Written by: Richard Maibaum and Paul Dehn, based on the novel by Ian Fleming
Directed by: Guy Hamilton
Starring: Sean Connery, Honor Blackman, Gert FrÃ¶be, Shirley Eaton, Tania Mallet
- Remastered audio and video
- Audio commentary with Guy Hamilton
- Second commentary with cast and crew
- The Making of Goldfinger documentary
- The Goldfinger Phenomenon documentary
- Massive still gallery
- Original publicity featurette
- Original radio interviews with Connery
- Making-of booklet
- Original trailer, TV, and radio spots
Released by: MGM
My Advice: Own it, natch.
[ad#longpost]In this, the third installment of the now-venerable Bond franchise, Agent 007 finds himself pitted against a wealthy megalomaniac with intentions on Fort Knox. Auric Goldfinger (FrÃ¶be) has a scheme to detonate an atomic weapon inside the United States gold depository at Fort Knox, rendering his personal stash of gold bullion the single largest concentration in the world. This, of course, will make him fabulously wealthy and quite possibly the most powerful man in the world.
Enter James Bond. Tasked with getting to the bottom of Goldfinger’s gold smuggling operation, he stumbles on the larger plot against Fort Knox, and must pit his considerable skills against a virtual army of thugs, assassins, and femme fatales in order to stop the plan before it can come to fruition. Over the course of his mission, he’ll meet the iconic Oddjob (Harold Sakata), complete with the most dangerous derby in all of haberdashery. He also has to attempt to turn his charm on perhaps the most memorably-named “Bond girl” in series history: Pussy Galore (Blackman).
Goldfinger established a number of the conventions that have since become familiar tropes of the series. Q’s gadgets take a larger hand in this outing than in the two previous installments, particularly the Aston Martin DB 5, which comes complete with machine guns, oil slicks, smokescreens, and revolving license plate. Bond also faces down several overly-elaborate deathtraps, including a nasty cutting laser.
The production was a lavish affair, full of location shots in all sorts of exotic places, and exterior shots made at the real Fort Knox itself, with special permission from the U.S. Army. Interiors were created on a soundstage, due to security concerns about the fort itself. The film is packed with the sort of over-the-top chase scenes and stunts that have become a staple of the franchise, but these are much more nicely balanced against scenes with the suave secret agent talking his way out of trouble than has been managed in more recent productions.
The DVD production is stellar, complete with new transfer, digital remastering of both audio and video, and a slew of extras. Two commentary tracks provide a wealth of inside information on the production, though Connery is again notably absent from the ensemble commentary. A pair of documentaries discuss both the making of the film and its impact. The still gallery is huge, with hundreds of shots from the production behind the scenes, and there’s a wealth of original publicity material, including a radio interview with Connery.
Fans of the series couldn’t ask for a better DVD release. The wealth of extras add a ton of value to an already worthy flick, and the new transfer restores the movie to its original vibrant color. Pick this one up and renew your faith and fascination in one of the most successful franchises in film history.