James Bond food Goldfinger film 1964

Dinner with the Golden Girl

In the novel of Goldfinger (1959), James Bond whisks Jill Masterton away from Goldfinger and the couple enjoy a wonderful trip on the Silver Meteor from Miami to New York. For sustenance, they have the essentials – Champagne and caviar sandwiches. Later, James Bond learns from Jill Masterton’s sister, Tilly, that Jill dies from asphyxiation, Goldfinger having exacted his revenge by covering her in gold paint.

(Death by this means has long been acknowledged to be nonsense, but it was a genuine belief. It’s possible that Ian Fleming picked up the idea from the naturopathy book that he’d later refer to in Thunderball.)

In the film adaptation, there’s no train ride, but instead James and Jill (now Masterson) enjoy an evening together in James’s suite at the Fontainebleau in Miami. Dinner is again provided, but this time it’s a little more balanced. Accompanying the Champagne is a platter of salmon fillets, asparagus tips, cucumber slices, red peppers stuffed with peas, and lettuce. There’s also an hors d’oeuvres dish with more asparagus, tomatoes and what appears to be potato salad. A bowl of fruit comprising, among other items, pears, grapes, apples, possibly a plum, a banana and, oddly enough, a cucumber, can be seen behind the tray.

Unfortunately, unlike in the train, the happy couple doesn’t get to enjoy the food. Bond is knocked out by Oddjob, while Jill Masterson dies from ashyxiation in a coat of gold paint.

While food is generally not as evident in the Bond films as it is in the books, the appearance of the salmon fillets and other items in Goldfinger demonstrates that this aspect of the Bond mythos hasn’t been forgotten.

James Bond food Goldfinger film 1964

Screen shot from Goldfinger showing the feast at the Fontainebleau

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