The only Bond film to make the list, and indeed probably the one and only Bond film needed on the list to represent the franchise, Goldfinger is the premier spy film, the one to silence all the others. Ever since Goldfinger, Bond has had a stranglehold on the genre, and watching the flick it’s easy to see why; it’s stylistic and showy demeanor are incredibly endearing and rarely falls into the territory of camp, and the success of this film would see to it that James Bond would be forever enshrined in the annals of film lore.
Thanks to the increased budget for this one over the first two films, many of the classic Bond tropes either originate or come into their own with this film; the now-classic Bond opening and theme, the double entendres and witty remarks, and the well-known repartee between Bond and his gadget man Q all became iconic with Goldfinger. So too did Sean Connery as the man himself; his smarmy wit and charm make him incredibly appealing as we watch how he’ll manage to get (or if he has to, seduce) his way out of whatever scrape he’s in. The film as a whole isn’t that remarkable technically; it is filmed with enough precision to be able to cut together the finished product as is, but no bells or whistles are to be found here; it’s all saved for the classic Bond story, the one-liners, and the Bond girls.
There are probably a few of you who have yet to see this one, and I’ll be frank when I ask, what are you waiting for? If any of the early Bond films are deserving of you experiencing the Bond fashion for yourself, it’s this one. Bond would go on to evolve and mature along the several decades of his tenure in the entertainment industry, and each era of Bond has something unique and special to be had, but as for the original Bond, you really can’t do much better than Goldfinger.
Arbitrary Rating: 8/10