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Even though GOLDFINGER ($25) is the third movie in the series, it certainly rates amongst the most popular and entertaining of the James Bond films. If nothing else, GOLDFINGER has the best known theme song of any of the Bond movies. Fans and non-fans alike will have to agree that GOLDFINGER contains the most indelible image of any Bond film ever- a golden gilded girl lying naked on a bed. Sean Connery makes his third appearance in the role of James Bond and he just keeps getting better as 007. As Bond movies go, GOLDFINGER also has the distinction of being the one, which began the series preoccupation with gadgetry. Because of the gadgetry, fans will enjoy this first appearance of Desmond Llewelyn as the immensely popular and long-lived Q.

The plot of GOLDFINGER involves the title villain’s plan to break into the gold depository at Fort Knox and enrich his own gold supply. Gert Fröbe’s impressive size and performance makes Auric Goldfinger the best known of Bond villains. The beauteous Honor Blackman portrays Pussy Galore and has the distinct honor of being the Bond girl with the most risqué and most unforgettable name. Of note, Pussy Galore is the first Bond girl to display a real ability to handle herself in a tight spot. She is also the first Bond girl to display her own penchant for the ladies- very risqué for 1964. Professional wrestler Harold Sakata attains legendary status in GOLDFINGER; his appearance in the role of Oddjob has made the henchman a screen icon. The cast of GOLDFINGER also features Bernard Lee, Martin Benson, Cec Linder, Shirley Eaton, Tania Mallet and Lois Maxwell.

Like its two predecessors, MGM Home Entertainment offers GOLDFINGER in a THX certified edition on DVD. This single sided DVD offers both Letterboxed and pan and scan versions of GOLDFINGER on different layers. The pan and scan transfer is only modestly cropped, with very little information lost at the edges of the frame. Color reproduction and detail are good on the cropped transfer. Purists will of course wish to view only the Letterboxed version. The Letterboxed version is terrific looking, offering a very sharp image and colors that appear somewhat subdued when compared to an original IB Technicolor print. Digital compression artifacts were virtually undetectable.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack was clean and clear sounding. Of course, you will want to amplify the title song. Other soundtrack options include French and Spanish language tracks. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

The interactive menus offer access to a theatrical trailer, a behind the scenes featurette, film trivia and a small hidden surprise.

As far as the Bond films go, GOLDFINGER is a classic. The THX certified DVD looks great and offers quite a bit for its modest price. Recommended.




DVD reviews are Copyright © 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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