Monday, December 30, 2019

Honor Blackman, Goldfinger's Top Henchwoman

Honor Blackman as James Bond's Dream in "Goldfinger"

Honor Blackman Goldfinger 1964
Honor Blackman.
Honor Blackman played the main henchman, or should we say henchwoman, in Goldfinger (1964), the third James Bond spy film. Honor had been on "The Avengers" for a couple of years, but ditched that for the chance to play a Bond girl, just as Diana Rigg later would do the same thing. "The Avengers" was kind of the minor leagues in those days, preparation for "the show" in a James Bond film. By giving her such an outlandish name, the film's producers sterilized all protests by critics by showing, with a wink and a nod, that they were in on the joke.

Honor Blackman Goldfinger 1964
"You have nothing that I want."
Sean Connery awakens and sees Honor Blackman standing before him. "My name is Poooosy Galore," is her greeting. His response? Connery, in perhaps the best acting moment of his career, ponders his eternally classic line, shaking his head ruefully:
I must be dreaming.
He later will wish that he were.

Honor Blackman Goldfinger 1964
Honor Blackman in "Goldfinger," flying the plane.
Galore (or "Poosy," as Bond and everyone else pronounces her first name), of course, works for crime boss Goldfinger. As well as being an expert airplane and helicopter pilot, she runs her own air show team, Galore’s Flying Circus, instrumental in Goldfinger’s plan to break into Fort Knox.

Honor Blackman Goldfinger 1964
'Don't worry, I'll take good care of you."
Ultimately, there is a showdown, and Galore is in the thick of it. By giving a completely un-ironic performance and playing it straight throughout, Honor cemented the Bond girl role as something to be cherished by Hollywood actresses wishing to raise their profile.

Honor Blackman Goldfinger 1964
Honor Blackman in her role of Cathy Gale with John Steed (Patrick Macnee) in "The Avengers."
Honor has an early-'60s air of sophistication that few later Bond girls ever approached. She is no-nonsense and tough but open to the right sort of persuasion. This is just the type of girl that suits James Bond best, and one of the things that turned "Goldfinger" into a classic.

Honor Blackman Goldfinger 1964

Honor Blackman's Galore is at the top of my list of best Bond girls. She manages to be adversarial, competent and in charge of her own destiny while remaining a woman that Bond desires. No other Bond girl has pulled it off in quite the same fashion.

Honor Blackman Goldfinger 1964
Wouldn't you, too, like to wake up to this?
As of the date of this writing (2017), Honor remains a working actress. She most recently appeared in television series "You, Me & Them" in 2015. Since appearing in "Goldfinger," Honor has appeared in many, many other high profile projects such as "Bridget Jones's Diary" and "Coronation Street."

Here are some quick scenes from the film:

And here is the later barn fight that turns into the classic seduction of an ice maiden:

Below are a few more stills from the film showing Honor Blackman's acting talent to its best advantage.

Honor Blackman Goldfinger 1964
Honor Blackman as Galore enjoying a drink with Goldfinger.
Honor Blackman Goldfinger 1964
Honor Blackman on her plane.

Honor Blackman Goldfinger 1964
Honor and her all-girl pilots.

Honor Blackman Goldfinger 1964
With all these fascinating promo shots that bear no relation to anything in the finished product, one wonders what wound up on the cutting room floor.
Honor Blackman Goldfinger 1964
How about a roll, roll, roll in zee hay?


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