Website last updated: 7-5-2024

50th Anniversary of Goldfinger starring Sean Connery

By: Anders Frejdh
Goldfinger 50th Anniversary
On this day in Bond history, Goldfinger (1964) (1964), Sean Connery's third film as Ian Fleming's James Bond, premiered at cinemas 50 years ago. (Goldfinger was first released in the UK on 17th September 1964, then USA on the 22nd of December, and in the Sweden the following year on 5th February 1965.)

Using a nuclear device supplied by Red China, gold-smuggler and metallurgist Auric Goldfinger intends to increase the value of his gold bullion ten-fold by detonating the device inside Fort Knox, thereby making the 15 billion dollar gold supply of the United States radioactive for 58 years.

This film, considered by many to be the best in the series, was directed by Englishman Guy Hamilton who later went on to direct another three Bond films; Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Live and Let Die (1973) and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). Not only was it awarded an Academy Award as one of only three Bond films to receive that honour ("Thunderball" got one for Best Special Effects and Skyfall got two for Best Song and Best Sound Editing respectively), it also became the most successful in relation to the number of multiples it took in gross income at the box office compared to its budget (2,5 Million USD).

Dubbing editor (and FSWL supporter) Norman Wanstall remembers working on the film:

During the discussion of his work on the film, Norman particularly mentioned two sounds he created that relate to the character of ‘Oddjob’ (played by the late Japanese wrestler Harold Sakata). Firstly he explained how various tracks were mixed to create the sound of the golf ball being crushed in Oddjob’s hand, but in particular he referred to the sound of the flying metal hat used by Oddjob as a lethal weapon. It was fascinating to hear how that memorable ‘flying’ sound was created using simple kids’ toys as props, whilst a carpenter’s wood saw was finally selected to create the menace of the hat leaving Oddjob’s hand.

Probably one of the most well remembered scenes in Goldfinger is the car being crushed in the breaker’s yard. Norman told the remarkable story of how he finally obtained the most crucial sound that the scene demanded:

"After much research I had totally failed to find an existing track to cover the mighty jaws of the crusher as it heaved upwards and downwards against the car’s body. The sound recorded at the time was simply an overall noise of the entire machine, whereas it was essential to have a dramatic individual track to cover the close shots of the jaws.

Just as I was running out of ideas some workmen arrived on the studio lot and set up a compressor within earshot of my editing room. Suddenly realising that this was the exact sound I was looking for I rushed to find my sound recordist, only to be told that he couldn’t leave the set as they were in the process of shooting a scene. The only spare piece of equipment the recordist had available was a cheap kiddies’ recorder that he’d bought for a few pounds the day before as a present. Dreading that the compressor would be removed at any moment, I dashed across the studio lot with the kids’ toy and recorded the priceless sound on a microphone smaller than a cigarette lighter. To this day the scene remains one of the highlights of the early Bonds and in many people’s estimation was a major factor in the award nomination.

It is without doubt a remarkable story, and a startling view behind the scenes of the high-tech world of the movies!"

Another very memorable scene from Goldfinger is when James Bond ends up being tied to a piece of gold with a laser about to cut it in half:

"I was fortunate in obtaining the sound for the laser beam. I knew exactly the sound I wanted and it was fortunate that the BBC Radiophonic Workshop had been set up to experiment with electronic music. Without their expertise I have no idea how I could have created that sound."

Production notes (Source: MGM / Eon Productions)
• 29 Nov 1963: Sean Connery signed a contract to play James Bond for the third time
• 15 Jan 1964: The crew headed to Miami & shoot at the Fountainbleu Hotel, where Jill Masterson meets her end
• 20 Jan 1964: 2nd unit photography commenced
• 19 Mar 1964: Filming began. The first scene shot was part of the precredits sequence at El Scorpio
• 23 Mar 1964: Guy Hamilton shot the scene in which Bond meets and seduces Jill Masterson
• 31 Mar 1964: Sean Connery and Gert Fröbe completed shooting on the famous ‘laser interrogation’ scene
• 21 Apr 1964: Honor Blackman began filming as Pussy Galore with her scene on Goldfinger’s jet
• 25 May 1964: Sean Connery and Gert Frobe were shooting Bond and Goldfinger’s golf scene at Stoke Poges
• 29 May 1964: Guy Hamilton was shooting the scenes at Goldfinger's stud farm, Auric Stud
• 15 Jun 1964: Shooting was taking place on Goldfinger’s arrival at Fort Knox
• 18 Jun 1964: Guy Hamilton shot Oddjob and Kisch handcuffing Bond to the bomb
• 14 Jul 1964: Night shoots began for filming of the precredits sequence
• 28 Jul 1964: Honor Blackman worked her last day as Pussy Galore, shooting PR shots and recording dialogue
• 17 Sep 1964: GOLDFINGER had its world premiere in London’s Leicester Square
• 25 Dec 1964: The film was released in Hollywood, California

A selection of filming locations for "Goldfinger":
• Andermatt, Uri, Switzerland (James Bond meets Tilly Masterson)
• Southend Airport, Rochford, Essex, England, UK (Goldfinger's Rolls Royce is transported)
• Black Park Country Park, Wexham, Buckinghamshire, England, UK (James Bond driving his Aston Martin DB5 chased by Goldfinger's henchmen)
• Pilatus Aircraft Facility, Stans, Switzerland (Auric Enterprises exteriors)
• D Stage, Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, UK (studio, UK set of the Fontainebleu Hotel pool scene)
• Esso Oil Refinery, Stanwell, Middlesex, England, UK (opening sequence)
• Fontainebleau Hilton Resort, 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida, USA (Swimming Pool shots)
• Furka Road, Furka Pass, Swiss Alps, Switzerland (James Bond driving Aston Martin in Switzerland)
• Harefield Quarry, Harefield, London, England, UK (Mercedes goes over cliff)
• Harris & Main, Muldraugh, Kentucky, USA (Drive to Fort Knox)
• Lexington, Kentucky, USA (airport scene)
Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, UK (studio, interiors for Fort Knox and Auric Enterprises)
• RAF Northolt, Ruislip, London, England, UK (as Blue Grass Airfield, Kentucky/Pussy Galore's flying circus)
• Rhone Glacier, Swiss Alps, Switzerland (James Bond driving Aston Martin in Switzerland)
• Simplon Tunnel, Lepontine Alps, Switzerland (James Bond drives Aston Martin along the alpine roads)
• Stoke Park House, Park Road, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, England, UK (Exterior - Oddjob decapitates statue with hat)
• Stoke Poges Golf Course, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, England, UK (James Bond plays golf with Goldfinger)

Vehicles used during the filming: (Source: BMT 216A: The James Bond Vehicle Library)
• Aston Martin DB5
• Ford Country Squire station wagon
• Ford F-100/F-250 pickup
• Ford Mustang convertible
• Ford Ranchero
• Hiller UH-12E4 (helicopter)
• Lincoln Continental
• Lockheed C-140 Jetstar (aeroplane)
• Mercedes-Benz 180
• Mercedes-Benz 220
• Piper Cherokee PA-28 (aeroplane)
• Rolls Royce Phantom III

Over the years, FSWL has been fortunate to meet, and written articles about some of the cast and crew on Goldfinger, here are some of them:

>Albert R. Broccoli (producer)
>Alf Joint (stuntman)
>Burt Kwouk (actor)
>Caron Gardner (actress)
>Desmond Llewelyn (actor)
>Harold Sakata (actor)
>Harry Saltzman (producer)
>Honor Blackman (actress)
>John Barry (soundtrack composer)
>Ken Adam (production designer)
>Lois Maxwell (actress)
>Margaret Nolan (actress)
>Martin Benson (actor)
>May-Ling (actress)
>Monty Norman (Composer of the James Bond theme)
>Nadja Regin (actress)
>Norman Wanstall (dubbing editor)
>Nosher Powell (stuntman)
>Peter Hunt (editor)
>Richard Maibaum (screenwriter)
>Rocky Taylor (Stuntman)
>Sean Connery (James Bond)
>Shirley Eaton (actress)
>Syd Cain (art director)
>Tania Mallet (actress)
>Terry Richards (stuntman)
>Tricia Muller (actress)

United Artists, Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli present Ian Fleming's James Bond in Goldfinger:

Photo above:
The original Swedish film poster for Goldfinger (1964) from the FSWL collection.

Read more about the film Goldfinger on MGM's official website:



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