I’ll start off by saying that I am biased; The Man With The Golden Gun is the very first Bond film I saw (at the cinema, before they had even showed Dr No on television) and so it will always have a special place in my heart.
Conventional wisdom has it that The Man With The Golden Gun is one of the weakest in the series, but it is surely time for this view to be revised. It is not perfect by a long way, but it has almost the right balance of action to humour and with few gadgets it is head and shoulders above the silliness of Moonraker, Octopussy and A View to a Kill and a much better film than the mess of Live And Let Die.
Where I do agree with conventional wisdom is that Britt Ekland as Mary Goodnight is terrible – or more to the point the character is terrible, a repeat of Rosy Carver in Live And Let Die. And that film continues to haunt us with the unwelcome reappearance of Sherriff J.W. Pepper, a character who serves no purpose at all except act as a prototype for the redneck sheriff in The Dukes of Hazard. At least the speedboat chase is better than the car chases in both Diamonds Are Forever and Live And Let Die, although the car chase here could have done without the jump with a 360 degree twist and especially without that whistle noise.
However, Scaramanga’s surreal funfair has that otherworldly feeling you get from any film by David Lynch (and the film even has a midget, à la Twin Peaks). The villain isn’t too over the top and well acted. And Roger Moore’s jokes and innuendo are just about right.
What we say
All in all, the Man With The Golden Gun is way above average compared with the other Moore films and a good, fun film.
Premiere: 19th December 1974 at the Odeon Leicester Square
UK: 19th December 1974
US: 19th December 1974
|Screenplay||Richard Maibaum & Tom Mankiewicz|
Albert R Broccoli and Harry Saltzman
|Raymond Poulton & John Shirley|
|Ted Moore & Oswald Morris|
|Roger Moore||James Bond|
|Christopher Lee||Francisco Scaramanga|
|Britt Ekland||Mary Goodnight|
|Maud Adams||Andrea Anders|
|Hervé Villechaize||Nick Nack|
|Clifton James||Sheriff J.W. Pepper|
|Richard Loo||Hai Fat|
|Soon-Tek Oh||Lieutenant Hip|
|Lois Maxwell||Miss Moneypenny|
|Yao Lin Chen||Chula|
|Carmen Du Sautoy||Saida|
|Michael Osborne||Naval Lieutenant|
|Michael Fleming||Communications Officer|
- Red wine
- Phuyuck – sparking wine
- Dom Perignon ’64
AMC Matador 2 door coupé (1974)
- “Speak or forever hold your piece.”
- “You’re that Secret Agent! That English secret agent! From England!”
- “Who’d want to put a contract on me?”
“Jealous husbands! Outraged chefs! Humiliated tailors! The list is endless!”
- “I like a girl in a bikini. No concealed weapons.”
- “Miss Anders… I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on.”
- “Standard uniform for Southeast Asia. The buttons are down the back.”
“Designed by Q no doubt. One of them is a suicide pill I suppose?”
“No, but the bottom one has a homer in it.”
- “Oh, that’s perfectly feasible, sir. In fact, we’re working on one now.”
“Oh, shut up, Q!”
- “Pistols at dawn; it’s a little old-fashioned, isn’t it?”
“That it is. But it remains the only true test for gentlemen.”
“On that score, I doubt you qualify. However, I accept.”
- “Bond, are you there? Goodnight?”
“She’s just coming, sir.”
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