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 – 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.

Goldfinger Plays His Golden Harp

Goldfinger Plays Golden Harp – A little pomp and circumstance here as Leiter briefs Bond that the President of the United States wants to thank him. Bond ascends the stairway leading to the plane.  Watch as he walks right past the cockpit, which seems open.  You can see light shining in through the cockpit windows.  He turns right and boards.

Bond is now safely aboard a private jet that will take him to Washington, D.C. to meet with the President of the United States.  Of course, as he sits comfortably, and alone he reaches up and rings for assistance.  Remember Felix told Bond that he ordered liquor for three, but when Bond asks who the other two are, Felix tells him there are no other two.  All for Bond!  But when Bond calls for a drini,  who other than Goldfinger himself emerges from the rear of the plane. And with his golden gun in hand.

Bond warns him how dangerous it is to fire a gun in a pressurized aircraft, as he warned Pussy earlier in the film.  Goldfinger’s intent was to be in Cuba in a couple of hours.

Where’s Pussy?  And Goldfinger Plays Golden Harp

When Bond asks where Pussy is, Goldfinger indicates with his pistol that she is flying the plane. Bond did not notice as he boarded the plane – just a moment of relaxation perhaps.  But why didn’t Bond see Pussy when he boarded?  The cockpit door was open.  Ah well.  That’s when Bond jumps up and wrestles with Goldfinger. A shot goes off, blows out a window,  and Goldfinger, a rather portly man, goes flying through the aircraft.   As he is flying, he gets sucked out of the window (which seems very large for a smaller plane).

In the book, Oddjob gets sucked out of the window, and Goldfinger is just beaten by Bond.

They rapidly descend,  so the danger of getting sucked out the window disappears as cabin pressure stabilizes.   Then Bond makes his way to the cockpit, and they realize they cannot control the plane.  As tower controllers at the airport look on their scope they see the plane plunging.  But wait, they see another dot on the screen pop out above – they have parachuted!   The plane plunges dramatically into the sea, yet, Bond and Pussy parachute safely to land.

Rescue Bond!

Helicopters are searching for them, Pussy tries to signal, and Bond is thinking this is no time to be rescued.  And he covers them with the parachute and the fun begins.  Goldfinger is dead, Fort Knox gold is safe, Pussy now likes men too or at least Bond – his charms are getting to her, and Bond is happy,  Uh, a happy ending for all!

Note that of all the EON Production James Bond 007 films starring Sean Connery, this is the only one that ends where he and his Bond girl are on land, and not on some boat or raft in the water somewhere.

Dr. No – he is with Honey Rider on a small watercraft escaping Dr. No’s exploding complex, when Felix recuses him from another craft.  Looking at From Russia With Love, and we find that he and Tania are on a gondola on the Venice canals.

Go to Thunderball, Bond and Domino are on a small, yellow inflatable watercraft dropped from a plane as they wait for the skyhook to swoop them up.

In You Only Live Twice, Bond and Kissy Suzuki are on a small, inflatable yellow watercraft dropped by a plane.  And then they are rescued as a submarine surfaces from right below them and the watercraft rests right on the outer deck of the sub.  (As they filmed this, they filmed it in reverse – the raft was on the sub, and the sub submerged).  And lastly, Diamonds Are Forever,  Bond and Tiffany Case are aboard a ship as Kidd and Wint try one more time to get Bond.

Goldfinger is one of our favorite Bond movies ever!

Bond Arrives in Jamaica

Bond Arrives in Jamaica

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Bond arrives in Jamaica via Pan American airlines.  He is still flying Pan American airlines in Licence to Kill when he goes to Key West Florida in the US.   Remember when he is leaving after Felix Leiter’s wedding to Della, he is at the Key West airport and walks up to the Pan American counter.

Well, when Bond lands in Jamaica, we gain insight into his thinking, questioning the situation, being suspicious.   We notice a woman photographer licking her flashbulb, a character watching from the balcony, and the driver who has come to get Bond.  –

Now the photographer in this scene is Marguerite Lewars, who was Miss Jamaica – so licking the flashbulb, although a useful thing to do to make better contact with the socket – is also a sexual thing here – this beautiful woman, in 1962, is licking a flashbulb in a major motion picture.

The Driver in Jamaica Who Picks Up Bond

Back to the driver:  The driver approaches Bond outside only after Bond gives up a taxi to two women who were trying to get a taxi – was this a bit late?   Bond’s instincts tell him not to trust this driver and he makes a call, while, unbeknownst to him,  Felix Leiter watches.   Bond discovers his Government House contact did not send a driver.  So Bond figures maybe he can get some info from this driver.

Bond gets in the back seat of this Chevy convertible, and they drive off, Leiter is trailing, but Bond does not know Leiter yet, they try to lose Leiter, pull over to the side, and then Bond gets the better of the driver, who takes cyanide instead of talking. Although this is a car chase, Bond is not driving, so it is not really considered Bond’s first car chase.  The scene is important because we do not know Bond well yet.  Nor do we who know who Leiter is yet either, and or if the driver of the Chevy convertible may have led Bond to the info he needs for this mission.  We are learning about Bond’s character, toughness and focus for the first time in this scene.

The death of the driver does not bother Bond at all, as he loads him into the back seat of the convertible.  Then he proceeds to drive himself to the Government House, quipping to the Government House personnel, “Sergeant, make sure he doesn’t get away.”  This is the first time we see this characteristic of Bond’s film personality – making a casual, amusing quip which he will become famous for in the films.

The Government House shown here is actually King’s House on Hope Road in Kingston, Jamaica.

Check out our Dr. No podcast!

Meeting Felix Leiter for the First Time

Meeting Felix Leiter for the First Time – Felix Leiter plays a major role in many Bond films to come (played by 6 different actors so far), but Dr. No is his first appearance and his first meeting with Bond.   First played by Jack Lord, then Cec Linder in Goldfinger, then Rick Van Nutter in Thunderball, Norman Burton in Diamonds are Forever, David Hedison in Live and Let Die,  John Terry in The Living Daylights,  David Hedison again in License to Kill, then a great one Jeffrey Wright in Casino Royale and again in Quantum of Solace.

Jack Lord, David Hedison and Jeffrey Wright were the hands-down best Felix Leiters.  We own Hedison’s autograph.   And it is confirmed that Jeffrey Wright will return for Bond 25!    He is excellent.

Bond – in A Tussle With Quarrel, Puss Feller

In this scene, we learn more about Bond’s dexterity and his ability to fight.    Cornered by Quarrel (played by John Kitzmiller) held in check by Puss Feller (played by Lester Prendergast), the alligator wrestler who owns the club, Bond fights his way out and gets the better of them both.  In so doing, he throws them into cases of Red Stripe beer – of which we have had many in Jamaica – until Felix Leiter walks in behind Bond with a gun trained on him.   For a moment, Bond thinks he has been out-maneuvered, but Felix introduces himself as an ally from the CIA.  Because Bond went with the driver at the airport, Leiter and Quarrel were not sure of Bond’s allegiances – now they understand who he is.

Meeting Felix Leiter for the first time for Bond and the viewers is exciting.   Leiter will play key roles in future Bond movies, and Quarrel, Junior will make an appearance in Live and Let Die, and is played by Roy Steward.  We also learn more about Bond.  Well done!

Dr. No – The Beginning of the End

The Beginning of the End

The finale is grand of course, and Bond somehow manages to escape and with Honey Ryder.  And Dr. No is, well, No-More.  Bond and Honey commandeer a small powerboat, throwing overboard the two men on the boat, and stopping one again from getting back on the boat – just in the nick of time, as the entire Dr. No complex explodes in glorious fashion, assuming all of Dr. No’s workers are lost or will be captured and dealt with later.  As Bond and Honey are motoring away, after a short while, Bond says they are out of fuel.   When Honey wonders what they do next, Bond says something like we can swim or. . . . “come here,” and she does.

To the rescue, Felix Leiter with a small powerboat and an armed crew sees Bond and Honey’s boat adrift.   They throw them a tow rope, and this begins a scene we will see in many more Bond films – Bond and the Bond-girl stranded somewhere, only to be rescued and discovered that they are um having some fun.    When Bond releases the tow rope, look at Honey’s eyes – she is approving.

So we see for the first time the ending of a Bond movie that we will become familiar with over the next decades.  Enjoy as we close out our first Bond film podcast.

Dr. No is a big YES for all spy movie fans! 

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