Goldfinger: from typewriter to screen part II

We continue our look at the development of the screenplay for Goldfinger as documented in the 1998 book Adrian Turner on Goldfinger.

May 20, 1963: Screenwriter Richard Maibuam delivers a 54-page outline to producers Albert R. Broccoli and Saltzman. The writer also provides a letter to the Eon Production Ltd. chiefs saying it had been “a tough nut to crack” and that certain details of Ian Fleming’s novel wouldn’t hold up to scruntiny.

According to Turner, Maibuam’s treatment has the pre-credits sequence delivered as a flashback, with Bond describing an adventure in South America to his CIA ally Felix Leiter at the airport in Miami. Turner’s description: “The first treatment is little more than a boiling down of the novel to its essential components.”

July 8, 1963: Maibuam sends the producers a second treatment. An Aston Martin had been included in the first treatment but it has been replaced by a Bentley, Turner writes. Toward the end of the laser segment, Goldfinger asks Bond if he can drive a tank. When the answer is yes, Goldfinger offers him a job and $1 million.

Sometime later: Maibaum delivers a first draft screenplay. According to Turner, there is no Q/Major Boothroyd, with a Mr. Brackett showing Bond the new gadgets for 007’s Bentley. Bond and Tilly Master Masterson share a bed at a Swiss inn before she gets killed by Oddjob (in the first treatment she survives until the raid on Fort Knox, as in Fleming’s novel). Pussy Galore’s role expands and, for the first time, she emerges as Goldfinger’s personal pilot.

In this draft, at the end, Oddjob is sucked out of Goldfinger’s plane (as in the novel). Later, Bond strangles Goldfinger (again in line with the novel).

Things would soon change.


(Adrian Turner on Goldfinger, pages 190-196)