique way of moving, [so] in creating Oddjob I used all of Harold's own characteristics".[6] Sakata was badly burned when filming his death scene.[2]
  • Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterton: Goldfinger's aide-de-camp, whom Bond catches helping the villain cheat at a game of cards. He seduces her, but for her betrayal, she is completely painted in gold paint and suffocates. Shirley Eaton was sent by her agent to meet Harry Saltzman, and she agreed to take the part if the nudity was done tastefully. It took an hour-and-a-half to apply the paint to her body.[4]
  • Tania Mallet as Tilly Masterson: The sister of Jill Masterton, she is on a vendetta to avenge her sister.
  • Bernard Lee as M: 007's boss.
  • Cec Linder as Felix Leiter: Bond's CIA liaison in the United States. Linder was the only actor actually on location in Miami.[5] Linder's interpretation of Leiter was that of a somewhat older man than the way the character was played by Jack Lord in Dr. No; in reality, Linder was a year younger than Lord.
  • Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny: M's secretary.
  • Desmond Llewelyn as Q: The head of Q-Branch, he supplies 007 with a modified Aston Martin DB5. Hamilton told Llewelyn to inject humour into the character, thus beginning the friendly antagonism between Q and Bond that became a hallmark of the series.[5]
  • Directed by Guy Hamilton Produced by Harry Saltzman Albert R. Broccoli Novel/Story by Ian Fleming Screenplay Richard Maibaum Paul Dehn Cinematography by Ted Moore, BSC Music by John Barry Main theme "Goldfinger" Composer John Barry Leslie Bricusse Anthony Newley Performer Shirley Bassey Editing by Peter R. Hunt Distributed by United Artists Released 17 September 1964 (UK) 22 December 1964 (USA) Running time 110 minutes


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