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Thread: Goldfinger

  1. #21
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    Let's face it, most Bond films are riddled with absurdities and plot weaknesses. It says a lot for their pace and style that they - generally - rise above them.

    It might be an age thing but the series lost me a bit when Connery left. The middle years consist of films that I cannot warm to. I did like Casino Royale though and Quantum a little less so. I too would recommend Adrian Turner's book for those who, like me, view Goldfinger with especial fondness.



    Oooer, post number 666. I once saw a hearse in Ireland with a number plate carrying the numbers 666. Co-incidence?

  2. #22
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Ian Fleming and Goldfinger

    Ben MacIntyre



    He was, of course, the gold-obsessed megalomaniac in the James Bond book of that name. He was also, unforgettably, played by Gert Fr�be in the 1964 film containing the most famous hero-villain dialogue in movie history.



    �Do you expect me to talk?�



    �No, Mr Bond. I expect you to die.�



    And Ian McKellen has now brought new life to Goldfinger in a new BBC Radio 4 adaptation, playing the arch crook with silky menace and an indefinable accent. Where others have made Goldfinger into caricature, there is something chillingly believable about McKellen�s portrayal of the super-villain. Which is oddly appropriate, as Goldfinger was, in some senses, real. Ian Fleming famously based his characters on people he had met, several he had not and some he merely wanted to annoy. �Everything I write has a precedent in truth,� he said.



    Bond himself was inspired by the people Fleming came to know as an officer in the Naval Intelligence Department: �He was a compound of the secret agents and commando types I met during the war.� M was modelled on Admiral Sir John Godfrey, Fleming�s brilliant but irascible boss in naval intelligence. Miss Moneypenny was based on several secretaries in the secret services.



    Fleming was a magpie writer, picking up whatever caught his eye and packaging it into fiction: names, places, meals, journeys, catchphrases and, above all, people. Sometimes the individuals he turned into fiction took deep and justifiable offence. In Diamonds are Forever he named his homosexual villain �Boofy�, the nickname of a close friend and relative by marriage, Arthur �Boofy� Gore. The real Boofy was livid.



    Like Bond himself, Auric Goldfinger � treasurer of Smersh, the richest man in England, expert marksman, gold-loving murderer and golf cheat � is based on at least three people, including an American minerals millionaire, a First World War German spymaster and a blameless architect who just happened to be named Goldfinger. In the novel Goldfinger, the seventh in the James Bond series and published in 1959, Fleming sketched a biographical background. Auric (the adjective for gold) Goldfinger is a 42-year-old expatriate Latvian, 5ft short, with blue eyes, red hair and a penchant for painting his women gold, so he can make love to the metal he adores. There is no doubt that Fleming borrowed the name from Ern� Goldfinger, a well-known Hungarian-born architect. Fleming�s golfing partner, John Blackwell, was related by marriage to the real Goldfinger and disliked him: he probably encouraged Fleming to appropriate the name.



    A traditionalist in his tastes, Fleming may also have objected to Goldfinger�s modernist buildings, and the way that parts of Victorian London were being demolished to make way for his concrete tower blocks. Ern� Goldfinger got wind of Fleming�s insolence and obtained a proof copy of Goldfinger. The real and fictional Goldfingers were both Marxists with a taste for fast cars and there is a nasty whiff of anti-Semitism in Fleming�s portrayal of the super-rich crook. Goldfinger consulted his lawyers. Fleming threatened to change the name Goldfinger to Goldprick.



    The architect, not surprisingly, relented, and a truce was settled out of court: Goldfinger accepted legal costs, six copies of the book and a pledge that the character�s first name, Auric, would be used throughout the book.



    Another, recently identified, candidate as the model for Goldfinger is Gustav Steinhauer, the head of the British Section of the German admiralty�s foreign intelligence service, who spied on Britain before and during the First World War. According to the intelligence historian Andrew Cook, Steinhauer plotted to blow up gold reserves at the Bank of England � a plan that echoes Goldfinger�s dastardly plot to detonate a bomb inside Fort Knox. As a senior officer in naval intelligence, Fleming had access to the archives, and may well have adapted Steinhauer�s plot to his own fiction.



    Steinhauer, the self-described �Kaiser�s Spy�, was a worthy adversary who ran a network of German agents in Britain in the run-up to war. A former commissar in the Berlin police, he trained with the Pinkerton�s detective agency in the US and spoke perfect English with an American accent. Steinhauer visited Britain just before the outbreak of the First World War, disguised as a �gentleman fisher�.



    In appearance, Steinhauer was nothing like Bond�s villain, being �a handsome, soldierly fellow� in the words of one MI5 officer quoted in Christopher Andrew�s authorised history of the Security Service, Defence of the Realm. Steinhauer was unaware that his spy network had been penetrated by MI5. On the day before war was declared in 1914 some 22 German agents were rounded up, to the fury of the Kaiser who, according to Steinhauer, �raved and stormed for the better part of two hours about the incompetence of his so-called intelligence officers�.



    The link to Goldfinger lies in a three-page memo contained in an unpublished memoir by an agent named Arthur Hailstone, who reported that the Germans were planning an attack on the Bank of England to create economic chaos. The threat was apparently taken seriously enough to warrant investigation by William Melville, the head of the Secret Service Bureau, the precursor of MI5. (Melville signed his letters �M�, and may have provided another inspiration for the Bond character.) He reported that such an attack was �potentially as deadly as any major defeat on the battlefield�.



    In Fleming�s novel, Goldfinger plans to steal billions of dollars in gold from Fort Knox in Operation Grand Slam; in the film, however, Goldfinger aims to contaminate America�s gold reserves using a �dirty� nuclear weapon, thus vastly increasing the value of his own gold holdings.



    If Ern� Goldfinger provided the name and Gustav Steinhauer inspired the plot, then the personality of Goldfinger undoubtedly owed something to Charles Engelhard Jr, an extrovert American gold and minerals tycoon and, like Goldfinger, a keen racehorse owner. Fleming had met Engelhard in 1947 and remained friends with the ebullient magnate until the end of his life. Known as the �Platinum King�, he invested heavily in South African gold, copper and coal mining ventures, ran a string of racehorses and lived in a style that even Goldfinger might have envied.



    One of Engelhard�s most infamous schemes involved manufacturing art objects from precious metals to circumvent South Africa�s strict export rules, exporting them from the country and melting them down. In the novel, Goldfinger�s solid gold car is melted down into seating for an airline company, flown to India, and then melted down once more to make gold bars and sold for up to 200 per cent profit.



    Where Ern� Goldfinger was embarrassed by his connection to the Bond villain, Engelhard was delighted by the notoriety and played up to the part.



    He enjoyed turning up to parties clad entirely in golden yellow, and liked to pretend that the hostess on his private plane was named Pussy Galore.



    Fleming was fascinated by the interplay between truth and fiction.



    Yet, by harnessing reality to his novels, he very nearly came unstuck: if Ern� Goldfinger had sued then Goldfinger would have been born Goldprick, the entire James Bond phenomenon would have been stopped in its tracks and 007 might have died a premature death � just as Goldfinger expected.



    Ben Macintyre�s Operation Mincemeat: The True Spy Story that Changed the Course of World War Two is published by Bloomsbury Goldfinger is broadcast by Radio 4 on April 3 (2.30pm).

  3. #23
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    Hello,

    I have long wondered about the actors who played the American gangsters who get gassed by Gert Frobe in Goldfinger. I have been able to identify almost every uncredited part in the James Bond films, but these gangsters have always been a bit of a mystery. Several of them look familiar to me, but I don't know if it's from viewing this movie too many times, or having vague memories of Danger Man/Saint/Avengers reruns! I think the older one with the mustache might be Robert Raglan, but am not sure.

    Can anyone with a better eye for British actors put a name to these faces? These caps are from aveleyman.com--I hope WearySloth doesn't mind. I submitted the original shots to him in the first place

    My sincere thanks for anyone who can give me a name or two and let me sleep at night!!

    Dave W







    P.S.: I've tried attaching the images three times, but they don't seem to be going through. Do I need to psot a certain amount before I can post images, or am I just hopelessly computer dysfunctional?
    Attached Images
    Last edited by DaveWright72; 28-12-10 at 09:31 PM.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    No. 5 I think is Bill Brandon.

  5. #25
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    Thanks Gerald--that does seem highly likely now that I compare faces.

  6. #26
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    Been a massive Bond Fan for a long time, but Gold Finger has way too many things wrong with it for me, and they have all been pointed out already so won't repeat them again.

    The scene with the villains is a complete waste of time and there is no credible reason for it at all - it would make alot more sense if they were contributing the men on the ground to go in or providing something.

    Prefer Thunderball and You Only Live Twice for my favourite Connery outings.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Was that your first post, Dave. I notice it's from the same month you joined. For the record, the actors in the top row have since been identified as (left to right) Bill Edwards, Lawrence Herder, Roland Brand and ... still "Unknown". Roland was joint subject of the opening post at Who Are These Policemen?. At the time, I was fairly new at recognising uncredited actors and thought more experienced spotters would know who he is. In the event, I managed to identify him myself, more than two years later, during an episode of Ghost Squad.

    Wearysloth, I'm convinced these actresses have been wrongly named on your Goldfinger page:



    She is credited as Aleta Morrison but surely that's Maggie Wright on the left? Cully should know.

    The other girl must be Aleta Morrison, seen here in The Avengers - Room Without a View (1966):



    Credit to dissolute for this image. Coincidentally, Miss Morrison and Anthony Chinn had uncredited roles in this as well as Goldfinger.
    Last edited by cornershop15; 01-07-13 at 01:11 PM.

  8. #28
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    Here are a couple more pictures of these two actresses. Anyone know who the other ones are? Not Honor Blackman of course!!

    Goldfinger_014.jpg goldfinger_8.jpg

  9. #29
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    Picture after picture of rehearsal scenes of Goldfinger occur on the Daily Mirror photo-archive.Individual Bond girls too!

    http://www.mirrorpix.com/webgate/

    Type in the Goldfinger name in the centrally-positioned search box on the home page.

  10. #30
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    Showed it to my wife the other night (The first time she ever saw it) and she liked it.

  11. #31
    Senior Member Country: England woody123's Avatar
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    I've always found Goldfinger to be the weakest of the Connery Bond films.From Russia With Love and Thunderball still get played now and then but I think ITV's constant showing of the Bonds has dulled my appetite.

  12. #32
    Senior Member Country: Australia wadsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woody123 View Post
    I've always found Goldfinger to be the weakest of the Connery Bond films.From Russia With Love and Thunderball still get played now and then but I think ITV's constant showing of the Bonds has dulled my appetite.
    They have been shown here consecutively in chronological order quite a few times. I tend not to watch them for that very reason (dullness of appetite).

    I have all the Connery ones & O.H.M.S.S & just watch them when I'm in the mood!

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by woody123 View Post
    I think ITV's constant showing of the Bonds has dulled my appetite.
    I agree. I like the Bond films,but ITV have over killed them.
    Ta Ta
    Marky B

  14. #34
    Senior Member Country: England billy farmer's Avatar
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    I also have always liked the Bond films, and have got 17 Bond films on DVD (including all the Bond films starring Sean Connery and Roger Moore, my two favourite James Bonds), but like other Brit Movie Members on this Thread, i agree that the Bond films were shown far too many times on ITV, it would be far better to watch a Bond film on DVD, especially when it is a Bond film you haven't seen for a long time, look at the BFI site to see just how many times the Bond films were shown on ITV - http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/3...w=transmission now the Bond films have got their own channel on Sky - Sky Movies 007, a Sky channel which i am not subscribed to, Goldfinger is one of my favourite Bond films (starring Sean Connery as James Bond).
    Last edited by billy farmer; 16-08-13 at 07:14 PM.

  15. #35
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Tigon Man's Avatar
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    Goldfinger is my favourite Bond both in novel and film. The movie has just the right degree of action and humour and of course the iconic Silver Birch Aston DB5, which from Russia With Love lacks.
    I also think it has easily the best villains in Goldfinger and Oddjob.

  16. #36
    Senior Member Country: UK hot snow's Avatar
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    Do we have any pictures of the Fort Knox set at Pinewood?

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tigon Man View Post
    Goldfinger is my favourite Bond both in novel and film. The movie has just the right degree of action and humour and of course the iconic Silver Birch Aston DB5, which from Russia With Love lacks.
    I also think it has easily the best villains in Goldfinger and Oddjob.
    My vote is with you Tigon, although Dr.No comes in a close second.

  18. #38
    Senior Member Country: England cassidy's Avatar
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    My favourite Bond film as well. My favourite book is Live and Let Die.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tigon Man View Post
    Goldfinger is my favourite Bond both in novel and film. The movie has just the right degree of action and humour and of course the iconic Silver Birch Aston DB5, which from Russia With Love lacks.
    I also think it has easily the best villains in Goldfinger and Oddjob.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by hot snow View Post
    Do we have any pictures of the Fort Knox set at Pinewood?
    Good question. There have been many books about the Bond film. The actors, the posters, the girls even the cars but none about the sets. There must be lots of info on them about. Drawings, production photo, model ect that would make a very interesting ref book. I remember a story Eric and Ernie told about their time at pinewood making The Magnificent Two at the same time as You Only Live Twice was being filmed. They were amazed that the volcano set cost more than twice as much as their whole film. When you think of how many people worked on building and acting on the Volcano there must be some great unseen photos or even 16m and 8m film knocking about.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toscana View Post
    Good question. There have been many books about the Bond film. The actors, the posters, the girls even the cars but none about the sets. There must be lots of info on them about. Drawings, production photo, model ect that would make a very interesting ref book. I remember a story Eric and Ernie told about their time at pinewood making The Magnificent Two at the same time as You Only Live Twice was being filmed. They were amazed that the volcano set cost more than twice as much as their whole film. When you think of how many people worked on building and acting on the Volcano there must be some great unseen photos or even 16m and 8m film knocking about.
    Oh but there is, Toscana. Here's a BBC feature on their little-known 'cultural archive' regarding "The Making of You Only Live Twice". You get Alan Whicker too! There's also a behind-the-scenes of 'Moonraker' on that James Bond BBC website and possibly of other films in many of those mini-videos.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/james_bond/12605.shtml

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