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« Scooby Doo? Now They've Gone Too Far! | Main | 22 Link Street »
Tuesday
Jun172014

We Need To Talk About James Bond's **** in "Goldfinger"

[This article contains 50 year-old spoilers.]

Goldfinger (1964) Directed by Guy Hamilton.

If you're alive and semi-conscious about pop culture you know the James Bond template even if you've never seen one: Action Prologue, superfluous; Bond Girls, multiple not all of whom survive; Locations, multiple across the Globe; Talkative Villains; Impressive Gadgetry; Salty Quips; Fancy-Ass Title Sequence (with its own mandatory template items). Much of that was established or fine-tuned right here in the third Bond film Goldfinger (1964).

But we need to talk about James Bond's cock. By my count, imagination, and visual cross-checking [ahem] he is exceptionally virile, has an impressive rock-hard member, and beds three women in Goldfinger.

And yet...


If you realllllly look closely at the plot and story beats of Goldfinger this is Bond at his most ineffectual; cocky, sure, but totally flaccid. What does he actually do? He can't save any of the girls whose lives are in danger. He can't get a sneaky message to his people to prevent an attack on Fort Knox. He is knocked unconscous, his body going completely limp, repeatedly. At the end of the movie he (hilariously) can't even disarm the bomb to save the day. The only true success he has in the whole movie, apart from the minor triumph of dressing himself suavely within the confines of an airplane bathroom, is when he forces himself upon that most sapphic of Bond girls, the aptly named Pussy Galore.

Pussy has a whole squadron of her own girls that don't become Bond's. But true to the demands of enduring male fantasy, always expertly channeled through the Bond franchise and in this case the actual 007 cock, he 'fucks some sense into her' as it were. (It's 1964 -- sorry 'bout it.) And that's the only way the day is saved. Pussy saves the day but only because of Bond's "007". (According to Auric Goldfinger's nefarious calculations America's entire gold supply would be radioactive still today in 2014 and stay so for another 8 years... or at least until Daniel Craig is replaced.)

All of which is why this was my one and only possible option as "Best Shot" goes, despite a plethora of beautiful images thanks to the rather amazing BAFTA nominated (Oscar-snubbed) production design by Sir Ken Adam, and the cinematography by Ted Moore.

Best Shot

You have to love this sequence. Goldfinger has one of the best villain HQs and this is just one tiny peek at it. At this moment he is planning to kill Bond with a laser, dick first, for messing with his golden plans. Our secret agent stares at his own crotch with great concern, and his eyes dart around for any possible solution. He actually spends more screen time (3 minutes) staring at or worrying about the possible destruction of his manhood than he does frowning over both Bond Girl corpses combined (1½ minutes).

And why shouldn't he? These family jewels are worth more than anything in Fort Knox. 

This has been an episode of Hit Me With Your Best Shot, the mid season finale to be precise, hence the not at all desperate bid at grabbing your attention via that salty title. A complete listing of the contributions 'round the web is coming tonight at 10 PM. If you'd like to contribute to Best Shot but haven't yet done it, shoot us an e-mail and will give you ample warning of future installments.

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References (2)

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Reader Comments (17)

This is a great analysis of Bond at his most incompetent. It kind of sets the stage for a scene in the next movie, Thunderball, where he gets stuck in a spinal traction machine and it looks like, uh, highly painful coitus. Penetration anxiety? Fear of emasculation? Or just a goofy suspense scene?

June 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDrew

LOL great post! This is my entry for tonight btw: http://cocohitsny.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/hit-me-with-your-best-shot-goldfinger-19649/

June 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterConrado

That production design really is gold. Can you believe this movie only cost $3 million to make? It cost less than The Sword in the Stone, half of what Mary Poppins' budget, and a fraction of My Fair Lady's. Can you imagine a movie musical getting 5x the budget of a Bond movie today?

June 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

Margaret: I think there's three reasons this is happening:

1. Countries seeing the money in jacking up the price of location shooting. They're going to want to film there anyway, so why not get a little more out of it.
2. The tilt toward more and more action as the series has progressed. Goldfinger has 2 action set pieces and 1 major effect (the laser), 1 of those action sequence being just a relatively cheap bout of fisticuffs with Odd Job. Skyfall has, what, 5 or 6 and they're mostly modern set-piecey things with at least a fair amount of VFX? Prices are going to increase due to that as well.
3. The increased price of actor's pay cheques. SOME of this is inflation, sure, but Jim Carrey demanding a $20 million cheque in 1996 is not just inflation.
Sure, that last thing is also something that bumps up the cost of everything, but those three things taken combined manage to make the jump from $3 million in 1964 (equivalent to $30-35 million today) to $150-200 million (the reported "price range" for Skyfall) today seem a little less unexplainable, don't they?

June 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Great post! The first woman who dies is a victim of Bond's pointless decision to stop Auric Goldfinger's cheating-at-poker scheme, in a clumsy way that makes clear to Auric that she must have cooperated with Bond. Then, on an errand to the refrigerator to get more champagne for the two of them, Bond is hit from behind and goes . . . limp. For just long enough for the bad guys to paint her gold.

June 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRachele

Rachele -- it seems like painting someone gold would take a really long time. that always confuses me. just how long can a blow to the back/neck put you out?

June 17, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

And Bond is named one of the greatest heroes in AFI list for just fucking Pussy.

June 17, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercraver

Nat: Not if they put her in a liquid gold dunk tank and then took her back. Has the added benefit of actually holding up to modern scientific understanding.

June 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Bond can't accurately count the number of ticks on the timer, and that Volvagia can't accurately count anything, not even the action sequences in Goldfinger, is yesterday's news of course. But you, Nathaniel, also need a licence to count: Bond only beds two women in Goldfinger, not three.

Am I also allowed to answer your strange "What does he actually do" question? His pre-title sequence mission against Mr. Ramirez is successful. He puts a stop to Goldfinger's cheating in Miami. He wins a dishonest game of golf. He can talk himself out of anything, even laser treatment. He escapes long enough to find out what Operation Grand Slam is. He makes Pussy straight (in more than one respect). He kills Oddjob. And he's also responsible for Goldfinger doing something that will lead to his, Auric's, demise. And since you must have missed Goldfinger's remark that he will deal with Pussy later: the death of the main villain means that Miss Galore, who was likewise in danger at the end, can survive this adventure, saved indirectly by Bond. I'd say that all of this amounts to more than one success.

As far as the "tiny peek at" Goldfinger's HQ goes, please bear in mind that the laser room is at the factory in Switzerland whereas the gas chamber Deborah chose for her best shot is at the ranch in Kentucky. Two different locations, albeit equally impressive as far as the production design goes.

But your Best Shot is the one I'd have chosen as well.

June 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWilly

Correction: I meant the gas chamber from Deborah's Runner-up Shot # 2 of course.

June 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWilly

Correction # 2: I better shouldn't have called Goldfinger's estate in the States a "ranch". It's a stud farm.

June 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWilly

Willy it's 3. He has clearly bedded the woman he uses as a shield in the opening prologue. Plus Pussy. Plus Jill.

June 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Clearly? Now where's the "clearly"? While it is possible that they might have had a complete run-through earlier, nothing on screen confirms this beyond doubt (especially since His Majesty talks about "unfinished business"). And it would have been before the film begins anyway.

June 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWilly

Are there any other endangered genitals sequences in the Bond films besides this one and Naked-Craig-in-a-Chair? There must be.

June 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Paul Outlaw: I don't know about whether there's more, but I like the contrast between the first and most recent. Connery's Bond is kind of an immature 60s vision of a macho man (see also: Captain James Tiberius Kirk) who's naturally afraid of losing his "William Wallace". Daniel Craig's Bond winds up laughing in abandon, a (relative) adult who knows he's had enough casual sex for at least 10 lives and has acquired apathy about the state of his privates because of it.

June 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

As long as we're talking about Sean Connery's 007, there's a phenomenal shot of it in the scene where he and Goldfinger are playing golf. The camera is about 3' off the ground, and after Connery sinks a putt, he walks toward the camera -- wearing those snug 60s slacks. The man obviously isn't wearing any underwear, and you can see the outline of his bulge so clearly you can tell what religion he is.

July 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHondo

Hey @Hondo - YES! About 1.5 years ago I was watching Goldfinger on my iMac after only having seen it on regular TVs. The golf scene came up and I think I gasped audibly. You can totally see his big fat dick. And then again later when he's prancing around in the gray suit and hanging out with Pussy. It's like, did nobody notice the star's cock is showing?

December 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAgreed

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