- 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 is the titular main antagonist of EON Productions' 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger. Portrayed by the late German actor Gert Fröbe (voiced by Michael Collins), he was adapted from the literary character who first appeared in Ian Fleming's 1959 novel. 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.
In a continuity separate from any established canon, Auric Goldfinger was a criminal in an unnamed organization run by Ernst Stavro Blofeld. At some point the Secret Intelligence Service became aware of him, and began to use him in their training scenarios as the mastermind behind a scheme to destroy the global economy by irradiating the gold at Fort Knox. At some point, he extended an offer to join his services to an unnamed SIS agent. After a failed attempt at revenge on Goldfinger's coincidental rival Dr. Julius No, Goldfinger enlisted the agent, now christened GoldenEye, to secure the OMEN (Organic Mass Energy Neutralizer) device that Goldfinger's scientists had created at The Octopus, where he was met by No's forces, attempting to steal the device. Goldfinger planned to use The OMEN against Dr. No. He was eventually killed when GoldenEye and Scaramanga discovered his betrayal and used the OMEN against him.
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.
Orson Welles was considered as Goldfinger, but his financial demands were too high; Theodore Bikel auditioned for the role, but failed. Fröbe was cast because the producers saw his performance as a child molester in the German film Es geschah am hellichten Tag.} Fröbe, who spoke little English, said his lines phonetically, but was too slow. To redub him, he had to double the speed of his performance to get the right tempo. The only time his real voice is heard is during his meeting with members of the Mafia at Auric Stud. Bond is hidden below the model of Fort Knox whilst Fröbe's natural voice can be heard above. However, he was redubbed for the rest of the film by stage actor Michael Collins.
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." Goldfinger was temporarily banned in Israel because of Gert Fröbe's connections with 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.
- Auric 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.
- Goldfinger is the first main villain to appear that isn't affiliated with SPECTRE, and the only one to appear before Blofeld's defeat in Diamonds Are Forever.
- 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.
- ↑ Bray, Christopher (2010). Sean Connery; The Measure of a Man. London: Faber and Faber, p.104. ISBN 978-0-571-23807-1.
- ↑ (1998) The Essential Bond. London: Boxtree Ltd, p.37. ISBN 978-0-7522-2477-0.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 (2000). Behind the Scenes with 'Goldfinger' [DVD]. MGM/UA Home Entertainment Inc.
- ↑ "Bond: The Legend: 1962–2002", Empire, pp. 7–9.
- ↑ Battersby, Matilda (2nd January 2013). 'No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die': Showdown between Goldfinger and Sean Connery voted greatest James Bond moment (English). The Independent.
- ↑ Lee Pffeifer. Goldfinger audio commentary. Goldfinger Ultimate Edition, Disk 1: MGM Home Entertainment.