Russian Clocks are Always Right – Escape with the Lektor

Russian Clocks are Always Right  – The Lektor is the reason Bond is in Istanbul, and here he receives clearance from M to proceed with the mission. Note Bond tells Kerim Bay that they will execute the plan for getting the Lektor out of the Russian Embassy on the 14th: after Bey asks the 13th?

Did he change the date just in case?  Or was this a precaution on Bond’s part in case there were any bugs planted?  Even Tania, as we see, thought it was going to be the 14th.

Bey is to explode a bomb at 3 PM, and here Bond asks if the clock is correct as he checks his watch as well. The gates when Bond walks through to access the Russian Embassy are still around, but not near the other filming locations.

When the bomb goes off, chaos ensues, and Bond gets into the room where Tania has the Lektor, with tear gas in the air, mask on Bond, and she says that she thought it was going to be the 14th but today is the 13th. The question is why did Bond tell Karim in his office that it would be the 14th, but then they executed it on the 13th?

Perhaps they were being cautious in case anyone overheard, but it is not absolutely clear in the clip.  But the fact that it happens the day before it was expected to, indicates perhaps that Bond trusted no one, and maybe Tania would leak out the plan, or someone in Bey’s organization would.  And if it leaked out that it would be the 14th, well, too late.  Bond gets the Lektor on the 13th.   Obviously, Bey knows the exact date and time since he explodes the bomb precisely at 3 PM… on the 13th!

And yes, Russian Clocks are Always Right!

Train Fight

Train Fight – One of the greatest train fights in all cinema, this one is brutal, painful, and dangerous. In 1935, in The 39 Steps, we see a train chase in a spy movie pretty much for the first time. From Russia With Love takes this to new heights.  This will impact many future spy movies with tremendous train fights and chases like Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me, Octopussy, Mission Impossible (1996), SPECTRE, Bourne Ultimatum (2007), and others. This is one of the best train fights of all time.

The acting is superb by both Robert Shaw and Connery. Shaw, as Red Grant, is tremendous, and you see the vulnerability of Bond clearly and also how Q’s gadgets can save the day when used properly.  Both are trained, cold killers.  This scene is violent, perfectly done.

No movement is wasted.  And Grant is as cocky as them come.  We see that in a lot of villains in films, especially in spy films as the protagonist is always super-confident, cocky and assured.  Goldfinger, in the next Bond film released, has the same cocky arrogance.

This train fight is a tremendous scene, brutal, and a turning point in From Russia With Love. Remember, in the pre-title sequence, Shaw was training to kill Bond, and his plan has worked flawlessly to this point. But, when Bond gets the better of the ole boy, the tide turns. Grant is dead, not Bond.

SpyMovieNavigator has a signed Sean Connery photo of him in the train car. Very cool.

Truck vs. Helicopter

We call this clip Truck vs. Helicopter. This helicopter chase scene sets the stage for the rest of From Russia With Love.  And, we will see this in many spy movies to come.  Helicopter chases are now a staple item in spy movie.  The first helicopter searching for a “spy” is in The 39 Steps from 1935, a Hitchcock produced movie.

It appears only for a few seconds, but it is the beginning of the use of this vehicle in pursuits throughout dozens of movies, and spy films for sure. Many Bond movies, Mission: Impossible movies and more of the best of the rest use helicopters in chases.  Check The Spy Who Loved Me, SPECTRE, M:I Fallout and others.

Of course, this scene is inspired by the airplane chase scene in the 1959 Hitchcock movie, North By Northwest.

Q Gadgets and Scotland

This scene again shows how in tune Q is in what gadgets Bond might need for a mission, as his smart looking piece of luggage with the AR-7 comes in very handy once again.  Bond shoots one of the henchmen just as he is about to drop a grenade.  Instead, getting shot, he drops the grenade in the helicopter and it blows up.

SpyMovieNavigator took a trip to Scotland looking for Bond locations.  While there, we tried to find the rock that Bond was hiding under when he shot down the helicopter and we could not find it! We were close to the location and should have been able to find it, but we could not.

SpyMovieNavigator did find the pier that Bond drives the truck onto, when he and Tania escape by boat, only to be chased by SPECTRE boats.  This was supposed to be in Istanbul, but was actually shot in Scotland!   See our related videos and podcasts.  This Truck vs. Helicopter is a future scene in a lot of spy movies!

Death of Kronsteen

Death of Kronsteen – We know very little about SPECTRE at this point, but this scene highlights how brutal and unforgiving SPECTRE is, and we get a glimpse of # 1, albeit from shoulders down, as he is stroking a white cat, as we flashback to the cat that walked by Tania as she was on her way to meet Klebb for the first time. SPECTRE wants the Lektor as they have made arrangements with the Russians to return it to them, for a price.

So, the atmosphere this scene creates is one of terror – terror for # 3 and # 5, but terror and tremendous tension for the viewing audience.   We realize the SPECTRE will stop at nothing, does not tolerate failure, and, as Blofeld says, SPECTRE always delivers what it promises.

Death of Kronsteen – Poison Kills . . . in . . . listen to it . . . 12 seconds

Here we see for the first time, the poison blade that pops out of the shoe of the assassin here, as he kicks # 5 with it. How long does it take for Kronsteen to die? 12 seconds, and # 1 is not happy that it takes that long. Notice the musical dings – there are 12 counting down his death!  Bond is up against an evil organization!  The death of Kronsteen shows how evil SPECTRE is.   The only way out of SPECTRE seems to be death.

There are many real-life incidents in the spy business where poison is used to try to eliminate the enemy.  From this,  many scenes in spy novels and movies take their origin.  Remember, Ian Fleming was a Naval Intelligence office and very involved with secret agents, plots, and plans in World War – II.  It has happened often in real life.   Listen to our podcast about How Real Life Events Affect What Goes Into Spy Movies.

We will see the poison shoe blade again.  In the novel, “From Russia With Love,” there were poison knitting needles as well.

Klebb’s Final Assault

Klebb’s Final Assault –  Just when you think it’s safe…Kleb shows up once again, in Venice, as Bond and Tania are ready to depart.

Rosa  Klebb draws a pistol on Bond and directs Tania to open the door.  Twice Tania reassures Bond that she knows nothing about Klebb being there, by shaking her head left and right while looking directly at Bond – twice – to show Bond her loyalty is to him.  Look for this subtle gesture in the clip.  We all feel relief that Tania is on the “good” side.

In real life, there are spy defections and good guys going to the bad side, or bad guys going to the good side – depending on your perspective.    As Mathis says in Quantum of Solace, in Talamone, Italy:  “When one is young, it is very easy to distinguish between right and wrong, but as one gets older, it becomes more difficult.  The villains and the heroes get all mixed up.”  That sums up the spy business.

Klebb then, for some reason, takes Bond’s pistol out of his shoulder holster and throws it on the floor.   Why not just shoot him right then and there?   She took a chance that Bond may overcome her as she reaches for his pistol.  And why take the pistol if you are just going to shoot him anyway?  But she does.

But at least she was going to shoot Bond and not have some elaborate scheme for him to die.  Then she backs to the door, and is about to shoot him – and Bond is pretty calm.  Of course, Tania to the rescue.

The thing to note here is that Klebb now has the poison shoe blade device that killed # 5 in SPECTRE # 1’s office. Here, she is willing to use it to kill Bond and retrieve the Lektor.  She knows the price of failure.  Here in the film, Bond escapes the poison blade, and Tania – who Kleb still thinks is on her side, foils Klebb’s plans to kill Bond. Here in the film, Bond escapes without injury.  However, in the novel by Ian Fleming, Bond is punctured by the poison blade/needle, and his fate is unknown.

In the film, as below, Klebb’s attempts to kill Bond with a pistol and with the poison shoe blade are foiled by Tania as she shoots Klebb, and Klebb, evil incarnate.  Klebb’s final assault is her final assault – and she is finally dead.

As in many Bond films, you never know when it’s over – but now, the danger is over at least!

Venice – Canal Scene Ends the Movie

Venice – Canal Scene  – The gondola scene is in Venice, andTania and Bond are now relaxing with the mission complete.  The establishing shots are of the Doge Place, the Bridge of Sighs, the Venice canals. It looks like green-screen stuff with the actors superimposed against the background. One of the things we see here in the background is the Bridge of Sighs – for a short time behind Bond and Tania.

Some Venice History

Historically, The Bridge of Sighs, in olden times, was the bridge prisoners would cross over from the courtyard where they were just sentenced.  Maybe sentenced to death or to prison and maybe even to the execution area.  So, they knew they would never cross that bridge again or see the beautiful view of Venice they could see through the bridge’s barred windows.  Hence, the sighs.

Here, in From Russia With Love, there could be a couple of meanings:

1) That Bond and Tania are now beyond the danger zone – they passed under the Bridge of Sighs and the mission is accomplished; they are out of danger;  ahh!

2) or, it can be a sexual symbol – Bond is reviewing the film of he and Tania making love in the bridal suite (that Tania did not know about it as you recall) – and Grant was going to use this film as the reason Tania and Bond were dead.    Grant would stage it so it looked like one was going to use it as blackmail against the other.  Then murder and suicide. So the film had enough sexual content to be potent.

Bond is looking at it now and Tania asks what it is, and Bond just says that he will show her,  all as they pass from canal to canal – to the “Grand Canal,” which can be taken as sexual metaphors or symbols for certain parts of a woman.   Or sometimes a canal is just a canal!

In conclusion, the Venice – Canal Scene is a pleasant moment for the two of them, as they wrap up their mission, and their passion. And they are now in the safety zone!  And Daniela Bianchi as Tania was just perfect casting – she is stunning!  Tell us what you think!

Goldfinger Pre-Title Sequence

Goldfinger – Pre-Title Sequence – This, in Goldfinger, is exciting and mysterious.   It opens with a dark, night scene of some buildings then pans to the water.  In the water we see a bird, then Bond emerges and the bird turns out to be part of his scuba headgear – in case anyone was watching.  Yet, really, by the time he emerges if anyone was watching they’d just see the bird for a second or so – then they’d see Bond   But he gets ashore, then uses a gadget to shoot a grappling hook and rope up over the wall so he can climb.  A guard up there hears something, starts to walk to see what the noise might be.   Bond is quick!  He has already climbed the rope and knocks out the guard.

Next, with great pre-knowledge as to how to get in, he sneaks into one of the silos.  Once inside, the room is furnished nicely but has nitro barrels all lined up inside to which Bond attaches plastic explosives.  Then he sets the timer for 12:20, giving him about 8 minutes to get out of there (his watch said about 12:12.  He exits, jumps over a couple of walls, and removes the wet/dry suit to reveal he is dressed in a tux.  Nice!

Goldfinger Pre Title Sequence Grounded in some Reality!

This is impossible, right?  Uh, not really.  In 1941, there was a Dutch agent, Tazelaar, who was part of the Dutch resistance, and with British help, got ashore near The Hague.  Once ashore, he removed the wet suit to reveal an evening suit!  He infiltrated a Nazi party to try to extract other Dutch resistance fighters.   Listen to our podcast, How Real-World Events Make their Way into Spy Films for more detail on Tazelaar’s efforts.

Here Bond successfully blows up a drug lab in Central America (nothing to do with the Goldfinger plot).  He has some extra-curricular activity with his “unfinished business,” is attacked, but escapes leaving the attacker electrocuted.   “Shocking.  Positively shocking.”  He then heads to Miami for a vacation.

Notice that in the gun barrel sequence, Bob Simmons is still the agent that shoots towards us.   This is the last movie that they will use Simmons.   Thunderball puts Sean Connery as Bond in the gun barrel and from that point forward, it is Bond.  James Bond.

This Goldfinger – Pre-Title Sequence is very cool and very good.

This is EON Productions 3rd James Bond 007 film, based on Fleming’s 7th Bond novel.

MI3 Pre-Title Sequence

Mission: Impossible III was directed by J.J. Abrams. He was also the creator of the television show “Alias”.   That TV show used long pre-title sequences, so it is no surprise that Mission: Impossible III has a pre-title sequence, although it is short by “Alias” standards.

The movie’s pre-title sequence has a unique twist among spy movies. Namely, the pre-title is taken from a climactic scene from later in the movie.   We are led to believe that Julia is shot to death just as the fuse is lit starting the title sequence.  At this point, we don’t know who Julia is. When you see the scene again in the latter part of the movie, a twist is revealed: the woman who was shot was not Julia, but rather she was Davian’s translator and head of security wearing a mask to look like Julia.

Early in the Mission: Impossible films, the series takes the audience in one direction and later swings a completely different direction, often with the use of masks.   In Mission: Impossible (I) the audience is led to believe that Jim Phelps “dies” when the mission goes wrong. In reality, he wasn’t dead, but he staged it to look like he had died which we don’t find out about until flashbacks later in the film.   In Mission: Impossible II, the plane taking Dr. Nekhorvich is commandeered by Sean Ambrose who used a mask to make the audience believe that it was Ethan Hunt doing the bad deed.

MI3 Party Scene

In the party scene, we find out that Ethan and Julia are engaged. For some reason, spy movies like to have agents get married in a film or two.   In On Her Majesty’s  Secret Service, James Bond marries Tracy.   In Licence to Kill, Felix Leiter marries Della. It does not end well for the women they marry.   In fact, in Licence to Kill, Della’s father tells her “I told you this was a mistake”. Is there any reason to believe things will end better for Julia?

In the clip for this section, we see Ethan boring one of the party attendees (Kevin) with a story about how he works for the department of transportation.   Kevin is played by Greg Grunberg who also played Eric in J.J. Abram’s “Alias” television show. Greg and J.J. have been friends since kindergarten and has appeared in many projects which J.J. has been associated with.

One other parallel to “Alias” is that unlike Jason Bourne or James Bond, the theme of family is strong with Ethan hiding the fact that he is an agent from his fiancé and their friends. This was a common idea throughout “Alias”. In Bond and Bourne, there is almost no association with family.   When Bond marries Tracy, her father is well aware of who Bond is.

In Mission: Impossible III, Ethan leaves the party to meet up with Musgrave. Ethan gets his mission from a disposable camera. It is yet another unique way of having the mission defined for the team leader.  In Mission: Impossible (1), Jim Phelps gets his mission on the plane. In Mission: Impossible II, Ethan gets his mission in a pair of sunglasses which were a precursor to the Microsoft HoloLens.

MI3 Lindsey Farris

Lindsey Farris is a young agent in the IMF who has been captured by Davian.   This scene is part of the extraction of Lindsey from where she was being held.   She is complaining about something that obviously is hurting her. Davian has injected an explosive device in her skull. This comes back into play toward the end of the movie when Davian does something similar to Ethan.   Just before this clip, Lindsey tries to warn Ethan about something.   We don’t find out what that was until a microdot she mailed him is evaluated later in the film.

This scene brings the extraction team together; Luther (Ving Rhames), Declan (Johnathan Rhys Meyers), and Zhen (Maggie Q) are all part of the extraction team.

It is yet another failed initial mission for Ethan in the series.   In Mission: Impossible (I), the mission to grab the NOC list from Golitsyn goes bad with agents dying.

MI3 The Rabbit’s Foot

In the pre-title sequence, there is mention of something called the “Rabbit’s Foot”. Ethan needs to get the Rabbit’s Foot and bring it to Davian. In this clip, this scene, Benji speculates about the Rabbit’s Foot, even describing it as the anti-god.

The Rabbit’s Foot is a MacGuffin. Although many of you will know this term, others might not.   A MacGuffin is a device used in a story which serves as the driving force for the action. It often has no explanation as to what it is. Its definition isn’t important to the plot.   Just its existence is. Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps was one of the first spy films to use a MacGuffin, but many more films use the MacGuffin as a technique to have something upon which to base the action of the film. Some examples include the briefcase in Pulp Fiction and Ronin, the Holy Grail in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and the statue in The Maltese Falcon. J.J. Abrams uses MacGuffin’s in “Alias” as well with the Rambaldi Artifacts.

MI3 Ethan and Julia’s Wedding

This scene again focuses on Ethan’s deception to Julia about his job.   It ends with them getting married. It is very rare in spy films for agents to get married. It is even more rare for the starring agent to get married.   As mentioned earlier, James Bond marries Tracy and that’s about it. It is even more poignant later in the series with the film Mission: Impossible – Fallout when we see what has happened to Ethan and Julia’s relationship.

MI3 Humpty Dumpty

This scene shows the mission of breaking into the Vatican so that the team can kidnap Davian.   There are two stunts in the scene.   The first one has Ethan running up a wall. The second is the now-familiar falling-with-a-cable-attached-spreading-the-arms-and-just-missing-the-ground type of stunt.   This has happened in all of the first 3 Mission: Impossible films:   In the CIA vault in Mission: Impossible (I), the atrium dive in Mission: Impossible II, and now, here. In this author’s opinion, it was very cool in the CIA vault but is a tired stunt by now.

In the pre-title sequence of Goldeneye, James Bond bungee jumps off the Verzasca Dam, from a height of 220 meters.   He doesn’t end up doing the Ethan Hunt spread eagle pose, but he does jump off the wall of the dam and hurtles toward the bottom of the dam. You can see it here.

At the end of the scene, Ethan has his workman outfit pulled off his body, leaving him with a priests’ outfit. It had somewhat of the same feel as when James Bond steps out of his wetsuit in the pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.


Goldfinger Title Sequence

Goldfinger Title Sequence – This title sequence highlights various scenes we will see in the movie (much like the Mission Impossible television series did around the same time).  Here, Shirley Bassey sings the title theme song.   The simple beauty of this title sequence carries the gold theme throughout.  Similarly, Goldfinger carries the gold theme throughout the movie,  by almost always wearing something gold.

Watch the golden hands at the beginning, where Goldfinger is introduced, on the left, then Bond on the right.  The additional main characters like Jill Masterson and Pussy Galore, the DB5, Oddjob, and Mr. Solo are also included.   There are actually a couple of flashbacks to Dr. No and From Russia With Love too in this sequence.   This is a brilliant title sequence that has captivated millions of Bond fans to this day.  Simply fantastic!

And this is one of our favorite title sequences done in any spy movie.  You will notice scenes from the previous Bond movies are projected onto the golden woman’s body – which is alone brilliant.   Actress Margaret Nolan was the golden girl in this title sequence, and she was also the golden body in the movie posters.

Goldfinger Poster in Many Ways Captures the Goldfinger Title Sequence

Robert Brownjohn designed both the title sequence and the promotional posters.   One of our favorite posters, which we own, is a simple, vertical poster, with a black background.   It has the words in white, “James Bond is Back in Action” and includes several photos of Bond.  In particular, one is with a Bond girl, and the golden girl lies horizontally across the middle of the poster.

Continuing, the golden words “Everything he touches turns to excitement” is the overwhelming message.  And this, of course,  a play on the words, “everything he touches turns to gold.”   So, the attribute of success, which goes along with the original idea of “everything he touches turns to gold”, is attributed to Bond.  Specifically, here as it refers to the excitement he creates, for us, the viewers.  Simply brilliant.

Who does not know the Goldfinger theme music?  It was one of the most successful themes of any Bond film.

Music by John Barry, as always, is marvelous and inspiring.  Guy Hamilton does another spectacular job directing the film to be one of the best Bond films ever made.  This Goldfinger Title Sequence is yummy!   One of our favorites!

MI3 Grabbing Davian

There is a lengthy scene as the IMF team is in the Vatican to kidnap Davian. This clip shows the scene in the bathroom when the team grabs Davian.   Ethan is wearing a mask and is dressed as Davian. After they grab Davian, he has to speak into a device that lets Luther program Ethan’s voice to be that of Davian’s.

This scene shows both Ethan disguised as Davian as well as the actual Davian together.   In Mission: Impossible (I), the ending scene on the train has something similar, with Ethan portraying Jim Phelps and then Jim shows up.

MI3 Goodbye Lamborghini

Ethan needs to leave the Vatican with everyone thinking he is Davian. Ethan as Davian leaves with Zhen in the Lamborghini Gallardo. In the meantime, Declan lowers the real Davian into a sewer. Zhen stops the car over a sewer manhole and the team descends from the car into the sewer. Finally, Zhen blows up the Lamborghini Gallardo.

One thing can be said for spy movies: they like to destroy beautiful cars.

MI3 Bridge Scene

Villains being transported on a bridge and escaping while on the bridge is a common plot point in movies.   In License to Kill, the villain (Sanchez) is under arrest and being driven on 7 Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys (USA) when he escapes. In True Lies, the villains are also trying to escape while driving on 7 Mile Bridge.   Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Albert Gibson (Tom Arnold) are part of the team that destroys the bridge while capturing the villains.   In Mission: Impossible 3, it is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge (Maryland, USA) that is used.   Davian’s team blows things up on the bridge and he makes his escape.

MI3 Davian grabs Julia and Ethan is arrested

While Davian’s henchman kidnaps Julia, Ethan is arrested for the debacle at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and losing Davian.   This is reminiscent of M’s revoking James Bond’s licence to kill in the film with the same title. The bosses don’t like it when things go wrong and the spy needs to escape from people in his own organization.

MI3 Ethan Escapes

Wearing a mask that is similar to the mask worn by Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs, Ethan is able to escape and heads to Singapore at the guidance of Musgrave.

I guess if you have a mask that looks like that in a movie, your next move is to escape.

MI3 Back to the Beginning

We’re now back at the scene that was used for the pre-title sequence.   We see that Julia wasn’t the person shot and Ethan goes looking for her.   Additional shots are added to the scene.  Like in all the Mission: Impossible movies, a mask was used to deceive the audience.  We thought we saw one thing at the beginning of the film but really saw something different. After this scene, Musgrave talks to Ethan and exposes that Musgrave is the bad guy in the IMF.

MI3 Benji Fears For His Job

Mission: Impossible III was released in 2006.  Nine years later in the 2015 James Bond film Spectre, Q (Ben Whishaw) has a discussion with James Bond where he is worried about losing his job for helping Bond out. The dialog is very similar to how Benji is talking about losing his job with Ethan in this scene.  I had to listen to each scene again to make sure they weren’t word-for-word dialogue.

MI3 Final Fight – Ethan Dies

This is the climactic fight scene. There is a piece of the action that feels somewhat familiar. In the 1994 movie, Pulp Fiction Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) has overdosed on heroin.   Vincent Vega (John Travolta) slams a syringe of adrenaline into her chest.   Mia breathes loud and deep and sits up and gasps as she recovers. See it here.

In the 2006 film Casino Royale, James Bond (Daniel Craig) almost dies of poisoning, he has to stick a needle in his neck, passes out, his heart stops and he is revived by Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) with a defibrillator. See it here.

Finally, in Mission: Impossible III, also released in 2006, a portion of the fight scene includes a point where Ethan has to stop his heart so that he can disable the bomb planted in his brain.  Julia, conveniently a doctor, then uses a CPR to bring him back. She struggles to revive him and then slams her fist into his chest multiple times.   Ethan comes to with a gasp and sits upright, grabbing the gun.   So this scene is similar to the near-death scenes for 007 and Mia, but in this case, there was no antidote delivered by a needle, just CPR was needed.

Goldfinger – Fontainebleau Scene, Miami Beach

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.

Scene Locations

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!

Goldfinger – The Golden Girl

Goldfinger – The Golden Girl – While Bond has won over Jill Masterson, was he naïve enough not to think that Goldfinger would retaliate?  We assume they went out to dinner, as he had suggested, and then back to his room to make love and have fun.   This clip picks up when Bond is recovering from being knocked out by Oddjob.  When he comes to, he walks from the kitchen area where he was retrieving more champaign to the bed area.

The shot is filmed perfectly as we see Bond walk in front of a mirror and we can see Bond from both sides – shocked at what he is seeing.   Jill Masterson is covered in gold paint lying on her stomach across the bed.  A strategically placed pillow blocks us from seeing her butt, which would not have been on screen in 1964, especially for the equivalent of a PG (parental guidance) audience rating.  In the book Jill Masterton – a slight spelling difference – is painted with gold as well.

We know it’s Bond’s room because when he picks up the phone, the person at the desk says, “Yes, Mr. Bond.”  He calls Felix and tells her the girl is dead.

Goldfinger – The Golden Girl is Dead – But Not Bond

As a viewer, we wonder again why not kill Bond too?   Oddjob got into Bond’s room, knocks out Bond, and then paints Jill Masterson from head to toe in gold paint.  Of course, we assume Oddjob or whoever painted her knew how long it would take and that Bond would be knocked out until they were finished.  Maybe they had a team in the room, painting her and watching Bond.  We don’t know.   But why not just kill Bond?

Perhaps Goldfinger does not yet know who Bond really is and just thinks he took his trophy-girl away from him.  As we know, Goldfinger likes to win.  So maybe Goldfinger was simply thinking to kill her, and Bond can’t have her anymore either.  Let Bond suffer through this loss.   But Goldfinger is connected, worldwide it seems.  How does he not know about Bond being an MI6 agent?

Of course, we will see this same type of megalomaniacal behavior in many Bond villains to come. And,  from the preceding James Bond 007 movies we see this as well, Dr. No and From Russia With Love. We will see it again in this film!

OK, our willing suspension of disbelief will get us to the next scene!

Goldfinger and Bond Golfing at Stoke Poges

Goldfinger Golf Scene

Goldfinger & Bond at Stoke Poges – This clip is about 5 ½ minutes long, but it highlights what will become the mission for the rest of the film.   It establishes Bond as a person of interest for Goldfinger since he has access to some rare gold bars.  This clip is not the sharpest in terms of quality, but it was the best we could find at this time on YouTube.  This clip reinforces the tension and adverse relationship they have.  As Bond wins the round and the 5,000 pounds that the gold bar was worth.  That’s the bet Goldfinger made with Bond after he saw the gold bar, and Goldfinger is not happy.

Once again, you will notice Goldfinger is wearing a golden sweater as he plays his round of golf with Bond.   He is almost always wearing something gold throughout the film.   Once you pay attention to it, you will look for it!

We know that Goldfinger likes to win – and here he loses to Bond.   And he must write him a check for the 5,000 pounds.   Goldfinger’s Rolls is parked in front of the main building at the club.  Here, he directs Oddjob to demonstrate the capabilities of his hat, knocking the head off a statue some distance away.   We now know that Oddjob is physically strong, but has a hat for a potent weapon, which we will see used in key scenes later in the film.

SpyMovieNavigator On Location at Stoke Poges Club,
where these scenes were filmed

ON THE FILMING LOCATION: On a recent trip to London, SpyMovieNavigator took a trek out to Stoke Park, which is where they filmed these golf scenes.  We actually had lunch at the restaurant – and it was fun – a high tea!  Then, we walked out by the 18th hole, got some great photos,  This is where Goldfinger concedes the game to Bond (after Bond replaced Goldfinger’s ball with the wrong one – “stick rules!”

After that, we walked in front of the main building where the Rolls was parked, and where Bond, Oddjob and Goldfinger met after the match.  There, Goldfinger writes the check to Bond. And here, in the film, is where Oddjob demonstrates his skills with his hat – knocking off the head of a statue.   Here are a couple of pictures including the driveway in front where Goldfinger’s Rolls is, with Bond, Oddjob and Goldfinger, Dan in front of Stoke, and Dan and Tom in front of the famous 18th hole!

Stoke Poges Club, at Stoke Park, Goldfinger, golf, james bond, spymovienavigator
Stoke Poges Club – Where Goldfinger’s Rolls in parked and where Oddjob demonstrates his skills with
Stoke Poges Club, at Stoke Park, Goldfinger, Oddjob, where the Rolls is parked, Dan in front of Stokes Park
Stoke Poges Club, at Stoke Park, North of London. Goldfinger golf scenes
Stoke Poges Club, at Stoke Park, 18th hole, Goldfinger, James Bond, 18th hole, Dan and Tom in front of 18th green
Stokes Poges- Dan and Tom in front of the 18th green, where Goldfinger concedes the game!

Again, we were really excited to be at these filming locations!  Especially for these great scenes in one of our favorite Bond movies  – we were right there!  We love going to spy movie film locations, and we encourage you to do the same.  It is just fun to be where they shot these scenes.   And when you watch the movie again, you can‘t help but say, “I was right there!”

Goldfinger Golf Scene In the Movie: Royal St. Mark’s is where they say they are playing.
In Reality: Stoke Poges Club, at Stoke Park, north of London

As a reminder, Goldfinger likes to win, and here, he lost again to Bond.  So this cannot be good for Bond.  This Goldfinger golf scene is one of the classics in spy movies.

In the movie, the golf match takes place at the Royal St. Marks’ (which was based on the Royal St. Georges).   In real life, it was filmed at Stoke Poges Club, at Stokes Park, which is about 35 minutes outside of London (Buckinghamshire) and is a luxurious resort and spa.  Fabulous grounds, building, etc., founded in 1908.  One of the most expensive clubs in the world!  Fleming was a decent golfer and played at Royal St. Georges, and was especially fond of the 19th hole!  Fleming’s handicap was 9, which coincidentally is the handicap of Bond. And in the film, Goldfinger has the same handicap, as the starter says in this clip.

In the film, we all know that Goldfinger plays a Slazenger 1, but Bond switches his ball with a Slazenger 7 when Goldfinger ends up in the rough and can’t find his ball, but Oddjob sneakily drops one.   Bond finds the real one, and also a Schlesinger 7.  Bond hides the Slazenger 1 and switches Goldfinger’s ball by tossing him the wrong one from the cup.  We can believe that Goldfinger might not notice since a 7 and a 1 might look similar at a quick glance.   But what ball does Bond Play?  A Penfold Heart!  This Goldfinger golf scene is a must-watch.

Goldfinger – DB5 Car Chase

Goldfinger – DB5 Car Chase

This clip highlights three things: the DB5 and its gadgets, and the death of Tilly Masterson at the hands (hat) of Oddjob, and an emotional Bond, as we saw in Dr. No.

It is rumored that the producers wanted to use a Jaguar, but Jaguar refused to provide cars for the film.   They then went to Aston Martin, and Aston Martin, of course, provided two cars for the movie.   What was Jaguar thinking?  This Aston Martin was also used in Thunderball and sold to a private American car collector for about $4.6 Million over 40 years later. There is another version of the story that says EON Productions had to pay for the Aston Martins.

Notice the sound effects in this clip, and remember it won an Academy Award for sound effects.   The motor sounds, road sounds, gadgets, bullets being fired, the crash of Oddjob’s hat striking Tilly are all first-rate.

More Tender Side of Bond

Here, we see another glimpse at the more tender side of Bond, as we saw in Dr. No when Quarrel was killed and Bond walks over to look at Quarrel, sadly and reflective.   Here, he does a similar thing.   When Oddjob strikes down Tilly during the gunfight between Bond and Goldfinger’s Asian henchmen, Bond gives up the fight. Doing so, he runs over to the body of  Tilly.  Bond gently rolls her over, realizing she is dead.  He glances at Oddjob’s hat and is obviously sad, maybe even emotional, as he looks at her face.  Examine Bond’s face as he looks at her – he is emotional.  And then he clenches his jaw, indicating that he is angry, and will try to avenge her death.  All in one quick shot – brilliant.

The DB5, Car Chase

Of course, we move through this scene as Bond is avoiding his pursuers with skilled driving and the DB5 gadgets – at one point, after Bond activates the smokescreen, Tilly smiles broadly, and we, the audience, are thinking they will be safe and will shake off their pursuers.

Then Bond uses the oil slick, and another car chasing them crashes off a cliff and bursts into flames, much like we saw the hearse in Dr. No plunge to a fiery grave.  In this clip, the car crashes, bursts into flames, crashes through some small trees as it rolls downhill, and the trees follow it in flames as it crashes into a wall at the bottom.   A beautiful scene, even though most cars will not burst into flames when crashing like this as we said in our Dr. No podcast!  But great drama!

We also see Bond raise the bulletproof shield during this chase.  SpyMovieNavigator always wondered why the front windshield is bullet-proof as we will see in another moment in this clip as the old lady gatekeeper fires a machine gun at Bond’s windshield.  Yet, he needs the bullet-proof shield to protect the rear window.   Maybe just extra protection by Q, thinking most dangerous scenarios would be a chase from the rear.   Or, maybe even to block out the targets inside the car.   But it’s a cool gadget nonetheless.

Tilly Dead and the Capture of Bond – Why Did They Make Him Drive His Own Car?

Lastly, after Tilly is killed, you see the bad guys carry her body off as Oddjob grunts for one of his, I think, three or four grunts in the film.   Then, they make Bond drive his own car back to Goldfinger’s headquarters.  We are thinking – well, you kind of know the car is latent with gadgets – he used a smoke screen, oil slick, read bullet-proof shield already – what next?  Well, they make Bond drive his car anyway.

Q’s forethought was right on the money again – the ejector seat!  Yes, the Goldfinger goon who is in the passenger seat with a gun on Bond gets ejected – notice the very surprised look on his face as he glances up at the roof for a second before ejection.   Bond then uses the front machine guns to try to escape, the gate lady fires a machine gun at the windshield, and eventually Bond crashes his car and they capture him.

All in all, this Goldfinger – DB5 car chase is a great chase scene, with lots of nuances.  And one that makes sense in this film.   And now Bond is captured . . .

Goldfinger – “No Mr. Bond I expect you to die!”

Goldfinger – “No Mr. Bond I expect you to die!”

After the car crash, and after Tilly Masterson, Jill Masterson’s sister, is killed by Oddjob, Bond now is in Goldfinger’s control.   He finds himself strapped to a metal table, as Goldfinger is about to demonstrate his laser beam.  Here in the film, the laser beam is directed at the base of the table.  It then is guided to rise-up between Bond’s legs, into his crotch and eventually kill him.   In the book by Fleming, it was a table saw.

The book was published March 23, 1959, while the laser was not invented until 1960.   The first working laser was built on May 16, 1960, by Theodore H. Maiman at Hughes Research Laboratories based on the theoretical work of Charles Hard Townes and Arthur Leonard Schawlow.

Goldfinger – The LASER and “No Mr. Bond I expect you to die!”

The term laser came to be an  acronym for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.”   Again, EON Productions was clever at integrating a real-life happening, the invention of the laser, into this film which was being shot in 1963 for release in 1964.  And at the time, this was a very high-tech scene in Goldfinger!  We cannot think of another film using a laser before Goldfinger, so here is another first for EON Productions!

This scene is famous the world over for the laser, and for the dialogue: Bond: “ You expect me to talk?” Goldfinger – “No Mr. Bond I expect you to die!”

A couple of noteworthy facts:

  1. Notice that Goldfinger is again wearing something gold – the lapels of his jacket are gold!
  2. When they were filming this scene, of course, the laser was a post-production add-in – they weren’t really using a laser. Instead, to get the important visual of the metal being cut by the laser, one of the production staff was beneath the table with a blow-torch and was cutting through the metal, making Sean Connery genuinely nervous!
  3. Goldfinger reveals the three things he loves about gold: “All my life I’ve been in love with it’s color, its brilliance, its divine heaviness.”

It is another scene where Bond was to be killed by a more elaborate scheme than necessary.  But, it is burned into people’s memories (pun intended) as one of the best scenes from any Bond movie, even any spy movie.

And of course, Bond does survive this.  He convinces Goldfinger that he, Bond, is worth more alive than dead because of his potential knowledge of Operation Grand Slam.

This is another great Ken Adam set design and joins other spectacular sets in Goldfinger.

“I must be dreaming”

“I must be dreaming”  Bond finds himself on the bad side of Goldfinger as he awakes aboard Goldfinger’s Lockheed Jetstar private jet.  He had been knocked out with a tranquilizer gun, and his vision is blurry as he focuses on the face of a woman.

When she is in focus, he asks, “Who are you?”  When she answers, “My name is Pussy Galore” Bond delivers one of our favorite lines: “I must be dreaming.”   Pussy Galore, played by Honor Blackman, is one of the best Bond girls in the series.   She is sexy and strong.  In the book, she is a lesbian, in the film, it comes across that she might be, as she seems disinterested in men.  She tells, Bond, “You can turn off the charm.  I’m immune.”

It is a super clip, and Pussy is dominating in this scene and is in complete control.  Honey Rider, in Dr. No, was strong too, like Pussy.  So we are seeing strong female roles early in Bond movies, and we will see more in other spy movies to come.   For one, think of the 2017 movie, “Atomic Blonde.”

This clip reinforces just how wealthy Mr. Goldfinger: The Lockheed Jetstar was produced in the early 1960s to the 1970s.  In 1972, this model was worth $2.8 million dollars.  So in 1964, it was probably worth well over $1 million dollars.   Additionally, Goldfinger has a private pilot.  Plus an attendant aboard.   And he flew ahead – we’re thinking not coach on a commercial flight!  This gold passion of his has paid off handsomely as far as we can tell.

Bond orders a martini, shaken, not stirred, and tries to get Pussy to respond to his quips about Operation Grand Slam.  She is tough and does not fall for his advances.

Goldfinger Reveals Operation Grand Slam Plan to Mob Bosses

Goldfinger reveals Operation Grand Slam to Mob Bosses

At Goldfinger’s Kentucky stud farm, Goldfinger reveals his plan to target Fort Knox to the American mobsters in attendance, who each ponied up $1 million in gold to participate in the plan.

The Set of Goldfinger’s Play Room

Ken Adam outdoes himself with this set, as it is a fabulous, richly wooded and paneled room.  There is a revolving pool table that reveals a control panel.   From it, Goldfinger controls enforced window shutters, can project a map of Fort Knox and more.  It even retracts the floor to reveal a 3D map of Fort Knox and the surrounding area.

One of our favorite James Bond sets.  As you watch this clip, notice the detail, the richness, the wealth this room reveals.   Our only gripe is the mobsters are made to look amateurish, and almost comical.  And this would not accurately represent the violent and unforgiving nature of mobsters in the United States.  They are more like Goldfinger than unlike Goldfinger and are not easily tricked or deceived.

Bond escapes from his cell in time to poke his head up from below the 3D model to overhear the Operation Grand Slam name.  Pussy Galore catches him.

Mr. Solo Wants Out of Operation Grand Slam – and the Mobsters Die

In the scene, Mr. Solo wants out of the deal, and Goldfinger excuses himself to take care of Mr. Solo, load his bricks of gold into the Lincoln so that Oddjob could drive Mr. Solo to the airport.   Of course, we wonder, was this going to be checked luggage or carry-on?!  In any event, we need not worry, as Oddjob will be driving Mr. Solo to his “pressing engagement,” as we will see a few clips from now.

In the meantime, Goldfinger’s henchmen,  gas the rest of the mob guys, killing them, so he could keep their gold as well.  As an aside, Goldfinger would have a lot of American mobsters after him after this little cross, and probably would never make it to Fort Knox!

You will notice again, here, Goldfinger is wearing a gold vest – keeping with his love of gold.

This scene also reveals how unfazed Goldfinger and his organization are with killing people.   He reveals here that there are 41,000 troops protecting Fort Knox.   Later, when Bond and Goldfinger are drinking a mint julep, the number 60,000 comes up.   Regardless, Goldfinger has no qualms about killing them all.  He loves only gold.

Goldfinger – Car Tailing Scene and Iron and Metal Yard

Car Tailing Scene and Iron and Metal Yard – In this clip, Oddjob is supposedly driving Mr. Solo to the airport somewhere in Kentucky (USA).  In the trunk of the Lincoln is Mr. Solo’s million dollars worth of gold.   As we recall, Mr. Solo did not want any part of Operation Grand Slam (the Fort Knox plan) and Goldfinger let him out.

Bond in the meantime had wrapped his homing device into a piece of paper that warned of the attack on Fort Knox, and slipped it into Mr.  Solo’s suit pocket thinking Felix Leiter would track him and discover the plan in time.  But time is pressing, and short for Mr. Solo.

This is a critical scene for several reasons:

  1. we see again how ruthless Goldfinger is;
  2. Bond’s message will not get through to the authorities, because his homing device will cease to work when the Lincoln is crushed along with Solo and the gold; and
  3.  Oddjob is a direct follower of orders – shooting Mr. Solo on order and crushing him in the Lincoln.   Oddjob is happy to kill for Goldfinger.

SpyMovieNavigator On Location!  Yes!  The Iron and Metal Yard!

SpyMovieNavigator has been to all three major locations for this scene.   Though the scenes were purportedly in Kentucky, at Goldfinger’s stud farm, and surround, they weren’t shot there. The Lincoln drive, the iron and metal crushing yard, the Kentucky Fried Chicken where Leiter and simmons were waiting – all shot in Miami.   You can see our onsite videos here of the Kentucky Fried Chicken shop, the route Oddjob takes to the metal and iron yard, and the actual real metal and iron yard as it appears today.

We will see this ruthless disregard for life in many Bond, Bourne and Mission: Impossible movies.  Drax in Moonraker, for instance, was willing to kill the entire human population, except for those selected for his ark-type space station.  That makes Goldfinger, willing to kill 41,000 – 60,000 people look like a light-weight.


Subscribe on your favorite podcast app