With 1964's Goldfinger, the third James Bond story to reach the screen, the "Bond formula" had reached maturity. Screenwriter Richard Maibaum, a participant in the scripting of the previous two movies, Dr. No and From Russia with Love, had identified those elements of the series that audiences liked. So, for this film, his storyline (adapted loosely from Ian Fleming's 1959 novel) enhanced the action sequences, added more beautiful women, gave 007 an Aston Martin loaded with neat gadgets, and offered actor Sean Connery more opportunities to deliver one-liners and act suave. .
One of the last Bond films to clock in at under two hours, Goldfinger is tightly-paced and economical in its usage of extraneous material. The character development of From Russia with Love is replaced by a greater attention to action. There are several memorable fight sequences (including a climactic struggle between 007 and Goldfinger's nasty henchman, Oddjob) and a lengthy car chase that has Bond's Aston Martin trailing smoke screens and oil slicks, firing built-in guns, and ejecting the passenger seat. The level of excitement in Goldfinger is up a notch from its predecessors. .
When the British Secret Service decides that they want supposedly-legitimate bullion dealer Auric Goldfinger under observation, agent 007 is chosen for the job. After Bond finds a naked, dead woman on his bed, covered head-to-toe with gold paint, the investigation takes on a new urgency. It seems that Goldfinger is planning something big -- "Operation Grand Slam" -- and anyone who interferes is targeted for elimination, including, of course, Bond. But, when Goldfinger captures the British agent in Switzerland, he decides to keep him as a hostage rather than kill him. So Bond accompanies the criminal and his entourage to Kentucky, where Goldfinger plans to engineer the greatest crime in history: knock over Fort Knox. .
Sean Connery, back for the third time in the role that made him famous, plays the lead character with the same easy elegance and wit he displayed in From Russia with Love.