Goldfinger Urban Legends

The authors of The Science of James Bond note that the movie Goldfinger has spawned two enduring urban legends: 1) That if you shoot out the window of a plane flying at 35,000 feet, the resulting depressurization will create enough force to suck a person through the hole. Not true! The authors say the airflow wouldn't even be enough to lift a person.

2) It is possible to suffocate by completely covering yourself in gold paint. Therefore, professional dancers who paint themselves know to leave a small bare patch of skin for air. Again, total myth. The authors state that the only danger of being covered with gold paint is "pores being clogged by the paint, causing overheating."

Link: Pasadena Star-News

Entertainment Urban Legends

Posted on Tue Feb 03, 2009


What, you mean James Bond movies aren't scientifically accurate? I am crushed, crushed.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Tue Feb 03, 2009  at  11:48 AM
Oddly enough Mythbusters handled both of these myths, though blowing the plane up was a lot cooler.
Posted by Charybdis  on  Tue Feb 03, 2009  at  12:56 PM
Here is a link for a website titled (on their home page), "Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics:

They cover a lot more than just the example stated in Alex's original post... Pretty cool...
Posted by Christopher  on  Tue Feb 03, 2009  at  03:46 PM
Remember when Oddjob took the reluctant gangster "to the airport"? What about the myth that a little Ford Ranchero car/truck could hold a full size Lincoln Continental in its bed without flattening it. Even when crushed it would still weigh the same wouldn't it?
Posted by UncleX  on  Tue Feb 03, 2009  at  04:34 PM
I could never figure out why Goldfinger didn't just kill all the goons in the room and went through that weird charade of escorting the one guy out.
Posted by Joe  on  Sat Feb 07, 2009  at  03:21 PM
What about the biggest absurdities in the whole series?

1. That women would actually want to have sex with a amn.

2. That a British secret agent would be heterosexual in the first place.
Posted by D F Stuckey  on  Thu Feb 12, 2009  at  03:36 PM
There's no chance of suffocation if you cover yourself in body paint - but if you cover yourself in wall paint, for example, or exterior paint (because you're an idiot), the paint contracts as it dries, and that can cause some breathing problems (not to mention the fumes). I saw this one on Diagnosis Murder too!
Posted by Heather  on  Fri Feb 13, 2009  at  06:14 AM
Various paints have different toxins. The more surface area covered the greater the absorption. Painting yourself with lead paint would be a very bad idea.
Posted by wdl  on  Thu Mar 05, 2009  at  05:07 PM
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