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The Man with the Golden Gun

The man with the golden gun is ready to assassinate James Bond.
The Man with the Golden Gun
A golden bullet has 007 engraved on it as it smashes into the secret service headquarters. The bullet came from the professional killer Scaramanga who has yet to miss a target and James Bond begins a mission to try and stop him.
Title The Man with the Golden Gun
Release Date 1974-12-01
Genres Adventure Action Thriller
Production Companies United Artists, Eon Productions, Danjaq
Production Countries Thailand, United Kingdom, United States of America


**Excellent Bond film.** Superior Bond film with Christopher Lee as an assassin who sets his sights on Sir Roger Moore. Big mistake! A fast moving entry from Guy Hamilton that has lovely locations, incredible stunts - (The car flip has yet to be bettered) sexy ladies, a great theme tune, the return of the hilarious Sheriff J W Pepper and of course the legendary Sir Roger Moore as James Bond. If only the bland 2006 reboot were as entertaining.
“The plane, the plane” Agent 007 (Roger Moore) learns that he’s on the hit list of the world's most expensive assassin, Scaramanga (Christopher Lee). Traveling from Beirut to Macau, China, to Bangkok, Thailand, he aims to confront the assassin while recovering sensitive solar cell equipment. Hervé Villechaize is on hand as Scaramanga’s little assistant, Nick Nack. “The Man with the Golden Gun” (1974) was Moore’s second outing as Bond. He did 7 films for the franchise in 13 years from 1973-1985. Moore’s stint is my favorite run in the series with all seven films being kinetic, amusing, scenic and just all-around entertaining. There’s not one clunker in the bunch and they were all profitable at the box office, but this one kinda got lost between the cracks of “Live and Let Die” (1973) and “The Spy who Loved Me” (1977). Director Guy Hamilton made three prior Bond films, “Live and Let Die,” “Diamonds are Forever” (1971) and “Goldfinger” (1964), and wanted 007 to be more rough around the edges in this movie, like he is in Ian Fleming’s book. As such, Moore's acting seems more "tough” here than his other Bond entrees; for instance, the way he treats Andrea (Maud Adams) in the arm twisting scene. But Moore didn't like playing the character this way and toned it down for the rest of his installments. There’s picturesque Asian globetrotting, with the Thailand islands being particularly scenic (standing in for “Red Chinese waters”). On the female front, there’s Agent Mary Goodnight played by Britt Ekland, who looks great in a floral bikini during the last reel. There’s also the aforementioned Adams as Andrea and a cameo by Chew Mee. Memorable moments include an entertaining martial arts academy sequence; the amusing return of redneck Sheriff JW Pepper (Clifton James), who’s vacationing in Bangkok with his wife; a great car-jumping stunt; and Scaramanga’s secret solar power plant operation. The film runs 2 hours, 5 minutes and was shot in Thailand (Phang Nga Bay and Bangkok) and Hong Kong/ Macau, with additional work done in England. GRADE: B
John Chard
You get as much pleasure out of killing as I do, so why don't you admit it? The Man with the Golden Gun is directed by Guy Hamilton and adapted to screenplay by Richard Maibaum and Tom Mankiewicz from the Ian Fleming novel. It stars Roger Moore, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Maud Adams, Herve Villechaize, Soon-Taik-Oh, Richard Loo and Clifton James. Music is scored by John Barry and cinematography by Ted Moore & Oswald Morris. Bond 9 and 007 is distracted from his pursuit of the Solex Agitator when it appears he has been targeted for death by famous assassin Francisco Scaramanga. This would be the last Bond movie to be produced by the partnership of Broccoli and Saltzman, the latter of which was the one to leave. Perhaps they fought about what direction Moore's Bond should be taking? Because The Man with the Golden Gun is not a fitting film for them to part on, their fall out most likely impacting on why this is a pretty unadventurous entry in the James Bond franchise. The film plays more as a slapstick comedy than an action adventure. The script is uninspired, with the characters of Mary Goodnight (Ekland) and Sheriff Pepper (James) reaching new lows for Bond allies, while some of the situations that arise are just bizarre and lazy. The latter statement of which applies big time to the weak finale. However, even average Bond films have value somewhere in the mix. Here there's some grit in Moore's performance and Lee's Scaramanga is one of the series' most interesting villains. Maud Adams is given a good character to work from, her Andrea Anders is intriguing and very much a live wire in the plot, it's a good performance that would see Adams rewarded with the lead lady role in Octopussy (1983). Villechaize's Nick Nack, Scaramanga's right hand man/helper is a unique villain, though this is spoilt somewhat by a daft final confrontation with Bond. There's a brilliant car stunt performed by Bumps Willard, done in one take, it alone deserved to be in a better film. Elsewhere. Barry is back on musical score duties, providing an Oriental tinted arrangement. Sadly Lulu's title theme song is instantly forgettable and lyrically feels like it was written in 5 minutes. Locations are sumptuous, with Macau, Hong Kong and Thailand put to great use by the team, and the gadgetry is kept to minimum which allows us to enjoy the one or two inventive modes of transport used within the piece. The box office was $98 million, a considerable take for sure but still some $63 million down on the previous Bond adventure. With critics and fans considering the film a let down, questions were again raised as to if Bond was loosing his appeal? With Saltzman, Hamilton and Mankiewicz bowing out of the franchise, would there be a turnaround in Bond's fortunes? Would Moore finally get a script and film to test him? 6.5/10

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