The Last Surviving Main Actor From The James Bond Movie Goldfinger

The Last Surviving Main Actor From The James Bond Movie Goldfinger

The 1964 film “Goldfinger” remains one of the most iconic entries in the James Bond series, featuring Sean Connery as the suave MI6 agent, James Bond. Directed by Guy Hamilton and produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, the film is based on Ian Fleming’s 1959 novel of the same name. It also stars Honor Blackman, Gert Fröbe, and Shirley Eaton. “Goldfinger” was the third installment in the James Bond series and marked a significant turning point, introducing many elements that would become staples in future Bond films.

The plot of “Goldfinger” revolves around Bond’s mission to investigate Auric Goldfinger, a gold magnate suspected of smuggling gold internationally. Bond’s investigation leads him to uncover Goldfinger’s audacious plan to contaminate the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, thereby increasing the value of his own gold reserves. The film’s storyline takes Bond from Miami Beach to Switzerland and finally to Kentucky, showcasing a variety of exotic locales and high-stakes action sequences.

“Goldfinger” was the first Bond film to be directed by Guy Hamilton, who would go on to direct three more films in the series. The film’s budget was a then-unprecedented $3 million, equal to the combined budgets of the first two Bond films, “Dr. No” and “From Russia with Love.” Principal photography took place from January to July 1964, with locations including the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the United States.

One of the most memorable aspects of “Goldfinger” is its introduction of high-tech gadgets and elaborate set pieces. The film features Bond’s iconic Aston Martin DB5, equipped with various gadgets such as machine guns, an ejector seat, and a smoke screen. The pre-credits sequence, which stands largely alone from the main plot, also became a hallmark of the series, setting the tone for the action-packed adventure that follows.

The film’s release was accompanied by a significant marketing push, including promotional tie-in items like a toy Aston Martin DB5 from Corgi Toys, which became the best-selling toy of 1964. The image of Shirley Eaton painted gold also became iconic, appearing on the cover of Life magazine.

“Goldfinger” was the first Bond film to win an Academy Award, taking home the Oscar for Best Sound Editing. It was a critical and commercial success, recouping its budget in just two weeks and grossing over $120 million worldwide. In 1999, it was ranked No. 70 on the British Film Institute’s list of the Top 100 British films.

The film’s cast includes Sean Connery as James Bond, Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore, Gert Fröbe as Auric Goldfinger, and Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterson. Connery’s portrayal of Bond in “Goldfinger” is often cited as one of his best performances in the role. Honor Blackman’s character, Pussy Galore, is notable for her martial arts skills and her leadership of an all-female team of pilots known as Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus. Gert Fröbe’s portrayal of the villainous Goldfinger is also highly regarded, despite the fact that his lines were dubbed by actor Michael Collins due to Fröbe’s limited English.

The film’s production was not without its challenges. Connery suffered a back injury during filming, leading to a pay dispute that was eventually resolved with Connery receiving 5% of the gross of each Bond film he starred in. The film’s special effects and set designs, particularly the interior of Fort Knox, were also groundbreaking for their time. Production designer Ken Adam created a visually stunning depiction of the gold vault, which was so realistic that Pinewood Studios had to post a 24-hour guard to prevent the gold bar props from being stolen.

“Goldfinger” also set the standard for future Bond films in terms of its blend of action, humor, and exotic locations. The film’s success helped to solidify the James Bond franchise as a cultural phenomenon and established many of the tropes that would become synonymous with the series.

In conclusion, “Goldfinger” remains a landmark film in the James Bond series, known for its memorable characters, innovative gadgets, and thrilling action sequences. It was a critical and commercial success that helped to define the James Bond franchise for generations to come. The film’s influence can still be seen in the many Bond films that followed, making it a timeless classic in the world of cinema.

Source: British Film Institute, Life Magazine

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