In 1964 it was adapted as the third film in the EON Productions James Bond series and was the third to star Sean Connery as British Secret Service agent, Commander James Bond. See Goldfinger for discussion of the film.
The novel begins in a similar fashion to Moonraker with an acquaintance of Bond (Junius Du Pont from Casino Royale) meeting him at a Miami airport and requesting that he observe a two-handed Canasta game between him and the eponymous villain of the novel, Auric Goldfinger. Du Pont suspects Goldfinger of cheating and offers to pay Bond to confirm his suspicions. It turns out that Goldfinger is indeed cheating and Bond forces him to admit his guilt and pay back Du Pont due compensation.
After Bond returns to London he inquires into the background of Goldfinger to find that he is the world's top gold smuggler, the richest man in England, and after further investigation Bond also learns that Goldfinger is working as treasurer for the Soviet assassination agency SMERSH.
Bond is sent to contact Goldfinger to collect information, and they engage in a high-stakes game of golf, for money, in England. Again Goldfinger cheats by switching golf balls, but by switching the ball again, Bond forces Goldfinger to lose due to the cheating, without directly accusing him.
Bond is then sent on a mission to find Goldfinger's supply of gold that he has been smuggling, and bring it back to England. Bond manages to trace Goldfinger to a warehouse in Geneva where the white-gold armor of Goldfinger's Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is regularly being melted into aircraft chair-frames, to be smuggled into India. Bond is then captured and tortured for information (being promised a slow death by buzz saw rather than a quick one, if he doesn't talk). This continues until Bond blacks out.
He then wakes up in New York and is taken to Goldfinger's warehouse, where he is told he and Tilly Masterton will be working for Goldfinger, essentially as secretaries and personnel managers. Bond had earlier offered his services, pretending to be a huckster, but had seemingly been refused and had expected to die.
Bond has observed Goldfinger making dead drops of gold bars in Europe, for SMERSH. Bond learns that Goldfinger intends to finance SMERSH's schemes by stealing fifteen billion USD worth of gold bullion from the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky, an operation codenamed "Operation Grand Slam". Bond, along with Felix Leiter, works to prevent the villain from executing his plan, which involves killing the soldiers of Fort Knox with water-borne nerve agent (GB, also called sarin) and then using a stolen U.S. tactical atomic bomb missile warhead to break into Fort Knox's impregnable vault. They do not succeed in stealing any of Fort Knox's gold, but they do manage to escape after failing the robbery when it becomes apparent the poisoning hasn't worked.
In the novel, Pussy Galore is the lesbian leader of an all-female criminal organisation from New York City called the Cement Mixers. (She later tells Bond that the only reason she is a man-hating lesbian is because as a child she was raped by her uncle; she says that forcible incest is common in the southern United States.) They had previously been circus acrobats and cat-burglars. Her group, as well as various other mobs including the Mafia and the Spangled Mob from Diamonds Are Forever, have been employed to aid Goldfinger in the planning and execution of "Operation Grand Slam".
Martial arts expert Oddjob appears in the novel with a lethal metal-rimmed bowler hat, which he uses to kill Tilly at Fort Knox, and he is as seemingly invincible in the novel as in the movie. But he and Bond do not have the chance to fight, as in the novel it is a dozing Oddjob who is sucked to his death through the window of the airplane, after Bond penetrates it with a concealed knife under his jacket sleeve. Bond then strangles Goldfinger and orders the pilot to crash-land in the ocean. Only Bond and Pussy survive.
London: Book Club. Printed in 1959.
England: Viking/Penguin. 4 April 2002. ISBN 0-670-91036-8 Paperback London: Pan. Paperback. 1st, 2nd and 3rd printings: 1961.
London: Pan. Paperback. 4th printing: 1962; 5th printing: 1962; 6th printing: 1962; 7th printing: 1963.
London: Pan. Paperback. 7th printing: 1963; 8th printing: 1963; 9th printing: 1963.
London: Pan. Paperback. 9th and 10th printings: 1963; 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th printings: 1964; 18th, 19th and 20th printings: 1965.
London: Pan. Paperback. 21st printing: 1969.
London: Pan. Paperback. 22nd printing: 1972; 23rd printing: 1973; 24th printing: 1973; 25th printing: 1975; 26th printing: 1976. ISBN 0-330-10238-9
St Albans [Hertford]: Triad/Panther. Paperback. 1st printing: 1978. ISBN 0-586-04519-8
St Albans [Hertford]: Triad/Panther. Paperback. 2nd printing: 1979. ISBN 0-586-04519-8
London: Triad/Granada. Paperback. Reprinted: 1982. ISBN 0-586-04519-8
London: Triad/Panther/Granada. Paperback. Reprinted: 1984; Reprinted: 1986. ISBN 0-586-04519-8
Sevenoaks [Kent]: Coronet. Paperback. 1st printing: February 1989. ISBN 0-340-42568-7
Sevenoaks [Kent]: Coronet. Paperback. 6th printing: n.d. ISBN 0-340-42568-7
London: Penguin. Paperback. 4 April 2002. ISBN 0-14-100285-9
Bath [England]: New Portway/Chivers Press. Large print edition. Hardcover. 1st printing: 1983. ISBN 085119205X
England: Eagle Large Print. Hardcover. 1st printing: 1992. ISBN 0792713206
Bath [England]: Paragon/Chivers Press. Large print edition. Softcover. 1st printing: March 1993.
London: Hutchinson. Children’s edition. Paperback. 1st printing: May 1976. Part of the ‘Bull’s-eye’ series. ISBN 0091269911
England: Nelson Thomes. Children’s edition. Paperback. 1st printing: June 1976. Part of the ‘Bull’s-eye’ series. ISBN 0-7487-1019-1
In 1964, Goldfinger became the third entry in the James Bond film series. Sean Connery returned as Bond, while German actor Gert Fröbe played Auric Goldfinger. The film was mostly similar to the novel but Jill and Tilly Masterson have shortened roles and earlier deaths in the storyline. The plot of the film was also changed from stealing gold to irradiating the gold vault with a dirty bomb. In addition, the population of Fort Knox is ostensibly rendered unconscious by nerve gas sprayed by aerial deployment—not by drugged drinking water, as Fleming had originally written.
Fleming's original novel was adapted as a daily comic strip which was published in the British Daily Express newspaper and syndicated around the world. The adaptation ran from October 3, 1960 to April 1, 1961. The adaptation was written by Henry Gammidge and illustrated by John McLusky. It was reprinted by Titan Books in 2004 in an edition known as the Goldfinger collection.