The Making of the Goldfinger Title Sequence
Robert Brownjohn Crafts an Idea
Brownjohn loaded a set of slides into a projector, darkened the lights, removed his shirt, and stepped in front of the projector’s beam. As the slide images and text reflected onto his stomach, he danced, saying, “It’ll be just like this, except we’ll use a pretty girl!” Broccoli and Saltzman saw the potential, and Brownjohn was given free rein.
Margaret Nolan: The Golden Girl
Superimposed over the curvaceous body of actress Margaret Nolan, dressed in a gold leather bikini, the Goldfinger title sequence features images foreshadowing the plot and clips from the previous two Bond films, Dr. No and From Russia With Love. The visually distorted sequence was fresh and enthralling and appealed to the producers. Nolan, who portrayed Dink, Bond’s masseuse at the Fountainbleau Hotel in Miami Beach, also modelled for the film’s poster art and soundtrack cover.
Nolan was painted gold, resulting in glossy, naughty images that combine a conceptual simplicity with the film’s recurring gold theme, a design aspect conceived by art director Peter Murton and production designer Ken Adam. The glittery images shimmer across Nolan, from her hand, face and mouth to shoulders, chest, arms, and legs. Gold motifs pervade every scene throughout the sequence and film, paralleling the symbolic treatment of gold in Ian Fleming’s 1959 novel Goldfinger, loosely adapted from the film’s storyline.
The title sequence serves as a tightly-paced introduction to the film’s memorable cast of characters, with images of the title villain Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe), James Bond (Sean Connery), Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman), Bond girl Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton), and Goldfinger’s hitman Oddjob (Harold Sakata) flickering seductively off of Nolan’s body.
The projected images develop new meanings when feminine contours act as a secondary landscape. A golf ball traces a trajectory into Nolan’s cleavage for the proverbial hole in one, Nolan’s knees turn into hills a miniature Bond must navigate across and Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 makes its first appearance with its revolving license plates masking Nolan’s mouth. Neon signs, lights, explosions, and fires flash over and around the actress, their inspiration drawn from pop art, modernism and nightlife.
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