Study Guide

Goldfinger 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.

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