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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Goldfinger (Special Edition)
Goldfinger (Special Edition)
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Review by Chris Hughes | posted January 4, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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Features: Widescreen anamorphic (1.78:1), English and French Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, 'Making Of' booklet, Behind-the scenes still gallery, Original publicity featurette, Documentaries: 'The Making of Goldfinger' and 'The Goldfinger Phenomenon', Original Radio Interviews With Sean Connery, Theatrical trailer(s), TV spot(s), Commentary by the cast and crew, Commentary by director Guy Hamilton

The Movie:
Goldfinger is third the film in the ongoing Bond series and is considered by many to be the one that established 007 as a modern cultural icon. This tightly directed thriller is fast paced, fun and packed to the gills with fabulous sets, fantastic gadgets and suave repartee. Gert Frobe as Auric Goldfinger is the prototypical Bond villain complete with the requisite over-the-top scheme, which he illustrates by means of a marvelous AV display that includes a console concealing pool table, a retractable floor revealing a scale model of Fort Knox and more. Honor Blackman (of Avengers fame) is Pussy Galore, the film's female lead. Hardly the typical Bond Girl, Pussy is 007's match in wit, intelligence and physical prowess. Of course I don't need to tell you that the two end up together by the conclusion of the film.

The Picture:
MGM created a new widescreen transfer for their special edition of Goldfinger and the film has simply never looked better. Colors are rich but not over saturated, shadow detail and black levels are strong if a little soft and the film exhibits a minimum amount of scratches and pinholes.

The Sound:
Goldfinger's Dolby Digital 2.0 audio mix (available in both English and dubbed French) is about what you'd expect from a movie made in 1964. The track is clean and free of hiss, plays with little noticeable distortion and presents dialogue clearly throughout. It is, however, a little 'hot' so you may have to bring your volume down a couple of notches from its normal setting.

The Extras:
The exemplary picture and sound alone would have made this disc worth while but MGM wasn't content to stop there. By compiling a stunning range of ancillary content they've made Goldfinger the very definition of Special Edition. First there's a collection of original publicity materials including several TV and Radio spots, a boilerplate audio 'interview' with Sean Connery, the theatrical trailer and a contemporary making-of documentary. Next there are two new documentaries (running about 30 minutes each) that include interviews with the principal cast and crew, who share their recollections about almost every aspect of the film. Goldfinger has two audio commentary tracks, one with director Guy Hamilton and the other with members of the cast and crew. These audio tracks are very well done, entertaining and informative though they do cover some of the same ground as the three documentaries. Finally there is an extensive archive of production stills, behind the scene images and publicity materials. The collection is so large that its index ranges across two separate screens. We particularly enjoyed browsing pictures of various Corgy toy versions of the Aston Martin DB-5.

Conclusion:
Whether you're Connery crazed or a Moore maniac, a casual Bond observer or just enjoy the occasional action film, Goldfinger should be a welcome addition to your collection. The movie presents 007 at the top of his form pitted against memorable adversaries and strikingly strong willed women. MGM's DVD leaves no stone unturned when it comes to extra content and once you've gone through it all you'll be a virtual Goldfinger expert. There's so much on this disc that you can return to it time and again and always find something new to enjoy.
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