Friday, October 19, 2007

Sean Connery's Goldfinger - A Movie Club Column

Back in the summer, my buddy Steve and I decided that as the local 007 expert he would provide me with the movie list and the videos for the James Bond movie series for The Movie Club. Little did I know that the movies would be on - gasp - videotape and not dvd! Well at least this one was.. maybe the other ones will be on DVD... I'm willing to be surprised. Interestingly enough, the last movie I saw on antiquated videotape was the movie Sean Connery made right after Goldfinger - the Alfred Hitchcock clunker "Marnie"... a movie that takes place in Baltimore about a cute thief who attracts Connery's lustful attention. The "Marnie" shooting schedule affected the Goldfinger shoot since certain scenes couldnt be reshot on location due to Connery's commitment to Hitchcock.... which means he went from being the stud James Bond to a one woman man for Marnie!

Here is the movie's trailer...

Goldfinger was the first Bond movie to be televised... premiering on my 7th birthday as a matter of fact. This past summer it was re-released in London. Goldfinger is the 3rd movie in the series and was a "Steve Pick" because the consensus seems to agree that this is the film where the Bond series hits its stride. I really can't comment one way or another since I didn't see the other Connery Bond movies, and I am kind of bummed that this will be the only Connery Bond movie I will review for the Movie Club since I have always been a big Connery fan.. but then again I also like Roger Moore.

Goldfinger is a Gold smuggling bad guy that Bond first meets at a Miami Beach resort where he is supposed to keep an eye on him. Goldfinger is running some type of little scam where he is ripping off another guy at a high stakes poolside card game. It turns out, Goldie has a hot babe stationed on a balcony who is talking to him through an earpiece while her binoculars are trained at his opponent's cards. That reminds me of my favorite "Cheers" episode where Harry Anderson is in a poker game, and the gang tries to cheat while having Coach send a signal that he is scratching his nose.. prompting Coach to repeatedly point out that he just scratched his nose. Harry was trying to win back the money for Coach from another guy who was conning him, but Harry lost.... Afterwards Coach told them he scratched his nose not as a signal... but because it itched. By the way, "Cheers" should put out a DVD of all the Harry Anderson episodes... that would be a big seller!

As it turns out, Bond can't control himself when he sees Goldfinger's spy.. It marks the first time that we hear the introduction "Bond, James Bond", and young 30something Bond just can't keep his raging hormones under control as he attempts to hook up with the hot little chickie. Later on, he meets her sister who accidentally shoots at him.. it turns out she is trying to shoot Goldfinger, but she just has incredibly lousy aim.

Bond's ultimate mission isn't really made clear till late in the movie. The actual plot involves a crazy scheme by Goldfinger to make the gold at Fort Knox radioactive, so his own gold collection will shoot up in value. Bond finds out about this while he is kept prisoner, and during a temporary escape from his jail cell at Goldfinger's horse farm, he manages to sneak under the floor where Goldfinger makes his presentation to a bunch of mobsters that explains how his plot will unfold. Bond actually pokes his head through a model of Fort Knox... I guess they didn't have Power Point back then! Nonetheless, the presentation did include a map that looked like Google Earth, and Bond's souped up Aston Martin had elements of GPS and Lojack - quite impressive for a movie that was shot in 1964.

Even though Goldfinger's plot really doesn't unfold till late in the movie, it sure is a lot of fun getting to that point. Bond is supposed to be the best Secret Agent, but he is so freaking horny that you can see where Austin Powers got the whole shag obsession! His obsession with hot babes always gets the best of him and he is a bit of a bumbling fool at times... he always knows that he could get called back and replaced by Agent 008. Ultimately, all of Bond's cronies look buffoonish - almost reminds you of a 60s version of "Police Squad"

A beautiful woman named Honor Blackman portrays one of his pursuits - the interestingly named Pussy Galore. Can you imagine how her parents must have felt? They name their daughter "Honor" and then have to tell all their friends she is an actress playing a character named Pussy! Then again we have 2 Republican "leaders" named Bush and Dick. Interestingly enough, in the book, Pussy is a lesbian, but in the movie it is just implied, although that doesn't stop Bond from trying to put the shmaneuver on her. Ms. Galore is a pilot and at one point flies our hero to Baltimore... Was that so Sean could get to that day's shooting on the set of Hitchcock's "Marnie"? Ultimately, Bond finds himself in a position where he can sell Ms. Galore on the idea that Goldfinger is a bad guy, while also trying to get some hoochy mcscoochy too.

The movie is pretty entertaining, and Bond finds himself getting into trouble too often because he can't control his libido. He also comes face to face with Goldfinger's silent henchman Oddjob, which by the way used to be a good store to get cheap stuff. Oddjob walks around wearing a derby that he can throw like a frisbee and turns into a deadly weapon, apparently sharper than an axe. There are also some hysterical lines - A lot of people say the exchange (shown in the trailer) between Bond and Goldfinger during a Batman-esque cliffhanger scene that produced THE line in the movie where Bond asks Goldie "Do You Expect Me to talk?" to which he retorts..."No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!" My personal favorite is Bond enjoying the moments after another sexual conquest, hears a radio newscaster proclaim "The President said that he was entirely satisfied....." Bond shuts off the radio and announces "That makes two of us". While off canoodling with one of his babes, one of his male colleagues calls his hotel room about a missed dinner they had planned... to which the wisecracking Bond retorted - "Oh something big came up!".. Was Milton Berle supposed to be 007?

I must admit the hoochy mcscoochy scenes are a tad risque for 1964, the action is implied... usually not so subtly by some of Bond's wisecracks. These sex scenes are not to be confused with that new HBO show "Tell Me You Love Me', where last week's no doubt about it porno scene between the wacky woman whose engagement broke off and some new guy she hooked up with. I dont know the characters names, but almost every woman on that show is n-v-t-s nuts.. except for Ally Walker's character. (Thanks to Alan Sepinwall's blog, I just realized that the actress playing the wacky woman trying to conceive is Penny from Lost!) There is no way those 2 actors in that scene did not have some type of sexual contact in last week's episode. They were both naked and close enough to each other, and there had to be some kind of hocus mcpocus going on, unless the guy had some kind of acrobatic Stretch Armstrong Gumby-esque shmeckle that he was able to twist away from her....

The movie is actually loaded with memorable lines, and the action is quite entertaining. The story line moves along at a rather quick pace, and what would be an otherwise boring golf scene is quite entertaining... Who says you need a Bob Barker fight to get an entertaining golf scene?

I was not a big fan of the Goldfinger theme song, however the tune sans lyrics is quite catchy... although it is hard to listen to a movie soundtrack after seeing The Family Guy's Star Wars spoof. Interestingly enough, I am writing a new song, and the Goldfinger song solved a big puzzle of rhyming the word "mister" when they rhymed it with...."kissed her"... The movie has held up well over the last 40+ years, and Sean Connery does a fantastic job, and boy was he young!! On a scale of one to four bladders, meaning how less likely you would be to leave in the middle to go to the bathroom... Goldfinger gets 3 and a half bladders.

Next movie on tap: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

PUMPSTRADAMUS NFL PICK OF THE WEEK - Incredibly, Pumpie whose picks are based on voices in his head has amassed a rather remarkable 6-0 record to start the season! Last week he hit the Browns.. this week we go to Baltimore, home of Pussy Galore's Flying Circus.. where the Ravens are 3 point road favorites over Buffalo. Sayeth the Pump: I need some dollar bills in my pocket, so I will take the Bills!"

UNBIASED GIANTS FAN PICKS OF THE WEEK - Last we went 2-1 for the 2nd straight week to get to 8-9-1. This week we shoot to go over .500....

The Bears 6 point doggies over PHILADELPHIA - Speaking of doggies.. doesn't Ellen Degeneres realize there are legal ramifications to giving dogs to families with young kids? Da Bears continue to recover!

Minnesota 9 1/2 point doggies to DALLAS - Big spread for a team that might be saying goodbye to first place in a few weeks.

GIANTS 9 point faves to San Fran - That is a big spread too... but the Giant defense has looked terrific, and it looks like Eli Manning is starting to live up to his genetic blueprint.

CLIP OF THE WEEK - This is from a Philiadelphia TV station - seems kind of appropriate considering this week's column. This is what happens when a naive innocent young woman gets a high profile TV job...


alberich said...

Off topic for this post (on topic for an earlier one), but the Comics Curmudgeon has found a live-journal entry explaining Funky Winkerbean: evidently it's Dorian Gray's Picture.

Nate said...

I read that and it was quite amusing. By the way, you might be interested to know that this weekend's column includes predictions by myself and The Amazing Pumpstradamus for the 2008 Presidential Race!

alberich said...

I am indeed interested.

I'll chime in prematurely with mine: if Giuliani wins the GOP primary (and Bloomberg doesn't enter the race), many South FL residents of the elderly (even many Democrats) and of the Cuban persuasions, will vote for him, and FL will go GOP.

Interestingly, in spite of what the polling data for FL is saying, based on signage, I think Ron Paul might very well win the FL GOP primary.

I have no predictions about the FL Dem. primary or the Dem. primaries in general. Heck, I haven't even decided for whom I'll vote.

But the left side of these here intertubes has gotten fed up with Edwards and Obama and seems to be breaking for Doddering Dodd, of all people, who seems to actually be showing some spine vis-a-vis Bush & CO. I dunno how good of a candidate a long-term legislator with such a voting record to trash -- and with legislative instincts about how to respond -- will be, c.f. candidate Kerry.