Study Guide

Goldfinger Violence

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Spies have to get their hands dirty. And we don't mean in the kitchen making triple-berry pie for their enemies. Unless that pie is filled with poison.

Agent 007 has a license to kill, and he is not afraid to stand his ground. Bond kills nine people in Goldfinger, and when added to the 68 other deaths in the film, that puts the kill count at 77, making it one of the top-five most violent Bond films. All this violence makes us think of a classic philosophical riddle—if a secret agent shoots someone in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, is he a secret agent at all?

Questions About Violence

  1. What is Bond's attitude toward killing? Does he ever regret killing someone?
  2. What are Bond's favored methods to kill people? Are there any ways he kills someone that surprise you? Why?
  3. Which deaths upset Bond, and why do they bother him?

Chew on This

When Bond can't overpower villains with pure strength (or firepower), he must outwit them and come up with clever ways to kill them, like when electrocutes Oddjob in the climactic showdown.

Bond often makes a joke after killing someone, a way to both cope with violence and—more likely—to make the violence seem cartoonish and fun for the audience.

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