Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.

main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
YMMV: Gold Finger

The film:

  • Broken Base: Just about everybody likes the movie, but there's some debate over whether this or From Russia with Love (or even On Her Majestys Secret Service) is the definitive entry.
  • Cargo Ship: Goldfinger and of course, his gold.
  • Complete Monster: Auric Goldfinger is such a memorable and witty villain that you almost forget that he's a criminally insane maniac. His plan involves poisoning an army barracks and the surrounding town - 60,000 people (he shrugs this off by saying that motorists kill as much in two years) - and then detonating a nuclear device in Fort Knox to trigger a major economic crisis for his own profit. He considers such a scheme potentially one of the greatest achievements in human endeavor, up there with scaling Everest and splitting the Atom. He punishes his assistant, who becomes a Bond girl and costs him a rigged card game, by having her murdered with golden paint. He tries to have James Bond ''sawn in half with a laser'', and he gloats to his mob partners even though he always planned to kill them (and does) - he just wanted to let them know how brilliant a criminal mastermind he was. Bond panders to his ego because he sees just how dangerously mad the psychopath is.
  • Ear Worm: Cue the trumpets for this one.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse
    • Oddjob. Probably the most copied and parodied Bond villain of all time, and even got his own Vicks 44 commercial. Not just copies and parodies, but homages too. Kung Lao, we're looking at you!
    • Goldfinger himself is a good example. He's easily the most famous Big Bad from the film series, even over Blofeld. Quite an achievement when you consider that this is the only Bond film starring Sean Connery that doesn't involve Blofeld or SPECTRE.
  • Even Better Sequel: Goldfinger is considered by many to be the greatest of the Bond series.
  • Fridge Logic: So why did Oddjob crush the Lincoln Continental? The gangster was already dead. He could have just driven it back.
  • Genius Bonus: Goldfinger's first name Auric. "Aurum" means "gold" in Latin.
  • Growing the Beard: While Dr. No and From Russia with Love are still well thought of, it was Goldfinger that was the first Bond to be a huge hit at the box office (to the point that some theaters were holding showings 24 hours a day to meet demand), establish most of the tropes common to the series and show how flat out awesome Bond could be.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight
    • "That's as bad as listening to The Beatles without earmuffs."
      • Guess who recorded the theme to Live and Let Die?
      • And guess who would later do a spoken word cover of "In My Life"?
      • Also, Ringo Starr married a Bond girl (Barbara Bach from The Spy Who Loved Me).
      • Funny enough, the Goldfinger soundtrack album outsold the Beatles.
      • And in more ways than just one. At the time Goldfinger was being written and shot, the Beatles were a boy band who did mostly covers. It was only two months before the release that A Hard Day's Night - the first album of all-original material - was released, and good as it was, it still didn't predict Rubber Soul or Revolver, much less Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Abbey Road or Let It Be. At the time of Goldfinger, making fun of The Beatles was the 1964 equivalent of making fun of Justin Bieber would be today - which perhaps itself has an ironic lesson in it.
      • And of course, one has to figure that even in the swingin' 60s The Beatles represented philosophies and ideologies that were or would be very much at odds with the ideology of Bond.
    • Bond's gadget filled Aston Martin used in this film was the inspiration for the Mach Five from Speed Racer. It comes full circle when the Mach Five's submarine mode is mimicked with the submarine car from The Spy Who Loved Me.
    • The climax of the film revolves around Bond not being able to disable a nuclear bomb - turning the thing off and saving Fort Knox is actually done by someone else. Almost 20 years later the first climax of Octopussy had Bond successfully deactivate a nuclear bomb all by himself.
  • It Was His Sled: Oddjob gets electrocuted through his metal-rimmed hat. It's one of the most iconic moments in the franchise. Also, The Reveal about what Goldfinger's Evil Plan really is has lost much of its original Wham Line impact. Still a bloody good plan, though.
  • Magnificent Bastard: While the Goldfinger of the book has a plan that could not possibly work (for reasons Bond points out in the film,) the film's Evil Plan is so good even Bond apologises for his scepticism and calls it "inspired". Goldfinger is also Crazy-Prepared (wearing a US Army uniform under his coat just in case he needed to bluff his way out), comes really close to succeeding and nearly gets away even when he fails, manages to alternate between being genuinely Affably Evil and Faux Affably Evil depending on his mood, and renders Bond largely useless throughout most of the film. There's a reason many consider him the greatest Bond villain of them all.
  • Magnum Opus: Considered so for the entire franchise, with even critics like Roger Ebert declaring it so. That said, there are some who debate whether it's better than From Russia with Love or On Her Majestys Secret Service.
  • Memetic Mutation: The crotch laser scene along with the line "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to DIE!"
  • Narm: The fight between Bond and Oddjob in Fort Knox. We all know it's supposed to be really scary that Bond, big rugged manly Bond (played by big, rugged manly Sean Connery), is being tossed around like a rag doll, but it's too obviously staged and comes across being hopelessly phony.
  • One-Scene Wonder
    • Jill Masterson has 5 minutes of screentime, but due to an iconic death, she is one of the most well-remembered elements of the series.
    • The old lady who pulls out and MP 40 and shoots at Bond's Aston Martin when he escapes from Goldfinger's henchmen may also count.
  • Sequel Displacement: Many people start the Bond series with this one. Or they think this is the best, among 23.
  • Special Effects Failure: It's far too obvious that the plane crashing at the end is a model.
    • Subverted during the gassing of Fort Knowx, the soldiers don't "die" convincingly—all of them clearly take the time to lie down comfortably rather than reacting the way people would really react to poison gas. Additionally, one soldier can be seen tapping another on the arm as they miss their cue to drop to the ground, while others miss it completely and are still standing while everyone else around them collapses. The DVD commentary reveals that this was deliberately done to hint to viewers that the gas isn't real and that the men are faking their reactions to it.
  • Unfortunate Implications: According to the DVD audio commentary, Gert Frobe strenuously but futilely objected to Goldfinger using poison gas. Frobe was all too painfully aware of the ugly implications of a German actor playing a character who uses poison gas to commit mass murder. Israel even banned the film for a time, since during World War II, Frobe had been an official member of the Nazi party. The ban was lifted when a Jewish family came forward and revealed that Frobe had shielded them from the Nazi Holocaust.
  • Values Dissonance
    • James forcing a kiss on Pussy Galore and her falling into his arms is often misconstrued as 'Rape as Love' rather the aggressive courting it was meant to be. It's worse in the book, where he literally bangs the gay out of her, though the encounter is more, for lack of a better term, consensual there and only happens at the very end.
    • Auric's opinion on Koreans: "The cruelest people in the world." Actually downplayed from the novel, where it is made clear Bond agrees with him and thinks Goldfinger is absolutely right, making a point of calling Oddjob an "ape" repeatedly. The film at least allows you to rationalize it as Auric's racism alone.
  • What an Idiot: Bond actually spends much of the film screwing up, but some fans actually like this since it makes him more flawed, human and realistic and ultimately more sympathetic.

The book:

  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Goldfinger claims he had to temporarily ditch Bond at his mansion to bail out one of his Korean employees who was violently insulted at being mistaken for Japanese. Then in the film, his top Korean employee is played by Harold Sakata.
    • Even better: Bond mistakes Oddjob himself for a Japanese wrestler, an exact description of Sakata.
  • Memetic Mutation: The extremely outdated views on gays and lesbians have been known to provide dark laughs for Bond fans, particularly the bit character described as, in complete seriousness, a "pansified Italian."
  • Uncanny Valley: Goldfinger in the book. However, the effect comes across from the odd combination of his appearance and his dress sense: in the golf scene, Bond notes that Goldfinger looks like he went to a costume designer and asked, "what do people wear when they go to play golf?" The result was unsettling to look at because it didn't look natural at all.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Homosexuals are referred to as "sexually failed people". And it is all the womens fault because they refuse to Stay in the Kitchen. Also lesbianism is totally just a form of Playing Hard to Get.
    • Though neither is as reviled as Koreans, who Fleming describes - through Bond - as "lower than apes in the mammalian hierarchy." This is the most bigoted Fleming's work ever got - previous "ethnic" villains like Dr. No and Mr. Big were somewhat stereotypical, but were at least competent and intelligent - and a common guess among readers is that Fleming's views were influenced by the then-current war.
    • There's also a rather mean dig at the American South, when Galore tells Bond that down there, a woman is considered a virgin if "she can outrun her brother."
    • Bond figures Galore for the Token Good Teammate in Goldfinger's operation pretty much solely on the basis of her being the only woman. He's right, but that still seems like quite the leap of logic.

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy