- James Bond: "Do you expect me to talk?"
- Auric Goldfinger: "No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die."
- ―James Bond and Auric Goldfinger[src]
Auric Goldfinger is a fictional bullion dealer, jeweller and international gold smuggler. The character appeared in EON Productions' 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger, portrayed by German actor Gert Fröbe (voiced by Michael Collins) and was adapted from the literary character who first appeared in Ian Fleming's 1959 novel of the same name. Fröbe's Goldfinger has subsequently appeared in numerous video-games, most notably GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (2004) and 007 Legends (2012).
Arguably the most famous James Bond villain in any film, Goldfinger's obsession is gold. Welcoming any enterprise which will increase his considerable stock, Goldfinger engages in international gold smuggling. Smuggling gold out of Britain, Goldfinger moulds the bodywork of his Rolls Royce in eighteen carat gold, weighing approximately two tons. Making six trips a year to the continent, his men dismantle the vehicle at "Auric Enterprises, A.G" in Switzerland. They reduce the gold in a special furnace, which in turn are turned into gold ingots.
A considerably wealthy man, Auric Goldfinger owned many properties throughout the world. Apart from being a legitimate bullion dealer, Goldfinger poses as a legitimate international jeweller. As such, he was legally entitled to operate modest metallurgical installations such as "Auric Enterprises, A.G", which he utilised in his gold smuggling scheme. An avid golfer who plays with a Slazenger 1 golf ball, Goldfinger owns the golf club where he and 007 play a high-stakes game. He is defeated by Bond, however, when he is tricked by Bond after attempting to cheat. Goldfinger also owned a farm in Kentucky that was used for horse breeding called "Auric Stud".
At first, Bond thinks that Goldfinger was planning to steal the gold, but after having a drink with Goldfinger (who said that he had no intention in stealing the gold), Bond soon learn that Goldfinger actually intends to destroy Fort Knox with an atomic bomb made from China (on behalf of Mr. Ling, Goldfinger's nuclear specialist from China), which would render the gold useless and validate Goldfinger's value of gold, thus making him the richest man in the world. To ensure that his plan would be successful, Goldfinger plans to have his fellow band of female pilots to spray nerve gas around the vicinity that would kill thousands of citizens, which will allow him and his forces to enter Fort Knox without resistance. He also decides to bring Bond along (as he plans to have him handcuffed to the bomb to finalize his plan).However, before the plot went into effect, Bond convinced Goldfinger's personal pilot Pussy Galore to help him thwart Goldfinger's plans. To that end, she sercretly called Washington and switched the nerve gas to a more harmless one that would send citizens into a temporary sleep. At Fort Knox, Goldfinger has Bond strapped to the bomb and bids him farewell before learning out in horror that several U.S. soldiers have arrived to the scene. Posing as a U.S. army officer, Goldfinger betrays Mr. Ling by shooting him and Oddjob and Kisch by trapping them inside the vault with the bomb. Goldinger manages to escape after shooting down several U.S. soldiers while Oddjob stays behind to ensure that Goldfinger's plan must succeed, even at the cost of his life and killing Kisch to ensure that no one disarms the bomb.Though Bond manages to finish off Oddjob by electrocuting him, he has trouble trying to disarm the bomb. After the U.S. soldiers manages to finish the rest of Goldfinger's men, they get in their bomb expert to successfully disarm the bomb for good, thus foiling Goldfinger's plot. After the battle is won, Bond is sent to Washington in a private jet to meet the president, only to find out that Goldfinger has boarded the plane earlier, left the tied-up pilots in the hangar and had Miss Galore pilot the jet. Goldfinger plans to finish off both Bond and Galore for ruining his plans, but during a moment of carelessness, Goldfinger is attacked by Bond and the two fight in the airplane. During the fight, Goldfinger accidentally shoots a window of the cabin and is sucked out of the plane before falling to his death.
Auric Goldfinger was brought back to life in the 2004 Electronic Arts video game GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. In the game Goldfinger recruits the player character, a former secret agent ousted by MI6. Goldfinger is also an ally of Francisco Scaramanga, the villain of The Man with the Golden Gun. In this game, Goldfinger's scientists develop what is considered to be the deadliest weapon known to mankind: the OMEN (Organic Mass Energy Neutralizer), and plans to use it against his rival, Dr. Julius No. He is eventually killed when GoldenEye and Scaramanga discover his betrayal and use the OMEN against him.
The character also appeared in the 2012 video game 007 Legends, with the likeness of Gert Fröbe and voiced by Timothy Watson (who also provides the voice of Daniel Craig's Bond).
Henchmen & Associates
Behind the scenes
His first name, Auric, is an adjective meaning of gold. Ian Fleming chose the name to commemorate the architect Erno Goldfinger who had built his home in Hampstead next door to Fleming; Fleming disliked Goldfinger's style of architecture and destruction of Victorian terraces and decided to name a memorable villain after him. The architect was not pleased to find the character sharing his name and contacted his lawyers; he eventually settled for, among other things, the promise that the character's first name Auric would always be used.
Auric Goldfinger was played by Gert Fröbe. Consequently, Goldfinger was banned in Israel after it was revealed that Fröbe was a member of the Nazi party. The ban, however, was lifted many years later when a Jewish family publicly thanked Fröbe for protecting them from persecution during World War II. Gert Fröbe, who did not speak English, was dubbed by Michael Collins, an English actor. Of his role as Goldfinger, Fröbe later remarked: "I am a big man, and I have a laugh to match my size. The ridiculous thing is that since I played Goldfinger in the James Bond film there are some people who still insist on seeing me as a cold, ruthless villain - a man without laughs."
- "No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die."
- ― Goldfinger's iconic response to Bond's "Do you expect me to talk?"
- Goldfinger is one of the most iconic Bond villains in history - due in part to the legendary "Goldfinger" theme, which has been considered by many as one of the best themes to any Bond film.
- Originally, the main villain in Diamonds Are Forever was supposed to be Goldfinger's twin brother, but Fröbe refused to play him, so he was replaced by Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
- In the film Goldfinger's automobile has the license plate "AU 1". Au is the symbol on the periodic table for the element gold, named after the Latin word Aurum, which means Gold. This also partially explains why Goldfinger's first name is Auric.
- The voice of Goldfinger was dubbed due to Gert Fröbe's heavy German accent.
- In 2003, the American Film Institute declared Auric Goldfinger the 49th greatest villain in in the past 100 years of film.
- Goldfinger has some of the most known Henchmen, such as Oddjob and Pussy Galore.
- He is the first independent main Bond villain in the film, though his book counterpart is the treasurer of S.M.E.R.S.H..
- He is also the only independent main villain to appear before SPECTRE's fall in Diamonds Are Forever.
- Goldfinger was initially banned in Israel due to Gert Fröbe's past affiliation with the Nazi Party. However, Fröbe had left the party before World War II, and the ban was lifted several years later after it came to light that he had helped two Jews by letting them hide in his basement during the war.
- He is the inspiration of the villain Goldmember in the third Austin Powers film.