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 . . .