Gold must be James Bond’s favorite element: it appears in the titles of three Bond movies. So here are some gold-plated Bond facts for you to take a shine to:
- Ian Fleming wrote the Bond novels on a gold-plated Royal typewriter. It was sold at auction in 1995 for £50,000.
- The Goldfinger producers wanted to base their Fort Knox set at the real site but couldn’t get access from the government. They built a good-guess replica at Pinewood Studios — though there’s one part of the gold-filled location for which they had to use their imaginations. Because of the element’s physical properties, it can’t be stacked in piles more than two and a half feet tall. But in order to make a more impressive set for a climactic scene, production designer Ken Adam used a chrome framework to stack the gold 40 ft. high.
- In what is perhaps the most famous image from Goldfinger, Tilly Masterson dies of skin suffocation after being painted gold. This method of murder was supposedly inspired by the real-life death of a Swiss model, accidentally killed during a photo shoot. Because of fears for the health of actress Shirley Eaton, a doctor was on call, and the golden girl wasn’t painted entirely gold. Eaton’s stomach was left bare; she also wore pasties and thong underwear. But the worry was unfounded: you can’t actually die that way. (Check out Mythbusters for proof.)