Study Guide

Goldfinger Quotes

  • Manipulation

    BOND: Might have known M wouldn't book me into the best hotel in Miami Beach out of pure gratitude.

    Although this incident is played off as a joke, Bond himself is manipulated by his own employer. His vacation time is a ruse to put him in Goldfinger's path, and to get him back to work ASAP.

    GOLDFINGER: Could I have my usual seat?

    […]

    FELIX: Goldfinger's a fabulous card player.

    Is Felix being sarcastic here? Goldfinger is clearly cheating by making sure his opponent sits in the same place every day—a spot where he can easily be spied on by Jill, who relays the contents of his hand to Goldfinger.

    BOND: Now hear this, Goldfinger. Your luck has just changed. […] Now start losing, Goldfinger.

    Turnabout is fair play, and Bond manipulates Goldfinger into losing for a change. He punishes Goldfinger by hitting him not just in his wallet, but also in his ego.

    GOLDFINGER: This meeting is not a coincidence, eh? What's your game, Mr. Bond?

    Bond later insinuates himself into Goldfinger's inner circle by playing a round of golf with him. Amazingly, Bond doesn't even assume a disguise or secret identity. He plays golf as Bond, James Bond. Is that smart, or is it just careless?

    GOLDFINGER: You are worth more to me alive.

    It doesn't take much to trick Goldfinger. Bond is able to convince Goldfinger that he knows about his plan, Operation Grand Slam, simply by revealing its name. It's like telling Apple you know all about the iPhone17 simply by saying the word "iPhone17."

    BOND: I apologize, Goldfinger. It's an inspired deal. They get what they want -- economic chaos in the West. And the value of your gold increases many times.

    GOLDFINGER: I conservatively estimate...ten times.

    BOND: Brilliant.

    One of the big reveals of the film is that Goldfinger doesn't plan to rob Fort Knox; he plans to blow it up, thereby destroying the U.S. Gold Reserves. We admit, it is a brilliant plan. And it's also a brilliant idea on the part of the screenwriters, who change the plot from Fleming's novel, where Goldfinger's plan actually is just to rob Fort Knox. How on earth would he carry all that gold? (Source)

  • Greed

    BOND: At least he won't be using heroin-flavored bananas to finance revolutions.

    We're not sure whose bananas Bond blows up in the opening—did Donkey Kong turn to a life of crime?—but they belonged to someone like Goldfinger, a person who turns to crime for financial gain.

    BOND: Tell me, Jill—Why does he do it?

    JILL: He likes to win.

    BOND: Why do you do it?

    JILL: He pays me.

    Everybody needs a job, we know. And sometimes you have to do things you don't want to for work. But Goldfinger must pay big bucks: Jill could make millions as a model, yet she helps a sleazy man swindle money from unsuspecting gamblers. Do you have sympathy for Jill, or do you think she's a criminal just like Goldfinger is?

    COL. SMITHERS: We here at the Bank of England are the official depository for gold bullion, just as Fort Knox, Kentucky, is for the United States. We know, of course, the amounts we each hold and the amounts deposited in other banks, and we can estimate what is being held for industrial purposes. This enables the two governments to establish, respectively, the true value of the dollar and the pound. Consequently, we are vitally concerned with unauthorized leakages. […] Gold, gentlemen, which can be melted down and recast, is all but untraceable, which makes it, unlike diamonds, ideal for smuggling, attracting the biggest and most ingenious criminals. […] If your department can establish that it is done illegally, then the bank can institute proceedings to recover the bulk of his holdings.

    This huge speech foreshadows one of Goldfinger's M.O.s—he melts down his own golden car in order to smuggle gold across borders. But this detail also misdirects us, making us think that Goldfinger's plan is small in scope, when it turns out to be much bigger—and greedier—than we could ever imagine.

    GOLDFINGER: This is gold, Mr. Bond. All my life, I've been in love with its color, its brilliance, its divine heaviness. I welcome any enterprise that will increase my stock, which is considerable.

    Goldfinger's little ode to gold shows us where his priorities lie. Why couldn't his parents have named him Charityfinger or something similar instead? Although, hmm, that does sound like a bad Bond girl name.

    GOLDFINGER: Gentlemen, you can have the million today. Or ten million tomorrow.

    Goldfinger preys on the American gangsters' greed, convincing them to stay in his lair with the promise of more money…then killing them, ensuring he doesn't have to pay out a single nickel.

  • Lust

    BOND: I'll be on it, but first I have some unfinished business to attend to.

    This is one of those double-entendres Bond is known for. His "business" has nothing to do with MI6. Maybe the captions should read "bizness" instead?

    BOND: Is that all he pays you for?

    JILL: And for being seen with him.

    BOND: Just seen?

    JILL: Just seen.

    BOND: I'm so glad. You're much too nice to be mixed up in anything like this, don't you know?

    Bond explores the virgin-whore complex with Jill (and later with Pussy), showing us that he lusts after women who are sexy but also "innocent," which is what he means when calls Jill "too nice." Jill is later killed, almost as punishment for having sex, as if this were a horror movie or something.

    BOND: I can't. Something big's come up.

    Here is another classic Bond double-entendre—and it shows that he isn't modest or humble, either.

    M: You were supposed to observe Mr. Goldfinger. Not borrow his girlfriend.

    M chastises Bond for getting, ahem, distracted from the mission at hand. Here is a case where Bond's lustful nature gets him into more trouble than necessary—although in this case, things are definitely worse for Jill than they are for Bond. At least Bond gets to live.

    M: Don't charge in on him and spoil anything, will you? He's evidently well on top at the moment.

    We're losing count of how many sex jokes there are in this movie. Those randy British…

    BOND: You're a woman of many parts, Pussy.

    Umm. Now we're not even sure if what Bond's saying is meant to be a sexual innuendo or not. All the words that come out of Bond's mouth when he's in the company of a beautiful woman sound like innuendos. Especially when they have names like, um, Miss Galore.

    PUSSY: Good. You'll get your final briefing tonight.

    Maybe one reason Bond is attracted to Pussy is that she's just as adept at sexual innuendos as he is.

    BOND: What would it take for you to see things my way?

    PUSSY: A lot more than you've got.

    BOND: How do you know?

    PUSSY: I don't want to know.

    BOND: Isn't it customary to grant a condemned man his last request?

    Bond is pushy, isn't he? Is it romantic that he keeps pursuing Pussy in the barn, or does he overstep his bounds and intrude upon her personal space?

  • Violence

    BOND: She died of skin suffocation. It's been known to happen to cabaret dancers. It's all right as long as you leave a small bare patch at the base of the spine to allow the skin to breathe.

    This is a ridiculous—and impossible—way to die, but Bond films have never been about realism, not even in their violence. The violence sensational, and the shot of dead Jill Masterson creepily combines sex and violence into one tawdry image.

    TILLY: I want him dead! He killed my sister!

    Tilly sets off for revenge against Goldfinger after Jill dies. Do you think she plans to paint him gold, too? He's already bronze from all that self-tanner.

    BOND: Do you expect me to talk?

    GOLDFINGER: No, Mr. Bond! I expect you to die!

    This is one of the classic lines from Goldfinger, and it perfectly sets the stage for the iconic and suspenseful torture scene. The threat of violence against Bond is just as exciting as the action scenes in which Bond is doling out the punishment.

    BOND: If you fire at this close range, the bullet will pass through me and the fuselage, like a blowtorch through butter. The cabin will depressurize and we'll both be sucked into outer space together.

    Bond says this to Pussy, but perhaps Goldfinger should have listened to the lecture. Here, Bond foreshadows the absurdly comical—but pretty frightening if you're in Goldfinger's golden shoes—way that Goldfinger will die at the end of the movie.

    BOND: You'll kill 60,000 people uselessly.

    GOLDFINGER: Ha! American motorists kill that many every two years.

    Goldfinger looks pretty callous making a joke about the deaths of American soldiers—and he is—but Bond also makes jokes about individuals' deaths, joking about the villain at the beginning, Oddjob, and Goldfinger himself, just to name a few. So maybe he's in no place to judge Mr. 'Finger for his tasteless humor?

  • Technology and Modernization

    Q: And incidentally we'd appreciate its return, along with your all other equipment…intact, for once, when you return from the field.

    Q, the master of gadgetry, is introduced officially in Goldfinger. And he treats Bond like a child who is way too rough with his toys. Considering Bond completely wrecks everything by the end of the movie, Q's attitude is spot on.

    GOLDFINGER: Smuggling is an art, Mr. Ling. And art requires…In this case, the bodywork of my Rolls Royce is 18-carat gold. We dismantle it here. Reduce the gold in this special furnace to ingots, which in turn will be released on the board and weigh approximately two tons. I make six trips a year to Europe in the Rolls Royce, Mr. Ling.

    Goldfinger has an ingenious method of gold smuggling: he has a car made of gold that he melts down once it crosses international borders. On the other hand, it's probably bad for gas mileage.

    GOLDFINGER: You are looking at an industrial laser, which emits an extraordinary light, not to be found in nature. It can project a spot on the moon. Or at closer range, cut through solid metal. I will show you.

    If you ever need to put a dot on the moon, Goldfinger is your guy. Even the coolest technology can have some useless applications, like this app that makes your smartphone look like an electric shaver.

    GOLDFINGER: Man has climbed Mount Everest. Gone to the bottom of the ocean. He has fired rockets to the moon. Split the atom. Achieved miracles in every field of human endeavor... except crime!

    All good businessmen are able to find their niche. Goldfinger's is using technology to commit crime. Who would have predicted that Facebook would do it forty years later, committing grand theft on all our free time?

    GOLDFINGER: An invisible nerve gas which disperses 15 minutes after inducing complete unconsciousness for 24 hours.

    Either Goldfinger doesn't understand that this gas kills people, or he's not revealing that he knows it's deadly in order to keep Bond from becoming too concerned. Bond needs to team up with Erin Brockovich to get to the bottom of this one.