One guy is leading a bunch of weird guys. They are hunting monsters. The leader says:

I'd be surprised if either one of them could dream up gold-plated Commandos.

The leader is talking about James Whale and Tod Browning.

I know that gold-plated means covered with a thin layer of gold, but I do not know exactly he means by saying gold-plated Commandos.

If the definition of commando is

a member of a military assault unit or team trained to operate quickly and aggressively in especially urgent, threatening situations, as against terrorists holding hostages.

then I think gold-plated commandos do not have a pejorative meaning. Am I right?

  • 1
    It is not an expression. It is writing from an author.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 20:21

3 Answers 3


I think we kinda need better context to be more sane (as in, I'd like to see the panel/text where the quote comes from), but gold-plating and gold-plated I've seen used mainly as pejorative terms when applied to anything that's not supposed to be gold plated. Like a commando. Gold plating such an object would be an addition/augmentation that has pretty much nothing to do with what that object is for, but that would increase cost noticeably and therefore be kind of absurd (or wasteful, depending on your perspective).

Here's where context kicks in, and can lead me in a few directions:

If there are actual gold plated commandos (or say, commandos with an excess of guns to the point of absurdity, being led by a five-headed goldfish) being hunted and it's a bit unexpected?

I'd be surprised if either one of them [Whale/Browning] could dream up something quite as strange as this.

Alternatively, if they're on a march and just talking, comparing their real-life jobs to a monster movie

The founding fathers of monster movies dream up some pretty weird stuff, but I bet they couldn't come up with anything quite as strange as what we're hunting now.

This is a bit more of a stretch, but without seeing what's wrapped around the line, it's a bit hard to do much than guess.

Neither of those however, is positive, so as a roundabout way of getting back to it - I'd bet that yes, the term 'gold plated commandos' would be intended as a pejorative in some fashion. As to exactly what fashion, that's a bit harder...

  • Unfortunately, I do not have this comic in my hands right now.
    – spohreis
    Commented Apr 21, 2012 at 14:22
  • dangit.. what was the comic? I might see if i can get a copy to have a look at myself, am now curious..
    – tanantish
    Commented Apr 21, 2012 at 21:29
  • Sorry! I do not remember what comic it was. I tried to translate that term to Portuguese about three years ago. I asked here: por.proz.com/kudoz/english_to_portuguese/cinema_film_tv_drama/…
    – spohreis
    Commented Apr 21, 2012 at 21:48

One guy is leading a bunch of weird guys. They are hunting monsters.

In what context does this take place?

Both James Whale and Tod Browning were directors and the founding fathers of monster movies, so they are talking about the probability that either of these gentlemen could conceive of whatever monsters the guys to which you refer are hunting, which apparently can be described as gold-plated commandos.

Gold-plated commandos is being used pejoratively to describe the monsters being hunted.

  • Fine. But where's the answer?
    – Kris
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 22:57

It's a pejorative phrase. This comic book site's "Gold Collection" publications are said to be "Gold Plated". They feature similar content and a universally poor narrative style. The speaker is implying that the subjects of the jab aren't even creative enough to come up with something cheesy like that.

  • @cornbreadninja, can you tell me what you edited?
    – user20276
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 20:41
  • :In this case, I do not understand the adjective "gold-plated" in this context. What I am missing here?
    – spohreis
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 20:42
  • @spohreis I edited the answer to make the meaning clearer.
    – user20276
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 20:47
  • 1
    I corrected your spelling of 'pejorative'. You can always click the 'edited' link to see what changes have been made and roll them back as you see fit. Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 20:50

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