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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Goldfinger, the 1964 James Bond film, is considered by many to be among the best in the Bond series. Per all Bond films, expect plenty of sexual innuendo from 007. Though it's delivered in a frothy way, it's still pervasive and by this point quite dated. And yes, this is the Bond movie with a character named Pussy Galore. Though she's depicted as an intelligent, skilled aircraft pilot, she falls literally head over heels for Bond during some rough foreplay. There are also plenty of explosions, car chases, and general action violence sprinkled throughout the movie -- gunshots, electrocutions, fistfights. Bond is a frequent drinker who doesn't really suffer from any adverse effects. Goldfinger's henchmen and collaborators are largely Japanese men, which means that all Japanese characters in the film appear to be evil (although there are no racial slurs used or verbal stereotyping). A woman is murdered by having her naked body covered in gold (she's only shown from behind).
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What's the story?
In GOLDFINGER, James Bond (Sean Connery) is asked to monitor Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe), an international gold merchant whom the British government suspects is plotting something vaguely fiendish. Goldfinger's plan is found to be a rather elaborate, dangerous assault on Fort Knox, the United States' gold reserve.
Is it any good?
The third installment in the James Bond franchise finds Sean Connery playing up the cheekier side of Bond for the first time, following the more serious stakes of Dr. No and From Russia with Love. The film spends far more time on Bond's gadgetry (particularly his defensively outfitted Aston Martin) and his womanizing than it does on his foiling of Goldfinger's devious scheme. More than anything else, Bond's luck and charm seem to allow him to drift in and out of danger while rather inadvertently saving the day.
For these reasons, this film truly serves as the template of all subsequent Bond films. There's an emphasis on humor even in the most dire of circumstances. Connery plays Bond with seemingly little effort, and his charm is hard to resist, even when he's dismissively tapping a female friend's buttocks to push her out of the frame, telling her that it's time for "man's work." (Oh, James ... ).
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about 007's attitudes toward women in Goldfinger and in general. Does his constant use of them as pawns -- or treating them as pushovers -- seem necessary to create his cool facade?
Is it right for Bond to use force in service of his government-appointed mission? Do you think real spies act this way? Why, or why not?
Why do you think James Bond films have been so popular for so many decades?
- In theaters: December 22, 1964
- On DVD or streaming: April 17, 2001
- Cast: Gert Frobe, Honor Blackman, Sean Connery
- Director: Guy Hamilton
- Studio: MGM/UA
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures
- Character strengths: Courage, Perseverance
- Run time: 110 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- Last updated: November 27, 2019
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