"Dr. No" and "From Russia With Love" are classics in their own rights, but "Goldfinger" really has it all. A good villain, Bond-babes galore, lush locales, and Sean Connery at his best. And it's all done at a brisk, entertaining pace which never feels bloated in the way "Thunderball" did.
The classic moments in this film are too numerous to mention. The babooshka-granny with the machine gun, death by gold paint, the tricked out Aston Martin, lasers to the groin, Odd Job and his odd haberdasheries... This film has been referenced and spoofed so many times by so many lesser movies and shows that you'll likely not be surprised even if it is your first time watching.
It's all pulled off with such panache and style, it doesn't feel cliched at all (plus, it pays to remember that it was all fresh and new when it premiered.) Goldfinger has the perfect mix of humor, violence, style, and cool. The mix went out of whack with most Bond films after it, and the franchise (arguably) probably hasn't returned to a good balance until "Casino Royale."
Anyway, it's pretty nearly a perfect Bond movie. Relentlessly entertaining, fun, exciting, and just darn good.
This transfer really shines at times, with impressive detail on facial close-ups, mountain vistas, and clothing. There are some soft spots, but this is quite forgivable in a 45 year old film. Overall, the detail is very impressive, and tops that of the previous two films on Blu-Ray. I was surprised by how many little things I noticed when I just sat back and let it all soak in - wood grains, dandelions in a field, pebbles on the ground. Black levels are rock solid, color is very naturalistic and stable. Overall it's just a tremendous job by the MGM studio and Lowry Digital to not overdo it and let the natural film elements stand on their own merits. So many times studios feel the need to over-enhance their older films to have them "compete" with newer releases, which usually just ends up introducing new video noise, or ends up washing out actual detail in the image ("Dark City" and its waxen faces springs to mind.) "Goldfinger," by not going overboard, sets the bar very high for a catalog film restoration.
Special features also shine - several HD documentaries, a commentary with the cast and crew (including Connery), and some original period promotional pieces round out a really top-notch package of extras.
For any Bond aficionado with a good HD setup, this is a no-brainer. This is pretty much the best Bond film of its era (although I am quite partial to "From Russia With Love," as well). The disc is a definite upgrade over a DVD. Action film fans and fans of 60's era thrillers will get a kick out of this, too.
I recommend buying "Dr. No," "From Russia," and "Goldfinger" on Blu-Ray. These three films will give you pure 60's Bond without any of the silliness of the later stuff. You can stop there, or maybe pick up the two latest flicks, too, as they are tremendous Blu-Ray presentations also.
on March 4, 2000
Imagine leading a guided tour of 21st century adolescents through the museum of early Bond films---"Well,kids,they weren't like today---yes,back then,they did sit around and talk a lot more---but hey,that was to make the story and the characters more believable---O.K?".Not O.K.,because I don't think those explanations fly with modern ticket-buyers---otherwise we wouldn't have "The World Is Not Enough",which is itself a kind of rebuke to everything that used to be Bond.Those of us who made the rite of passage into (perceived)adulthood on the heels of seeing "Goldfinger" must finally admit that this is the kind of action movie they're just not going to make anymore.First of all,there's really not that much action---after the bang-up teaser opening,it's mostly exposition---something quite unthinkable in today's marketplace.Consider this---after 007 finds Shirley Eaton covered in gold,there are THREE individual segments in which Bond's mission is discussed and instructions given---this is in the first act,mind you.Today,they'd be past the third boat chase and into the second free-fall from a plane in flight."Goldfinger's" next "action" highlight is a golf game---Get Out! ---but what humor and suspense it generates---will Goldfinger discover the ball switch?It still puts me on the edge of my seat,and I've seen it two dozen times.The greatness of this movie lies in the powerful visual images it so casually presents---the Golden Girl on the bed---I won't even try to describe the electricity that went through the audience when that scene flashed on in '64(and well into '65)---if you're too young,ask your father to tell you about it.Oh,and the laser--you know,where it's pointed and all that---need I mention the effect on twelve-year old boys hitherto nursed on the likes of "Son Of Flubber"?---and when Pussy Galore introduced herself---someone might just as well have set off a cherry bomb in the theatre.What I'm saying is,you had to be there.The middle-aged among us who like an occasional express ride back to childhood will want this DVD,with all it's fabulous extras.For those of you who missed the sixties,here is an opportunity to understand your elders a little better---order "Goldfinger" today---find out what some of the excitement of our youth was all about---chances are it will lead to a happy Bond-ing experience with someone you love.
on March 10, 2000
It's a shame that the Special Edition Bonds' were not released in chronological order, but that's about the only complaint you'll read here.
GOLDFINGER showcases Connery in his third outing, and perhaps, in his most complete. There are just no weaknesses: from the hot women (Pussy Galore, the Masterson sisters), the gadgets (Bond's incredible Aston-Martin DB 5), the villains (Auric Goldfinger, and the ominous Oddjob) to the killer locations and action sequences, first-time Bond-director Guy Hamilton delivers. He not only seamlessly integrates action, comedy, and super-cool guy-machismo in one 110-minute package, but he strengthens, while innovating, the spy-action hybrid genre.
This DVD contains 2 very good commentary tracks, 2 documentaries, photos, radio interviews, trailers, etc. The start-up motion-menu is high-tech and gets you in the Bond mood. The mono soundtrack is adequate, buy hey MGM! Remix in 5.1. PLEASE! Picture quality is the same as the previously released DVD-version and looks very good, but the trained eye can catch some minor inadequacies in the print (grit, dust, etc).
All in all, GOLDFINGER ranks among the top-5 Bond films, while enduring as a ground-breaking action film that deserves to be called a classic in every sense of the word.
Though "Dr. No" and "From Russia With Love" got the ball rolling, it was "Goldfinger" (1964) that started the 007 phenomenon - establishing a cinematic formula that has endured from Sean Connery to Pierce Brosnan. In a recent interview, Connery said his portrayal of James Bond may have set too high a standard for the other actors to match. The same can be said for the early 007 films. With the exception of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969), it's hard to top the excitement and inventiveness of "Goldfinger." The villains, gadgets and locales are top notch, with Connery in splendid form. Admittedly, the Fort Knox climax is a bit hokey in spots and it's obvious that American gangsters are played by British actors. Despite these dated elements, "Goldfinger" is a definite highpoint in the 007 series.
on December 19, 2006
GOLDFINGER has become recognized as a cultural phenomena and the Jams Bond craze started taking off after the release of this film. GOLDFINGER contains a well-balanced level of depth and action leaving one emotionally charged. This is perhaps Sean Connery's finest James Bond film. The golden girl, Oddjob's bowler hat, Goldfinger's lethal laser, the Astin Martin DB5 with modifications introduced by Q, and Shirley Bassey's legendary rendition of the theme song belted out over the titles immediately became an integral part of the James Bond lore and remained in the psyche of the public.
Director Guy Hamilton, screen writers Richard Maibaum and Paul Dehn and editor Peter Hunt were able to produce a solid, well balanced, entertaining film based on Ian Fleming's novel that does not rely totally on the spectacle and whimsy that would weaken the subsequent entries in the series. Production designer Ken Adam and art director Peter Murton gave the production a stunning and lavish distinction. The Fort Knox set and Goldfinger's playroom at his stud ranch was a testament to imagination and achievement. John Barry's score is unique in some respects as he continued to finally hone his distinctive style to perfection with this memorable score.
This edition contains a digitally remastered print restored frame by frame and the sound has been remastered in a 5.1 DTS mix. Most impressive is that there is true Front Left and Right stereo separation. I think the technicians had a lot to work with. If you examine the last Laserdisc release of GOLDFINGER it contained an isolated music and sound effects track, so some valuable audio separation existed to work with. The results are impressive on this front and the basic sound of the audio is much more defined and sounds clean and crisp to the ear.
on November 19, 1999
I have seen Goldfinger quite a lot of times on Video and TV - but watching it on DVD seems like watching a completely new Goldfinger: perfect picture and best sound ever! It seems like it was shot only yesterday. The Bonus material is simply a must for every Bond-Fan: Just sit down, relax, have a Martini and let Guy Hamilton or Honor Blackman or... tell you about the making the movie using the commentary in the Bonus-Section. A lot of unknown behind the scenes pictures and the two very good documentaries make this quite a complete 007-DVD. Not that I want to complain but it would even be better if more different languages would be optional and the music score would be on it.
on April 29, 2009
I hadn't seen Goldfinger in quite some time, but I've been a Bond fan, and a Connery Bond fan in particular, since I was a kid, so I was especially anticipating the Blu-ray release of this movie. Fortunately, I was not disappointed.
First, the video quality; simply spectacular! This is due in no small part, of course, to the amazing film restoration process employed by Lowry Digital. For anyone wanting examples of BD discs that exploit the maximum video quality of which blu-ray is capable, this is the disc to own -- whether you like Bond movies or not. Color saturation is rich, while still maintaining life-like realism (especially with respect to flesh tones); sharpness is excellent, too. One drawback common to pristine restorations of old movies, however, is they tend to reveal the weakness of the period special effects, but that is a minor issue (in some ways, that "weakness" heightens the sentimental appeal of such movies).
Second, the audio quality; very impressive. Unfortunately, my BD player can't output the disc's lossless DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack, so I had to make do with standard DTS, but even with that "lossy" format, the sound quality was extremely lifelike, clear, and engaging -- especially with respect to the score.
I don't often focus on a disc's special features, but they are plentiful and interesting on this disc. I particularly enjoyed the "making of" featurette. The Connery off-set interview during the Goldfinger shoot is also worth watching.
The only thing preventing me from granting "Goldfinger" a full five stars is that this is not altogether my favorite Bond film, though I appreciate its importance in establishing much of the pattern of the later Bond movies.
In sum, this disc's reference quality video alone would make it an excellent addition to anyone's BD library. Add to that the fine soundtrack, plentiful and amply engaging special features, and a classic and very entertaining movie to boot, and you have a terrific purchase in this Blu-ray release of Goldfinger.
on February 13, 2007
What happened to the 2-disk "ultimate" edition of this (and the other) Bond films? One day they were available, the next they're gone! There was no indication that these were a limited edition of any sort, were they pulled from shelves? I guess that I should have placed an order as soon as I saw this edition of Goldfinger (my favorite Bond flick) but I was hoping to give my battered wallet a rest for a couple of months after Christmas! I don't want to order the box set because I'm only interested in the Connery-era Bond films. Why is this 2-disk DVD already unavailable??
on December 26, 2011
It's fitting that the best Bond film would receive the best blu-ray transfer, but this one's bound to exceed even your wildest expectations! Outside of some FX shots, which are unavoidably soft because of the source material, this film is sharp and looks like it was filmed yesterday. The level of detail is astounding. When you see the stunning Jill Masterson covered in gold, you'll swear you never saw the shot before. It has honestly improved that much.
How's the audio? For a movie that's half a century old, the soundtrack is truly something to behold. While there isn't a lot of action in your surround speakers, what is there feels like it was meant to be there from the start and doesn't feel forced. Vocals remain clear and hiss free in your center channel. The only audio remasters I've heard sound better are some of the classic Disney films. But even when put next to their gold standard, Goldfinger stands tall!
As for the extras and commentary? You pretty much get what you've gotten on the DVDs over the years. I would have liked some blu-ray specific HD extras. But we still get a couple of great commentary tracks and a plethora of SD content created for previous releases.
Goldfinger is the classic Bond to own. Only the two most recent Bond films, starring Daniel Craig, look better. If you want to show what blu-ray can do for a catalog film, Goldfinger could easily become your reference film. With a new surround track and a picture that must look as new as the day it was filmed, your DVD-only friends will have to scoop their jaws off the floor, so they can run to their nearest store and pick up a blu-ray player.
on April 28, 2011
Your name is Bond . . . . James Bond, and you are a secret agent for the British government. Your boss - who is simply called M - has just given you your new assignment. It is bloody simple - really - all you are required to do is keep an eye on a man named Auric Goldfinger and report back.
Your first encounter with Goldfinger is in Miami. He appears to be just an ordinary crook. You observe him cheating a man at cards and decide to have a little fun with him; you upset his game and plan a bedroom meal with his beautiful spotter; but a conk on the head and your discovery of the body the next morning has you reappraising Mr. Goldfinger.
When you return to the UK, your mission is expanded: discover how Goldfinger is smuggling his gold out of the country. With a bar of gold as a lure, you challenge Mr. Goldfinger in a game of golf. Soon Goldfinger is up to his old tricks; you catch him cheating. You use a trick of your own. When Goldfinger loses, his penetrating look says he is reassessing you . . . .
You discreetly follow Goldfinger to his factory in Switzerland. You discover his secret but are caught. When you wake, you find you are spreadeagled on a moving metal platform. A laser beam encroaches along the metal surface, sputtering and sizzling as it goes . . . . Goldfinger is through playing games . . . .
Blu-ray experience: Language audio: English, French, and Spanish; subtitles: Mandarin, Korean, Cantonese, Spanish, and English. Classy looking menus; however, some menus are not clear on which key to use to scroll for hidden options; for example, "languages" uses the "down arrow" and "subtitles" uses the "up arrow." Picture quality: 4.5 to 5.
"Goldfinger" is possibly the best of the Bond movies.