11. Positively shocking!
This was the first throw-away pre-title sequence for Bond, a mini-movie in its own right. It had sly humour such as Bond arriving in a wetsuit with a seagull on his head. A few moments later after setting some plastic explosives he calmly removes the wetsuit to reveal a perfect white tux, and adds a red carnation. After the fireworks he proceeds to other business. This leads to a fight where his opponent is thrown into a bathtub. Seeing that Bond left his gun there, the opponent makes a grab for it. Thankfully Bond is quick-witted and throws an electrical fan into the bath where the opponent get fried. “Shocking” says Bond just before the amazing title sequence/tune kick in. Interestingly this isn’t the only “Shocking moment” in the film, in another highly memorable scene Odd Job also finds that his steel bowler-hat conducts electricity much to his detriment.
12. Golden Girl
Skin suffocation. Not only an inventive way to kill someone, but a visually spectacular one also. Poor Shirley Eaton was pretty much covered from head-to-toe with gold paint for this scene where she gets her comeuppance for betraying her boss. An iconic moment for the film, attempts to recreate it in Quantum of Solace with oil were significantly less successful.
13. Ejector Seat, you’re joking!
This is the film where the relationship between Desmond Llewelyn’s Q and Bond is solidified, thanks to director Guy Hamilton. Whereas he played it completely straight in From Russia With Love – Hamilton said “No, you see him treat all your gadgets with contempt”. The Aston Martin of course is the most amazing gadget on display here with tracking devices (remember how amazing this probably was back in 1964), revolving number-plates, machine guns, oil slicks to name but a few features. Then of course there is the well-known one, the Ejector seat. When it comes in the film, it is one of those wonderful moments.
14. Do you expect me to talk?
Bond has been captured by Goldfinger, and is spread-eagle with a laser cutting precariously between his legs. There is some truly great tension in this scene and we get the wonderful line where Bond asks: “Do you expect me to talk?”, to which Mr Goldfinger replies “No Mr Bond, I expect you to die”. What a nice man.
15. Pussy Galore
After his laser ordeal, Bond finds himself waking to a blurry image of the lovely Honor Blackman. She then introduces her character name: “My name is Pussy Galore”. “I must be dreaming” replies Bond. Still not entirely sure how this got past the censors at the time, supposedly Bond’s reply was originally going to be even more daring: “Yes, I know you are, but what is your name?”. Nice to see they went for the subtle option!
Other great moments:
This for many is the original prototype Bond film. Obviously the main-title sequence is amazing with the brilliant Shirley Bassey song. Many other nice moments such as Goldfinger cheating at cards and golf, Odd job demonstrating his golf-ball crushing and bowler hat skills, the Aston martin chase, Mr Solo feeling the squeeze and the raid on Fort Knox at the end.
Cec Linder was not one of the better Felix Leiter’s (though not the worst) in the series. Not sure what is with The Beatles bashing either. Ironically Paul McCartney didn’t seem to take it personally being that he provided the title song to Live and Let Die. Plus Bond is still slapping bottoms.
16. My sincerest condolences
Another pre-title sequence. This one sees Bond attending a funeral of a SPECTRE operative (Colonel Jacques Bouvar) who has murdered two of his colleagues. He notices that the widow open the car door by herself (a no-no in Bond’s world). A few moments later he goes to offer her his “sincerest condolences” and proceeds to punch the her across a table. “My dear Colonel Bouvar, I don’t think you should have opened that car door by yourself”. The fight which follows is with the stunt co-ordinator Bob Simmons (who if you recall played Bond in the early gun-barrels). It wouldn’t be fair to just stop at the fight without mentioning the later escape via jet-pack. This was done for real by Gordon Yeager and Bill Suitor. The jetpack could only fly for around 20 seconds and was powered by hydrogen peroxide.
17. She’s just dead
Fiona Volpe is a real stand-out in this film, the first truly evil Bond lady. She is a woman who likes to be in control and is clearly a pre-cursor for the likes of Xenia Onnatop (some 30 years earlier). There is a lovely moment where she asks Bond to pass her some clothes whilst she is in the bath naked. He passes her some shoes and sits down casually next to her. When Bond’s attempts to turn her (hey it worked on Pussy Galore) don’t work out, he gets wounded and chased through a Junkanoo. He gets traced (thanks to aforementioned wound) to the Kiss Kiss club. Fiona tries to keep Bond occupied dancing whilst an assassin prepares to take the shot. Thankfully Bond notices the barrel sticking out of the curtains and just before the shot is taken he spins her so she acts as a human shield. Rather luckily the bullet narrowly misses Bond fingers. He takes her to a seat and announces to a nearby couple “do you mind if my friends sits here for a while? She’s just dead”. Rumour has it, the wife of Bond producer Cubby Broccoli is one of the dancers in the background.
18. Getting the point
Another one of those “Shocking” sadistic one-liners added to defuse the on-screen violence. This time mute henchman Vargas gets it via a Spear-gun. Bond casually turns and fires off a spear which luckily manages to impale the assassin right into a palm tree. “I think he got the point” quips Bond. Ouch!
Other great moments:
The SPECTRE meeting (do these thing ever kick off without someone getting killed), anything with Fiona Volpe, Count Lippe almost killing Bond and getting his comeuppance, Bond breaking into Largo’s house, useless henchman being fed to the sharks, the underwater battles which are spectacular and rather brutal.
Bond now wants to put Moneypenny over his knee. She seems quite receptive as long as it involve “Yo-gert” and lemon juice. Odd! The film was of course more or less remade 18 years later as an unofficial entry – Never say never again – also starring Sean Connery.
Part 3 coming soon: You only live twice and On her Majesty’s secret service
Images (C) 1964/1965 Danjaq/EON.