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"What do you know about a man called Scaramanga, 007?"
"Scaramanga? Oh yes, The Man With The Golden Gun.
M and James Bond[src]

The Man with the Golden Gun is the ninth official James Bond movie and the second to star Roger Moore as British Secret Service agent Commander James Bond. The Man with the Golden Gun was made by EON Productions and released in 1974. It is a loose adaptation of Ian Fleming's 1965 novel of the same name. The film was produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman and was the final Bond film to be co-produced by Saltzman as his partnership with Broccoli dissolved after the film's release. Saltman's 50% stake in EON Productions parent company, Danjaq, 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 in 1977. The interval would be the longest break in the series until the six-year hiatuses between Licence to Kill in 1989 and GoldenEye in 1995, and again between Spectre in 2015 and No Time to Die in 2021.

Plot summary[]

An American gangster, Rodney, visits famed and notorious sharpshooter hitman Francisco Scaramanga (who charges $1 million) to kill him and collect a bounty at the hands of his assistant, Nick Nack, but he is directed into a funhouse section of the estate. Despite attempting to move through corners, Rodney is easily shot by Scaramanga using his deadly single-shot gold-plated pistol named the Golden Gun, which is capable of always killing a target with only one bullet.

In London, a golden bullet etched with "007" (James Bond's codename) into its surface, is mailed to Her Majesty's Secret Service, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). It is believed by Military Intelligence that Scaramanga has been hired to assassinate James Bond and has sent the bullet to intimidate his new target. Because no one knows of his appearance outside of having a third nipple, M (Bond's 'control' officer in MI6) relieves Bond of his current mission involving tracking an energy scientist named Gibson.

TMWTGG - Bond and Anders drink to their new partnership

Bond meeting Andrea Anders.

Now officially "on leave" from his duties, Bond sets out to find Scaramanga before the assassin finds him. After gaining information from Miss Moneypenny, 007 travels to Beirut. By retrieving a golden bullet from the belly button of a belly dancer which was used to assassinate another 'Double-0 agent' sometime previously, Bond is led to Lazar, the man responsible for supplying Scaramanga with his unusual golden ammunition in Macau, and then Andrea Anders, Scaramanga's mistress. At her Peninsula Hotel room, he coerces her to expose information about Scaramanga, his appearance and his plans. She directs Bond to the Bottoms Up Club where Scaramanga snipes Gibson when he steps outside, and Nick Nack steals a small device called the Solex Agitator off his body. Bond, who had pulled out his pistol outside the club, is arrested by Hong Kong police lieutenant Hip. Instead of going to the station, he is transported to the wreck of RMS Queen Elizabeth in the harbor where he meets M and Q, and is assigned to work with Hip to retrieve the Solex.

Bond next travels to Bangkok to meet Hai Fat, a wealthy Thai entrepreneur suspected of arranging Gibson's murder. Posing as Scaramanga by showing off his fake third nipple, Bond is invited to dinner, but his plan backfires because unbeknownst to him, Scaramanga himself is operating inside Hai Fat's estate. Bond is captured and placed inside Hai Fat's martial arts academy, where the students duel to the death and then are instructed to kill him. Escaping with the aid of Hip and his nieces, Bond speeds away on a motorized sampan along the river, and reunites with his assistant, Mary Goodnight. Scaramanga subsequently kills Hai Fat with his Golden Gun and assumes complete control of his empire and the Solex.

Anders later meets Bond and confesses that it was she who sent the golden bullet to MI6; to lure 007 to kill Scaramanga for her, and promises to give him the Solex as they spent the night together. At a Muay Thai boxing event the next day, Bond finds Anders sitting and staring silently, dead from a bullet (as she was actually shot by Scarmanga). Scaramanga suddenly arrives and casually introduces himself to Bond, but Bond is able to smuggle the Solex to Hip, who passes it to Goodnight. When Goodnight follows Nick Nack to place a homing device on Scaramanga's car, the assassin instead traps her in the car's boot. Bond discovers Scaramanga driving off and steals an AMC Hornet from a showroom to give chase, coincidentally with the holidaying J.W. Pepper (the Louisianan sheriff Bond encountered in Live and Let Die) sitting inside, and even did a stunt of jumping over a broken bridge in a spiral. The chase concludes when Scaramanga's AMC Matador Coupé hides in a building and then transforms into a plane that flies off.

TMWTGG - Bond dines with Scaramanga and Goodnight

Scaramanga, Goodnight and Bond having dinner.

Tracking Goodnight's homing beacon, Bond takes a seaplane and flies to Scaramanga's island in the Red Chinese waters. Scaramanga welcomes and shows Bond the solar power plant facility that he has taken over, a technology for which he intends to sell to the highest bidder. While demonstrating the equipment, Scaramanga uses the solar-powered energy beam to destroy Bond's plane, preventing him from escaping. During lunch, Scaramanga proposes a pistol duel with Bond on the beach after the two engage in a classy argument that resulted in the professional assassin pulling his Golden Gun out faster than the spy could with his Walther PPK (but mercifully refuses to kill 007). With Nick Nack officiating, the two men take twenty paces, but when Bond turns and fires, Scaramanga has vanished. Nick Nack leads Bond into Scaramanga's manor and funhouse section. Despite the villain's skills rivaling the 00 Agent, Bond, however, eventually outwits and ultimately kills Scaramanga by wisely posing as his mannequin replica and shooting into his heart with a single shot while he is off-guard. Goodnight kills Scaramanga's security chief, Kra, but the latter's fall into a liquid helium vat causes the plant's temperature to spiral out of control. Bond retrieves the Solex unit just before the plant is destroyed, and they escape unharmed in Scaramanga's Chinese junk. After Bond fends off one final attack by a vengeful Nick Nack, he romances with Goodnight, completing his deadly mission of defeating arguably the most dangerous man alive.

Cast & Characters[]

This is the first of three movies to feature Maud Adams. 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. He first appeared in Live and Let Die.



Main article: The Man with the Golden Gun (soundtrack)

Vehicles & gadgets[]

Main articles: List of James Bond vehicles and List of James Bond gadgets

  • AMC Hornet Hatchback — Bond steals this car in Bangkok, Thailand, from an American Motors dealership (the actual filming location was an office building lobby), unknowing that Sheriff J.W. Pepper is in it, planning to test drive it (an example of product placement, as AMC cars were never sold in Thailand, which drives on the left). LHD AMC Matadors were also used for the cop's cars, and by Scaramanga. A total of 15 AMC automobiles were used (3 of them were AMC Hornets - one of them modified for the corkscrew stunt). A great stunt in the film takes place using the UNIVAC computer-calculated 'Calspan Spiral', permitting a fantastic feat of automotive acrobatics, until that time considered physically impossible. Unfortunately, the professionalism of that stunt was ruined in the final film by usage of an incredibly comedic slide-whistle sound effect. This was one of two Bond films where AMC products were used - the other was in Moonraker (AMC was uncredited for the latter product placement but their products at the time of Moonraker's release date were distributed in Europe by Renault, later the owner of the AMC/Jeep Corporation until its demise in 1987, ending up absorbed by the Chrysler Corporation). The stunt car itself from filming remains on display in a museum.
  • Car Plane — During a car chase, Scaramanga's AMC Matador 'X' disappears in a shed for some time. When it emerges it has wings attached, allowing it to fly away. The vehicle is an extrapolation of the last of the Taylor Aerocars, then undergoing experimentation in the USA.
  • The Golden Gun — Scaramanga's trademark weapon of choice, it could fire a 4.2 caliber golden bullet specially made for the gun. The lethal custom firearm contained only a single round, but this was still sufficient for Scaramanga himself given his legendary marksmanship skills rivaling, if not superior to that of James Bond's. The Golden Gun can also be separated into a cigarette lighter, a cigarette case, a cuff link, and a fountain pen so as to avoid detection. In the original novel by Ian Fleming, however, the weapon was originally a gold-plated Colt. 45 Single Action Army revolver (which Scaramanga ironically uses when he meets Bond at his island).


Man-with-the-golden-gun concept poster

Concept poster art. Based on George Lazenby

Film Locations[]

One of the more interesting locations is the use of a real life derelict cruise liner, the RMS Queen Elizabeth, as a top-secret MI6 base in Hong Kong Harbour. All the cabins on board the ship are slanted.

Shooting locations[]

See also[]


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  • The film refers the then-recent 1973 oil crisis. Britain had not yet fully overcome the crisis when the film was released, and North Sea oil was not as well exploited as today.
  • Christopher Lee, Ian Fleming's step-cousin, was Fleming's choice for the role of Dr. Julius No in the film Dr. No. According to Bond film historians, Lee also was considered for the role of James Bond.
  • The Bottoms Up Club (the bar where Gibson, the man who created the Solex meets Lt. Hip, MI6's main agent in Hong Kong) is actually a real bar that was still open well after the film's release until it eventually closed down in 2009. It even has a notice on its sign that it was featured in this movie.
  • Like the main antagonist Francisco Scaramanga himself, his Golden Gun quickly proved popular enough in the fanbase of the film as well as the James Bond community as a whole that it became featured in various James Bond video games, including GoldenEye 007, as a rare, suitably incredibly powerful weapon. In every game except for one case, the Golden Gun counts as an instant kill, reflecting that Scaramanga never missed. The golden weapon is also found in different media as well.
  • This film was criticized that, in addition to production faults, it is the most sexist story in the series, with James Bond's assistant, Mary Goodnight, protrayed as a stereotypical blonde buffoon who is nearly useless to him. On the other hand, when Bond is fleeing an enemy dojo, chased by martial artists, he offers to protect two girls who were being menaced by them, only to have them demonstrate their superior fighting skill by easily thrashing Bond's pursuers. The martial arts scenes are a homage to the famous then-recent Bruce Lee films.
  • Although her performance in the film is undistinguished, Mary Goodnight is a recurring character in several of Ian Fleming's Bond novels, even appearing in lieu of Miss Moneypenny; in the books, Goodnight is Bond's secretary.
  • Broccoli and Saltzman originally intended The Man with the Golden Gun as the film to follow You Only Live Twice, in 1969, but production was cancelled, because it was to have been filmed in Cambodia, the ongoing Vietnam War in the region made filming impractical. Roger Moore was invited to be Bond in the 1969 version. However, the film still shares notable similarities with You Only Live Twice:
    • Both films are loosely adapted from original novels by Ian Fleming which were published posthumously, with the main storylines and villains' plots differ greatly from the original iterations.
    • Both films feature predominantly Asian locales as the setting, with portions of some scenes being set in Hong Kong. You Only Live Twice is mainly set in Japan; Bond is dispatched there to eventually locate Blofeld and SPECTRE's involvement in the space race issue after faking his own assassination in Hong Kong as depicted in the pre-title sequence. The Man with the Golden Gun departs from its original Carribean setting and features Bond tracking down Scaramanga from Beirut to Macau, Hong Kong, and eventually to Thailand in order to prevent Scaramanga from using the stolen Solex Agitator for personal gains; during his stint in Hong Kong he witnessed the murder of Solex's scientist Gibson by Scaramanga and then later MI6 contact Lt. Hip escorted him into MI6 headquarters, covered by the shipwreck of RMS Queen Elizabeth, for a briefing with his superiors including M.
    • Due to the films being mainly set in Asia, both feature notable martial arts scenes.
    • There are entrepreneur characters, each working as an associate for the main villains in both films (You Only Live Twice has Osato working for Blofeld, while The Man with the Golden Gun has Hai Fat working for Scaramanga). Osato and Hai Fat would later end up being shot dead by their respective superiors.
    • In these two films, Bond had arranged appointment in a fighting tournament with female allies who would later be killed during the progress of his missions. In You Only Live Twice, he encountered Aki for the first time in a sumo wrestling match, and Aki would later be poisoned to death by a ninja assassin in league with SPECTRE during Bond's incognito job at the ninja academy in preparation of his raid to the SPECTRE hideout. In The Man with the Golden Gun, Scaramanga's mistress Andrea Anders was supposed to deliver Bond the stolen Solex at a Thai kick boxing match, when Bond discovered she was already shot dead by Scaramanga.
    • Both films feature seclusive island that holds the main villain's hideout. In You Only Live Twice, SPECTRE's base of operations is uncovered beneath a "lake" inside an extinct Japanese volcano which would be raided by Bond and a squat of Japanese SIS ninja operatives to its eventual destruction. In The Man with the Golden Gun, Scaramanga's "funhouse" is secluded beneath the rocks of Khao Phing Kan island and would later be destroyed after Bond managed to retrieve the Solex and upset the reactors volatile.
    • MI6 headquarters are being shown inside a vessel in both films. You Only Live Twice features scene where Royal Navy frogmen retrieves Bond's "corpse" and bring him inside a Royal Navy submarine fleeting beneath the waters of Hong Kong. Bond soon awakes from his apparent "death" for an audience with M. After escaping from a supposed custody in The Man with the Golden Gun, Bond jumps into the shipwreck of RMS Queen Elizabeth and is greeted by a Royal Navy officer, who then takes him into M's office.
  • The famous cork-screwing car jump was first demonstrated on January 12, 1972 at the American Thrill Show which was held in Houston, Texas in the Astrodome where Jay Milligan drove an AMC Javelin. Cubby Broccoli contacted Milligan where he entered into negotiations - the producers took out copyrights and patents on the stunt in order to prevent it being used before they could integrate to a James Bond film; the jump was planned using computer modeling based on research at Cornell University on rollover collisions for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Stuntman Bumps Willard drove the AMC Hornet (modified by Milligan's stunt team with a center mounted steering wheel and powered with an AMC 258 (4.2L) inline six engine bolted to a Chrysler Torqueflite 904 transmission for reduced weight) when he performed the stunt with a center mounted steering wheel, and it was done in only one take during filming. Milligan also drove another similar looking AMC Hornet where he did perform the driving stunts in Bangkok including the J-turn (later known as a Rockford as seen in the TV series The Rockford Files) in one scene.
  • The scenes featuring the island hideout of Scaramanga were filmed in Phang Nga province in Thailand, north of the city of Phuket. One of the islands seen in the film is known as the "Nail" island (or Ko Khao Tapoo) — in the film, this island houses the solar panels. Scaramanga's hideout is actually Ko Kow-Phing-Khan — both islands are now tourists attractions. The "nail" island seen in the film is known by locals as James Bond Island in all tourist literature. The site was extremely hard hit by a tsunami following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Originally, Ha Long Bay off the coast of Vietnam was considered but the effects following the Vietnam War - the Phang Nga filming location was revisited again in 1997 for Tomorrow Never Dies substituting for Ha Long Bay. Today, it is famously known as James Bond Island.
  • Marc Lawrence, who plays a gangster called Rodney who was 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.
  • The title sequence features the dancing of Carolyn Cheshire, later to be a renowned bodybuilder.
  • While filming, Roger Moore used to tease Christopher Lee about his iconic role in Dracula (1958). Also, one time when they were filming on the island, Lee accidentally went into a cave and ironically startled a swarm of bats that flew out of the cave.
  • Of all the films in the franchise so far, this movie sports the smallest kill count for Bond, just one, being Scaramanga himself.
  • Christopher Lee and Britt Ekland also starred together around the same time in the cult Scottish horror film The Wicker Man (1973). Unlike this film, they share little screen time together in it.
  • The squint doorways in Scaramanga's funhouse are a visual echo of the slanted cabins seen inside the Queen Elizabeth, the shipwreck MI6 headquarters in Hong Kong.
  • M tells Bond, "if you must tour the world of Suzie Wong by night..." He is referring to The World of Suzie Wong (1960) a romantic drama based on a novel.
  • This is the only Roger Moore James Bond film where James Bond is not submerged in water and to be released in an even-numbered year. The next film to be released in an even-numbered year is Die Another Day, which was released 28 years after this film in 2002.

External links[]