Making the Grades
Released in 1964, Goldfinger soon became one of the most iconic films from the 1960s, and defined the action/spy genre for decades to come. Starring Sean Connery as James Bond, the suave and sophisticated British operative is given the charge to save the world from Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe), a madman who is determined to horde the world's most precious metal, including the holdings of Fort Knox.
Of course, our hero can't do the job himself and (of course) his partner will need to be female. Falling for the agent this time is the notoriously named Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman) who has her own reasons for wanting Goldfinger. Together they travel to the United States while dodging additional obstacles, such as the deadly sharp-edged bowler hat of Oddjob (Harold Sakata).
Car chases, gunfights (including a major battle that has to have resulted in dozens of casualties), and hand-to-hand combat occur frequently throughout this action film. However, violence is far from explicit, especially when compared to contemporary standards. A bathtub electrocution is somewhat disturbing and a murdered female is seen lying naked on her stomach, with her body covered in gold paint (one of the movie's most famous images).
Sixties sexuality is here in abundance, with Bond having implied sexual encounters with at least two women. Other scenes have females in various states of undress, although (other than the aforementioned corpse) no nudity is shown. Drinking and smoking by virtually all characters are portrayed and a verbal reference to heroin is heard.
Even with its PG MPAA rating (which was applied in 1994), Goldfinger may not quite shine for many families. Yet, if you are looking for a Bond film that illustrates the distinctive style of the famous 007 that you can share with older teens, this might be as good as it gets. If nothing else, it's great fun to check out the groovy gadgets and state-of-the-art electronics of the day -- including an in-car satellite-positioning device long before anyone knew the meaning of GPS.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Goldfinger.
What do you think accounts for the enduring popularity of the James Bond franchise? Why do these films, and others in the action genre, concentrate on the fate of the main characters while overlooking the loss of human life and the cost of property damage that occur in their wake?