Goldfinger ★★★★★

Continuing my journey to see every single 007 film before the release of Skyfall, I just got finished rewatching the third Bond film, Goldfinger, and it still holds up as one of my favorites.

I'll never forget, my father (who surprisingly turned me to a lot of films I love) introduced me to two of my first Bond films...this film and Die Another Day. I told him I never even heard of James Bond and he whipped out two Bond DVD's and had me watch them with him. I loved both films (though I managed to love Die Another Day less and less with each watch) and from that point I was a big fan of James Bond. Just for being my first Bond film, Goldfinger will probably always share a special place in my mind.

Sean Connery again plays the suave agent 007, or just simply James Bond and this time to perfection. He was great in the last two films, but it was clear he still was'nt completely comfortable in the role...until now. Every line is delivered sharper than his last two outings and he comes off as both cooler and and even more charming. He perfectly inhabits his character and it's easier to think "This guy really is Bond."

Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore makes a wonderful Bond Girl. I loved Pussy (don't even go there!) in this. She has this look in her eyes that makes you believe that she is sexually attracted to Bond but is also able to resist his charms when needed. Blackman did a damn good job in the role and looked damn good doing it.

The villain and title character is played by Gert Frobe who does a fantastic job in the role. This villain set the standard for later villains and for good villains. After seeing him, expectations become pretty high for later villains to be a genuine threat, menacing, and memorable. He manages to be both menacing and charismatic at points. As great of a job Frobe does, I can't help but wonder what Orson Welles would have done in the role had Welles not backed out of the role after demanding more money and of course not getting it. More importantly, as great of a job Frobe does in the film, his thunder is nearly stolen by Harold Sakata as Oddjob who ends up not only being one of my favorite villains in the Bond franchise, but my favorite henchman. He's just unforgettable and like Frobe, makes a huge impression in his role. Though unlike Frobe, he is much more enjoyable to watch.

This is the film that set the standard for the basic Bond formula and like in later films, it really works here. From the exciting action to the thrilling build up to the gadgets, it all really works and keeps you entertained. Even the music and the set pieces are really amazing. There are plenty of edge on your seat moments that keep you guessing what will happen next. Like no matter how many times I see it, as soon as Goldfinger says "No Mr. Bond, I expect you die." I can't help but think "Holy shit! Bond is fucked! How the hell is he gonna get out of this one?" It's that kind of excitement that make me feel like the 8 year old kid in me who saw Bond for the first time clenched to my seat waiting for the outcome.

No matter how many times I watch this, I love this film. Since starting this Bond series, I'm able to see it in a different and better light. I have a better understanding of it's impact on pop culture as well as appreciate as a bigger achievement in the Bond franchise.

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