Goldfinger - Fontainebleau Scene, Miami Beach - This scene, which is shot supposedly at the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach (in Florida in the US), was indeed partially shot at the Fontainebleau.
Felix Leiter is briefing Bond on Auric Goldfinger in this scene, and Bond, when hearing Auric Goldfinger’s name says, “sounds like French nail varnish.” This shows Bond is sophisticated, but always playful with words and confident. We saw Bond make interesting quips in the first two EON Production movies, Dr. No and From Russia With Love, and it continues. We are growing to know the Bond character very well.
Sean Connery (as Bond) and Gert Froebe (as Goldfinger) never really made it to Miami Beach for these scenes. And neither Harold Sakaka (Oddjob) The second unit camera crew shot establishing shots at the real Fontainebleau Resort. Yet, the scenes with Bond and Goldfinger were shot at Pinewood Studios in London.
You can see the main Fontainebleau building shown in the background is a bit dull and slightly washed out. Other shots where Goldfinger is playing cards, with his pigeon sitting across from him, while Bond walks by are very crisp and sharp. These sets were built at Pinewood studio, where these scenes were shot. Felix Leiter was in fact at the Fontainebleau and some of his scenes were shot on-location there.
Fontainebleau Scene is the Perfect set-Up
This is a perfect set-up scene though. Leiter fills Bond in on Goldfinger, and we learn he is British but doesn’t sound like it. He also has a great stud farm and is clean so far with the CIA. Bond, as he walks by Goldfinger playing cards, notices that he has an earpiece in. Suspecting Goldfinger is getting fed information through the earpiece, he glances around the hotel balconies. And notice here, Goldfinger, as he does for most of the film, is wearing something gold – here a golden pool jacket.
Bond enters the hotel, finds a maid, uses her passkey, attached by a cord to her waist, to open the door. When Bond says she is very sweet, and he starts to enter the room, she looks him over, checking out his backside – and frontside as he turns. Watch her eyes and head. All women love Bond, huh? When he gets into Goldfinger’s room, he encounters Jill Masterson, played flawlessly by Shirley Eaton. She is gorgeously lying on the balcony in a hot bikini, with binoculars and a transmitter. Ah! Bond makes Goldfinger lose at gin to the tune of $15,000. And Jill says, “I’m beginning to like you, Mr. Bond.”
The adversarial relationship between Bond and Goldfinger is established. Goldfinger likes to win.
Catching Goldfinger cheating at cards also comes from the novel by Fleming.
It is ironic that here, the scenes were supposed to be in Kentucky, but actually shot, partially, in Miami Beach Florida and Miami Florida. Oddjob's Lincoln, the iron and metal company, Felix and Simmons at the Kentucky Fried Chicken, etc. were all shot in Miami. Then in other spy movies, like Notorious and the 2006 EON Production's Casino Royale, scenes were supposed to be set in Miami. Nonetheless, for Notorious were all filmed in Los Angeles and Hollywood, and for Casino Royale were in Prague in the Czech Republic!
SpyMovieNavigator visited the Fontainebleau Resort, on a recent trip to Miami Beach. And, much has changed in the decades that followed the filming of Goldfinger. Even though, some location shots that were done with Felix Leiter, we were able to locate!
Like him walking past the ice skating rink – there is no longer an ice skating rink there, it is a shop now, but the curved hallway he walks through is still there. We walked through it as well - in his footsteps! And a couple of shots outside, near the pools, can be found – and we found them - although the entire pool area has changed. This Goldfinger - Fontainebleau Scene is a key set-up scene and must be viewed and examined!