Countdown to ‘Skyfall’: Day 003 – ‘Goldfinger’

Without a doubt, today’s Bond film is one of the most popular in the series – thanks in large part to its four-wheeled “star” that’s still part of 007’s adventures today.

‘Goldfinger’ took the franchise to levels and further solidified James Bond’s place in pop culture for decades to come. This is the film that made gadgets an essential part of almost every mission, and the most well-know gadget of them all is the Aston Martin DB5.

With a revolving license plate, futuristic tracking system and, of course, an ejector seat (no joke), the DB5 instantly became one of cinema’s most recognizable cars. A replica made of the DB5 became the best-selling toy of 1964. Its popularity is still evident, as the Aston makes appearances in 2006’s ‘Casino Royale’ and the upcoming ‘Skyfall’.

Another aspect of the film that is still popular today is the character of Oddjob. A henchman of the main villain, Oddjob said nothing, but spoke volumes with his metal-lined bowler hat.

Oddjob’s boss is Auric Goldfinger, a man obsessed with shiny golden objects. He even paints his cheating girlfriend in it. Goldfinger’s master plan is to contaminate the United States’ gold supply at Fort Knox, increasing the value of his own personal stash.

For his plan, Goldfinger employs the assistance of pilot Pussy Galore, the first in a line of many Bond Girls whose names are poorly disguised double entendres. Without Ms. Galore, we’d miss out on the likes of Plenty O’Toole, Holly Goodhead, Jenny Flex and Xenia Onatopp.

‘Goldfinger’ earned critical and commercial acclaim. It was so popular that theaters had to stay open 24 hours a day to meet the demands of moviegoers. The huge popularity helped the movie earn back its budget in just two weeks. It also became the first Bond film to win an Academy Award (Best Sound Effects Editing).

A movie that was way ahead of its time, ‘Goldfinger’ ensured that 007 would not be leaving any time soon. Putting gadgets and technology at the forefront of the story gave the film staying power and created some of the series’ trademark moments. With Sean Connery at his best, and the right balance of action and intrigue, ‘Goldfinger’ is easily in my Top 5 Bond movies of all time.

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