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Tuesday December 18th 2018

Goldfinger | 1964

Goldfinger filming location: Stoke Park House, Stoke Poges, Slough, Buckinghamshire
Goldfinger location: Bond plays Goldfinger at golf: Stoke Park House, Stoke Poges, Slough, Buckinghamshire | Photograph: wikimedia / Carine06

The budget was still relatively modest for the third Bond film, and, apart from a week’s filming in Switzerland, all Sean Connery’s scenes were shot in England.

When Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) cheats at cards at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel, Connery was filming his scenes on a mock-up of the hotel at Pinewood Studio. This vast complex, Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins Avenue, is a regular movie star. In 1960, Jerry Lewis was The Bellboy here. Tony Montana (Al Pacino) chilled out by its pool in Brian de Palma's Scarface, and Whitney Houston performed an Aids benefit here under the watchful eye of Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard.

In fact, a lot of the filming was done not far from Pinewood in Buckinghamshire. The ‘South American holdings’ of the pre-credits sequence, are a storage tank complex at Stanwell, west of London between Staines and Hounslow; the cliff over which the Merc plummets is Harefield Quarry; while the ‘Blue Grass Airfield, Kentucky’ is Northolt Aerodrome, west London – an RAF station also seen in Thunderball and Octopussy.

Goldfinger location: Fontainbleau Hilton, Miami, Florida
Goldfinger location: Goldfinger cheats at cards: Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Miami, Florida

Likewise, the golf match between Bond and Goldfinger, supposedly at ‘Royal St George’s, Sandwich’ in Kent, uses Stoke Poges Golf Club, on the A332 a couple of miles north of Slough, Buckinghamshire. The clubhouse, in front of which Oddjob decapitates a statue with his lethal hat, is Stoke Park Club, Park Road, Stoke Poges. It's since been seen in rom-coms Bridget Jones's Diary and Wimbledon; became the interior of the ‘Hamburg’ hotel in another Bond movie, Tomorrow Never Dies, is a major setting for Layer Cake, and even became a ‘Beverly Hills’ hotel for Bride and Prejudice.

Though the exterior of the real Fort Knox, Kentucky, south of Louisville near the Indiana border, is briefly seen, the fort was recreated at Black Park Woodland behind the studio at Pinewood. A wholly fantastic interior (the problems of storing gold bullion make vaults boringly unphotogenic) was created on a soundstage.

Bond trails Goldfinger’s Rolls along Alpine roads and encounters Tilly Masterson at Andermatt, a small Swiss village, 50 miles south of Zurich in the shelter of the Leopontine Alps near the Simplon Tunnel.

And although the long shots of ‘Auric Enterprises’ are the Pilatus Aircraft Factory outside Lucerne, Switzerland, the scenes set in Goldfinger’s complex use the familiar Pinewood studio buildings.