Countdown to Goldfinger’s 45th anniversary part II

The 45th anniversary of Goldfinger’s world premier is next month. With that in mind, here’s a list of 10 major decisions that helped shape the movie.

1. Selecting Goldfinger as the third Ian Fleming novel in the series to be filmed. Producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman weren’t going by the order the novels appeared. So they could have chosen from the likes of Diamonds Are Forever or Live And Let Die. But they didn’t.

2. Dumping the buzz saw of the novel in favor of a laser beam to menace Bond. This was one of screenwriter Richard Maibaum’s first recommendations to the producers.

3. Casting Gert Frobe, despite his inability to speak English, to play the title role. Theodore Bikel had been screen tested and writer Maibaum had recommended Victor Buono.

4. The decision to hire Paul Dehn to rewrite the early drafts by Maibuam.

5. Cutting the Bond-Goldfinger golf game to two holes. Ian Fleming’s novel described all 18 holes of the match. The film tells us it’s all even with two holes to go and we then see the two opponents try to outcheat each other. This move is one reason why Fleming’s longest novel was turned into the shortest 007 movie until 2008’s Quantum of Solace.

6. The decision to recast the role of Felix Leiter. Jack Lord, who created the film Leither in Dr. No, wanted equal billing with Sean Connery. Broccoli and Saltzman weren’t going to go for that. For better or worse, a tradition was started that would last until 1989 of a different actor playing Leiter each time.

7. Broccoli wanting the film to take the audience inside Fort Knox. The initial drafts mirrored Fleming’s novel and never made it inside the gold-storage facility. This decision enabled Ken Adam to create yet another spectacular set.

8. The decision to let composer John Barry collaborate on the title song. Barry had composed the background music for From Russia With Love but Lionel Bart did the title song.

9. The decision to keep the character name Pussy Galore. There had been talk of changing it to Kitty Galore. Somehow, it just wouldn’t have been the same.

10. The decision to have a tight production schedule. John Barry has quoted Saltzman as saying if the producers had had more time, they’d have scrapped the now-famous Goldfinger title song in favor of something else. In this instance, less time meant more.

Countdown to Goldfinger’s 45th anniversary part I

Whether you like the movie or not, Goldfinger in 1964 was the first mega-007 hit. There may be better Bond movies (From Russia With Love and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service come to mind), but Goldfinger made James Bond a cinema super star.

Next month is the 45th anniversary of the film’s world premier. In honor of that upcoming anniversary, we begin with a 1970s rendition of the title song by Shirley Bassey. Clips of this performance were used in a 2006 U.K. TV special that named Goldfinger the most popular 007 song. Here’s the entire clip: