Here’s a “Dink” -y little fact for you – the “golden girl” upon whom is projected scenes of James Bond derring-do in the titles to Goldfinger is actress and pin-up model Margaret Nolan, who plays masseuse Dink, sent off by James with a spank to the backside when he needs to discuss “man talk” with Felix Leiter.
Then only 20 years old, she cannily negotiated the part in the film when approached to be the girl in the opening titles, shot by Robert Brownjohn. After a successful career in New York during the 1950’s as a partner in the New York design group BCG,, he had left for London in 1960, becoming the creative director at advertising agencies J. Walter Thompson and McCann-Erickson.
The filming of the elaborate sequence took up to three weeks, Nolan covered head to toe in the iconic gold paint, and wearing a revealing gold bikini. Nolan told Shadowlocked that when she pulled out of a two year promotion deal:
“So they (EON, the producers) were quite pissed off because they’d already spent loads of money on me. It was because of what was going on politically at the time, and I wanted to do more serious stuff and be taken as a serious actress. Also my husband didn’t want me to go away for two years as well; it meant touring the world.
So I turned it down, and it was so funny because [LAUGHS] as I say, I’ve never been able to live it down anyway!”
Brownjohn unveiled his embryonic idea by sitting producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman down in front of a slide projector. He removed his shirt and stepped in front of the projector’s beam of light, slides displaying over his naked torso as he wiggled in front of them. Imagine the same effect, but with a pretty girl, he told them. Once they’d flushed the image in front of them from their scarred minds, the idea was sold.
Superimposed over Margaret Nolan, the Goldfinger title sequence features images from the plot of the film as well as revisiting the previous two Bond films, Dr. No and From Russia With Love. Breasts and tilted knees resemble hillocks James Bond stumbles around, pursued by villains. A golf ball disappears into Nolan’s cleavage, while the Aston Martin DB5’s trick number plate revolves in place of her mouth. And of course the gold titillates, suggesting Auric Goldfinger’s lust for the precious metal, glittering teasingly across Nolan’s curvaceous body. The finishing touch of course is Shirley Bassey belting out the now iconic theme song, composed by John Barry with lyrics by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse, with it’s suggestive phrasing:
Goldfinger, he’s the man
The man with the Midas touch
A spider’s touch
Such a cold finger
Beckons you to enter his web of sin
But don’t go in
Although Maurice Binder created the first James Bond title sequence for Dr No and continued to do many more after his short break with From Russia With Love and this, Brownjohn’s images of projection and lighting caressing the female form really set the bar for future James Bond titles.
Click here for a further gallery of behind the scenes peeks at the filming process, and view the finished, classic titles (which won a British Design and Art Direction Gold Award (appropriately enough) below.