And now, Operation Grand Slam commences via Pussy’s flying circus “Rocky a bye baby” phase. The ladies seem awfully cheery to have killed an entire town-maybe Pussy let them know the gas was in fact, switched and harmless ahead of time-or maybe they’re just as nuts as Goldfinger himself.
Once the town is ‘asleep’ Goldfinger and co. move in with Bond in tow, using the laser that was nearly used on Bond earlier to cut their way open into the fort.
The atomic device is primed and set for detonation, with poor Bond stuck to it.
But…surprise! The soldiers-and also Felix-aren’t really dead, and take out Goldfinger’s men.
Goldfinger-in a mirror of Bond at the start of the movie-has a plan B to at least escape-an American military uniform that makes him sort of blend in with the soldiers. He also sports a Golden gun-making him pretty much the first “Man with the Golden Gun”, which he uses to kill chinese conspirator, Mr. Ling (Played by Burt Kwouk, a British/Asian actor who also appeared in You Only Live Twice and the spoof version of Casino Royale, as well as many other roles in British TV and film). Although there’s nothing particularly special about this gun, except for it’s color-it’s just a regular gold-plated pistol, not a kind of nifty gadget like Scaramanga’s. He also locks Bond in the vault-with Oddjob and Kitch-and the atomic device.
Kitsch has a last minute change of heart-well, of sorts-and tries to disarm the device (with the odd line “You can be a hero, I’m not!”) but Oddjob isn’t letting anybody get in the way of his boss’s plans, even if he has to die himself. Conveniently, Kisch’s corpse-carrying the key to Bond’s handcuffs-lands pretty close to Bond, and he’s able to free himself….and now comes the big confrontation.
Bond’s attempt to physically attack Oddjob of course don’t work with him being more amused than anything, but his hat is kind of his ondoing, at first severing an electrical wire. Bond’s able to grab the hat and get it stuck in the bars protecting the gold, and when Oddjob tries to retrieve it, he uses the wire against the bars, which connects with the steel rim in Oddjob’s hat, electrocuting the henchman-and making this the second time in the film that Bond’s electrocuted someone. Shocking. Positively shocking. (Given that Bond also switched suits in the opening sequence like Goldfinger just did, I’m wondering if the pre-credits scene was intended, in part, to foreshadow some of the film).
Bond tries to disarm the device but seems far more confused than anything (He must’ve taken some lessons before “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Octopussy” although those were a bit different in design). Thankfully, Felix and friends show up in the nick of time to defuse it…with only 007 seconds left.
Of course, this is meant as a bit of a visual gag, although it doesn’t at all work with the line said on screen “Three more ticks and Goldfinger would’ve hit the jackpot”. I’m guessing this was added in post-production for kicks. We also learn that Pussy Galore switched the gas to something harmless, with Bond saying he “appealed to her maternal instincts”
Although the immediate danger is over, and Bond’s all set to go to Washington for a congratulatory dinner with the president, turns out he’s not out of trouble yet, as Goldfinger is onboard (along with some other henchman who appears for just a second and just vanishes).
Bond take a momentary distraction-Goldfinger gesturing to the cockpit where Pussy is-to grab Goldfinger. In the ensuing struggle, Goldfinger’s gun fires, breaking a window and he gets sucked out, one of the more humiliating and goofy villain deaths in the series.
Although it still doesn’t top Kananga’s from Live and Let Die:
and it certainly inspired Graves’s:
Thankfully, Bond and Pussy are able to escape the rapidly depressurizing and descending plane before it explodes…and we get another Bond wants more time with the ladies so don’t rescue him yet ending, which started with Dr.No and would continue into several of the sequels (Although I’m pretty sure Craig hasn’t done something along those lines…yet. His films seem to edge toward more ‘traditional’ Bond with every installment.)
Overall, while it’s far from the most action packed of the series, a little slow in spots, and doesn’t quite have the cold war intrigue and dense plot of From Russia With Love, “Goldfinger” certainly has a ton of style, and would pretty much solidify the persona and style of the cinematic Bond (although there would certainly be several attempts to return to the Bond of the books over the years, the most successful being Daniel Craig), with it’s gadgets, camp, and over-the-top villains and henchman. Next up I’ll look at Thunderball-my favorite of the era-in which Bond once again confronts SPECTRE, who are holding the world to ransom. Plus he gets to go to the bahamas!