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Auric Goldfinger has a conniving plan (Operation Grand Slam) to radiate Fort Knox's gold supplies, thus sending the value of his own gold reserves through the roof. Agent 007 - James Bond (Connery) is despatched to investigate and neutralize the situation, but it's not going to be easy with hired muscle the likes of rotund oriental assassin Oddjob (Skata) and Pussy Galore (Blackman) in his way.


"Do you expect me to talk?" utters a distinctly desperate 007 about to have his nads bisected by a state-of-the-art laser beam. "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!" retorts the rotund, ginger baddie known as Auric Goldfinger, as he exits yet another artful techno-dungeon designed to within an inch of its life.

The moment is immortal. A franchise, at film number three, had hit its stride on every count - script (a joy of suave entendre and megalomania), action, sexuality and tension. The series was peaking in Guy Hamilton's risque, macho style, perfectly blending the tenor of Fleming's novels, the ebullient times and Connery's purring virility like a wild animal contained in a tweed suit.

You only have to tot up the iconic ingredients to remind yourself of why it is that Goldfinger truly embodies the smouldering escapist genius of the 007 movies: the pristine tuxedo emerging from beneath the wetsuit, the gadget-laden Aston Martin, Oddjob's steel-rimmed bowler, Shirley Eaton smothered in gold paint, the nuclear bomb's countdown halted at "007", a flying circus of dollybirds and naming your leading lady Pussy Galore. "I must be dreaming," returns the supine superspy.

Perfection. Farty critics may scoff, but Goldfinger should take its place among the greats.