Goldfinger (1964)

108 mins | Drama, Adventure | December 1964

Director:

Guy Hamilton

Cinematographer:

Ted Moore

Editor:

Peter Hunt

Production Designer:

Ken Adam

Production Companies:

Eon Productions, Ltd., Danjaq, S. A.
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HISTORY

On 15 Apr 1963, DV announced that Eon Productions partners Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli signed screenwriter Richard Maibaum to adapt Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger (1959) as the third “James Bond” feature. Although a 25 Apr 1962 Var article indicated that Goldfinger had previously been considered for the second installment, the novel was withheld in favor of Maibaum’s script for From Russia With Love (1964, see entry), which had already begun production. Erroneously referring to the picture as Dr. Goldfinger, the 14 Jan 1964 LAT reported the hiring of director Guy Hamilton as a result of his work on Man in the Middle (1964, see entry). According to an 18 Jun 1964 DV brief, Sean Connery was once again set to reprise the lead role, having raised his fee to $1 million. The 5 Feb 1964 Var announced that wrestling champion Harold Sakata, also known as “Togo,” had been selected to portray “Oddjob,” while items in the 23 Dec 1963 and 3 Feb 1964 DV suggested that Theodore Bikel and Connery’s then wife, Diane Cilento, were also in talks for roles. Bikel and Cilento were not credited.
       Although an 8 Jan 1964 Var advertisement claimed that production was set to begin 24 Feb 1964 at England’s Pinewood Studios, Connery still had nearly a month of filming to complete on Marnie (1964, see entry) at the Universal Studios in California. Various contemporary sources, including a 10 May 1964 NYT item, suggested that a second unit crew first traveled to the U.S. for ... More Less

On 15 Apr 1963, DV announced that Eon Productions partners Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli signed screenwriter Richard Maibaum to adapt Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger (1959) as the third “James Bond” feature. Although a 25 Apr 1962 Var article indicated that Goldfinger had previously been considered for the second installment, the novel was withheld in favor of Maibaum’s script for From Russia With Love (1964, see entry), which had already begun production. Erroneously referring to the picture as Dr. Goldfinger, the 14 Jan 1964 LAT reported the hiring of director Guy Hamilton as a result of his work on Man in the Middle (1964, see entry). According to an 18 Jun 1964 DV brief, Sean Connery was once again set to reprise the lead role, having raised his fee to $1 million. The 5 Feb 1964 Var announced that wrestling champion Harold Sakata, also known as “Togo,” had been selected to portray “Oddjob,” while items in the 23 Dec 1963 and 3 Feb 1964 DV suggested that Theodore Bikel and Connery’s then wife, Diane Cilento, were also in talks for roles. Bikel and Cilento were not credited.
       Although an 8 Jan 1964 Var advertisement claimed that production was set to begin 24 Feb 1964 at England’s Pinewood Studios, Connery still had nearly a month of filming to complete on Marnie (1964, see entry) at the Universal Studios in California. Various contemporary sources, including a 10 May 1964 NYT item, suggested that a second unit crew first traveled to the U.S. for exteriors in the Fort Knox area of Kentucky and the beaches of Miami, FL, which featured local Playboy “Bunnies” as background actors. A 20 Mar 1964 DV production chart stated that principal photography began four days earlier at Pinewood. Because the U.S. government prohibited filming at the real Fort Knox (home of the U.S. Bullion Depository) a replica of the building was constructed in the fields of the London borough of Middlesex, while interiors were housed on a Pinewood soundstage. According to a 15 Apr 1964 Var brief, additional sets included a reproduction of a Miami Beach resort, and “Goldfinger’s” Kentucky stud farm and Swiss stronghold, which cost a combined $350,000. On 15 Jul 1964, the publication announced that the main unit had just wrapped a week of location shooting in Switzerland, with two additional weeks of filming remaining at Pinewood. The 18 Jun 1964 DV claimed that Connery was working seven-day weeks to complete his role. While earlier items estimated a budget of $2–$2.5 million, a 31 Mar 1965 Var item listed the total negative cost as $2,950,000.
       A 21 Sep 2012 Time feature on the Bond franchise reported that Gert Fröbe’s dialogue was dubbed by Michael Collins, since Fröbe was not a native English speaker.
       The U.K. premiere took place 17 Sep 1964 at the Odeon, Leicester Square in London, with a “showcase” engagement to follow three days later at nine London-area theaters. According to the 26 Aug 1964 Var, this marked the first time the “showcase” exhibition strategy was employed in the U.K. after it was popularized by United Artists (UA) in New York City. General U.K. release was scheduled for 18 Oct 1964, using the traditional “single-week booking” strategy.
       The 16 Dec 1964 Var reported that in preparation for the film’s domestic release, Bond’s Aston-Martin DB5 was put on display at the J. S. Inskip showroom in New York City, while the New American Library issued more than 300,000 paperback copies of Fleming’s original novel. An 11 Dec 1964 DV item indicated that UA also broadcast “The Incredible James Bond,” an hour-long television special comprised of clips and behind-the-scenes footage of the first three Bond features. However, certain publicity materials for Goldfinger were the cause of minor controversy: Although the 21 Oct 1964 Var noted that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) did not object to the name of Honor Blackman’s character, “Pussy Galore,” contemporary sources indicated that references to the “Bond girl” had to be removed from several newspaper advertisements and televised trailers. In contrast to Americans’ discomfort, Blackman told the 13 Apr 1965 DV that the British media took no issue with the name, which frequently appeared in headlines with a “partly satirical tone.”
       Goldfinger premiered in the U.S. on 21 Dec 1964 at the DeMille Theatre in New York City. The 25 Nov 1964 Var noted that the event was a benefit for the Lincoln Square Academy. According to the 23 Dec 1964 Var, the film’s regular engagement began the previous day at the DeMille and Coronet Theatres, breaking opening day records at both houses. To accommodate audience demand, the 23 Dec 1964 NYT reported that the Coronet planned to include regular midnight screenings to its schedule, while the DeMille would remain open twenty-four hours a day through the end of the year. A 19 Nov 1964 LAT announced that the Los Angeles, CA, opening was set for Christmas Day at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, where it replaced the seventeen-week run of Mary Poppins (1964, see entry). By 31 Mar 1965, Goldfinger had earned $10,374,807 in domestic rentals from 1,409 theaters, which Var deemed “incomparable” to any other picture in history, and quickly became the top-grossing picture of the year.
       As with audiences, the third installment of the franchise was widely popular among critics, and earned an Academy Award nomination for Sound Effects. AFI ranked it #71 on its list of 100 Years…100 Thrills, while the character of “Auric Goldfinger” was named the forty-ninth greatest villain. Goldfinger also features the origination of Bond’s catchphrase, “A martini. Shaken, not stirred,” which ranked #90 on AFI’s list of 100 Years…100 Quotes. Shirley Bassey’s rendition of the title theme is #53 on the list of 100 Years…100 Songs, and reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
15 Apr 1963
p. 11.
Daily Variety
23 Dec 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
3 Feb 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
20 Mar 1964
p. 16.
Daily Variety
18 Jun 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
8 Dec 1964
p. 1.
Daily Variety
11 Dec 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
18 Jan 1965
p. 1, 14.
Daily Variety
13 Apr 1965
p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
14 Jan 1964
Section D, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
19 Nov 1964
Section B, p. 8.
New York Times
10 May 1964
Section X, p. 9.
New York Times
23 Dec 1964
p. 22.
Time
21 Sep 2012.
---
Variety
25 Apr 1962
p. 13.
Variety
8 Jan 1964
p. 176.
Variety
5 Feb 1964
p. 22.
Variety
8 Apr 1964
p. 23.
Variety
15 Apr 1964.
---
Variety
15 Jul 1964.
---
Variety
26 Aug 1964
p. 14.
Variety
21 Oct 1964
p. 5.
Variety
25 Nov 1964
p. 6.
Variety
16 Dec 1964
p. 15.
Variety
23 Dec 1964
p. 9, 14.
Variety
31 Mar 1965
p. 3.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Action seq dir
Asst dir
WRITERS
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dresser
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Title des
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Goldfinger by Ian Fleming (London, 1959).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Goldfinger," words and music by Leslie Bricusse, Anthony Newley and John Barry.
DETAILS
Series:
Release Date:
December 1964
Premiere Information:
London premiere: 17 September 1964
New York premiere: 21 December 1964
New York opening: 22 December 1964
Los Angles opening: 25 December 1964
Production Date:
16 March--late July 1964
Copyright Claimant:
Eon Productions
Copyright Date:
18 September 1964
Copyright Number:
LP29363
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
108
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Auric Goldfinger, one of the wealthiest and most evil men in the world, is suspected of depleting England's gold reserve through smuggling. Secret agent James Bond is assigned to investigate the matter. He meets Goldfinger at a Miami hotel and learns Goldfinger's method of cheating in high stake card games. Jill, the smuggler's secretary, views the other players' hands through a telescope and relays the information to her boss through his hearing aid. When Jill becomes attracted to Bond, Goldfinger murders her by coating her body with heavy gold paint. Bond then trails Goldfinger's Rolls Royce across Europe to his Alpine headquarters. Tilly Masterson, Jill's sister, is also trailing Goldfinger, but she is killed by Goldfinger's mute Asian servant, Oddjob. Bond learns that the Rolls Royce is solid gold and provides the means for smuggling, but he is captured and flown to Goldfinger's Kentucky headquarters by Pussy Galore, Goldfinger's beautiful pilot. Bond learns that Goldfinger is planning to rob Fort Knox by paralyzing the defense forces with gas sprayed from the planes of Pussy's flying circus, and then blowing up the fort with an atomic bomb borrowed from Communist China. Goldfinger proceeds with the plan, and Bond is handcuffed to the bomb; but, unknown to Goldfinger, Pussy, who has succumbed to Bond's charm, changes sides, and warns Washington. The plot is thwarted, and Bond manages to free himself from the bomb only seconds before detonation and then escapes attack from the razor-brimmed hat of Oddjob. Later, as Bond is being flown to meet the President, with Pussy aboard the Air Force jet, he is confronted by Goldfinger disguised as a U.S. general. During a fight, Goldfinger is killed when ... +


Auric Goldfinger, one of the wealthiest and most evil men in the world, is suspected of depleting England's gold reserve through smuggling. Secret agent James Bond is assigned to investigate the matter. He meets Goldfinger at a Miami hotel and learns Goldfinger's method of cheating in high stake card games. Jill, the smuggler's secretary, views the other players' hands through a telescope and relays the information to her boss through his hearing aid. When Jill becomes attracted to Bond, Goldfinger murders her by coating her body with heavy gold paint. Bond then trails Goldfinger's Rolls Royce across Europe to his Alpine headquarters. Tilly Masterson, Jill's sister, is also trailing Goldfinger, but she is killed by Goldfinger's mute Asian servant, Oddjob. Bond learns that the Rolls Royce is solid gold and provides the means for smuggling, but he is captured and flown to Goldfinger's Kentucky headquarters by Pussy Galore, Goldfinger's beautiful pilot. Bond learns that Goldfinger is planning to rob Fort Knox by paralyzing the defense forces with gas sprayed from the planes of Pussy's flying circus, and then blowing up the fort with an atomic bomb borrowed from Communist China. Goldfinger proceeds with the plan, and Bond is handcuffed to the bomb; but, unknown to Goldfinger, Pussy, who has succumbed to Bond's charm, changes sides, and warns Washington. The plot is thwarted, and Bond manages to free himself from the bomb only seconds before detonation and then escapes attack from the razor-brimmed hat of Oddjob. Later, as Bond is being flown to meet the President, with Pussy aboard the Air Force jet, he is confronted by Goldfinger disguised as a U.S. general. During a fight, Goldfinger is killed when he is sucked out of the plane window; Bond and Pussy parachute to safety. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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