Goldfinger is the third film in the James Bond series and also the third to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Released in 1964, it is based on the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. Goldfinger was the first of four Bond films directed by Guy Hamilton.
Many of the elements introduced in the film appeared in many of the later James Bond films, such as the extensive use of technology and "gadgets" by Bond and an extensive pre-credits sequence that was not a major part of the main storyline. Goldfinger was the first Bond film to win an Academy Award and opened to largely favourable critical reception. The film was a financial success, recouping its budget in just two weeks and is hailed as the series' quintessential episode, still being acclaimed as one of the best films in the entire Bond canon.
After destroying a drug laboratory in Latin America, Secret Agent 007 James Bond goes to Miami Beach. There he receives instructions from his superior, M, via CIA agent Felix Leiter to observe bullion dealer Auric Goldfinger, who is staying at the same hotel as Bond. The agent sees Goldfinger cheating at gin rummy and stops him by distracting his employee, Jill Masterson, and blackmailing Goldfinger into losing. Bond and Jill consummate their new relationship; however, Bond is subsequently knocked out by Goldfinger's Korean manservant Oddjob, who then covers Jill in gold paint, killing her by 'epidermal suffocation'.
In London, Bond learns that his true mission is determining how Goldfinger smuggles gold internationally. Bond arranges to meet Goldfinger socially and wins a high-stakes golf game against him with a recovered Nazi gold bar at stake. Bond follows him to Switzerland, where Jill Masterson's sister Tilly attempts to kill Goldfinger by sniper fire out of revenge.
Bond sneaks into Goldfinger's plant and discovers that he smuggles the gold by melting it down and incorporating it into the bodywork of his car, which he takes with him whenever he travels. Bond also overhears him talking to a Red Chinese agent named Mr. Ling about "Operation Grand Slam". Leaving, Bond encounters Tilly as she tries to kill Goldfinger again, but trip an alarm in the process; Oddjob kills Tilly with his hat. Bond is captured and Goldfinger ties Bond to a table underneath a laser, which begins to slice the table in half. Bond lies to Goldfinger that MI6 knows about Grand Slam, causing Goldfinger to spare Bond's life to mislead MI6 into believing that Bond has things in hand.
Bond is transported by Goldfinger's private jet, which is flown by his personal pilot, Pussy Galore, to his stud farm near Fort Knox, Kentucky. Bond escapes and witnesses Goldfinger's meeting with U.S. mafiosi, who have brought the materials he needs for Operation Grand Slam. Whilst they are each promised $1 million, Goldfinger tempts them that they "could have the million today, or ten million tomorrow". They listen to Goldfinger's plan to rob Fort Knox before Goldfinger kills them all using some of the "Delta 9" nerve gas he plans to release over Fort Knox.
Bond is recaptured while eavesdropping and tells Goldfinger the reasons why such a plan won't work. Goldfinger says he doesn't intend to steal the gold but to insert an atomic device containing cobalt and iodine, which would supposedly render the gold useless for 58 years. This will increase the value of Goldfinger's own gold and give the Chinese an advantage from the potential economic chaos.
Operation Grand Slam begins with Pussy Galore's Flying Circus spraying the gas over Fort Knox. However, Bond had seduced Galore, convincing her to replace the nerve gas with a harmless substance and alert the U.S. government about Goldfinger's plan. The military personnel of Fort Knox convincingly play dead until they are certain that they can prevent the criminals from escaping the base with the bomb.
Believing the military forces to be neutralised, Goldfinger's private army break into Fort Knox and access the vault itself as he arrives in a helicopter with the atomic device. In the vault, Oddjob handcuffs Bond to the device. The U.S. troops attack; Goldfinger takes off his coat, revealing a colonel's uniform, and kills Mr. Ling and the troops seeking to open the vault, before escaping himself.
Bond extricates himself from the handcuffs, but Oddjob attacks him before he can disarm the bomb. They fight and Bond manages to electrocute Oddjob. Bond forces the lock of the bomb, but is unable to disarm it. An atomic specialist who accompanied Leiter turns off the device with the clock stopped on "0:07".
With Fort Knox safe, Bond is invited to the White House for a meeting with the President. However, Goldfinger has hijacked the plane carrying Bond. In a struggle for Goldfinger's revolver, Bond shoots out a window, creating an explosive decompression. Goldfinger is blown out of the cabin through the window. With the plane out of control Bond rescues Galore and they parachute safely from the aircraft.