I mentioned in my news wrap-up of September 17 that this month marks the 50th anniversary of the worldwide release of Goldfinger, the third of Sean Connery’s James Bond films. Adapted from Ian Fleming’s 1959 novel of the same name, Goldfinger turned Agent 007 from a diverting big-screen curiosity into a box-office phenomenon. “Of all the Bonds,” wrote Chicago Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert in 1999, “Goldfinger is the best, and can stand as a surrogate for the others. If it is not a great film, it is a great entertainment, and contains all the elements of the Bond formula that would work again and again.”
In my brand-new column for Kirkus Reviews, I look back at the release of that movie, but more importantly, at the book on which it was based. As I write in the article,
Goldfinger, with its wildly implausible plot so dependent on coincidences, doesn’t always rank among readers’ favorites from the Bond canon; Moonraker (1955), From Russia With Love (1957), Casino Royale (1953) and Thunderball (1961) typically score higher. Yet this 1959 thriller is a splendid companion to the Connery picture, offering a great deal of interesting background to the action taking place on-screen. We’re also given a deeper understanding, in the book, of Auric Goldfinger and the adversarial relationship with 007 than the film, for all its strengths, portrayed.Click here to read my whole Kirkus piece.
READ MORE: “Goldfinger: When James Bond Movies Truly Became JAMES BOND Movies,” by Terence Towles Canote (A Shroud of Thoughts); “Goldfinger’s 50th Anniversary: The Golden Touch,” by Bill Koenig (The HMSS Weblog); “11 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About James Bond,” by Charlie Jane Anders and Amanda Yesilbas (io9); “The Big (James Bond) Quiz,” by Rick29 (Classic Film and TV Café); “22 Ridiculously Amazing 007 Posters for James Bond Films,” by Mike Flacy (The Checkout).