Very interesting & worthwhile. I get your point about Goldfinger. I was born in '58. For many years it seemed when grown-ups referenced Bond it was always Goldfinger. Seeing it as an adult myself I do think it's one of the best. There's the theme song, Goldfinger's assistant covered in gold paint, witty dialogue (ironic that one of the franchise's iconic lines was actually dubbed into cover Frobe's thick German accent).
I always Honor Blackman's Pussy Galore was one of the strongest early Bond girls (she might have been the first Bond woman) undone by that silly name. Feminist writers often cite Pussy while clearly never having seen the film itself. I always thought she undid Goldfinger's plot after learning from Bond that the gas he sold as a sleeping agent was actually lethal. She was not, after all, a murderer.
In the book Pussy's overtly a lesbian whom Bond "reforms" by offering her her first "real man". What a fantasy!
One thing has always bothered me, however, after Goldfinger has the gangster killed on the way to the airport, the car is crushed, only then does Goldfinger seek to retrieve the gold from the late ganster's briefcase. wouldn't it have saved time & effort to retrieve the briefcase before crushing the car? Even if the script has just forgotten about the gold & the briefcase, that would have made better sense.
It's one of those things, like the letters of transit having been signed by General De Gaulle, who had all of zero authority in any part of France or the French Empire in 1941.
Great piece. Looking forward to the rest.