Oddjob

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Oddjob
Character from the James Bond film series
Affiliation Auric Goldfinger
Portrayed by Harold Sakata

Oddjob (often written as "Odd Job") is a henchman to the villain Auric Goldfinger in the James Bond film and novel, Goldfinger. In the film he was played by the Japanese-American actor Harold Sakata. Oddjob, who also appears in the James Bond animated series and in several video games, is one of the most popular characters in the Bond series.

Appearances[edit]

Novel[edit]

Oddjob's real name is unknown. He is named by Goldfinger to describe his duties to his employer. Korean-born, like all of Goldfinger's staff, he is extremely strong, as shown in one sequence where he breaks the railing of a staircase with his hand and a mantel with his foot. Oddjob is described as being a squat man with arms like thighs and black teeth. In the contrast with the film where he is depicted as a man of short stature the novel hints his height in the scene where he breaks the mantelpiece described as being 7 feet off the ground and 6 inches higher than the top of his bowler hat. This would place his height at 6 ft 6 inches (198 cm). He is also described as having black belt at karate, although, since he was Korean, this may well have been taekwondo, often inaccurately referred to as 'Korean karate' at the time that the novel was published (1959). Oddjob is also an expert with a bow and arrow and can throw his razor-edged bowler hat with deadly accuracy. He has a cleft palate that renders his speech unintelligible to everyone except Goldfinger. In addition to killing people who might cause trouble for Goldfinger, Oddjob functions as his personal guard, chauffeur, and manservant (though not his golf caddy, as depicted in the film). He has a taste for cats as food, apparently acquired in Korea when food was in short supply. Bond frames Goldfinger's yellow cat for destruction of surveillance film, and as punishment, the cat is given to Oddjob for dinner.

He is killed when Bond uses a knife to shatter the window next to his seat on an aircraft, which depressurises the plane and blows Oddjob out of the window, a fate transferred to Auric Goldfinger in the film version.

Film[edit]

In the beginning of the film, Oddjob is first seen only via silhouette against a wall as he knocks Bond unconscious at the Fontainebleau Hotel, after which he or Goldfinger kills Jill Masterson (with whom Bond had spent the night) through "skin suffocation" by painting her entire body with gold paint. (In reality, having one's entire body painted would not cause suffocation.[1])

When Bond meets Goldfinger for a game of golf, Oddjob is seen for the first time in full. He only has four lines of sparse dialogue throughout the film: in the first, upon pretending to have found Goldfinger's missing golf ball, he exclaims "Aha!" The second time, after killing Tilly Masterson, he instructs his men to dispose of her body by merely pointing at them and saying "Ah! Ah!" The third time, he says "Ah!" to order Bond to put on a gas mask before entering Fort Knox. And the fourth time, as Bond electrocutes him in Fort Knox, he yells out a final long, loud AH!

Oddjob acts as Goldfinger's personal chauffeur, bodyguard and golf caddy. He wears what appears to be a bowler hat (though at times it looks like a top hat, but was confirmed to be bowler hat in the novel and as such, would have had a round top) lined with a sharpened steel rim, using it as a throwing weapon in the style of a chakram or a flying guillotine. A lethal weapon, it was shown to be very powerful, capable of cutting through steel and decapitating a stone statue.[2] He later uses it to kill Tilly Masterson by breaking her neck. Physically he is extremely strong and durable, demonstrating his strength in a number of scenes including one where he crushes a golf ball with one hand, as well as during the climactic fight scene with Bond in which he is struck in the chest by a gold bar thrown at him, and struck in the head with a wooden object used as a club. He barely flinches after both these attacks, and is otherwise practically invincible against Bond's futile hand-to-hand fight. However, he is never mentioned to be a karate expert.

His demeanour remains constant throughout the film. Most of the time he is seen to smile broadly whenever he encounters Bond—even during their fight scene. The only time he shows anything resembling fear or wariness is when Bond attempts to use his own hat against him. When thrown at him, however, Oddjob simply dodges the hat with ease, causing it to get stuck between a pair of metal bars. When he goes to retrieve his hat and tries to pull it free, Bond grabs a sparking wire severed by the hat earlier on and thrusts the open end onto the bars. The electric current transfers to the bars and then to the metal in the hat's rim, which electrocutes Oddjob.[3]

Other appearances[edit]

Oddjob appears in the animated series James Bond Jr. with a top hat, sunglasses and hip-hop style clothes, revealing that the electrocution did not kill him, but knocked him unconscious for the Americans to arrest him before he escapes again in the series.

In the video 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 Marrakesh. 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.

In the video game GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, Oddjob is a henchman of Goldfinger, and initially a companion of GoldenEye. He is killed when GoldenEye tosses him over a rail into a pit inside the Hoover Dam after he turns on his employer and attacks GoldenEye.

Oddjob has appeared in the James Bond video games GoldenEye 007 and 007: Nightfire as a playable character for use in multiplayer modes. In Nightfire, he can use his hat as a unique throwing weapon that returns after 30 seconds.[4] Oddjob is also a playable multiplayer character in the 2010 remake game GoldenEye 007 for the Wii.

No Oddjob[edit]

In the video game community, there is a fan made rule regarding Oddjobs use in multiplayer modes of James Bond video games. Whereas most playable characters are the same height, Oddjobs is much shorter, keeping with how he was portrayed in Goldfinger. This size difference makes him harder to aim at than normal characters, presenting an unfair advantage. Because of this, Oddjob is banned from most professional competitions and is generally disliked by players.

Oddjob's hat[edit]

The prop used in Goldfinger by Oddjob was made by British hat makers, Lock & Co.[5] The bowler hat was then adapted by inserting a chakram into the brim.[6] Oscar winning special effects legend John Stears was responsible for making the hat fly.

After Goldfinger, the hat came into the possession of the James Bond Fan Club. In 1998, the hat was auctioned at Christie's in a sale of James Bond memorabilia. The hat sold for £62,000.[7] In 2002, the hat was loaned out for an exhibition at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Dr. No.[8] The hat was then auctioned again in 2006, when the final price was $36,000.[9]

Replicas of the hat are sought after by collectors and replicas have been used as centrepieces for some exhibitions.[10] In 2008, one replica joined Bond exhibition at the National Motor Museum.[11]

The television show MythBusters tested out the capabilities of Oddjob's weaponized thrown hat, labeling it 'Busted'.

Oddjob's lethal hat was ranked tenth in a 2008 20th Century Fox poll for the most popular movie weapon, which surveyed approximately 2,000 films fans.[12]

Homages and parodies[edit]

In the Italian parody film Due Mafiosi Contro Goldginger, the equivalent of Oddjob is a huge black man called Moloch (played by ex-wrestler Alejandro Barrera) dressed in a black suit and bowler hat, who throws a deadly shoe to kill his opponents. In the film Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Oddjob is parodied by a character called Random Task, who throws his shoe as a weapon. In the Norwegian parody film Kill Buljo, Buljo's bodyguard is named Blow Job (played by strongwoman and powerlifter Heidi Nilima Monsen) - a tough woman dressed in black suit and bowler hat. Her favorite activity is throwing cops around. Other parody characters appear in the video game Fur Fighters, in the form of a hat-throwing bear called Oddfelt, in the cartoon Darkwing Duck, in the form of a henchman Oddduck in the episode "Double O Duck", in the cartoon series Count Duckula, where the villain called The Egg has a manservant called Oddbeak (a parrot made to resemble Oddjob, complete with bowler and suit).

In the cartoon show Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers episode "Double 'O Dale", which parodies the Bond series, Dale is watching a spy movie featuring a sidekick called Oddshoe. In The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! episode "On Her Majesty's Sewer Service", a parody of the James Bond series, the character Mouser gains an appearance similar to Oddjob, even throwing his bowler derby hat as a weapon in one scene (instead of cutting people, though, the bowler derby was shown to simply bludgeon them). In the cartoon series Beavis and Butt-head, when the duo are watching a music video with people riding motorcycles, they say it is like a James Bond film, with Beavis adding "They need that short guy Handjob to come out."

In the Mortal Kombat video game series and franchise, a recurring character Kung Lao has a similar blade-rimmed hat that can be thrown at opponents. Oddjob's trademark hat-throwing technique can also be seen in Toy Story 2 (in which Mr. Potato Head throws his own bowler hat to prevent two doors from closing), in the video game Alone in the Dark 2 (where an undead pirate nicknamed Black Hat has a blade-rimmed hat that he can throw at the protagonist Edward Carnby), in a one-page Hostess advertisement featuring Spider-Man (where Spider-Man fights a supervillai called "Demolition Derby" who throws his derby hat that bounces and cuts Spider-Man's webbing),[13] in the film Stormbreaker film (where the guard in Sayle Tower throws his hat away as he prepares to kill Alex), in the arcade game Sly Spy (itself a homage to the James Bond mythos, featuring a bowler-throwing character as a level boss), in the manga series JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (where Robert Speedwagon is shown to use his razor-rimmed bowler hat as a throwing weapon), in the film Rio (where Nico throws his bottlecap hat in a way similar to Oddjob to cut a line of evil monkeys), and in the anime Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (where an antagonist's henchman resembles Oddjob, wearing a suit and bowler, being a martial arts expert, and using his hat and an umbrella as primary weapons). Daredevil once fought a supervillain called Torpedo, who threw a cutting hat just like Oddjob; Daredevil then remarked that he did not expect Torpedo to pull an "oddjob" on him). In The Beverly Hillbillies, Jethro Bodine sees some of the James Bond films, referring to them as 'Double-Naught Spy' movies, and becomes enamored of Oddjob's bowler hat: dunking his own hat into molten metal and letting it harden, Jethro has little or no luck throwing the heavy hat, and promptly knocks himself out cold every time he tries to put it on.

In the cartoon series Duck Dodgers, Daffy Duck throws a hat to save himself during a mission and later says that he had learned it from someone called "Odd Ball", in which they cut to a scene where Oddjob angrily says, "Odd Ball?!!"—suggesting that the character is actually Oddjob and not just a parody. In the movie Inspector Gadget, Oddjob is seen in the Minions Anonymous meeting, along with Jaws; he is credited as "Famous Villain With Deadly Hat".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Metin Tolan - Geschüttelt, nicht gerührt, Piper Verlag
  2. ^ "Oddjob's killer bowler at Beaulieu". This is Hampshire. 23 January 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Guy Hamilton (Director) (18 September 1964). Goldfinger (Film). United Kingdom: Eon Productions. 
  4. ^ Eurocom (18 November 2002). 007: Nightfire (in English). PlayStation 2 (v1). Electronic Arts. Level/area: Multiplayer. 
  5. ^ "Bei Londons ältestem Hutmacher kaufen Madonna, Prinz Charles und 007-Bei Londons ältestem Hutmacher kaufen Madonna, Prinz Charles und 007". Glaubeaktuell (in German). Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Hosted by Mike Loades and Chad Houseknecht (26 October 2008). "Chakram". Weapon Masters. Series 1.
  7. ^ "Oddjob's hat bowls them over". BBC News. 17 September 1998. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Bond show licensed to thrill". BBC News. 10 March 2002. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "James Bond News :: MI6 :: Oddjob's deadly hat auctioned for $36,000". Mi6-hq.com. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  10. ^ "Oddjob's killer bowler at Beaulieu". Daily Echo. 23 January 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "James Bond News :: MI6 :: Oddjob`s killer bowler hat joins Bond exhibition at Beaulieu". Mi6-hq.com. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  12. ^ Sophie Borland (2008-01-21). "Lightsabre wins the battle of movie weapons". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  13. ^ "Seanbaby's Hostess Page - Spider-Man And The Demolition Derby". Seanbaby.com. Retrieved 2013-10-06.