Thursday, March 12, 2015
Goldfinger (1964) | Villains
Gert Fröbe may have been dubbed for his performance as Auric Goldfinger, but he's still the best thing in the movie. Like I said the other day, his Goldfinger isn't the over-compensating blowhard that Fleming wrote. The movie Goldfinger is a calm, self-assured man. Part of that may be vocal, like the laugh in his voice when he says, "No, Mr. Bond! I expect you to die!" But just as much of it is body language: Fröbe's boredly picking a bit of sleep from his eye after Bond's made a threat, or the minimal gestures he uses to command Oddjob. Fröbe's perfect fusion of restraint and humor gives Goldfinger a sense of power that's never been equalled by another Bond villain.
Goldfinger is well-written, too. The movie fixes the novel's problem of how to move all that gold, so its Goldfinger feels smarter than Fleming's. He's in control almost the entire movie and it's tough to pick the place where his plan goes wrong. He has a good reason to keep Bond alive until it's time to incinerate him by nuclear explosion. What better way of getting rid of Bond's body and keeping a cloud of reasonable doubt around Goldfinger's involvement in the caper? If Bond hadn't have convinced Pussy to betray Goldfinger, the bad guy would have easily won.
Oddjob's iconic, but I don't love him. In the novel, he's agile and deadly, but movie Oddjob moves so slowly that it's hard to take him seriously. All Bond really has to do is avoid the flying hat and then keep out of Oddjob's way.
Top Ten Villains
1. Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
2. Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia With Love)
3. Doctor No (Dr. No)
4. Rosa Klebb (From Russia With Love)
5. Kronsteen (From Russia With Love)
Top Ten Henchmen
1. Grant (From Russia With Love)
2. Oddjob (Goldfinger)
3. Miss Taro (Dr. No)
4. Professor Dent (Dr. No)
5. Morzeny (From Russia With Love)