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August 23, 2016

Goldfinger: Amazing Behind the Scenes of an Iconic Film Title Sequence

You’ve seen the title sequence to Goldfinger (1964), the third film in the James Bond 007 cinematic canon. But it’s always worth another look.

As memorable as the film itself, the title sequence of Goldfinger captures the sexual suggestiveness and wry humor of the James Bond mythos.

Scenes from the film are projected strategically onto starlet Margaret Nolan, while minimal credit texts balance each shot. It was designer and art director Robert Brownjohn (American, 1926–1970) who conceived, designed, and directed this sequence, one of the best examples of title design used to produce a salient film component, rather than a necessary afterthought.

Margaret Nolan was the model upon whose form the clips were projected. The images are scenes from previous Bond movies as well as Goldfinger itself. Nolan was an actress and pinup model who also appeared in the movie, but she didn’t play the girl who asphyxiates from gold paint. Nolan played Dink, a masseuse — according to her website, Nolan only consented to do the title sequence if she was also given a part in the movie.

The shoot was a complex one — Nolan says it took “two or three weeks” all told — so it makes sense that there would be some trial and error on the way to making the final product. You may notice in these pictures that Nolan’s bikini is more revealing than the one used in the movie.

(MoMA’s 2013 exhibition Goldfinger: The Design of an Iconic Film Title, via Heavy Metal)


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