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Oddjob (Harold Sakata)

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Oddjob is a henchman to the villain Auric Goldfinger in the James Bond film and novel, Goldfinger. In the film he was played by the Japanese American actor Harold Sakata.

Oddjob is clearly far superior in strength and unarmed combat skills to Bond in both film and novel, and therefore is finally killed by a blend of pure good luck and personal cunning on Bond's part.

The character of Oddjob, from his unusual appearance, manners, strength and method of killing, forms the archetype for many henchmen of the Bond film series, including Tee Hee, Jaws, Gobinda, Stamper, Zao and Mr. Hinx.

Film biography

Oddjob acts as Goldfinger's personal chauffeur, bodyguard, henchman and golf caddy in the film.

Oddjob enters Bond's hotel suite, knocks out James Bond and kills Jill Masterson by covering her in gold paint.

During Golfinger's game of golf with James Bond, Oddjob assists Goldfinger as his caddie as well as helping him cheating. When Bond later tricks Goldfinger, the latter orders Oddjob to give him a demonstration of his strength. Oddjob then uses his steel-rimmed hat to sever the head of a nearby marble statue. When Bond won the golf game, Oddjob crushed a golf ball with his strength.

While Bond and Tilly Masterson sneak around Goldfinger's facility at night, Oddjob used his hat to kill Masterson in the forest, then briefly captures Bond. The agent escaped but is then captured again after a car chase through the compound.

Later, Oddjob kills Mr. Solo after the latter refuses to be a part of Goldfinger's scheme to attack Fort Knox. He then drives the car containing the corpse to a junkyard and presses it into a cube, destroying any evidence.

At the battle at Fort Knox, Goldfinger locks Bond, Oddjob and Kisch in the gold vault with an atomic bomb from China. Kisch tries to disarm the bomb but Oddjob tosses him to his death, ensuring that Goldfinger's plan succeeds.

A brutal fight erupts between the two: Oddjob throws his hat, but Bond ducks and it misses. However, even without the hat Oddjob proves to be incredibly powerful and almost unstoppable: he takes a gold brick to the chest, and it just bounces off him without even irritating him, and he even endures a block of wood to the face twice without a single expression except for a calm smile.
OddjobElectrocuted

Oddjob is electrocuted.

He also uses his superhuman strength as well, throwing Bond about the room several times. Bond and Oddjob fight a deadly battle and Bond eventually gets hold of Oddjob's hat - this is the only time Oddjob shows anything close to fear - and throws it, but Oddjob calmly ducks and it wedges between two bars. Oddjob goes to retrieve it but, when he puts his hand on the steel rim of the hat, Bond grabs a sparking wire severed by the hat earlier on and thrusts the open end onto the bars. The electric current transfers to the bars and then to the metal in the hat's rim, which electrocutes Oddjob.

Video games

Oddjob goldeneye wii

Oddjob in the 2010 Goldeneye videogame.

Testament to the character's popularity, Oddjob has frequently made appearances in James Bond video games as an adversary or a playable multiplayer character. In James Bond: The Duel for the Sega Genesis/Megadrive, Oddjob (or rather, a clone of Oddjob) makes an appearance as a boss character in the villain's volcanic base (Stage 4). As with the film character, he uses his hat as a weapon.

In the Game Boy game James Bond 007, Oddjob appears multiple times as a henchman for the game's main villain, General Golgov. The first time is when Bond encounters Oddjob at his hotel room in Maccarech. The two fight, and Bond is defeated and left stranded in a desert. Later on, Bond trails Oddjob to Tibet, only to be captured. Bond escapes confinement and obtains a shield to protect him from Oddjob's hats, which he uses to deflect back at him. Notably, in this game Oddjob actually speaks.

In GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, Oddjob is a henchman of Goldfinger, and initially a companion of the game's protagonist GoldenEye. He is killed after he betrays and attacks GoldenEye. In the insuing battle he is thrown over a rail into a pit inside the Hoover Dam.          
Oddjob

Oddjob in GoldenEye 007 (Nintendo 64)

Oddjob has also appeared in a number of games as a playable multiplayer character (in the likeness of Harold Sakata). He was notable in GoldenEye (Nintendo N64) for being the shortest playable character (and thus hardest to hit) and became one of the more popular selections by players. This led to the classic "No Oddjob" rule, where the phrase must be spoken before Oddjob is chosen as a character. In the game 007: Nightfire, he can use his hat as a unique throwing weapon that returns after 30 seconds. Oddjob is also a playable multiplayer character in GoldenEye 007, the 2010 remake of 1995's GoldenEye for the Nintendo N64. In the game, he possess 2 hats in place of grenades. Once the hats are thrown Oddjob cannot retrieve them, but if they strike an enemy they are an instant kill.

His latest appearence is in the game is 007 Legends, when James gets a flashback. He appears by throwing his hat at him where he has to escape by jumping on a display plane. After that, he is seen strangling a friend and after that he has to duel him.

Trivia

  • In the film, Oddjob's nationality was not specified, whereas in the book he was explicitly stated as Korean. One part has Goldfinger smoothing over a fracas where Oddjob is angered into fighting after some American military personnel in a bar call him a "bloody Jap", to which Goldfinger says is infuriating to many Koreans in light of the destruction Imperial Japan had taken on Korea during the Second World War. Interestingly, in the film, Oddjob is played by an actor of Japanese heritage, Harold Sakata.

Inspired characters

  • In the Gilligan's Island episode "The Hunter" from 1967 (inspired by the short story "The Most Dangerous Game") the big game hunter Jonathan Kincaid (played by Rory Calhoun) attempts to hunt Gilligan, while ordering his manservant Ramoo, who uses a spear as a weapon, to imprison the remaining captives. Ramoo was played by Harold Sakata, who also played Oddjob.
  • Daredevil once fought a supervillain called Torpedo, who threw a cutting hat just like Oddjob. Daredevil remarked that he didn't expect Torpedo to pull an "oddjob" on him.
  • Spider-Man has fought in a 1979 one-page Hostess advertisement a supervillain called "Demolition Derby" who throws his derby hat that bounces and cuts Spider-Man's webbing.[1]
  • In the show 1988 Count Duckula, the villain called The Egg has a manservant called Oddbeak, who is a parrot made to resemble Oddjob, complete with bowler and suit.
  • The 1989 arcade video game Sly Spy, itself a homage to the James Bond mythos, features a bowler-throwing character as a boss in one of the levels.
  • In the The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! 1989 episode "On Her Majesty's Sewer Service", a parody of the James Bond series, the character Mouser gains an appearance similar to Oddjob, even throwing his bowler derby hat as a weapon in one scene; instead of cutting people though, the bowler derby was shown to simply bludgeon them.
  • The 1990 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had the main villian, Shredder, with a lieutenant named Tatsu, who was Asian and spoke little. Tatsu was namely responsible for training gang members in martial arts, and resorted to dishonest techniques, such as not being able to attack one combatant who blocked all his moves. When the combatant bowed (a traditional way to conclude a sparring match), Tatsu kicked him in the head, remarking "Never lower your eyes to an enemy". Many fans felt Tatsu was inspired by Oddjob.
  • Oddduck - a "F.O.W.L." henchman - from the 1991 Darkwing Duck is a parody of Oddjob.
  • In the Mortal Kombat video game series, since its second installment in 1993, a recurring character named Kung Lao has a similar blade-rimmed hat that can be thrown at opponents.
  • In the 1994 video game Alone in the Dark 2, an undead pirate nicknamed Black Hat has a blade-rimmed hat that he can throw at the protagonist Edward Carnby.
  • In the 1997 film Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Oddjob is parodied by a character called Random Task, who throws his shoe as a weapon.
  • Oddjob's trademark hat-throwing technique can also be seen in yhe 1999 movie Toy Story 2, in which Mr. Potato Head throws his own bowler hat to prevent two doors from closing
  • Another parody is in the 2000 game Fur Fighters, where a hat-throwing bear called Oddfelt appears in the last level.
  • Leonardo Leonardo's publicist Plug is a parody of Oddjob in Clerks: The Animated Series from 2000.
  • Also in one episode of the Warner Bros. 2003 cartoon show Duck Dodgers, Daffy Duck throws a hat to save himself during a mission and later says that he had learned it from someone called "Odd Ball", in which they cut to a scene where Oddjob angrily says "Odd Ball?!!" something that may prove that who Daffy meant is not a parody but the same Oddjob as in the movie/novel.
  • In the 2006 film Stormbreaker, the guard in Sayle Tower throws his hat away as he prepares to kill Alex. He also shares a resemblance with Oddjob.

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See also


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