The Man with the Golden Gun (film)

name = The Man with the Golden Gun

caption = "The Man with the Golden Gun" film poster by Robert McGinnis
bond = Roger Moore
stars = Christopher Lee
Britt Ekland
Maud Adams
writer = Ian Fleming
screenplay = Richard Maibaum
Tom Mankiewicz
cinematography = Ted Moore
Oswald Morris
director = Guy Hamilton
producer = Albert R. Broccoli
Charles Orme
Harry Saltzman
music = John Barry
main theme = The Man with the Golden Gun
composer = John Barry
performer = Lulu
editing = Raymond Poulton
John Shirley
distributor = United Artists
released = 18 December 1974Fact|date=March 2008
19 December 1974Fact|date=March 2008
West Germany| runtime = 125 minutes
country = flag|United Kingdom
preceded_by = Live And Let Die (1973)
followed_by = The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
budget = $7,000,000
worldgross = $97,600,000
admissions = 51.6 million
imdb_id = 0071807
amg_id = 1:31224

"The Man with the Golden Gun" (1974) is the ninth film in the James Bond series, and the second to star Roger Moore as the fictional British secret agent James Bond. An adaptation of Ian Fleming's novel of same name, the film has Bond sent after the Solex Agitator – a device which can harness the power of the sun. He teams up with agent Mary Goodnight against Francisco Scaramanga – The Man with the Golden Gun. The action culminates in a duel between them.

"The Man with the Golden Gun" was the fourth and final film in the series to be directed by Guy Hamilton. The script was written by Richard Maibaum and Tom Mankiewicz. The film was set in the face of the 1973 energy crisis, a dominant theme in the script — Britain had still not yet fully overcome the crisis when the film was released on December 14 1974.

Reviewers praised Christopher Lee's performance as Scaramanga, but criticized the comedic approach.


In the pre-title sequence, a hired hitman can be seen arriving on Francisco Scaramanga's private island. The assassin receives his instructions from Scaramanga's dwarf servant named Nick Nack, however the whole ploy has been organised by Scaramanga, who is using the hitman as an exercise in preparation for Bond. Scaramanga eventually kills the gangster in his hall of mirrors and jokingly says that Nick Nack will have to try harder to inherit his fortune. He then shoots the fingers off a life-size replica of Bond.In London, a golden bullet with Bond's code "007" etched into its surface is received by MI6. It is believed that Scaramanga has been hired to assassinate Bond and has sent the bullet to intimidate him. Bond's mission revolves around the work of a scientist named Gibson, thought to be in possession of information crucial to solving the energy crisis by inventing a new technique of harnessing the sun's power. But because of the perceived threat to the agent's life, M, his boss, forces him to go on a leave. Bond sets out unofficially to find Scaramanga.

After tracking the bullet via a belly dancer in Beirut and an expert gunsmith in Macau, Bond sees Andrea Anders, Scaramanga's mistress, collecting golden bullets at the Macau casino. Bond follows her to Hong Kong and pressures her to tell him about Scaramanga, his appearance and his plans. He is led to a strip club but unbeknownst to him, this is the location of Scaramanga's next 'hit'. The target is Gibson who is shot while leaving the club. However before Bond can assert his innocence, Lieutenant Hip whisks him away from the scene as the police arrive. Nick Nack steals the "Solex Agitator" needed for operating a solar power plant from Gibson's pocket. Bond is ferried out of Hong Kong; inside the shipwreck RMS "Queen Elizabeth", he meets M and Q and also learns that Hip is their ally.

Bond's mission is now to retrieve the solex agitator in the face of the energy crisis and assassinate Scaramanga. He travels to Bangkok to meet a Thai entrepreneur, Hai Fat, who is suspected of hiring Scaramanga to murder Gibson, speculating that they never met personally. Bond uses a fake, synthetic nipple to make him look like having three nipples (since Scaramanga was known for this trait) and meets Hai Fat at his estate. However, Hai Fat, having already met with Scaramanga, captures and places Bond in his personally owned dojo, instructing his fighters to kill the agent. Bond escapes with the aide of Lt. Hip and his trained nieces who defeat the entire dojo. Bond speeds away by boat on a Bangkok canal and reunites with his British assistant Mary Goodnight during dinner.

Later, Anders enters his room, revealing that she had sent the bullet to London and wants Bond to kill Scaramanga. In payment, Anders promises to hand over the Solex to him at a boxing venue the next day. Instead of spending the night as he promised with Goodnight (whom he hid in a closet), Bond spends the night with Anders. At the match, Bond discovers that the mistress has been quietly shot and meets Scaramanga for the first time. Bond is able to smuggle the Solex from Anders' purse away to Hip who passes it to Goodnight waiting outside. Attempting to place a homing device, she is locked into Scaramanga's car, an AMC Matador, as he drives away. Bond follows him in an AMC Hornet 'X' with Sheriff J.W. Pepper at his side - whom he encounters when acquiring the vehicle - and a car chase across Bangkok ensues, concluding at a barn in the countryside outside the city with Scaramanga's car transforming into a plane and flying away to his island in the Yellow Sea near China.

Picking up Mary Goodnight's tracking device, Bond flies into Red Chinese waters low under radar and lands in his seaplane at Scaramanga's island. On arriving, Bond is welcomed by Scaramanga and is shown the high-tech solar power plant that Scaramanga has taken over by killing Hai Fat. He is also shown the solar gun operated by the Solex which "comes with no extra charge", which is powered by a receptor hidden in a mushroom-shaped rock nearby. Bond's plane is destroyed by the gun much to his annoyance and Scaramanga's enjoyment. They then enjoy a brief meal prepared by Nick Nack until Bond becomes angered by Scaramanga's belief that they both enjoy killing in their profession. Scaramanga proposes a pistol duel with Bond on the beach, a "clash between titans". The two men stand back to back and are ordered by Nick Nack to take twenty paces, but when Bond turns and fires, Scaramanga has vanished. Nick Nack leads Bond into the Hall of Mirrors, where Scaramanga meets his ultimate demise, but not before Goodnight, in way-laying a henchman into a pool of liquid helium, upsets the balance of the solar plant, which gradually goes out of control. Bond retrieves the solex unit at the last moment just before the island explodes, and they escape unharmed in Scaramanga's Chinese junk ship. While trying to take some relaxation on the ship, however, they are attacked by Nick Nack, who is out for revenge for being deprived of his inheritance. He is put out of commission by Bond, who stuffs him into a wicker cage strapped to the mast, and the ship sails off into the sea.


* Roger Moore as James Bond: An MI6 agent.
*Christopher Lee as Francisco Scaramanga: An assassin who plans to misuse solar energy for destructive purposes
*Britt Ekland as Mary Goodnight: Bond's assistant in the Far East.
*Maud Adams as Andrea Anders: Scaramanga's mistress. Dissatisfied with him, she contacts Bond to help her to kill Scaramanga.
*Hervé Villechaize as Nick Nack: Scaramanga's servant who fights Bond till his capture.
*Bernard Lee as M: The strict head of MI6.
*Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny: M's secretary
*Desmond Llewelyn as Q: Head of MI6 technical department
*Clifton James as Sheriff J.W. Pepper: The Louisiana sheriff from "Live and Let Die" who happens to be vacationing in Thailand.
*Richard Loo as Hai Fat: A Thai millionaire industrialist in league with Scaramanga.
*Soon-Tek Oh as Lieutenant Hip: Bond's local contact in Hong Kong and Bangkok.

This is the first of three movies in which Maud Adams appears. In 1983, she plays a different character, Octopussy, in the film of the same name. She would later have a cameo in the Bond movie "A View to a Kill". This is also the second movie with Clifton James playing the role of Sheriff J.W. Pepper, who returns coincidentally on vacation with his wife in Bangkok and in the car that Bond chases Scaramanga in. He first appeared in "Live and Let Die".


In 1969, Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman intended to follow "You Only Live Twice" with "The Man with the Golden Gun", inviting Roger Moore to the Bond role. But production was cancelled, because it would to have been filmed in Cambodia, and the outbreak of war in the region made filming impractical. "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was produced instead. Broccoli and Saltzman then decided to start production after "Live and Let Die".cite video|title=Inside The Man with the Golden Gun: The Man with the Golden Gun Ultimate Edition, Disc 2|date=2000|format=NTSC, Widescreen, Closed-captioned|publisher=MGM/UA Home Video|location=|medium=DVD|accessdate=2008-03-27]

Tom Mankiewicz delivered a script, but refused to continue working on it as he couldn't "go further in it". Richard Maibaum, which worked in six Bond films previously, delivered his own draft based on Mankiewicz's work. Broccoli's stepson Michael G. Wilson researched about solar power to create a MacGuffin, the Solex, for Maibaum's text.

It was the final Bond film to be co-produced by Saltzman as his partnership with Broccoli dissolved after the film's release. Saltzman's 50% stake in EON Productions parent company, Danjaq, LLC was then purchased by United Artists. The resulting legalities over the Bond property delayed production of the next Bond film, "The Spy Who Loved Me" for three years. [cite video|title=Inside The Spy Who Loved Me: The Spy Who Loved Me Ultimate Edition, Disc 2|date=2000|format=NTSC, Widescreen, Closed-captioned|publisher=MGM/UA Home Video|location=|medium=DVD|accessdate=2008-03-27]


Christopher Lee, who was chosen to portray Scaramanga, is the cousin of Ian Fleming, and according to some sourcesWho|date=December 2007 was one of Fleming's choices for the role of Dr. Julius No in the film "Dr. No" (1962). Due to filming on location in Bangkok, his role in the film affected Lee's work the following year as director Ken Russell was unable to sign Lee to play The Specialist in "Tommy" (1975). The part was eventually given to Jack Nicholson.

Mary Goodnight played by 1970s sex-symbol Britt Ekland is a recurring character in several Fleming Bond novels, even appearing in lieu of Miss Moneypenny; in the novels, Goodnight is Bond's secretary.

Marc Lawrence, who plays the gangster shot dead by Scaramanga at the start of the film, played a similar character in "Diamonds Are Forever", although this film does not indicate whether Lawrence is playing the same character.

Yuen Qiu cast as one of the young girls Bond meets at the dojo, would showcase her remarkable martial art skills 30 years later as the chain smoking Landlady in Stephen Chow's blockbuster "Kung Fu Hustle" (2004).


The film was shot on location in Hong Kong, Macau, Bangkok, and Phuket. Studio work including Scaramaga's solar energy plant and island interior were filmed at Pinewood Studios. The canal scene where Bond disables the dojo's boat was filmed in Thon Buri, Thailand.

Stunt driver "Bumps" Williard (as James Bond) driving a AMC Hornet leaps a broken bridge and spins around 360 degrees in mid-air, doing an "aerial twist". Willard was paid £30,000 for the stunt, which was held under EON Productions copyright for several years afterwards.

The scenes featuring the island hideout of Scaramanga were filmed in Phang Nga Province in Thailand, northeast of Phuket on the island of Ko Khao Phing Kan ( _th. เกาะเขาพิงกัน) and the adjacent Ko Tapu ( _th. เกาะตะปู). Scaramanga's hideout is on Ko Khao Phing Kan, and Ko Tapu is often now referred to as "James Bond Island" both by locals as well as in tourist guidebooks. Both islands are significant tourists attractions in the area. The site was hit hard by a tsunami following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.

One of the more interesting locations is the use of a derelict former Atlantic Ocean liner, the RMS "Queen Elizabeth", as a top-secret MI6 base in Hong Kong harbour. The announcer on the Hong Kong-Macau hydrofoil ferry announces when passing the wreck of the "Queen Elizabeth", that it sank in 1971. It actually sank in January 1972.


The theme tune to "The Man with the Golden Gun", released in 1974, was performed by Scottish singer Lulu, and composed by John Barry. The lyrics to the song were written by Don Black. Rock star Alice Cooper claims his song "The Man With The Golden Gun" was to be used by the producers of the film until it was dropped for Lulu's song instead. Cooper's song appears on his album "Muscle of Love".

The theme tune and score are generally considered by critics to be among the weakest of Barry's contributions to the series - an opinion shared by Barry himself "It's the one I hate most... it just never happened for me." cite video | people =Barry, John (interviewee) | year =2006 | title =James Bond's Greatest Hits | url = | medium =Television | location =UK | publisher =North One Television]

The film was also the first to drop the distinctive plucked guitar from the Bond theme heard over the Gun Barrel sequence - in all subsequent John Barry Bond scores, this theme would be heard on strings and trumpet.

A sample from one scene in the film was taken and used by The Prodigy in the "Mindfields" track on the album "The Fat of the Land".

Release and reception

"The Man with the Golden Gun" was released on December 18, 1974. [ [] Sep 5 07] Made with an estimated budget of $13 million, the film earned a total of $97,600,000 worldwide at the box office. Out of this the film earned $21 million in the USA.

"The Man with the Golden Gun" gets good reviews every now and then from critics and maintains a 68% "fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes. cite web | url= | title=The Man with the Golden Gun | work= Rotten Tomatoes | accessdate=2007-09-24 ] Luke Y Thompson of the New Times said, "Bond versus Herve and Dracula. How can such a thing possibly be disliked?" IGN chose it as the worst Bond movie. [cite web|url=|title=James Bond's Top 20|publisher=IGN|date=2006-11-17|accessdate=2007-12-21] Some critics saw it as uninspired and a tired or boring film. [ [ The Man with the Golden Gun] , James Berardinelli] Roger Moore was also criticised for playing Bond against type in a style more reminiscent of Sean Connery, although Lee's performance received acclaim.


Scaramanga has featured as a villain in various video games. His golden gun was initially added to the Egyptian level and multiplayer portion of the video game "GoldenEye 007". Due to its popularity it was also added into subsequent James Bond games "The World is Not Enough", "Agent Under Fire", "Nightfire", ', ', and "From Russia With Love". In "The World is Not Enough" for the Nintendo 64, the gun must be assembled from the pen, lighter, and case before it could be used. In most of the games the gun would count for an instant kill, which reflected that Scaramanga never missed (although in the games the player can), and because of this the golden gun is not available in single player mode. [cite video game
title = Perfect Dark
developer = Rare
publisher =
date =
platform = Nintendo 64
version =
level =
isolang =
quote =

Scaramanga can be a playable character in the multiplayer portion of "Nightfire".

In 2004, Scaramanga returned the third time for the game "" as an ally of Auric Goldfinger. He is the manufacturer of the synthetic eye given to the player (GoldenEye) and makes a virus used against Goldfinger's O.M.E.N. device. Once again, Scaramanga was voiced by Christopher Lee. The game also features a Multiplayer "Funhouse" level, including the traps that caused Bond to lose most of his bullets, such as Al Capone and Cowboy mannequins, and an image of Scaramanga. In addition, the level includes a Bond mannequin, whose gun the player can take and use. [cite video game
title = GoldenEye: Rogue Agent
developer = EA Los Angeles
publisher = Electronic Arts
date =
platform =
version =
level = Funhouse
isolang =
quote =

In many other video games, a weapon capable of killing an opponent in a single shot is referred to as a golden gun. In "Killer 7", the main character, Garcian Smith, having just lost his team of assassins to an enemy, must use a Golden Gun to complete the team's mission, it appears to be designed after the Golden Gun in the original novel of The Man with the Golden Gun rather than the one in the movie. [cite video game
title = Killer 7
developer = Grasshopper Manufacture
publisher = Capcom
date =
platform =
version =
level =
isolang =
quote =
] This gun is capable of killing all the enemies he comes across in one shot.

ee also

* Bottoms Up Club


External links

* [ MGM Official website]
* [ Trailer at Youtube]

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