Art Director, Ken Adam, designed Oddjob's lethal bowler in the third film of the series Goldfinger. He recalls that there were three steel-rimmed bowlers made for the film and it was special effects wizard John Stears who was responsible for executing Adam's designs. According to Graham Rye who spoke to Stears in the course of researching this hat, the metal brim was made by a company called New Pro Foundry, who also made the 'gold' bars for the Fort Knox sequence in Goldfinger. Although there were originally three metal-brimmed hats made for the film the one offered in this lot is now the only one known to exist. It is pictured in a still in Ken Adam's office at Pinewood Studios in the 1960s.
Oddjob [Harold Sakata] remains the best remembered and most impressive villain of the entire Bond series. His lethal metal-rimmed bowler contributed to the overall impact of the character. The combination of Oddjob's strength, his stature - short but built like an ox, his fearless loyalty to Goldfinger [Gert Fröbe], his dialogue of grunts and inarticulate sounds, his rather incongruous formal attire, topped by his steel-rimmed hat made Oddjob into the prototypical Bond villain.
Oddjob used his idiosyncratic weapon with great effect throughout the film. Initially, as a warning to Bond, Oddjob decapitates a statue with it at Goldfinger's golf club. He subsequently uses it to assassinate the revengeful Tilly Masterson [Tania Mallet], sister to Jill [Shirley Eaton], who Oddjob had previously killed by covering in gold paint. Goldfinger's henchman is almost successful in finishing off 007 in the tough fight sequence in the Fort Knox finale, however it is here that the famous hat, proves to be the end of the villain himself. Due to Bond's quick thinking, the British agent manages to electrocute Oddjob while he tries to retrieve his hat from the vault bars, giving an excuse for one of the hero's famous one-liners He's blown a fuse.
Prior to working on Goldfinger, Hawaiin born Harold Sakata (1920-1982) achieved fame as a wrestler using the name Tosh Togo. As a wrestler, he was renowned for his judo and karate skills ..and
his coldly unexpressive countenance - a feature which stood him in good stead for the equally unresponsive Oddjob.... In 1948 he won a silver medal for the U.S.A. in the light heavyweight contest, and apparently following the film, he returned to wrestling as Oddjob wearing the complete Bond formal outfit. His film role in Goldfinger also initiated his successful career as a T.V. villain.