BA-NAH! (BUH!) BAH NAH! (BUH!). We’re back to watch Goldfinger, widely recognized as one of the best James Bond films, if not the best. But we’ll see about all that. Anyway, it opens with Bond snorkeling his way onto a facility, complete with a fake bird(?) on his head, and the first thing he does is use a grappling gun and kick a guard’s face in, so this movie ain’t fucking around from the start. He squeezes plastic explosive onto barrels of nitro, sets a timer, and skedaddles out of there. Then he pulls off the wetsuit and BAM! He’s got a smart white tux jacket on underneath. He goes into a club, lights a cigarette, and kablammo goes the facility! Turns out these bitches were smuggling heroin, and he’s about to split for London, but first he checks in on that sexy dame that came with his hotel room.
She’s in the bath, and the movie takes its time featuring her naked back (is this the closest people got to seeing any sort of nudity in films back then? Probably). While he’s getting some well-deserved kisses in, he sees in the reflection of her eye that a guy is coming up behind him with a knife, so he uses the naked woman as a shield, which leads to her death by stab. That’s cold-blooded, Bond. I don’t care if she was a honeypot agent; that’s some fucked-up S right there. Anyway, he and the assassin punch and kick their way through this disagreement while a naked woman lays bleeding to death in the next room. Seriously, that’s pretty messed up.
Bond chooses his women based on whether they’ll make good human shields.
Anyway, Bond judo-throws him into the tub, but as the guy reaches for his gun, Bond throws a plugged-in radio into the water, frying this dude. He retrieves his gun, puts on his white jacket, and says, “Shocking. Positively shocking.” TIME FOR THE GODDAMN CREDITS, NOW NOW NOW!
Of course there’s the classic theme song for this movie, which I’ll recount to you phonetically here: “Goooold-fingah! Hee’s the maahn, the man with the Miiidas touch! A sssspider’s touch, such a coooold fingah!” etc. Scenes of the movie are projected on a gold-painted lady, and they really do a great job with the soundtrack of these films. Good job, John Barry! You’re dead now, but good job! (::Pats the ground on the back::). Anyway, Shirley Bassey lets us know that Goldfinger only loves gold (thanks for the update), and we start the movie proper….
In beautiful Miami Beach, as a flying banner helpfully lets us know. At the glorious Fontainebleau Hotel, the same place Jerry Lewis filmed The Bellboy (I’m a Lewis-head), we find James Bond taking a well-deserved vacation from taking down drug cartels and using women as human shields. A guy that looks like he got a free bowl of soup with his hat purchase digs the scene while looking for Bond, who’s making time with yet another beautiful blonde. I guess he just got Romanova to London, pulled the old “I have business to attend to,” and left her at the bus station. I’m sorry, lorry station. Or carriage. Tube? Whatever crazy word those limeys use for busses, he left her at one of those stations.
So this guy in the terrible hat is the new Felix Leiter, now aged about 20 years from the last time we saw him, and he interrupts Bond’s massage to get down to business. Bond dismisses the blonde by turning her around and saying, “Man talk,” then sending her on her way with a firm smack on the ass. Man talk. Look, I use that expression in these reviews for humor, but in no way would I ever dismiss a woman from a conversation by saying, “Man talk,” and smacking her on the ass. Unless that’s what she likes, of course–because I’m a feminist.
If you were a woman in 1964, you could be both an an object and a play-thing!
Felix is like, vacation’s over asshole, time to get to work. He says that the tango this time is with Goldfinger, who is at the same hotel and is wearing (what else?) gold-colored vacation wear. He’s old and fat and gross in general, as well as a foreigner, so you know semiotically that he’s a Bad Guy. Anyway, he’s a card player, and playing cards is one of the three things Bond cares about (spying and sex are the other two. Well, maybe drinking, as well).
Bond grabs a key from a passing maid and breaks into Goldfinger’s suite, where he finds a dame on the balcony. And yowsa! Another beautiful gal. Well duh, it’s a James Bond film. She’s helping Goldfinger cheat at cards (Jill Masterson is her character’s name, but since I’ve seen this movie before I know that it won’t be too important to remember that name long-term), and she’s a paid companion of Goldfinger’s. Bond turns on the receiver and threatens Goldfinger, telling him to lose $15,000 to the guy he’s gambling against or he’ll rat him out. Jill finds this pretty funny, and Bond turns on his Flirt Master 5000, asking her out to dinner.
CUT TO the two of them in bed (man, that was fast, even for James Bond!), and he makes a quip about being satisfied (uh-oh, better watch the quips, mister!). Felix rings him for dinner, and he says breakfast instead, and shoves June backwards in the face when she tries to interject some light humor. Oh, Bond, you creep. The champagne has run warm, and he refuses to drink Dom Perignon ’53 above a certain temperature, which is classy, but also throws some shade at The Beatles as well, because I guess nobody under 30 watched these movies even back then, and in 1964 not liking The Beatles in that time period officially made you an Adult. He goes to retrieve some more, but a hand floats into the scene, chopping him out cold. By the looks of the silhouette, it must be Oddjob, one of the more notable henchmen in the Bond franchise.
He comes to a while later and finds Jill taking a nap. A gold-plated nap. Because she’s been painted in gold from head to toe. It’d kind of a famous image.
“Oh no! Jane is dead! Or is it Judy? Janice? I know it started with a J…ah, no matter. Where’s the bar?”
So far in this movie, two women that have been involved with Bond have been killed, and we’re only 17 minutes in. He rings Felix and says whoops, another girl I’ve been with is dead, so Felix grabs the shovels.
Back in London, Bond tells Q that Goldfinger’s responsible, and M is concerned that this has now become a personal vendetta. Besides this, M says, you should stop boinking every woman you meet, you lech. James is like, yeah yeah yeah, let’s just kill this fucker. Bond leaves and stops by to talk to Moneypenny, who lets him know that she is 100% available to him anytime, anywhere, but James backs off, probably because he’s picking up on the whole “every woman that comes near me has died so far in this movie” theme.
Bond has dinner with M in a room that could fund my whole life, and they talk gold and smoke cigars and drink brandy because they’re aristocratic Brits. They talk about the economic gains that can come from gold bullion, and metallurgy, and nobody has gotten punched or been shot at in a while. M gives Bond a gold bar as a way to get Goldfinger’s attention, and that scene’s over.
Pictured: Not Goldfinger.
Meanwhile, we get to finally see Q’s lab, and it’s gadget time! Q has a bunch of cool stuff for him, including the iconic Aston Martin that’s all tricked out and a pocket-sized homing device. Bond finds this shit boring, though, and is daydreaming about murder, I’m sure. After all, what good is a license to kill without the killing? This car has an ejector seat, which is specifically mentioned, because I’m sure it’s going to utilized later.
Goldfinger shows up at a golf course and he’s introduced to James Bond. They play a round of golf together, and Oddjob’s his caddy, which is a job I think he would excel at, since he’s very strong and loyal and will kill your opponent if need be. Goldfinger susses out Bond’s intentions, so Bond drops that goddamn bar of gold at his feet and is like what now, fucker?
More gold and gambling talk, and Goldfinger says let’s bet on that bar of gold you got there, eh? Goldfinger cheats, as is the tradition in golf, so Bond fucks with him a little as a lesson, making him lose the match. Bond’s caddy will never forget the day he met James Bond, while Bond puts a homing device on Goldfinger’s car. But Goldfinger knows who Bond is, and he has Oddball do his hat-throwing trick, which cuts the head off of a nearby statue. But whatever, Bond’s $5000 bucks richer, which will allow him to play about three hands of baccarat.
After all, if a rich, straight, white man in the 1960’s couldn’t have it all, then who could?
Goldfinger has his car loaded into a plane(!) and he’s headed to Geneva. Thanks, off-screen announcer, for letting us know! And Bond’s headed there too, also with his car. I guess that’s where the $5000 bucks he won in the last scene went. CUT TO Geneva, which looks gorgeous, and Bond is hot on the trail of Goldfinger. But wait, he’s getting honked at…by another beautiful blonde, who passes him on the roadway. He speeds up to chase her, but then remembers that he’s in a movie where all of his gal pals are getting murdered, so he stays on track with business.
Joke’s on him, though, because that blonde in the car is an assassin that takes a shot at him from a hilltop. Bond gives chase, and they speed down the roadway, engaging in some dangerous driving/flirting. But his tricked-out Aston Martin drills into the side of her car and she crashes. He jumps out to “help” her, but she shuts down his classic “My name is Bond, James Bond” line. But he flirts with her anyway, because it’s his world, dammit.
He knows the score and easily pokes holes in her goofy story of being an ice skater and not an assassin. Checking in on the Goldfinger Homing Device, Bond realizes he’s on the way, hands off her bags, and speeds out of there in his sweet hot wheels.
This is the only Aston Martin I can afford.
He checks out one of Goldfinger’s interests using his spy-issued binoculars and stays up into the wee hours to do some snooping on its grounds. This movie has waaay more legitimate spying and investigation than the first two, and it shows that Bond is a really capable spy. And here I thought he was just about womanizing and gambling. I mean, he still is, but he also does spy stuff real good, too. He views Goldfinger’s gold-smuggling operation, which he utilizes his Rolls Royce in by making gold parts for it. Bond’s seen enough and goes back to his hillside chill spot to have a drink. But before he can, he hears someone walk by and sees somebody aiming a sniper rifle at the facility. He dives to tackle them, tripping a sensor wire and alerting Goldfinger of a disturbance in the force. You know all that stuff I said about him being a good spy? I just downvoted that idea.
Hey! It’s the girl that he ran off the road that was shooting at him earlier! Turns out she’s Jill Masterson’s sister (you know, the gold-painted lady), and she’s out for revenge. But Bond’s like, I need him alive, got it? Gunfire goes off and they flee. Into the dark. Hey, James Bond movies? I thought we talked about shooting scenes at night and how nobody can see what’s going on if you do that. We’ll talk later.
Bond zooms off with some henchmen giving chase, but his gadget car provides a smokescreen that makes one of the cars smash into a tree. But oh no! Another car’s firing at him! Good thing he can spray oil all over the road, making them drive off a cliff and explode for no reason. No quip for that one, so Bond gets a gold star. (::Places gold star on his computer screen::)
This situation looks explosive. I’m getting really fired up. Seems like their plan blew up in their face. Look, if Bond doesn’t quip at this, I will!
But there’s another car of goons, for which he stops the car and hops out to return fire. But ruh-roh! It’s Oddjob, who does his hat trick and kills the new lady. Bond checks on her, but oh man, Bond, you are really racking up the lady kill count in this movie. At least now I don’t have to worry about learning her name.
Bond gets captured, and Goldfinger’s Mom works the gate at his base, and for some reason they’re still letting Bond drive his tricked-out Aston Martin. He uses that ejector seat to toss out the guy holding a gun to him (Hey! It came back!) and Goldfinger’s Mom fires a machine gun(!) at him. Bond drives around like a fucking maniac trying to escape the complex, effing S up all over in the process, but crashes his car anyway. Oddjob looks pissed as usual, and Bond’s knocked out cold.
CUT TO Bond being tied up spread-eagle on an operation table. Now this part of the recap is a little redundant because this is a very famous scene, but Bond has to listen to Goldfinger explain that a laser is pointed at him that can cut through solid metal, and it will soon cut through him, crotch-first. Now, a lot has been written about this scene. It’s been parodied, reproduced, and reinvented a trillion times over so far in film history, but it’s worth explaining: it’s going to cut up his junk, and then him. We get this classic exchange: “Do you expect me to talk?” “No, Mr. Bond! I expect you to die!” and Bond plays a bluff about knowing what Goldfinger’s up to, and so does his replacement. Goldfinger tries to call this bluff, but folds and calls off the ball laser because…I don’t know. But he’s worth more to Goldfinger alive than dead, so he just has one of his lab monkeys shoot him with a tranquilizer.
“You’re sure that this isn’t a sex thing, right? Because if it’s a sex thing, I understand; I’m a bit of a deviant myself.”
Bond wakes up from his nappydoodles looking at a new woman, named (sigh) Pussy Galore. It’s fucking nuts, the names they give the villainesses in these movies. Galore is another iconic Bond figure (what in this movie isn’t iconic?) and they find out that they’re on a jet to Baltimore (oof, downgrade from Geneva) and Ms. Galore is Goldfinger’s personal pilot. Bond smirks his way through a conversation and (for the first time in the film series) specifically asks for a martini shaken, not stirred. Here’s to Operation Grandslam! Galore lets him know that he “can turn off the charm; I’m immune,” which is 1964 code for lesbian. I’m serious: Pussy Galore is supposed to be a lesbian. That’s from Ian Fleming himself, along with other warped ideas about her and Bond’s…relationship.
So for some reason, they give Bond back some of his spy stuff (they know he’s a spy, right?), and he ducks into the bathroom to do secret spy stuff. He’s looked in on by one of the stewardess henchmen and he gingerly blocks every peephole because he may just be a good spy, after all. He puts a homing device in a secret compartment in the sole of his shoe, then shaves. In an airplane. Ouch!
Galore knows that some shit’s going on and puts a gun on him, but Bond doesn’t give a shit since if she fires a bullet at him the fuselage would be penetrated and it’s fiery death for all of them. M answers a phone call from the CIA, who’s letting him know that via homing device Bond is in their/our/my country. They land in Kentucky, which is a fine state, and taxi to a private hanger. Bond continues to be a hostage and watches some trick synchronized planes zoom around in the air. Oddjob is his driver, so this should go well.
The movie spends some time showing off these flying-in-formation planes, which Galore had mentioned earlier that she’s the leader of, and this is going to come back later in the film, as well. James Bond movies aren’t subtle about foreshadowing, I’ll give(?) them that. Also, a sexy sax accompanies a lady pilot’s exit from the game. But waaait, they’re all ladies! Take that, 1964 expectations!
A banjo starts playing on the score, which sounds weird in a Bond film, but we’re at a horse ranch in Kentucky, so I guess it makes sense. Bond is led by Oddjob out of the car and Goldfinger is waiting for him. Bond gives him some shit and he’s escorted to his new digs, which is just a dungeon. He checks for dames anyway.
The CIA, including Felix(!), picks up on Bond’s homing signal, and Goldfinger has one of those swanky pads that I’m always complimenting in these movies. His henchmen are fucking around in the rumpus room, and I guess these dudes are all mafia or something. He owes them all one million dollars and are looking to collect. However, Goldfinger dumps around and tells them to shut up because if they just wait a day, they’ll get $10 million. Then he flips a switch and his pool table becomes a cool controlling board. He sets up a Powerpoint presentation about his scheme, which is to steal all of the gold from Fort Knox. Goddammit, does Mike Myers piss me off more and more as I watch these movies. His Goldmember character, like all of his work, is incredibly lazy.
Goddammit, Mike Myers. Just…goddammit.
Anyway, there’s a scale model of Fort Knox that pops out of the floor, and Goldmember goes on a little rant. Meanwhile, Bond is still stuck in his cage and is figuring out a plan for escape. He seems to be stuck on a loop as he waves and winks at the security guard. Then he kneels down out-of-frame, and maybe this guard is looking for a little action from Bond because he pulls a gun and kicks in the door. But Bond’s nowhere to be found! Except no, he’s on the ceiling and gets the literal drop on him. Oh, James Bond. You smart, brah. After getting this guard out of the way, he gets back to the business of kicking ass and saving the world—and business is booming.
The rejected cast from Guys and Dolls lets Goldfinger know that his plan is absolutely batshit, and Bond is literally looking through the windows of this scale model, which is pretty funny. He scoots about, doing spy-like stuff, and Goldfinger explains his whole plan, including that Galore and her pilots are going to immobilize the workers at Fort Knox with nerve gas. Bond is getting this all down like he’s me writing these recaps, and I wonder how much this model cost to make. It’s a really good one, is all. Anyway, the gangsters say fuck you, Goldfinger, give me my money and I want my elephant and all that. Bond folds his note for later review, but he has his feet pulled out from under him by Galore, who looks at him like a scolding school marm. She gets the gun and walks Bond back to his cell.
The gangsters stand around admiring the craftsmanship of the scale model, but joke’s on you, fuckers! Time to die via nerve gas. They scramble and swarm but it’s all over now, baby blue. Gold is being loaded into a car for a defecting gangster and Bond strolls up with Galore to say hey. The gangster gets in his car to leave, and Bond slips the note and homing device into his pocket because he’s a quick-thinking son of a bitch.
Galore rats out Bond to Goldfinger, who seems like he’s thinking about gold instead of listening, which must be a constant problem for him. Felix is like, cool Bond is on the move let’s meet him for a burger and shakes that will cost $2.00 total in 1964, and off they go to get lunch with him.
Oddjob is driving the gangster back to wherever the fuck he’s headed, which seems like certain doom from my perspective. After all, he is a rampant, violent murderer and henchman for Goldfinger. Indeed, Oddjob plugs this dude. But Felix & Friends are still following the homing signal and engaging in light banter. Oddjob drives the car to a garbage dump, where he has it crushed into a cube. That poor vintage car gets crushed in front of our eyes, and I guess the gangster also, but who gives a shit about that guy?
“Is this about my cube?”
The cube gets loaded into the back of an El Camino, and Oddjob drives off with it. The CIA guys are too late; the homing device is dead, along with that cube of a car and the human being inside of it. Oddjob will probably sleep well tonight.
Galore and Goldfinger lounge around discussing how excellent their plan is and how great life will be after they get that damn gold, and Felix & Friend spy on them. But Goldfinger sends a goon out to stop them and Goldfinger says Galore should slip into something more comfortable. Pig.
Back in the dungeon, Bond is being watched by four guards when he is summoned by Goldfinger. He offers James a mint julep (I get it, we’re in Kentucky) and Bond takes one, mostly because it’s been a while since he’s had a drink. James lets Goldfinger know that he knows that the nerve gas is fatal, and also that his plan kind of sucks to be honest. But Goldfinger isn’t going to move the gold; he’s just going to irradiate it so that it’s useless for 58 years (or hundreds, or thousands, of years; depends on the yield and spread and rate of absorption in gold, but it was 1964, so they were just ballparking), therefore destroying the world’s economy (*snickers*).
James Bond is surprised at how good this idea is and compliments him on it. Bond susses out some more info, but Goldfinger lets him know that this is pointless, since Bond will die in the irradiating hellfire that’s about to occur. Galore and Bond are stuck with each other from this point on, and the two of them stroll of arm-in-arm, for some reason. Felix and his friend see this and figure, whatever, Bond is ten times the man than either of us, and fucking split.
“Enough of this crap. Let’s go get some burgers and shakes.”
Galore calls herself “an outdoor type,” (read: lesbian), and Bond gets super-grabby here. She judo chops him into the hay, but he knocks her off her feet. Then more judo shit happens between them (is this flirting?) and they wrestle on the ground. And then he forces himself on her. I get that all’s fair in spying and warfare, but he really does force himself on her. It’s more unsettling behavior from Bond towards women, which I am not a fan of, full-stop.
CUT TO the flying squadron Galore commands as they head toward their target. They spray the nerve gas over Fort Knox like pros (that’s a lot of air between their planes and Fort Knox, so there’s no way that they’re spraying enough to knock anybody out, but OK), and indeed, all of the soldiers and bankers fall to the ground as if their puppet strings have suddenly been cut or they are androids whose batteries ran out of juice. Oooh, speaking of robots, I’m going to watch last night’s Westworld after this. Are any of you watching Westworld? It’s good. Oh, right, back to this movie.
And coming up next: Westworld! (For me, not you.)
With her work done, Galore and her flying pals say they’re heading back home. Goldfinger and Oddjob get their fake army men going with Bond in tow. Hey, Goldfinger? You know this big, crazy plan of yours? Might not want to bring the world’s best spy along with you that has caused you nothing but trouble so far. I get that you want to kill him in a spectacular way, but you know what else works? A bullet to the back of his head. Just saying.
So here come his henchmen, who are dressed like civil war soldiers for some reason, and they blow the gate. I’m sure Fort Knox has much better security measures in place now. The music has really amped up, even though all we’re seeing is a bunch of army trucks driving around slowly. Goldfinger gets his laser ready to…lase…and they cut a hole through the steel door. Goldfinger sets the dirty bomb, and Felix etc. pop up when they realize the bomb has been set. Hey! They were all faking it! Guess being around James Bond long enough makes everybody a little James Bond in their own right.
James is handcuffed to the bomb and he stands there looking at the clock ticking down. When Goldfinger gets outside, however, whoops! There’s the fucking army, shooting and killing his asshole henchmen. Goldfinger quick changes into an army uniform and shoots friend and foe alike as he escapes because he’s just that bad of a guy.
Oddjob gets locked in with the bomb and disposes of a henchman that was going to turn it off to save his own skin. Oddjob’s a really, really loyal employee to this madman. But Bond gets the key out of the dead henchman’s pocket, and Oddjob totally misses with his hat trick. Bond gets free and Oddjob picks up his hat for another try. He cuts some power lines loose and Bond hurls a gold brick at him that that just bounces off this abomination.
Talk about goldbricking. Thank you! I’ll be here all week.
So Bond figures, hand-to-hand combat has always worked for me before, but Oddjob’s pretty much indestructible. That countdown clock’s still ticking away, and Bond’s getting a pretty savage beating from Oddjob. But hey! There’s that electrical wire that Oddjob cut loose, right next to where Bond landed from his most recent toss. Bond has Oddjob’s bowler hat of doom, and he tosses it. It misses and gets stuck in some metal bars. When Oddjob retrieves it, Bond dives for the electrical wire and fucking fries him up with a side of justice.
On to more important matters now: saving the Free World™. He twists dials and such, and henchmen are getting blown away by the US Army. Using gold bricks (because what else is in this place?), Bond hammers open the bomb’s casing, only to find crazy nonsense clockwork inside. He kind of doesn’t know what to do, and oh no, is Bond going to die?!? Of course not: a CIA agent just kind of pops by and flips the OFF switch. The countdown stops at 007 and I’m just reeling at this point.
Felix shows up, explains that Galore helped them out, and Felix wonders what made her change her mind. Bond says: “I must have appealed to her maternal instincts,” because he’s such a Man that he can turn the gay straight, commies into capitalists, and convince evil to turn good. With his dick.
James is on his way to have a drink with the president, and he wants a damn drink on the plane, too, so Felix says that he let the stewardess know she should provide liquor for three. No joke: Felix straight up calls Bond a raging alcoholic to his face. Being 1964, they have a quiet chuckle at this concept.
“I’ll be meeting the president in an hour, so I better go light: 5 martinis, shaken, not stirred.”
But oh shit! Goldfinger’s on the plane, having tied up the regular crew back at Fort Knox. Wait, what? That’s a hell of a plot hole, movie. He holds Bond at gunpoint and Bond says some witty stuff, and then shows Goldfinger his punching hands. Bond shoots a window out, which depressurizes the cabin, and Galore’s at the controls (did the Army decide not to take anybody into custody, or even secure the plane?). Goldfinger hilariously gets sucked out the window, and it looks like Bond is about to crash and die in flaming wreckage. The plane explodes on impact in the water (was everything made of dynamite back then?), but Galore and Bond used the ejector seat(?) to escape to a garden paradise. Galore tries to signal a rescue chopper, but Bond’s like, I’m pretty sure my leg is broken and I have internal injuries but let’s have sex. He pulls the parachute over them, and the end credits start to roll.
But don’t worry! James Bond will be back in Thunderball. I will, too, but now with this recap over, I’m going to pull a parachute over myself and watch last night’s episode of Westworld to see what wacky robot shenanigans have transpired since last week.
“He’s the idol of every woman; the envy of every man.” Or at least so the trailer for 1964’s Goldfinger declared. Goldfinger was the third James Bond film in as many years, and the filmmaker’s confidence shows: it’s often regarded as the best Bond movie (this was Roger Ebert’s assessment, at least). However, with that confidence comes some rather poor characterization choices for Connery’s James Bond: he’s rampantly sexist throughout this film, from smacking a woman on the ass to send her away and explaining it as “man talk,” to the staggering amount of deaths of the women he gets involved with throughout the film, to the alarming physical violence he wreaks upon women, it’s disturbing to watch with 2016 eyes. Its values are cemented solely in the increasingly distant past, and while I enjoy escaping into that time period, I certainly don’t agree with how he treats the women around him in this film.
Even the villain, while a weirdly memorable character (and of course shamelessly aped by Mike Myers in Goldmember (GET IT???), wouldn’t work in today’s world. His plan of irradiating all of the gold in Fort Knox, thereby collapsing the world economy, is laughable today, since we don’t have a centralized economy anymore. In fact, we are barely on the gold standard in present day; maybe if he set the world’s oil reserve on fire, but c’mon, nowadays people would just say fuck it and turn to solar instead. Also, it would really only work if America was still the dominant economy in the world, and it isn’t; China is (For now. USA! USA! USA!).
I will say this: it’s a very well-paced Bond film. The action keeps coming at a fast clip, there’s very little downtime, and (like in the last movie) Bond isn’t gambling or drinking, but actually being a damn good spy. I can see why people think this is the best Bond film, but I also suspect those people were probably alive when this film came out. The next generation of James Bond fans (which would be me and any other guy over 30 years of age in 2016) will probably rate this one lower.
Speaking of which: although I enjoyed this film, for a lot of the characterization problems I’ve stated above, and that this film is squarely rooted in 1964’s social and political paradigm, I wouldn’t rank it as one of the best Bond films. Not to say that it’s bad, either: there’s a lot here to enjoy. But maybe a lot of it was more enjoyable fifty years ago. A solid Bond film, but flawed. Three out of four Bonds.