Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Bond Watch: Goldfinger (1964)

So, we just finished Goldfinger (1964), and I may have mixed myself a Vesper halfway through.

A Vesper is:

  • 3 parts Gordon's Gin
  • 1 part whatever Vodka I have around (Tito's.  God bless Austin, TX)
  • 1/2 part Lillet 
  • and a lemon twist

Shaken, not stirred.  And operate no heavy machinery after enjoying one.

It is named for Vesper Lynd, the first Bond Girl in a novel-type-situation, and played by Eva Green in Casino Royale, who we'd be naming cocktails after if there weren't already a Vesper.

It is important to memorize 3 cocktail recipes and learn them well, because sometimes you'll have had a couple of cocktails (or 1 Vesper) and someone will ask you to make them a cocktail, and you don't want to look like a jerk having to read your bartender manual in front of them.  If you've had more than a few cocktails, you won't care, but it's nice to have the recipes in the old wheelhouse.

This is not the first Bond movie I ever watched, but it is the first Sean Connery Bond movie I ever watched, and I still remember my parents walking in the room while I was watching it and being quite excited we'd found Sean Connery.  Apparently, they never took to Roger Moore, and it somehow, in my young mind, gave Connery legitimacy that still rings true to this day.

This is, by the way, a super-fun Bond movie.

By Goldfinger, we're in full-Bond mode.  We get a tour of Q's lab, we've got a well established relationship between Bond and Moneypenny, M is rolling his eyes at Bond, Felix is on to Bond's ways..  Pretty remarkable only three movies in, and already deviating significantly from the books in tone.

This is the first one with an Aston Martin tricked out with spy gadgets, and likely the one that created the unlikely marriage between James Bond and a car brand (it's so sad seeing him driving standard-issue Fords, I think, in Casino Royale in the Jamaica sequences.  James Bond is supposed to drive better cars than what I see on my daily commute).

Bond is put on Auric Goldfinger in Miami by Mi6, and pointed in the right direction by CIA operative Felix Leiter (not played by Jack Lord this round).  Goldfinger is up to something, and they need Bond to sort it out.  Bond interrupts Goldfinger's money-making holiday by interrupting his card game and running off with his girl, before Goldfinger takes his revenge by painting her gold (which kills her).  Bond pursues Goldfinger to Switzerland where he stumbles across the name of his nefarious plot, but not the plot itself.

You know, just watch the movie.  It's pretty good.

The locations aren't terribly exotic (Miami and Kentucky, but a small dose of Switzerland), but the story is pretty super-villainy.  And Auric Goldfinger, despite seemingly having no affiliation with SPECTRE, is pretty rotten/ crazy, and the movie gives us the ultimate silent henchman - OddJob.

Say what you will about OddJob as a guy who murders with a hat - he takes a lot of satisfaction in a job well done.  Just keep an eye on him for a thin smile whenever he's really just murdered the hell out of someone.

This movie also has one of my my non-Eva Green favorite Bond girl in Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore (I know, I know) - a topic we'll have to revisit during The Spy Who Loved Me and Tomorrow Never Dies, I'm sure.   But I like Ms. Galore's high-flying, judo-tossing, boot-wearing style.

Subtlety was out the window by Goldfinger
Anyway, this Bond-centric sprint is fun for me.  I hope it is for you guys.

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