Focus Of The Week: Oddjob

Focus Of The Week: Oddjob

Meet Goldfinger’s hat-throwing manservant

The bodyguard, chauffeur and caddy of Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe) in Goldfinger (1964), Oddjob (Harold Sakata) is the perfect henchman, an intimidating mix of brute strength, unique skills and unquestioning loyalty. He is capable of killing his prey with a single blow or, if his victims run, by throwing his steel-rimmed hat with pinpoint accuracy. He is a true force to be reckoned with.

Oddjob first meets 007 at the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach, knocking Bond out and murdering Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton). When Bond regains consciousness, he discovers a lifeless Jill covered head to foot in gold paint having died from ‘skin suffocation’.

Oddjob and Bond’s paths cross again at a golf club in Britain. During a high stakes game with a Nazi gold bar as the prize, Oddjob caddies for Goldfinger, helping him cheat by surreptitiously putting down a new ball when Goldfinger loses his original in the rough.

Becoming increasingly suspicious of 007’s motives Goldfinger sends him a warning about meddling in his affairs by ordering Oddjob to decapitate a marble statue by throwing his metal-rimmed hat. Before the pair depart in Goldfinger’s 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III, Bond tosses Oddjob the duplicate golf ball, which the henchman duly crushes in his bare hand.

Later, when Bond and Jill’s sister Tilly (Tania Mallet) trip an alarm in Goldfinger’s factory in Switzerland, Oddjob supervises a squad of Korean guards in the chase and kills Tilly with a lethal hat throw. He further shows his cold-blooded streak by shooting Mr. Solo (Martin Benson), the one gangster who refuses to take part in Goldfinger’s scheme. Oddjob later has his body crushed in a Lincoln Continental.

Deploying an atomic bomb to irradiate the US Gold Supply, Goldfinger locks Oddjob, Bond and Goldfinger’s enforcer Kisch (Michael Mellinger) in Fort Knox. Once again revealing unswerving allegiance to his boss, Oddjob refuses to join forces to get the bomb disarmed, killing Kisch and turning on 007. During the fight, Oddjob displays incredible resilience — Bond throws a gold bar which just bounces off his chest — but also for the first time, fear when 007 uses his own steel-rimmed hat against him.

Oddjob manages to dodge Bond’s throw, the hat getting stuck between a pair of bars. As he goes to retrieve it, Bond acts quickly and pushes a severed live wire onto the rods, the electric current transferring from the metal bars to the metal in the steel hat, which electrocutes Oddjob in a spectacular flurry of sparks.

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