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 – Real Fort Knox Plan Revealed

Fort Knox plan revealed - The scene is very comfortable, where Bond is not in immediate danger, and where Bond figures out the Fort Knox plan.    The setting is very idyllic on Goldfinger’s stud farm, with a breeze blowing, beautiful sunshine and lighting, and both Goldfinger and Bond enjoying a mint julep. A mint julep is a drink invented in the southern United States in the 1700s, yet when asked if he wants a mint julep, Bond says, yes, “sour mash but not too sweet.”  Just a worldly spy.  Felix Leiter and Simmons observe from behind a fence with binoculars.

Bond Learns of the Real Fort Knox Plan

Goldfinger is confident in Operation Grand Slam, and let’s Bond draw his own conclusions.   Bond initially thinks Goldfinger was going to break into the world’s largest bank and steal all of the gold, removing it all from Fort Knox. Bond works out the math to show it is impossible, and Goldfinger just smirks.   Then it dawns on Bond: Goldfinger’s plan is to explode a nuclear device within Fort Knox.  By so doing, that would radiate the gold, contaminating it for, what Goldfinger says, 58 years to be exact.  Bond now thinks the plan is brilliant. In the book, Goldfinger does plan to remove the gold, but here in the movie, the producers and writers make it a much more realistic plan with a higher degree of success by exploding a dirty bomb within Fort Knox.   The concept of dirty bombs in the early 1960s was very real - they could be made.  It is brilliant, and the exchange between Goldfinger and Bond here is tightly written, and very believable.

Goldfinger is a Ruthless Killer

Goldfinger knows the nerve gas will kill, not just incapacitate, the people who are exposed to it.  But killing 60,000 people does not bother Goldfinger.   We also discover that Goldfinger intends to bring Bond to Fort Knox during the assault.   He will be there, but “too closely for comfort. I’m afraid.” The scene ends, reminding us of Mr. Solo’s fate.  Oddjob pulls up in the blue 1964 Ford Ranchero, with the cube of metal from the crushed Lincoln, Mr. Solo, and his gold, in the rear.  Goldfinger says to Bond, “Forgive me., Mr. Bond, but I must arrange to separate my gold from the late Mr. Solo.”   Neither Oddjob nor Goldfinger have any qualms about killing. So we move from an idyllic setting, with mint juleps and cool breezes to the cold-hearted reality of how evil Goldfinger really is. Note: Goldfinger is wearing a gold vest in this scene, again, always wearing something gold.  He loves only gold!  Supposedly set at Goldfinger’s stud farm in Kentucky, this scene was shot at Pinewood Studios in London.  Now Bond knows of the real Fort Knox plan which has been revealed.  So Bond must die.  Again, we see a plan to kill Bond in an elaborate way – this time, bringing him to Fort Knox, and, as we will discover, handcuffing him to the nuclear device.  These evil geniuses are always confident in their complex methods of killing Bond! It is a psychological thing with megalomaniacs - they want their victims to know who is in control, and have enough time to think about it.

Assault on Fort Knox – Goldfinger Scene Examined

Assault on Fort Knox - The John Barry music during this entire Fort Knox assault cannot be any better.   It is suspenseful, powerful and perfectly matched to what is unfolding on the screen.   Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus unleashed the deadly gas as they fly in formation over Fort Knox.  The devastating result is instantly killing thousands of soldiers and people. When the leader gives the signal that the “baby is asleep” then Goldfinger and his team move in.   They blow the gate, use a mobile laser to cut through the steel door, and gain access to Fort Knox. While there were some exterior shots taken in Kentucky, the entire on-the-ground assault took place at Pinewood Studios.  So don’t try getting close to Fort Knox for a film location visit!

The Deadly Gas

As we remember in the Goldfinger map room, where he unveils the Operation Grand Slam plan to the mob bosses, he unleashes the gas on them.   This is in a closed room, it took awhile for it to take effect.  On the assault on Fort Knox, the planes fly over, release the gases in the open air, and hundreds of people are falling over in each scene instantly. OK, maybe they used more potent gas for this attack, or we just have to have a willing suspension of disbelief once again.   Regardless, it is a classic scene, that foreshadows Blofeld’s planned unleashing of a deadly virus in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. And similarly, Drax's pods wiping out humanity in Moonraker.   Or even the deadly virus that will be unleashed in Mission: Impossible 2.   We will see similar themes in spy movies, as one influences another.

Assault on Fort Knox - the beginning of the end

Of course, Bond has somehow gotten to Pussy Galore, and she swaps out the deadly gas canisters for harmless ones.   Thousands of lives saved!  This is unknown to the audience, of course, at the time of the assault, and unknown to the Flying Circus team - and unknown to Bond.  Felix Leiter and the CIA assault team and the army can then counter-attack Goldfinger.   This clip ends before they bring in the nuclear device.  But why would the US assault team wait for them to bring in and arm the nuclear device before attacking?   Makes no sense, but creates the dramatic build-up in this assault sequence.

Goldfinger – Bond versus Oddjob at Fort Knox

Bond versus Oddjob - In this clip, we see three people left inside Fort Knox with the bomb: the guy who cuffed Bond to the device, Oddjob, and Bond.   The guy who cuffed Bond, once realizing they locked him in and he is doomed, wants to disarm the bomb.   Oddjob, totally dedicated to Goldfinger even if it means his life, stops the guard. And he throws him over the railing to a platform below.  This is the very platform that Bond is on.  So the question here is: this guard who cuffed Bond to the nuclear device knows how to disarm the bomb?   Or was he just going to try?   In a few minutes, we see Bond sweating it out trying to figure out how to disarm it.   OK, we will believe that the guard who cuffed him has special knowledge.  Maybe.

Bond versus Oddjob

The battle between Oddjob and Bond here is a spy movie classic.   This is a captivating scene, as the timer ticks down on the device (albeit very slowly) as Oddjob and Bond fight it out.   Oddjob, knowing he will die with Bond, makes no attempt to disarm the device.  Afterall, he stopped the guard who wanted to disarm it.   You have to give Oddjob props for his dedication. Oddjob’s hat-weapon, which has served him so well, is his downfall here.   He throws it at Bond, misses, and electrical wires are severed and fall sparking and flaming to the floor.  As we see, Bond retrieves the hat, hurls it at Oddjob, misses and it sticks in-between the metal vertical bars protecting the gold. Oddjob goes to get it, Bond slides on the floor, gets the wires that are sparking and holds them against the metal bars and Oddjob is electrocuted.   In reality, it was reported that Harold Sakata, who played Oddjob, was badly burned in real life while filming this scene, but held onto the hat through his pain until Guy Hamilton yelled CUT!  In fact, Sean Connery, it has been reported, injured his back in the Fort Knox scene as well. OK, we can all relax.   NO!  The counter is ticking down on the nuclear device!  And Bond is trying his hardest to figure out how to open the case and disarm the bomb.  Too bad that guard is dead who cuffed him.

The Bomb Is Disarmed!

Eventually, Felix Leiter and the US team get into Fort Knox, Goldfinger escapes removing his gold overcoat to reveal an American service uniform.   Yes.   Gold buttons of course.  But he is carrying a gold gun!  While Bond fumbles to disarm the device, and there are only 007 ticks left, a CIA agent disarms it.   Supposedly, it was going to stop at 003 seconds, but the director thought 007 would be more impactful.   Bond still says “three more ticks Goldfinger would have hit the jackpot.” Of course, they must track down Goldfinger now, but Bond was going to get an audience with the US President for saving the day.   And he boards the plane to head to Washington, D.C., thinking all is good.  But, as we have seen in many Bond movies to come, the ending is not always the ending!  Bond gets surprised at times, like by Nick Nack in The Man With the Golden Gun, or by Tee Hee in Live and Let Die and more.  And he will get surprised here.

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!

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