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James Bond Films

The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)

James Bond Films
Dr. No (1962) | From Russia With Love (1963) | Goldfinger (1964) | Thunderball (1965)
You Only Live Twice (1967) | On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) | Diamonds are Forever (1971)
Live and Let Die (1973) | The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) | The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Moonraker (1979) | For Your Eyes Only (1981) | Octopussy (1983) | A View to a Kill (1985)
The Living Daylights (1987) | Licence to Kill (1989) | GoldenEye (1995) | Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
The World is Not Enough (1999) | Die Another Day (2002) | Casino Royale (2006) | Quantum of Solace, 007 (2008)
Skyfall (2012) | Spectre (2015)
| No Time to Die (2021)

The James Bond Films (official)
See Bond Girls in The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)

The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)
d. Guy Hamilton, 125 minutes

Opening Credits, Title Sequence

The gun-barrel opening was followed by a long pre-title credits sequence. It was the third Bond film not to feature Bond in the pre-title credits sequence (although Bond was in the 'funhouse' in the form of a wax figure).
Gun-barrel Sequence: Designed by Maurice Binder
Main Title Sequence: Designed by Maurice Binder
Title Song: "The Man With the Golden Gun" (sung by Lulu)

Film Plot Summary

The pre-title credits sequence was set on the private island of the title character, the villainous and deadly Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) (disfigured with a strange, superfluous third nipple). His luxurious hide-out lair was located off the coast of China in Red-Chinese territorial waters. He was lounging on the beach with his abused mistress-lover Andrea Anders (Maud Adams), and being served champagne by his diminutive French manservant-assistant Nick Nack (Herve Villechaize, priming himself for TV's Fantasy Island). Black-wearing hired hitman Rodney (Marc Lawrence) arrived, paid and commissioned by Nick Nack to kill his boss. In Scaramanga's training room, the assassin attached a silencer to his weapon and awaited Scaramanga. The two stalked each other in the 'funhouse' room, with colored lights, mazes, optical illusions, mirrors, a robotic wax-mannequin of a western cowboy and Al Capone's group of gangsters (and a wax statue "likeness" of James Bond), and sound effects (monitored and orchestrated by Nick Nack in an elaborate control room).

To defend himself, the unarmed Scaramanga located his own special weapon - a golden gun with only one bullet - and with one shot to the head, killed his assailant (# 1 death). The arrangement between Nick Nack and Scaramanga was to keep the boss in peak shape (similar to the function of Clouseau's Kato in The Pink Panther series) by employing skilled assassins to match their skills against the master. If the master was killed, Nick Nack would inherit all of his wealth and the island base.

In London at MI6 headquarters, British 007 agent James Bond (Roger Moore) briefed "M" (Bernard Lee) about Scaramanga. He was born in a circus, the son of a Cuban ringmaster and British snake-charmer. He was a spectacular trick-shot artist by age 10, and soon became a feared gunman as a teenager. He was recruited and trained by the KGB as an assassin, but later went independent in the late 1950s, now charging $1 million per hit. Although his location and identity by photograph were both unknown, the "man with the golden gun," who always used a golden bullet, had one outstanding feature - "one superfluous papilla" (mammary gland or nipple).

Bond learned that one golden bullet, with 007's number engraved on it, had been received as intimidation at headquarters, and he appeared to be the next target on the hit list of Scaramanga. When Bond asked who would kill him, the ill-tempered "M" quipped: "Jealous husbands, outraged chefs, humiliated tailors. The list is endless!" The message with the bullet was signed: "S" and had his verified fingerprints on it. Bond's current mission was now put in jeopardy - he would have to postpone tracking down a British scientist/inventor named Gibson and his solar-cell data [he had developed a device, a Solex Agitator, to harness the energy of the sun and solve all energy woes in the midst of the world's energy crisis). Bond was placed on temporary leave. However, "M" hinted and then agreed with Bond when he suggested that the agent locate Scaramanga first before the killer found him. In the outer office, Bond learned from Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) that agent 002 (Bill Fairbanks) had been assassinated in 1969 in a Beirut, Lebanon cabaret (linked to a lady named Saida) - presumably tied to the Scaramanga affair, but the golden-gun killer wasn't confirmed as the killer because they couldn't locate the bullet.

After the credits, Bond traveled to Beirut to confirm his suspicions about Scaramanga. In a cabaret, he spied the golden bullet fashioned as a decorative lucky charm - a navel ring in the belly-button of dancer Saida (Carmen du Sautoy). Bond visited after her performance in her dressing room, where she admitted that agent 002 had died in her arms, and she had removed the bullet from the wall. While Bond was kissing the charm on her "magnificent abdomen," he accidentally swallowed it when he was grabbed from behind by three local bouncers (from the cabaret?). After Bond struggled with the three men and knocked them out, Saida screamed out that she had lost her charm, but Bond quipped: "Not from where I'm standing," as he exited the back door of her wrecked dressing room. He hired a taxi to take him to the "nearest pharmacy" for a laxative to retrieve the bullet. Bond returned to London where the unique, highly-specialized bullet was examined by "Q" (Desmond Llewelyn) in the lab. It was fired from a 4.2 mm, and made of soft 23-carat gold, possibly engineered by infamous Portuguese gun-maker Lazar (Marne Maitland) who lived in Macau.

Macau was Bond's next destination - he took a bicycle cab to Lazar's address, where he questioned the shifty gun-maker, breaching confidentiality about the craftsman's most profitable assassin-client Scaramanga, and forced answers from him by pointing a rifle at the man's groin: "So speak, or forever hold your piece." He convinced Lazar to be accompanied on his next delivery to the local Casino de Macau, where the newly-minted golden bullets (hidden in a cigarette case) were placed in a money collection basket at one of the gambling tables. The contact was Andrea Anders, Scaramanga's mistress, whom Bond then followed to Hong Kong on a hydrofoil. He was about to pursue her in a taxi when she was picked up by a dark green Rolls-Royce, but he was inadvertently blocked by the arrival of bumbling, ditzy blonde MI6 liaison officer Mary Goodnight (Britt Ekland) in her MG convertible. Bond was annoyed, but Goodnight knew that the Rolls was a courtesy car sent by the Peninsula Hotel, for guest occupant of Room 602. Calling it "official business," Bond left Goodnight and entered Andrea's hotel room where he surprised her in the shower - she reciprocated the shock by pointing a gun at him ("a water pistol?") as she opened the frosted shower door. After noticing the packet of gold bullets ("They certainly can damage your heallth"), he knocked the gun away from her. He pressured her for information, and she identified herself as Scaramanga's lover, but: "only before he kills" - her partner believed that sex with her guaranteed murderous success. When Bond manhandled and slapped her, she told him about Scaramanga's plan to visit the Bottoms Up Club (a strip club) that evening, predicting he would wear a white linen suit, black tie, and gold jewelry. Bond suggested that she divulge nothing of their conversation - otherwise, Scaramanga might use one of the little golden bullets on her ("And that would be a pity, because they're very expensive"). She agreed to the delivery of the bullets.

However, neither she or Scaramanga showed up that evening. While Bond waited outside the club, Scaramanga was making love to the haunted Miss Anders on his Chinese junk ship, as a prelude to another murder. A man leaving from the Bottoms Up Club, revealed as solar energy scientist Gibson (Gordon Everett), was assassinated by Scaramanga from a sniper's nest across the street (# 2 death), even though Bond was also a clear target. As Bond drew his Walther PPK, he was suspected of the murder, arrested, and whisked off by Hong Kong police Lieutenant Hip (Soon-Taik Oh), who had been escorting Gibson. Undetected, Nick Nack stole the "Solex Agitator" (the size of a cigarette case!) from Gibson's pocket, and delivered it to Scaramanga on his junk.

Bond's arrest was a pretense to take him by ferry to "M" and "Q" - located in a base within the partially-submerged Queen Elizabeth wreck in Hong Kong's harbor. Bond - who was unaware of Hip's credentials, tried to escape and jump onto the vessel - where he was surprised to hear the greeting "Welcome aboard, Commander Bond." Inside, he was briefed about Gibson, who was in the process of defecting and bargaining for immunity, and was suggesting another meeting in Bangkok to discuss terms. [Lieutenant Hip had taken over Bond's previous assignment, and was helping to facilitate Gibson's defection.] Gibson was employed by Taiwanese multi-millionaire industrialist Hai Fat (Richard Loo) of a high-tech solar power plant in Bangkok. Gibson had devised a solar-powered "Solex Agitator" to solve the world's energy crisis - it could convert the sun's radiation into electricity. After Gibson's murder, the Solex went mysteriously missing - and "M" was furious: "We're left with a useless corpse and no leads." Bond hypothesized that only a rich person could have employed Scaramanga to kill Gibson, for his assassin's fee of $1 million, and then suggested that Hai Fat could afford it. Bond proposed to meet the wealthy industrialist while impersonating Scaramanga (he requested a synthetic third nipple from "Q" for the disguise, "a little kinky"), hoping that Hai Fat had never previously met the killer.

Bond arrived in Bangkok with Lieutenant Hip and climbed the wall to enter inside the highly-guarded industrialist's mountainside compound and mansion. There, he first saw Chew Mee (Francoise Therry) swimming completely naked in the pool. As he removed his shirt to join her, Hai Fat approached and ordered him to leave, but then saw his third nipple. Knowing about the physical abnormality of his hired killer, Hai Fat called off his guards. Bond suggested that Hai Fat order another assassination - that of 007 agent James Bond. Before he left, Bond was invited back for 9 o'clock dinner (Bond to Hip: "He must have found me quite 'tit-illating'"). Unbeknownst to Bond, Scaramanga had watched the entire proceedings inside Hai Fat's estate - he was in league with the industrialist to shorten Bond's life. Bond left his hotel for the dinner engagement after saying goodbye to a frustrated Mary Goodnight, hinting that they might make love upon his return.

In Hai Fat's garden, white dinner-jacketed Bond was attacked by two sumo wrestlers (posing as a statue), and although he was gaining the upper hand, he was knocked unconscious from behind by a masked Nick Nack holding a metal trident. Hai Fat intervened and prevented Bond's death (by spearing in the neck), when he commanded: "Not here! This is my home. Take Mr. Bond to school." The agent was taken to Hai Fat's personal dojo, a kung-fu school, where Bond gained consciousness the next morning while attended by servant girls (Bond: "Heaven. Definitely heaven"). He was forced to fight against two of Hai Fat's martial-arts academy students (including Chula (Chan Yiu Lam) - a formidable opponent and top student), instructed to kill him. He escaped through a meshed window and landed outside the dojo, where he was aided by Lieutenant Hip and his two karate-skilled schoolgirl nieces (their father ran a karate school) who ludicrously vanquished all the pupils in the academy. After Hip and the two girls sped off in their car, Bond was left behind to fend for himself. He fled to a river while being chased by more academy students led by Chula, where he stole a motor-boat and was chased along one of Bangkok's canals. He surprised a pursuing boat by ramming it from a side canal and slicing it in half. On the tourist-boat, foul-mouthed Sheriff J.W. Pepper (Clifton James) (calling the locals "pointy heads" who wore pajamas) was coincidentally on vacation with his wife, and as comic relief, was tossed indignantly into the canal by a baby elephant after he called it "ugly."

At his mansion, Hai Fat was disappointed after being informed of the failure to terminate Bond. He vowed to lie low so he wouldn't further jeopardize his project, and he gave his hired assassin and secondary partner the Solex. Almost unnoticed, Scaramanga assembled his golden gun from its four component parts while being scolded by Hai Fat, and then calmly murdered the business industrialist (# 3 death). He announced to an associate that he was taking control of Mr. Fat's assets: "Mr. Fat has just resigned. I'm the new chairman of the board. He always did like that mausoleum - put him in it!" Bond finally reunited with British agent Mary Goodnight for dinner, mentioning that Hai Fat seemed to have disappeared. They were offered a complimentary bottle of Phuyuck '74, and Bond claimed he approved, but he wasn't referring to the wine: "Oh, not the wine. Your frock. Tight in all the right places. Not too many buttons...(toasting) To this moment and the moment yet to come." Goodnight wasn't receptive to his hinted romantic overtures, and breathlessly replied: "Oh, darling, I'm tempted. But killing a few hours as one of your passing fancies isn't quite my scene." She left their table, as Nick Nack observed them through binoculars from the offshore junk.

Bond returned to his hotel room feeling rejected, but he was pleasantly surprised to find Goodnight in his room wearing a short nightie: "My hard-to-get act didn't last very long, did it?" He invited her to his bed and kissed her, but after she happily exclaimed: "James, I thought this would never happen," they were interrupted by the entrance of Andrea at his door after she had bribed a bellboy to let her in (Bond: "Miss Anders. I didn't recognize you with your clothes on"). As Goodnight listened under his bedsheets, Andrea warned Bond about Scaramanga's deadly intentions (although he admired Bond and had a wax likeness of him), and explained: "He's a monster. I hate him," but she couldn't just walk out on him. Risking her life, she entreated Bond ("I need 007") to kill her master and escape his clutches ("I want him dead. Name your price. Anything, I'll pay it. You can have me too if you like. I'm not unattractive"). She admitted that she had sent the golden bullet to Bond at his London headquarters. She kissed him: "I've dreamed about you setting me free," and even promised Bond possession of the Solex agitator if he would kill Scaramanga. When Andrea briefly visited the bathroom to change out of her clothes, Bond shoved Goodnight into the bedroom closet - and she was forced to uncomfortably listen as Bond embraced the naked Andrea (when her blue bathrobe fell to the floor) and slept with her (# 1 tryst). At around two o'clock in the morning after the two-hour love-making was over and Andrea returned to Scaramanga on his junk, Bond released Goodnight from the closet.

The exchange of the Solex agitator was to occur at a Thai kick-boxing match, where Bond was to meet with Andrea in the audience. But the deceitful Anders was killed by Scaramanga - she was seated next to him, stone-dead from a gunshot wound to the chest (# 4 death). When he frantically searched in her handbag for the Solex, the tall figure of Scaramanga calmly sat down next to Bond and introduced himself, explaining why Miss Anders was eliminated: "A mistress cannot serve two masters." While held at gun-point by Nick Nack, Bond noticed that the Solex device had dropped to the littered floor, and through undercover officer Hip disguised as a peanut vendor, he was able to slip the agitator to him and get it to Mary Goodnight outside the arena - she was told to notify the police about the dead girl. Before leaving, Scaramanga told Bond that he had no personal argument against him, but threatened for him to remain in his seat while he departed.

As she was phoning the police, Goodnight noticed Nick Nack leaving the arena and followed him, but was pushed by Scaramanga into the locked trunk of his bronze, black-roofed two-door AMC Matador when she tried to bug the vehicle with a magnetic homing device, and she found herself kidnapped. By walkie-talkie, Bond learned that she was trapped in the car, with the Solex. Unable to pursue in his own vehicle and unable to call a taxi, Bond stole a jazzy red AMC Hornet Hatchback from a Bangkok auto showroom at the same time that Sheriff Pepper was demanding a test drive demonstration. They crashed through the glass window of the showroom, as a lengthy car chase ensued after Scaramanga's car on the streets of the bustling city. Pepper recognized Bond as that "secret agent from England" and declared himself on a "mission" as Bond's deputy. After the crash of many police cars that joined in the chase, the sequence's highlight, after Bond missed a turn, was a 360 degree corkscrew, roll-over jump over a half-broken bridge to cross a canal, with Pepper exclaiming as he was tossed into the back seat: "Wowee! I never done that before!" Bond replied: "Neither have I, actually." The chase concluded at a rural structure outside the city where Scaramanga's car transformed itself into a flying Car Plane (with a roof-mounted wing and jet motor), and he flew away to his secret island base off the coast of China.

Bond and Lieutanant Hip reported to "M" and "Q" at the MI6 base in the ship in Hong Kong harbor, and informed them that Scaramanga's car-plane was found abandoned about 200 miles west of Bangkok. Goodnight still had the Solex in her handbag. Her homing signal was tracked to a small group of islands in Red Chinese waters. Bond proposed to make an unofficial visit by piloting a Republic RC-3 Seabee seaplane to Scaramanga's private island and fortress. After landing near the beach, Nick Nack approached with a bottle of champagne - Scaramanga introduced himself by popping the cork with his golden gun. He then led Bond into his "rent-free" hide-out and provided a civil tour of the retreat and its high-tech solar power plant. He boasted about his self-sufficient facility with every "electric labor-saving device" possible, built by Hai Fat's construction company. An ample supply of electricity was generated by his solar energy station, overseen by maintenance and security officer Kra (Sonny Caldinez). Scaramanga's plan was to show off the technology and sell the Solex to the highest international bidder, who could then build hundreds of similar energy-producing solar stations and "sell franchises for hundreds more." The highest bidder would "literally have the sun in his pocket - a monopoly on solar power." The oil sheiks might even pay millions to Scaramanga to keep solar energy off the market.

The Solex was a key component - it transmitted heat to the thermal generators by collecting the sun's rays from a solar receptor (a large span of solar panels that automatically tracked the sun) hidden in a nearby mushroom-shaped rock. Scaramanga also bragged about his Solex gun - a focused solar laser beam weapon that came with the Solex - "no extra charge." He showed how he was able to focus the solar power through a Solex gun, and blew up Bond's seaplane ("Now that's what I call solar power"). Annoyed, 007 replied: "That's what I call trouble." Scaramanga emphasized his point: "You must admit, Mr. Bond, I am now undeniably the man with the golden gun." They were summoned to lunch prepared by Nick Nack, with Goodnight in a bikini joining them (Scaramanga: "I like a girl in a bikini. No concealed weapons"). Scaramanga further explained how he and Bond were much the same - they both enjoyed being in a killing profession - except for their incomes. Bond wasn't impressed: "There's a useful four-letter word - and you'll full of it. When I kill, it's on the specific orders of my government, and those I kill are themselves killers." Bond would enjoy killing Scaramanga ("I admit killing you would be a pleasure"), and the villain then suggested a "Duel of Titans" - face to face ("mano a mano") on the beach (his Golden Gun vs. Bond's Walther PPK) - "Each of us with a fifty fifty chance." It would be an old-fashioned duel, "the only true test for gentlemen." The two men stood back to back, and Nick Nack functioned as referee and pace-counter. When they turned on the count of 20, Bond turned and fired, but Scaramanga had vanished. Nick Nack led Bond to the funhouse, encouraging Bond: "If you kill him, all this be mine. This way, Monsieur Bond. Monsieur, Good shooting." Bond quipped back: "I've never killed a midget before. But there can always be a first time!"

The two stalked each other in the extravagant but deadly funhouse, filled with optical illusions, mazes, and wax targets (with some homage to the climactic shoot-out in a hall of mirrors in The Lady From Shanghai (1948)), as Nick Nack orchestrated various traps to force Bond to waste his bullets. Bond lost his gun when it fell from his pants waistband to the bottom of a shaft. Bond posed as the wax figure of himself, and shot and killed the approaching Scaramanga, surprised and outwitted, with a bullet to the chest (# 5 death, # 1 Bond kill). Meanwhile, Mary Goodnight pushed Kra into one of the liquid helium-cooled tanks (# 6 death), and his body temperature upset the delicate balance in the temperature-controlled vats. It caused the plant to become unstable and dangerously overheat. When Bond reunited with Goodnight, he told her about Scaramanga's fate: "Flat on his coup de grace." With only a few minutes before the entire complex was due to explode, Bond entered the energy station's control room to retrieve the solex, and while prying it from its housing, he was almost incinerated by the solar laser beam when Goodnight accidentally moved backwards into the console panel and activated the machine. Exasperated with her, Bond yelled to her to "push every damn button" to turn it off, although the disappearance of the sun - conveniently shielded by a cloud - caused it to deactivate. As the detonated island facility was in meltdown and exploding in balls of fire, Bond and Goodnight safely raced away and sailed out to sea on Scaramanga's Chinese junk ship, heading toward Hong Kong (Goodnight: "A slow boat from China").

While Bond and Goodnight relaxed in Scaramanga's own bedroom aboard the junk for a long-delayed romantic interlude, they were interrupted by vengeful, knife-wielding Nick Nack, who stealthily entered through the ceiling. The pint-sized "midget" stowaway attempted to kill Bond by throwing champagne bottles at the agent, but was tossed into a large suitcase. After Bond called him "a little fink," Nick Nack yelled from within the case: "You will be sorry. I may be small, but I never forget." Bond took the case up to the top deck, and then returned to Goodnight, telling her that he had disposed of him (the last shot of him was imprisoned in a wicker cage attached to the mast near the crow's nest). When he returned to embracing Goodnight on the bed ("Now, where were we?"), there was another interruption to their peace - "M" phoned for Bond on an ascending phone unit next to the bed (Bond: "Something came up"), and asked to speak to Goodnight. Bond requested that his superior hold on, then passionately kissed her, and answered: "She's just coming, sir!" Bond put the phone aside on the bed to resume love-making, while "M" kept calling out for "Goodnight." To prevent any further delays, Bond hung up the call with his own final words: "Goodnight, sir." (# 2 tryst)

Film Notables (Awards, Facts, etc.)

The ninth film in the series, and the second Bond film for Roger Moore - a fairly stiff and boring characterization..

This was the last film partnering co-producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman. It was also the fourth and final film in the series for director Guy Hamilton.

With a production budget of $7 million, and gross revenue of $21 million (domestic) and $98 million (worldwide). A box-office failure.

One of the weakest, silliest, uninventive, worst and least interesting films in the entire series, with a continued emphasis on overt, slapstick-style comedy (redneck Sheriff Pepper (Clifton James) reprised his role from the previous film). The themes of martial-arts kung-fu and a world energy crisis reflected the mid-70s time period of filming.

The title weapon - a golden gun - was assembled from a pen, a cuff-link, a cigarette case, and a lighter.

Maud Adams went on to play another lead role in a second Bond film (in Octopussy (1983)) as another Bond girl, the only actress to have done so.

Set-pieces: Bond's martial-arts combat in the dojo against formidable adversary Chula, the car chase through Bangkok's bustling streets including the sequence's highlight - the famous 360 degree roll-over corkscrew car river/canal-jump (with a comical kazoo sound-effect), and the final shoot-out in Scaramanga's remote island fun-house.

Bond Villains: Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee), Nick Nack (Hervé Villechaize), Hai Fat (Richard Loo), Chula (Chan Yiu Lam), Kra (Sonny Caldinez)

Bond Girls: Andrea Anders (Maud Adams), Saida (Carmen du Sautoy), Miss Mary Goodnight (Britt Ekland), Chew Mee (Francoise Therry)

Number of Love-Making Encounters: 2

Film Locales: Scaramanga's island (unnamed) off the coast of China in Red-Chinese territorial waters, London, England (UK), Beirut, Lebanon, Macau - China's Guangdong Province, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Thailand and surrounding areas

Gadgets: Scaramanga's deadly, custom-made 4.2 mm golden-plated gun with golden bullets (constructed of a cigarette case handle, bullet chamber-lighter, fountain pen-barrel, and cuff link-trigger), fake synthetic nipple, Solar (solex) agitator, magnetic homing device, walkie-talkie

Vehicles: Flying Sandpaper Hydrofoil, Anders' green Rolls-Royce, Mary Goodnight's yellowish MG convertible, Scaramanga's Chinese Junk, screw-motorized Bangkok canal-river boats, Scaramanga's bronze, black-roofed two-door AMC Matador converted into a flying Car Plane (with roof-mounted wing and jet motor), Bond's jazzy red AMC Hornet Hatchback, Republic RC-3 Seabee seaplane

Number of Deaths (Bond Kills): 6 (1)

James Bond:
(Roger Moore)

Bond Regular: Miss Moneypenny
(Lois Maxwell)

Bond Villain: Francisco Scaramanga
(Christopher Lee)

Bond Villain: Nick Nack
(Herve Villechaize)

Bond Girl: Miss Mary Goodnight
(Britt Ekland)

Bond Girl: Andrea Anders
(Maud Adams)

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