Thursday, March 12, 2015

Goldfinger (1964) | Villains

Gert Fröbe may have been dubbed for his performance as Auric Goldfinger, but he's still the best thing in the movie. Like I said the other day, his Goldfinger isn't the over-compensating blowhard that Fleming wrote. The movie Goldfinger is a calm, self-assured man. Part of that may be vocal, like the laugh in his voice when he says, "No, Mr. Bond! I expect you to die!" But just as much of it is body language: Fröbe's boredly picking a bit of sleep from his eye after Bond's made a threat, or the minimal gestures he uses to command Oddjob. Fröbe's perfect fusion of restraint and humor gives Goldfinger a sense of power that's never been equalled by another Bond villain.

Goldfinger is well-written, too. The movie fixes the novel's problem of how to move all that gold, so its Goldfinger feels smarter than Fleming's. He's in control almost the entire movie and it's tough to pick the place where his plan goes wrong. He has a good reason to keep Bond alive until it's time to incinerate him by nuclear explosion. What better way of getting rid of Bond's body and keeping a cloud of reasonable doubt around Goldfinger's involvement in the caper? If Bond hadn't have convinced Pussy to betray Goldfinger, the bad guy would have easily won.

Oddjob's iconic, but I don't love him. In the novel, he's agile and deadly, but movie Oddjob moves so slowly that it's hard to take him seriously. All Bond really has to do is avoid the flying hat and then keep out of Oddjob's way.

Top Ten Villains

1. Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
2. Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia With Love)
3. Doctor No (Dr. No)
4. Rosa Klebb (From Russia With Love)
5. Kronsteen (From Russia With Love)
6. TBD
7. TBD
8. TBD
9. TBD
10. TBD

Top Ten Henchmen

1. Grant (From Russia With Love)
2. Oddjob (Goldfinger)
3. Miss Taro (Dr. No)
4. Professor Dent (Dr. No)
5. Morzeny (From Russia With Love)
6. TBD
7. TBD
8. TBD
9. TBD
10. TBD

1 comment:

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

The Goldfinger movie feels like its smarter than people think it is. The line "No Mr. Bond I expect you to die!", the villians reaction to Goldfinger's hijinx, and the fact that its Pussy who tips off the authorities and an unnamed technician rather than Bond who saves the day makes it seem ahead of its time.

Reminds me a lot of the original Superman movie were they poke fun at the phone booth now being a bubble on a stand or the pimp calling out the "badness" of Superman's tights.

Its a shame that its the movie that everyone tries to imitate/parody rather than build from it.


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