Goldfinger and the James Bond Franchise and When People Lose Interest in Life. Another Post Dealing in Grief

My parents saw Goldfinger in Missouri when my Dad taught at the University of Missouri in Columbia. It started a family tradition where we saw the next James Bond when it was released. I was born into this and it rubbed off on me. This post is another in the process of dealing with my parent’s deaths. One thing to be concerned about when people age is when they lose interest in subjects or topics that give them meaning and pleasure in life.

“Why is it that people who can’t take advice always insist on giving it?

Daniel Craig in Casino Royale

“He always did have an inflated opinion of himself.”

Roger Moore in Live and Let Die

The headstone for Mrs James Bond in For Your Eyes Only taken at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. 

The most memorable scene in Goldfinger

Bond and Odd Job fight inside Fort Knox. 

This is a post about grieving and reflecting on a tradition in my family. While there are many things that Mom and Dad enjoyed, BMWs, wine, gourmet dinners, football and sports there is one topic that today I look back at as being the beginning of my Mom’s decline in her health. 


Seeing Goldfinger in Missouri and a Family Tradition 

Dad was on staff at the University of Missouri at Columbia from 1969 until 1972. He taught neurosurgery and he loved the academic environment. When Mom and Dad was living in Columbia, Missouri another colleague at Missouri recommended that my Dad see the James Bond film Goldfinger. Now I am assuming that this was an event at the University of Missouri or at a budget theater because Goldfinger came out in 1964. Mom and Dad saw it and they liked it quite a bit. It started a family tradition that followed the family and one that I was born into. 

James Bond is a fictional movie character based off Ian Flemings books. Fleming, who worked in British intelligence wrote a series of books about a fictional British agent. In the course of time there were 26 movies that were made. The main character was played by Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and now Daniel Craig. My parents saw Goldfinger and that dealt with a sinister villain, the classic Bond girl and the sensational plot which was set against the Cold War. Goldfinger is about Auric Goldfinger who is played by Gert Frobe. It also features the side kick known as Odd Job, played by Harold Sakata. The main Bond girl is known as Pussy Galore, played by Honor Blackman.  

James Bond is in Miami Beach and he is assigned to watch Goldfinger who is cheating at a card game. Bond intervenes and the scam is up. While Bond is spending the night with one of the girls he is knocked out. He wakes up hours later to see the girl he knows killed and covered in gold paint from head to toe laying on a bed. He is assigned to follow Goldfinger who is suspected of being in a smuggling operation. Bond follows him to his operation in Switzerland. The girl he is with, who is trying to kill Goldfinger who killed his sister in Miami Beach. After a car chase he is captured and wakes up below a laser expecting to be interrogated. Goldfinger says that its time for him to die as he is committed to an Operation called “Grand Slam.” After debate in the end Goldfinger spares his life and he is knocked out and Sean Connery who plays Bond wakes up on a flight to the United States. Goldfinger owns horses in Kentucky. He is a prisoner being kept until Goldfinger conducts his operation. Its in Kentucky that me meets the main Bond girl known as Pussy Galore. A talented individual who is Goldfinger’s personal pilot and leads a flying circus. Bond breaks loose and hears the plan that Goldfinger has. He is going to take out Fort Knox and increase his own gold supply considerably. He has a relationship with the Chinese government and he plans to blow up a radioactive device inside Fort Knox. Part of the plan includes spraying nerve gas into the atmosphere. Bond convinces Pussy Galore that it won’t work and she changes the gas out. In the process Bond also alerted the CIA and United States government to the plan. The military attacks Goldfinger’s troops, he escapes. The henchman Odd Job is electrocuted to death inside Fort Knox by Bond. The last scene ends with Goldfinger hijacking Bond’s jet. In a battle a gun goes off, the plane decompresses and Goldfinger is killed by being sucked outside. Bond and Pussy Galore escape and survive. 

Bond being told by Goldfinger that it is time to die.

Roger Moore as James Bond trying to disrupt a plot and prevent a bomb from exploding on a USAF Base in West Germany in Octopussy.

Timothy Dalton playing James Bond in the opening scene to The Living Daylights. Bond journey takes him to Czechoslovakia, Morocco, and Afghanistan.


Growing Up with James Bond and the Family Seeing the New Releases 

I grew up in the family that always saw the new James Bond film as it was released. Today I have many memories of going with Mom and Dad to seeing the newest Bond flick. Mom and Dad liked Roger Moore as the main character. But I recall seeing Octopussy when I was young as well as View to a Kill. One time in 1987 we were vacationing as a family in Monterey, California. Also on this trip was my grandmother from Butte, Montana. While we were on vacation it was decided that we had to see the new James Bond movie called The Living Daylights with Timothy Dalton. Now the funny thing is that my grandmother was with us. My grandmother was very much opposed to sex and violence. Afterall I also grew up hearing about how my sisters went to see Star Wars in 1977. My grandmother thought Stars Wars was too violent and she walked out of the movie. But we saw The Living Daylights which had its share of violence and sex and my grandmother did not walk out. As I grew up I also enjoyed the Bond franchise. I looked forward to the new films. When Pierce Brosnan took over the role of James Bond in Goldeneye the new “M” who was Judi Dench made Mom glow. Mom liked Judi Dench as a British actress. Plus Dench was often in her PBS mystery shows that was shown. Mom loved watching PBS. That gave Mom more excitement to go in seeing an actress she liked. And up until Skyfall in 2012 that was part of how our family functioned.


Daniel Craig scene on a helicopter from Spectre 

Spectre and a Concern that I Noticed

I was living in the Washington, D.C. area when Spectre came out in 2015. I was out here and went and saw the film. When I told Mom and Dad that I saw Spectre I noticed that there was not much of a response from them. Mom especially seemed to not be as interested. At the time it bothered me and didn’t seem normal as they were usually interested in the James Bond movie franchise.  I couldn’t place my finger on it but it bothered me that they were not interested as they usually were. That was how I grew up and that was how they lived. In 2016 my Mom’s health started to experience problems. It resulted in a medical crisis with Mom going into the hospital in December of 2016.  Sadly the illness would not be one that she would recover from and she passed away in the hospital on April 1, 2017. 


When People Lose Interest in Life and Becoming Aware

I write this part as a means to give you advice and notice. When you are dealing with loved ones one thing to always be mindful of is their interests. Mom and Dad had many interests that ranged from their gourmet group, to wine, fine drinks, food, cooking and traveling. When the person you love loses interest in hobbies, food, sports or whatever it is and its out of character one should be concerned. Today in looking back it was the response of Mom to Spectre that I now realize was the time in her life in which things were starting to decline. Its painful and it bothered me deeply at the time. Now I know why in knowing how things went. Its important to pay attention to those around you and if they lose interest in areas of life that gave them pleasure, purpose, enrichment or more you should be concerned. Sometimes people can give up on living and sometimes I wonder if that is what happened. My Mom was a fighter but she was dealing with a difficult illness and the odds were tragically against her. For those of you who have loved ones, please pay attention and be mindful of those in your life. 


2 thoughts on “Goldfinger and the James Bond Franchise and When People Lose Interest in Life. Another Post Dealing in Grief

  1. David,
    I’m sorry for your deep losses and grief. You have a lot of beautiful memories. Thank you for your advice on what to watch for as our loved one’s age or become ill.

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