- "Mr Bond, they have a saying in Chicago: "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action." Miami, Sandwich and now Geneva. I propose to wring the truth out of you."
- ― Auric Goldfinger
Auric Goldfinger is a fictional character and the main antagonist in the James Bond film and novel Goldfinger. His first name, Auric, is an adjective meaning of gold. He was portrayed by Gert Fröbe, whose voice was dubbed by Michael Collins.
When Goldfinger first meets James Bond in Miami, he claims that he is agoraphobic; a ploy to allow him to cheat a previous acquaintance of Bond's at a game of two-handed Canasta. Bond figures out how Goldfinger is managing this cheating and blackmails him by forcing him to admit his deception. Goldfinger is also an avid golfer, but is known at his club for being a smooth cheater. When Bond contrives to play a match with Goldfinger, he again cheats the cheater by switching Goldfinger's Dunlop One with a Dunlop Seven he had found while playing.
Goldfinger is the owner of "Enterprises Auric A.G." in Switzerland, maker of metal furniture, which is bought by many airlines including Air India. A few times during the year, Goldfinger drives his Rolls Royce "Silver Ghost" car from England to Enterprises Auric. Bond learns that Goldfinger makes repeated dead drops of gold bars along the way and that his car's bodywork is 18 carat (75%), solid white gold under the ploy that the added weight is armor plating. Once at Enterprises Auric, his car is stripped down, melted and made into furniture (seating) for an airline company that Enterprises Auric is heavily invested in. The plane(s) are then flown to India where the seats are melted down again into gold bars and sold for a much higher premium rate; 100 to 200% profit.
Operation Grand Slam
Operation Grand Slam is Goldfinger's codename for his scheme that involves "knocking off" the U.S. bullion depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Through the use of a chemical created by the Germans during World War II, Goldfinger plans to poison the water supply at Fort Knox, thus rendering everyone on the base (60,000) dead. From there Goldfinger would use an atomic bomb he had purchased for one million USD to blow open Fort Knox's impregnable vault. With the help of American gangsters, Goldfinger would then remove roughly 15 billion dollars in gold bullion and escape.
James Bond foils Goldfinger's plan by getting word to Felix Leiter of the impending operation. With the help of The Pentagon, Leiter was able to stop Goldfinger, and foil the operation. But Goldfinger escapes. Goldfinger met his end while trying to escape to the Soviet Union. After taking the plane Bond was on for himself and intending to escape the authorities, Bond escapes. After the spy kills Oddjob, Goldfinger appears and a violent struggle ensues. James Bond eventually strangles the man.
Henchmen & Associates
In addition to Henchmen, Goldfinger enlisted the help of several American gangsters. All of the gangsters that participated in Operation Grand Slam were subsequently shot when the operation failed, but Goldfinger enlisted Pussy Galore's help in exacting his revenge on Bond, which ultimately failed. Mr. Springer backed out of the deal and did not participate in Goldfinger's Operation Grand Slam. Moments later, Mr. Springer had an "accident", falling down the staircase as he was leaving. In fact, he was killed by Oddjob.
- Helmut M. Springer — The Purple Gange (Detroit)
- Jed Midnight — Shadow Syndicate (Miami, Havana)
- Billy (The Grinner) Ring — The Machine (Chicago)
- Jack Strap — The Spangled Mob (Las Vegas); see Diamonds Are Forever
- Mr. Solo — Unione Siciliano (New York)
- Miss Pussy Galore — The Cement Mixers (Harlem, New York City)
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.
- "I have been in love with gold. I love its colour, its brilliance, its divine heaviness. I love the texture of gold, that soft sliminess that I have learnt to gauge so accurately by touch that I can estimate the fineness of a bar to within one carat. And I love the warm tang it exudes when I melt it down into a true golden syrup. But, above all, Mr Bond, I love the power that gold alone gives to its owner – the magic of controlling energy, exacting labour, fulfilling one’s every wish and whim and, when need be, purchasing bodies, minds, even souls."
- ― Goldfinger discusses his lust for Gold with Bond.