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Topic: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

Hi, I just joined here.

I was wondering if anyone here has noticed an odd aspect of Bond’s activity in the pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

In that sequence, Bond is first seen coming out of water—a harbour of some sort—and then entering the drug laboratory compound to plant a bomb. He then exits the compound, goes to a bar to meet his contact, then returns to a house where a woman he has been making love to that night (before he entered the compound) is waiting for him to return.

The odd aspect of Bond’s activity in this sequence is that he returned to the house straight from the bar, without first going back in the water to get to it. The need for him to have gone in the water in the first place is because, presumably, the water separated the woman’s house from the compound and bar, hence Bond initially needing to swim across it to get to the compound and bar.

However, it transpires that the compound, bar and house are on the same side of the water, which is why Bond, after leaving the compound and later the bar, doesn’t need to go in the water again to get to the house.

Maybe the water scene was put in just to use the visual gag of the “duck hat” that Bond is wearing with his diving gear.

I know things like this don’t matter in a Bond film, and I like the sequence the way it is, anyway. I’m just interested to see if anyone else has noticed this.

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

Hi sirso -- and welcome!

You seem to be assuming that Bond was at the woman's house before swimming to the drug compound, and that the house is separated from the drug lab and the bar by water.  That's not really anything to suggest that either of those things are true.  My take is that he needed to get to the compound (presumably an island in the Caribbean or perhaps the Central/South American mainland, given proximity to Miami) without being seen, and that a water approach was the best way.  From there, he could certainly have remained on the same landmass for the remainder of the PTS.

Hilly...you old devil!

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

I noticed that discrepancy, also.

And also thought that he had been with the woman before he entered the compound. I got that impression from his saying to his contact at the bar, that before he left the country he “had some unfinished business to attend to"; then the next scene shown is the woman in her house and him entering it.

I don’t think he would have just walked into the woman’s house without any announcement of some sort had this been his first contact with her for some time. Besides, the fact that there was a man waiting in her house to kill him, suggests she knew Bond would return that day, and so could tip off the assassin. She wouldn’t have been able to do this if she wasn’t expecting him.

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

Is the woman that Bond visits the dancer at the club?

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

I don’t think so as the woman in the house is already there when he arrives, and if she were the dancer, she would have presumably left the bar with Bond to go to her house. Besides, the dancer ran away when the bomb exploded and shook the bar.

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

I always thought she was in a room above the bar

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

It is the same girl - Nadja Regin, who plays Bonita. The suggestion is that the room in which Bond embraces Bonita is adjacent to the bar where she’s been dancing - it’s some kind of dressing room. My take also is that Bond would need to approach the compound via water so as not to alert the guard - whom he proceeds dispose of in short order, so he doesn’t need to take an aquatic exit.  ajb007/martini

"How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

Couple of things here, the girl is the dancer and I've always thought her room is in the same building as the bar, also perhaps bond approaches the lab by water as its the least guarded way to gain entry.... To the laboratory not the dancer.

It was either that.....or the priesthood

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

I had always assumed it was meant to be some kind of dressing room too. You can see the dress that she was wearing on the side as Bond approaches her in the bath.

Hola.  Somos maestros en año sabático… y nos ganamos la lotería.

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

Sorry C&D just read your post, we seem to have the same take on the scene.

It was either that.....or the priesthood

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

Charmed & Dangerous wrote:

It is the same girl - Nadja Regin, who plays Bonita. The suggestion is that the room in which Bond embraces Bonita is adjacent to the bar where she’s been dancing - it’s some kind of dressing room. My take also is that Bond would need to approach the compound via water so as not to alert the guard - whom he proceeds dispose of in short order, so he doesn’t need to take an aquatic exit.  ajb007/martini

That's what I thought. I didn't get the impression that Bond had travelled anywhere. I always thought he just went backstage.

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

Chriscoop wrote:

....perhaps bond approaches the lab by water as its the least guarded way to gain entry.... To the laboratory not the dancer.

Charmed & Dangerous wrote:

My take also is that Bond would need to approach the compound via water so as not to alert the guard - whom he proceeds dispose of in short order, so he doesn’t need to take an aquatic exit.  ajb007/martini


That makes some sense at first glance but we see him exit the water and stand to his full height and reach up to the wall with his gun, so this would make him just as visible as if he’d walked up to the wall on ground level. The black diving suit, though, might make a slight difference, but not much.

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

It looks like the woman is the dancer after all.

The way Bond enters the room and causally throws the door key on a table or something indicates that he has already met this woman, and is already intimate with her. This is what makes me think that he had been with her before going to blow the compound up.

If she didn’t know him or wasn’t expecting him to visit how could she tip-off the assassin that he would be visiting her later in the evening?

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

I don’t think there’s a conflict here. For the sake of argument, Bond could have been with her in the afternoon or earlier that evening. He could have left and entered the water at an opportune moment such as the changing of the guard. He may have stood to full height behind the wall as he’d be protected from view there - or perhaps the water is being monitored or the guards have a clearer view of it, but not the area just behind the wall.

Much is rightly left to the imagination so we can enjoy the scene and fill in our own blanks.  ajb007/martini

Last edited by Charmed & Dangerous (8th May 2019 07:39)

"How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

The dancer clearly knows who Bond is. She remarks about him wearing his gun, which is why he takes it off. I always assumed she was something to do with the [unseen] drug lord and that Bond used her to get information about the best way to gain access to the compound.  I also assumed the crowd in the bar and probably the whole town is 'owned' by the drug lord. When the lab explodes, the whole bar empties - everyone wants to go and see what the hell is happening probably because their livelihoods [possibly their lives] are at stake. This is the sort of quick editing which Peter Hunt liked to employ. He moves the action fast enough for an audience not to bother with the detail. We forget all about it because the title credits are so good and the song so epic. Then we are thrust straight into a new adventure. It's the sort of detail which modern filmmakers would spend two or three minutes explaining, hence the excessive length of every PTS from 1995 onwards.

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

here is the pretitles sequence

We do not see where Bond begins his swim from. It makes perfect sense he swam down the shore, maybe just from the next property. The shore would be less heavily guarded than the main entrance, and his duck disguise would not have worked onland.
He knows exactly how to open the secret door to the oil tank, so he must have had some inside connection to tell him. We see the dried poppies lower right screen just before he sets the charge.
What does not make sense is how his white dinner jacket is so perfectly uncreased when he removes the wetsuit.
Or how he leaves the oil refinery, he should have kept the wetsuit on a few minutes longer and swam back along the shore to avoid the remaining guards.

The crowd in the nightclub flees in panic because there was a loud explosion very close. They were not necessarily connected with the refinery or the druglab, panic in such a situation is a normal reaction.
The only people who do not flee are the man Bond speaks to and the dancing girl. Both must have been expecting the explosion.
The man Bond speaks to explains the drugboss's name was Ramarez, that Ramarez had been funding revolutions with heroin flavoured bananas, and recommends Bond take the next flight to Miami.

The fact Bond not only throws the dancing girl in the path of the assassin's blunt object, but leaves her lying dazed beside the assassin's corpse, tells us she was one of the baddies. Bond would not have left a lady in such an incriminating situation otherwise, would he?

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

btw the is all more or less from Fleming, chapter 1 of Goldfinger: Reflections in a Double Bourbon.
In Fleming's version there is no dancing girl, and no scuba diving. There is more background of how Bond followed connections from London to Mexico City to find the druglab. Which he does blow up, then is attacked by an assassin in the street whom he kills with his bare hands, before catching the flight to Miami.

In Fleming's version, Bond is really bothered by the death of the Mexican, and I think this is the beginning of his doubts about his job, that continue through the remaining books. Contrast with the film, where the death of the Mexican is the setup to the punchline "shocking, poshitively shocking". Also a change in attitude towards killing which would continue through the remaining films (Connery doesn't make these jokes in the first two).

So, to be consistent, if I am to critique the Daniel Craig film for getting the point of the first two kills wrong, I should also be critiquing this moment: Connery's Bond does not regret the death he must deal out as part of his job, he thinks it's a joke.
but... Casino Royale was merely the best of the four Craig films, which isn't saying much, whereas Goldfinger is arguably the finest motion picture ever made (in this or any other universe). And Fleming was still alive when filming began and must have known about such changes to Bond's character, so if Fleming had no problem, then neither do I.

Last edited by caractacus potts (11th May 2019 15:05)

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

caractacus potts wrote:

What does not make sense is how his white dinner jacket is so perfectly uncreased when he removes the wetsuit.

Also, there is a continuity error. He takes the diving suit off without needing to remove his watch, which was strapped over the sleeve of the diving suit when he looked at his watch while planting the bomb.

The director must have left the watch out of the “unsuiting” scene to avoid slowing down the action, if Bond were to have taken time to remove the watch before removing the suit.

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

It’s a film made in the Sixties fellas.  Get a grip.  They didn’t have freeze frame and rewind or even home video back then.  They didn’t need to make a film that people would analyse. They just told a story back then.

And the girl was clearly a dancer in that bar or hotel nearby.  Probably one he’d been pumping for locall information she was privy to as she knew what was going on. It’s also pretty clear she sold him out.

..................http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/Asp9mmSIG-1-2.jpg...............

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

aw cmon, overanalysing is half the fun! and what I realise overanalysing Goldfinger's pretitles sequence is just how much information is given the viewer within three or four very concise  minutes, with very little exposition, and how logically it all fits together.
Chrisno1 said it above: the same story would run well over ten minutes in one of the modern films, and end up having more plot holes.

The only thing that is bothering me now is that bright white dinner jacket.
After all the trouble to set the charges, Bond strips down to a bright white dinner jacket while still on the villain's property? now that is compromising the mission just to look cool. He would have been better walking down the street to the nightclub in his black wetsuit, at least that absorbed light instead of reflecting it.




sirso!
you are a brand new member!
come and tell us all about your secret origin story in the Welcome & Comings & Goings thread, then feel free to overanalyse away!
the Little Niggles thread is a very good place to ask these sort of questions.

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

I'm in agreement with Asp9mm, It's an amusing opening to set the tone for the
up coming adventure. The duck is a lot funnier than the original idea of a dead dog.  ajb007/wink

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

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Re: Odd aspect in pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.

Here is another endorsement of what ASP wrote.

I would add that in my opinion it seems as if the entire sequence in which Bond removes the "wet suit" to reveal the tuxedo underneath was added later as a "clever" transition between planting the bomb and the cafe scene - as if swimming in with a wet seagull helmet wasn't clever enough!