Every franchise has its own definitive masterpiece. Indiana Jones had Raiders of the Lost Ark, Terminator had The Terminator, and Star Wars had The Empire Strikes Back. Those films all worked in ways that gave their source material proper definitions and managed to be the best in their history. James Bond is a little different. There have been over 20 films made spanning over 50 years where it's come to the difficult point of picking which ones are quintessential.
James Bond sets out on a mission to stop Auric Goldfinger from raiding Fort Knox. Goldfinger is a notorious and incredibly wealthy criminal with a love for gold. Along the way, Bond uses a number of gadgets and meets exceptionally attractive women.
Goldfinger was the film that cemented the Bond characteristics audiences would come to learn. Though Dr. No came out two years before, it didn't really shape the pop culture figure. Dr. No is by all means a great film (second to best in the franchise) but it doesn't stand a chance against Goldfinger. The film was the first to showcase the wide array of gadgets Bond uses, the beautiful women throughout, and the most bad-ass car in all of cinema. The film is great in terms of direction, cinematography, and writing, but never do those factors really matter in an action movie. A good action movie should deliver great action, suspense, and occasionally an interesting story. Goldfinger does all these and much more. The film feels a lot more epic and wide scope compared to other Bond films, due to a wide array of characters and Bond being imprisoned for some time. Some of the most iconic shots and lines in all of movie history even come from this film, like the golden woman and "martini shaken not stirred." I sometimes am bewildered after hearing this film compared to 2012's Skyfall, which I consider to be a major disappointment. Goldfinger is the best action movie of all time, quintessential James Bond, and one of my favorite films.
Time Stamp: August 4, 2020