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Oddjob was a fictional Korean bodyguard and enforcer employed by wealthy bullion dealer and criminal, Auric Goldfinger. A secondary antagonist portrayed by late American wrestler and actor, Harold Sakata, the character first appeared in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger and was adapted from the literary character who appeared in Ian Fleming's 1959 novel. Sakata's Oddjob has subsequently appeared in numerous video-games, most notably GoldenEye 007 (1997), James Bond 007 (1998), GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (2004) and 007 Legends (2012). Along with Red Grant and Jaws, he is one of the most iconic henchmen in the Bond franchise and served as archetype for many futurs henchmen in the film series.

Biography

Background

Oddjob comes from Korea. He is the mute valet, bodyguard and henchman of wealthy businessman Auric Goldfinger, whom he serves with loyal devotion. A combat-trained and extremely durable fighter, Oddjob is a true strongman who reliably fulfils his orders for Goldfinger. One particular weapon he regularly uses, in addition to his brute strength, is his special razor-rimmed hat. Sharp metal is incorporated into the brim of this hat so that it can be thrown as a projectile and, due to its sharp blades, will cut through even metal or stone with ease.

Three meetings

"Oh, you must excuse Oddjob, Mr. Bond. He's an admirable manservant but mute."
Auric Goldfinger to James Bond[src]

After catching Auric Goldfinger cheating at gin rummy, James Bond foils his scam by seducing his assistant, Jill Masterson, and blackmailing Goldfinger into losing the game. In reprisal, the bullion dealer's Korean manservant Oddjob knocks out Bond in his Miami hotel suite and murders Jill. When Bond regains consciousness, he finds Jill dead, covered in gold paint, having died from "skin suffocation."

Returning to Great Britain, Bond is briefed on Goldfinger's smuggling pipeline and arranges to meet him socially at a country club. The pair play a high-stakes golf game with a recovered Nazi gold bar at stake. Oddjob acts as Goldfinger's golf caddy. When Goldfinger overshoots a hole, his ball lands in the rough. Oddjob, acting as Goldfinger's caddy, appears at first not to know much of the game, standing on the green edge while the others are pinpointing the ball's location. Bond's caddy is quietly told by Bond that he has found Goldfinger's ball and this will serve as a test of honesty. Oddjob helps his master cheat by surreptiously dropping a duplicate ball from his trouser leg. Bond outmanoeuvres Goldfinger and wins the game. Frustrated and highly suspicious of the agent's motivations, Goldfinger warns Bond to stay out of his affairs by having Oddjob demonstrate his throwing hat on one of the club's marble statues. As they depart, Bond hands back the lost golf ball, which Oddjob promptly crushes with his bare hands.

Oddjob accompanies Goldfinger and his gold-smuggling Rolls-Royce Phantom III on-board a flight to Geneva, Switzerland, and chauffeurs the metallurgist to his Swiss smelting plant, Auric Enterprises. There, they disassemble the vehicle and melt down the gold components that he has smuggled around Europe. While spying on Goldfinger's operation, Bond encounters a woman named Tilly, who turns out to be Jill Masterson's sister, as she tries to avenge her sister by killing Goldfinger. However, the pair trip an alarm in the process and a vehicular chase ensues. The chase ends in a dead end and as Tilly attempts to flee into the forest Oddjob kills her with his hat before briefly capturing Bond. The British tries to escape, but is then captured again after a car chase through the compound. However, Goldfinger decides to spare 007 for the moment after being duped by the latter to believe that he knows about Operation Grand Slam.

Operation Grand Slam

"You okay, James? Where's your butler friend?"
"Oh, he blew a fuse
"
Felix Leiter and James Bond[src]

Oddjob travels with Goldfinger to his stud ranch in Kentucky, United States, where it is revealed that Operation Grand Slam involves destroying Fort Knox and its supply of gold so that the value of Goldfinger's gold will increase many times to become the most richest man in the world. It also turns out that Oddjob himself is involved of it as he kills Mr. Solo after the gangster refuses to be a part of Goldfinger's scheme to attack Fort Knox. He then drives the car containing the corpse to a junkyard and presses it into a cube, destroying the evidence.

Oddjob is painfully electrocuted to death.

Believing the US military forces to be neutralised by an airborne nerve gas, Goldfinger's private army breaks into Fort Knox and accesses the vault itself as he arrives in a helicopter with a Chinese atomic device to irradiate the gold reserve. Oddjob accompanies Bond into the vault and handcuffs the spy to the device. As a gunfight erupts outside, Goldfinger locks Bond, Oddjob and another henchman named Kisch in the vault. Realizing that they have been betrayed by their boss, Kisch desperately runs to disarm the bomb to save himself and Oddjob, but is thrown to his death by the ever-loyal henchman, ensuring that Goldfinger's plan must succeed, even at the cost of his own life. Several floors below, Bond takes the keys from Kisch's corpse and extricates himself from the handcuffs. Oddjob throws his hat, but misses and severs an electricity cable. Even without his hat Oddjob proves to be a formidable opponent in combat; not flinching as Bond hits him with a block of wood and even a gold ingot. Possessing almost superhuman strength and physique, he casually throws 007 around the vault, until the spy gets ahold of his hat. He throws it, but Oddjob calmly ducks and it wedges between two metal bars. The Korean rushes to retrieve it but, when he puts his hand on the steel rim of the hat, Bond grabs the severed electrical cable and electrifies the bars; electrocuting Oddjob to his painful death.

Alternate continuities

James Bond 007: The Duel

Testament to the character's popularity, Oddjob has frequently made appearances in James Bond video games as an adversary or a playable multiplayer character. In James Bond 007: The Duel for the Sega Genesis/Megadrive, Oddjob (or rather, a clone of Oddjob) makes an appearance as a boss character in the villain's volcanic base (Stage 4). As with the film character, he uses his hat as a weapon.

James Bond 007 (1998 game)

In the Game Boy game James Bond 007, Oddjob appears multiple times as a henchman for the game's main villain, General Golgov. The first time is when Bond encounters Oddjob at his hotel room in Maccarech. The two fight, and Bond is defeated and left stranded in a desert. Later on, Bond trails Oddjob to Tibet, only to be captured. Bond escapes confinement and obtains a shield to protect him from Oddjob's hats, which he uses to deflect back at him. Notably, in this game Oddjob actually speaks.

GoldenEye: Rogue Agent

Oddjob betrays the protagonist, GoldenEye in GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (2004).

Oddjob later appeared in the 2004 spin-off Bond game, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. Set in an alternate timeline in the criminal underworld of the 007 universe, Oddjob continues to be employed by Auric Goldfinger as his manservant. He participates in the underworld feud between Dr. Julius No and Goldfinger, protecting his master and their recently developed super-weapon (the OMEN) during No's assault Auric Enterprises' alpine facility. His initial plan a failure, Dr. No launches an attack on Goldfinger's Midas casino in Las Vegas, again hoping to procure the OMEN, which had recently been locked away in its subterranean vault. Oddjob primes the OMEN for firing, before being airlifted to safety by Pussy Galore. The weapon was subsequently utilized by Goldfinger's golden-eyed enforcer to rid the building of Dr. No's forces. From there, Galore takes the Oddjob and GoldenEye to Dr. No's staging area at the Hoover Dam. They manage to bypass the security forces and detonate Dr. No's seismic bomb; causing the dam to disintegrate. Almost immediately afterwards Oddjob inexplicably betrays and attacks GoldenEye. As he rushes at the enforcer, he is thrown over a guard rail into the pit.

007 Legends

His latest appearence is in the game is 007 Legends, when Bond gets a flashback. He appears by throwing his hat at him where he has to escape by jumping on a display plane. After that, he is seen strangling a friend and after that he has to duel him.

Multiplayer appearances

Oddjob in GoldenEye 007 (Nintendo 64).

Oddjob has also appeared in a number of games as a playable multiplayer character (in the likeness of Harold Sakata). He was notable in GoldenEye 007 (Nintendo N64) for being the shortest playable character (and thus hardest to hit) and became one of the more popular selections by players. This led to the classic "No Oddjob" rule, where the phrase must be spoken before Oddjob is chosen as a character. In the game James Bond 007: NightFire, he can use his hat as a unique throwing weapon that returns after 30 seconds. Oddjob is also a playable multiplayer character in GoldenEye 007, the 2010 remake of 1997's GoldenEye for the Nintendo N64. In the game, he possess 2 hats in place of grenades. Once the hats are thrown Oddjob cannot retrieve them, but if they strike an enemy they are an instant kill.

Personality & Abilities

Oddjob's strange behavior was emphasized by his squat. Oddjob was always dressed in black stripes and always wore a black cylinder. He was never heard to speak, likely because he did not speak English, although he seemed to understand English. Goldfinger could be assured that each of its orders was executed immediately. His previous career is as unknown as the circumstances that brought him to Goldfinger's service. The two inequalities formed a strange but dangerous duet. None of the two respected peoples' lives in the least. While Goldfinger acted for personal reasons, Oddjob seemed almost obsessed with unconditionally satisfying his master. Thus, unlike his other henchmen like Kisch, he was even ready to die for the success of Operation Grand Slam for him. His most unusual and deadly weapon was his bowler hat, with a blade hidden in the brim. He used it with deadly effect.

Behind the scenes

Director Guy Hamilton cast Harold Sakata, an Olympic silver medalist weightlifter, as Oddjob after seeing him on a wrestling programme.[1] Sakata had never acted before, besides pro wrestling, but the film character was to be mute and would require little theatrical skill. Before Sakata had secured the role of Oddjob, another former wrestler, British actor Milton Reid, had auditioned for the role.[2] Reid allegedly challenged Sakata to a shoot wrestling contest and suggested that the winner ought to get the role. However, given that Reid have been played a small part in Dr. No and that his character had been killed off, the producers decided to go with Sakata and the wrestling match did not take place.[3]

Hamilton called Sakata an "absolutely charming man", and found that "he had a very unique way of moving, [so] in creating Oddjob I used all of Harold's own characteristics". Sakata was badly burned when filming his death scene, in which Oddjob was electrocuted by Bond. Sakata, however, kept holding onto the hat with determination, despite his pain, until the director called "Cut!"[4] Oddjob has been described as "a wordless role, but one of cinema's great villains."[5] Esquire Magazine ranked Oddjob #4 in the list of James Bond Villains, saying, "Everything about this guy is famous and he's famous for a reason."[6]

Gallery

Oddjob (Harold Sakata)/Gallery

Trivia

  • The character of Oddjob, from his unusual appearance, manners, strength and method of killing, forms the archetype for many henchmen of the Bond film series, including Tee Hee, Jaws, Gobinda, Necros, Stamper, Zao and Mr. Hinx.
  • Throughout the film, Oddjob does not speak any words, only a few sounds and grunts in some scenes. He first shouts an "Ah! Ah!" during the golf scene, two "Ah!" after the death of Tilly Masterson, a grunt when he hands Bond a gas mask during the Fort Knox sequence and a long "Aaaaaah!" when Bond electrocutes him.
  • Oddjob only actually decapitates something once in the movie which was the statue which he used to show off his bowler hat.
    • The only other time he killed someone with his hat was Tilly but (most likely to keep a non-adults only rating) it hit her in the neck but didn't actually behead her, with the hat's impact apparently breaking her neck on impact.
  • Sean Connery thought the scene where Oddjob crushes the golf ball in his fist would not make it into the final cut, saying, "That's a total fuck up! Everybody knows that's impossible!" Guy Hamilton then made it clear to the actor that this footage allowed the viewer to understand how tough Oddjob was and that he would therefore be formidable against Bond at the end of the film.
  • He is parodied in the Austin Powers films as "Random Task", a north east Asian henchman of Dr. Evil who throws deadly shoes at his enemies.

See also

References

  1. (2000). Behind the Scenes with 'Goldfinger' [DVD]. MGM/UA Home Entertainment Inc.
  2. Milton Reid - Dr No. Guard - James Bond 007
  3. Fin Martin and Antohy Evans. "Know their Roles", Power Slam Magazine, SW Publishing LTD, August 2003, pp. 26–31. 109. 
  4. Production Notes—Goldfinger. MI6.co.uk.
  5. "Five great non-speaking roles", 28 June 2006. 
  6. Jacob Hall. "All 104 James Bond Villains, Ranked", 14 May 2017. Retrieved on 2018-07-18. 

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