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Oddjob (often written as "Odd Job") is a fictional character in the espionage novels and films featuring James Bond. He is a henchman to the villain Auric Goldfinger in the 1959 James Bond novel Goldfinger and its 1964 film adaptation. In the film, he was played by the Japanese-American actor and professional wrestler 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.
|James Bond character|
|First appearance||Goldfinger (novel, 1959)|
|Created by||Ian Fleming|
|Portrayed by||Harold Sakata|
Oddjob's real name is unknown. He is named by Goldfinger to describe his duties to his employer. A Korean, like all of Goldfinger's staff, he is extremely strong, as shown in one sequence where he breaks the thick oak railing of a staircase with karate chops of his hand and shatters a mantel with his foot. When Bond expresses surprise at these feats, Goldfinger explains that Oddjob trains extensively to toughen the striking surfaces of his hands and feet, which have developed a tough callus which significantly increases his striking power. (This misunderstanding of oriental martial arts techniques was common at the time. Callus is brittle and would break. Conditioning the hands and feet is primarily to deaden nerves and to strengthen the wrist and ankles. The breaking techniques are based on acceleration and making the hands and feet as rigid as possible.)
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 a black belt in 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). This discrepancy was later corrected by stating that he had received novice training in taekwondo and hapkido in his native Korea but had spent time in Japan where he learned karate and thus earned the black belt. The earlier novel tells of his hatred of being mistaken for Japanese, largely due to Korean anger at the Japanese occupation during the Second World War. (Technically Japan annexed Korea in 1910. However, the Korean population were understandably upset at the fact of being colonized by Japan for a long period of time, and resistance movements never stopped until the end of WWII). The revised novel keeps that facet; Oddjob's karate schooling in Japan apparently having done nothing to assuage his stance.
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 caused a speech defect, rendering 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 other 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.
In the beginning of the film, Oddjob is first seen only as a 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.[n 1]
When Bond meets Goldfinger for a round of golf, Oddjob is seen in full for the first time. He is described by Goldfinger as "an admirable manservant but mute". He only has four lines of 'dialogue' throughout the film: in his first line, 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. The fourth time, as Bond electrocutes him in Fort Knox, he yells out a final long, loud "Arrgh!".
Oddjob acts as Goldfinger's personal chauffeur, bodyguard and golf caddy. He wears a Sandringham hat (unlike in the novel, where he wore a bowler) with a sharpened steel rim, using it as a lethal weapon in the style of a chakram or a flying guillotine. It was shown to be very powerful, capable of cutting through steel and decapitating a stone statue. He later uses it to kill Tilly Masterson by breaking her neck.
Physically, Oddjob 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 invincible against Bond's futile hand-to-hand fight. However, he is never mentioned to be a karate expert. He is also shown to be fanatically loyal to Goldfinger and his plot, as he is apparently willing to die in the nuclear explosion in Fort Knox rather than allow the bomb's disarmament.[n 2]
Oddjob's 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.
Oddjob appears in the animated series James Bond Jr. with a miniature top hat (in place of the customary bowler hat), sunglasses and hip-hop style clothes (not only does he wear purple instead of black, but he wears more casual clothes as opposed to his live action counterpart's dress suit), revealing that the electric shock did not kill him, but knocked him unconscious, for the Americans to arrest him, before he escapes again in the series. When not wearing his hat, his hair is now more flat-top, than his 1964 counterpart's. He even rarely speaks, unlike his movie counterpart.
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 GoldenEye 007, Oddjob was mistakenly depicted as a dwarf. This error was possibly due to the programmers confusing him with another Bond henchman, Nick Nack. In Nightfire, he can use his hat as a unique throwing weapon that returns after 30 seconds. Oddjob is also a playable multiplayer character in the 2010 remake game GoldenEye 007 for the Wii.
In Dynamite Entertainment's ongoing comic book title James Bond 007, a new iteration of Oddjob is featured who is envisioned as a South Korean secret agent and a successor to another Oddjob (with Harold Sakata's likeness), initially acting as a rival spy to Bond in a mutual assignment. His given name is John Lee.
The prop used in Goldfinger by Oddjob was made by British hat makers, Lock & Co. The hat was then adapted by inserting a chakram into the brim. 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. In 2002, the hat was lent 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. The hat was then auctioned again in 2006, when the final price was $36,000.
Replicas of the hat are sought after by collectors and replicas have been used as centrepieces for some exhibitions. In 2008, one replica joined the Bond exhibition at the National Motor Museum.
The television show MythBusters tested out the capabilities of Oddjob's hat, testing whether or not it would have been able to decapitate a stone statue. It failed to do so, and the Mythbusters ultimately labeled it 'Busted'.
Homages and parodiesEdit
- In the Italian parody film Two Mafiosi Against Goldfinger, the equivalent of Oddjob is a huge black man called Molok (played by ex-wrestler Dakar) 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, played by actor Joe Son, who throws his shoe as a weapon. At the conclusion of the film, he throws and hits Austin (Michael Myers), who is uninjured and remarks how stupid it is for anyone to throw a 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.
- 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 film Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker, a guard in Sayle Tower, similar in build and appearance to Harold Sakata, throws his hat away as he prepares to kill Alex Rider. However, the guard is then felled simply by getting kicked very hard in his crotch (which Alex refers to as "a schoolboy trick", after he tricks the guard into the traditional bow before a karate fight); he is then kicked in the same place again by Sabina Pleasure and incapacitated.
- In the film Rio, Nico throws his bottlecap hat in a way similar to Oddjob to cut a line of evil monkeys.
- 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".
- In the animated video movie Batman: Bad Blood, the Mad Hatter uses his top hat in one scene like Oddjob's bowler hat, cutting the throats of two Waynetech Watchtower operators with one throw.
- In the movie Wild Wild West, Jim West fights a villain on the roof of Loveless' train, that villain obviously is an OddJob lookalike
- Harold Sakata appeared in several Vicks 44 commercials as Oddjob. The ads show him inadvertently breaking several objects via coughing fits, only to have his rampages halted by taking doses of the featured product.
- In the animated special Garfield's Feline Fantasies, Garfield has an extended fantasy featuring himself as a James Bond-like spy, accompanied by his sidekick, "Slobberjob," played by Odie.
- In the animated series DuckTales, a henchman named Oddduck accompanies the villain of the episode "Double-O-Duck", Dr. Nogood (whose name is a parody of Ian Fleming's Dr. No, but is modeled on Fleming's Ernst Stavro Blofeld, and has an evil plan similar to Auric Goldfinger).
- 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 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.
- An episode of Gilligan's Island based on The Most Dangerous Game had a character named Ramoo who is a manservant to a delusion big game hunter played by Rory Calhoun. Like Oddjob, Ramoo speaks little and faithfully does whatever his boss demands such as holding the castaways prisoner or serving Gilligan a full-course meal prior to the manhunt. Ramoo was played by Harold Sakata, who also played Oddjob.
- 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 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 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 Clerks: The Animated Series, Leonardo Leonardo has a butler named Mr. Plug who is a parody of Oddjob.
- In the episode "The spy who mugged me" of The A-team, a parody on the Bond franchise, the character Fröbe is a spoof on Oddjob, played by Professor Tanaka. The name of the character refers to the name of the actor playing Auric Goldfinger in the original Bond film, Gert Fröbe.
- One of the characters in the video game Fur Fighters is a hat-throwing bear called Oddfelt.
- In the Mortal Kombat video game series and franchise, recurring character Kung Lao has been said to be directly based on Oddjob, and as such has a similar blade-rimmed hat that can be thrown at opponents.
- In the video game Alone in the Dark 2, an undead pirate nicknamed Black Hat has a blade-rimmed hat that he can throw at the protagonist Edward Carnby.
- The arcade game Sly Spy (itself a homage to the James Bond mythos) features a bowler-throwing character as a level boss.
- In the 2016 video game Overwatch, in the map Dorado, there's a hat underneath a bench, which emits sparks when shot. This is a reference to Oddjob's hat, which had the same effects.
- In the 2017 video game Super Mario Odyssey Mario and Bowser throw their hats to attack, similarly to Oddjob.
- In the Italian Disney 1966 comic story "Paperino missione Bob Fingher" (literally: "Donald Duck Bob Fingher mission", translated for the United States in 2010 as "Moldfinger or The Spy Who Ducked-Out On Me"), parody of the movie's Italian edition, Agente 007 - Missione Goldfinger (literally: "Agent 007 - Goldfinger Mission), the evil Bob Fingher has a shoe with Oddjob's hat's functions and loves to play golf.
- In a one-page Hostess advertisement, Spider-Man fights a supervillain called "Demolition Derby" who throws his derby hat that bounces and cuts Spider-Man's webbing.
- In the manga series JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Robert Speedwagon is shown to use his razor-rimmed bowler hat as a throwing weapon.
- In the anime Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, 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 an official Bond tie-in ad for Heineken beer with Daniel Craig, the Bond girl throws a hat at their pursuers just like Oddjob, but without the same hit success rate.
- Realistically speaking, having one's entire body coated with paint would not cause suffocation.
- After being locked in the vault along with another one of Goldfinger's men, Oddjob kills the other henchman to prevent him from disarming the bomb, prior to engaging Bond.
- Metin Tolan - Geschüttelt, nicht gerührt, Piper Verlag
- "Oddjob's killer bowler at Beaulieu". This is Hampshire. 23 January 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- Guy Hamilton (Director) (18 September 1964). Goldfinger (Film). United Kingdom: Eon Productions.
- Eurocom (18 November 2002). 007: Nightfire. PlayStation 2. Electronic Arts. Level/area: Multiplayer.
- "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.
- Hosted by Mike Loades and Chad Houseknecht (26 October 2008). "Chakram". Weapon Masters. Series 1.
- "Oddjob's hat bowls them over". BBC News. 17 September 1998. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- "Bond show licensed to thrill". BBC News. 10 March 2002. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- "James Bond News :: MI6 :: Oddjob's deadly hat auctioned for $36,000". Mi6-hq.com. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
- "Oddjob's killer bowler at Beaulieu". Daily Echo. 23 January 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- "James Bond News :: MI6 :: Oddjob`s killer bowler hat joins Bond exhibition at Beaulieu". Mi6-hq.com. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
- "James Bond, Part 2". MythBusters. Season 6. Episode 4. February 6, 2008. Discovery Channel.
- Sophie Borland (2008-01-21). "Lightsabre wins the battle of movie weapons". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-01-26.
- "Seanbaby's Hostess Page - Spider-Man And The Demolition Derby". Seanbaby.com. Retrieved 2013-10-06.