The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Action, Adventure, Crime, Thriller
Roger Moore, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Maud Adams
Bond is led to believe that he is targeted by the world's most expensive assassin and must hunt him down to stop him.
A middling Bond film, The Man With the Golden Gun suffers from double entendre-laden dialogue, a noteworthy lack of gadgets, and a villain that overshadows 007.
  • MGM Home Entertainment Company:
  • PG Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 20 Dec 1974 Released:
  • 22 Oct 2002 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Richard Maibaum, Tom Mankiewicz Writer:
  • Guy Hamilton Director:
  • N/A Website:

All subtitles:


Underrated Moore Bond7/10
Altho there's a lot of hate for this second Moore 007, I never understood it. For a change, most of the witty dialogue works well. I think it's one of Moore's best Bond performances.

So let's break it down: The Good: - Roger Moore is witty and action ready. His fight scene in the belly dancer's room is pretty good. Tough and violent. Don't know about that cigar, but it adds a little extra somethin'.

- Herve Villechieze as Knick Knack. Not threatening, but a fun memorable sidekick with lots of playful malevolence. I love it when he shushes Bond.

- Christopher Lee. Nuff said, tho they didn't build up this character to the level they could have. Where are those deleted scenes between him and Moore (from the trailer and photos)that obviously exist?

- John Barry. Yes, Lulu's song is ridiculous. Still, I love the brassy music and this is one of Barry's most memorable catchy Bond scores. Especially during the karate scenes and the jazzy swing of Scaramenga's fun parlor.

- Kung fu. The Bond films always lucked out when it came to latching onto the culture of the day. 1974 was the height of kung fu exploitation and Bond was there. Still have BLACK BELT magazine featuring this on the cover...

The Bad: - Miss Goodnight. Giving Bond a ditzy helper...well, bad night.

- Lack of compelling plot. The energy cell and Scaramanga are too loosely tied together and the film shouldn't have tried to pull a Blofeld at the end.

- Production design. Ken Adams is sorely missing here. And what's with that ONE GUARD in the massive solar laser set? Missed opportunity there.

The Ugly: - JW Pepper.

- Slide whistle.
Enjoyable Bond adventure, but not one of the very best.5/10

The Man With the Golden Gun ditches the original novel almost completely (the book was set in Jamaica, for a start, whereas the film is located in the Far East). However, it is still a fairly entertaining entry is the long-running series, and features three strong reasons for tuning in: 1)a classic Bond villain in the shape of Francisco Scaramanga 2)a classic villain's henchman in the shape of psycho dwarf NickNack, and 3)a stunning Bond girl in the shape of Mary Goodnight. There'a also the most outrageous car stunt ever seen in a motion picture, rendered all the more impressive by the fact that it is not a computer enhanced sequence but was filmed for real (including that infamous loop-the-loop in the red sports car).

Bond is played by Roger Moore for the second time. Moore is relaxed and easy-going in his usual manner, but shows a bit of the old Connery toughness during a couple of martial arts fight sequences. His mission is simply to stay alive this time, having been targeted by world renowned hitman Francisco Scaramanga (chilling Christopher Lee). Moore decides that rather than waiting around to be shot, he will hunt for Scaramanga himself, and his search takes him to Beirut, Macao, Hong Kong and, finally, a privately owned Thai island. En route, he discovers that Scaramanga has bigger fish to fry than simply killing 007, as he also plans to use a powerful solar device to power-up a deadly laser gun that he has had built.

It's a surprisingly slow-moving film for a Bond flick, with more talky scenes than is customary. However, the action when it comes is pretty memorable. The comedy relief provided by Clifton James (you may remember him as a mouthy cop from Live and Let Die) is somewhat irritating and hurts the film more than it helps it. Lulu's title song is dated, but catchy. I would rate this an an enjoyable Bond escapade, definitely worth catching for series completists and fans of action bonanzas, but it isn't really the best of the bunch and isn't even the best of Moore's films in the series. If you're only going to see five minutes of the film, though, you simply must tune in for that afore-mentioned car stunt.... awesome!
Beautiful landscapes in a so-so Bond adventure6/10
Let me say I like Roger Moore very much, because I grew up watching his films -he's the first Bond I've ever seen. Many people prefer Sean Connery, who is really unique, true... But how can I say Roger Moore is not good? I've also a lot of affection for Moore because I watched on TV, when I was a kid, "The Persuaders" series.

Although that his second Bond outing is not very good. That's not his fault at all, the screenplay is not good and the story itself is not very interesting. Everything is a little slower than usual, the film has neither the liveliness of "Live and let die" -the first Moore Bond flick- nor the liveliness of the previous episodes.

Here Bond has to face a refined assassin -that's all, there isn't a real thrilling intrigue

On the other hand landscapes and John Barry score are fantastic. Also the cast is strong, because Christopher Lee and Britt Ekland bring a lot of glamour. It's a pity that the movie doesn't match the usual standard.

At the time producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman didn't get along well with each other any more. In '75 their partnership broke up and let Broccoli alone at the command of 007 empire. Maybe this tensions had an influence on "The man with the golden gun", who knows...

Luckily in 1977 Bond came back with one of the best films of the series -"The spy who loved me", a real classic, the definitive Roger Moore entry as Bond.
Scaramanga's trademark weapon was a single-shot, gold plated, 4.2-caliber handgun…7/10
In Guy Hamilton's 'The Man With the Golden Gun', James Bond still enjoys a good cigar, and prefers Dom Perignon '62 above the '64 offered...

He sure does love Swedish babes, and dares to kiss a talented dancer's 'magnificent' abdomen... He slaps a tall, graceful slim girl, and he slaps her hard... He attempts to overtake Scaramanga's car by crossing a canal with no bridge in sight, and pilots a small seaplane to let us see those incredible prehistoric islands off the coast of Thailand...

Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) is a world's class assassin who has stolen a prize solar energy device, but who only needs one bullet to finish a job... He likes Tabasco sauce, gold jewelry, and a girl in a bikini... He caresses his lover with a golden gun, and loves to kill for a million dollars a shot... He has a 'sign' of great sexual prowess... He perverse love/hate relationship with a mischievous French-speaking assistant, and admires Bond so much that he even keeps a mannequin of him at his island retreat... He claims to be an artist, and challenges 007 to 'a duel between titans' on the sunlit beach... A man of taste, his AMC Matador car suddenly sprouted wings and jetted off into the blue sky…

Britt Ekland spends most of the film either locked in the trunk of Scaramanga's flying car or stuck in the closet of Bond's hotel room while 007 makes love to Andrea (Maud Adams).

Maud Adams remains the only exotic woman to have starred in two different Bond features, and would also have a brief cameo in "A View To A Kill." This Swedish beauty is sick of Scaramanga's sadistic games… It was she who sent the gold bullet to M16 that set Bond on Scaramanga's tail…

Nick Nack (Herve Villechaize) perfectly proves that the smallest of Bond's adversaries can easily give 007 big trouble... He annoyed 007 right up until the very end of the mission… His tiny mannerisms perfectly fitted the fantasy tradition of the Bond movies... He's seen so quick on his feet as he plays with the controls that operate the 'fun house' on Scaramanga island…

'The Man With the Golden Gun' remains thin and obvious 007 extravaganza with conventional expensive excitements... The boat and car chases merely reprise sequences in both 'Live and Let Die' and 'Diamonds Are Forever.'

Last note: After being absent in 'Live and Let Die,' Desmond Llewelyn returns as the beloved Q, but provides 007 no fantastic gadgets and weapons this time...
Much better than its reputation7/10
The Man With the Golden Gun was producer Harry Saltzman's last hurrah before selling out his share in the Bond series to United Artists to ensure the maximum inconvenience to his detested partner Cubby Broccoli. It's certainly not premium Bond: at times it threatens to turn into an episode of The Avengers, what with Scaramanga's funhouse, his midget servant Nick Nack, it's human statues or the off-kilter angles of MI6's Hong Kong HQ located in the rusting wreck of the Queen Elizabeth, not to mention Roger Moore's more Steed-like Bond. Although there are hints of the lows to come in Moore's tenure – Bond being saved by a pair of schoolgirls or defeating a villain by pretending to be a tailor's dummy – this is still recognisable an old-school Bond film, with thankfully few gadgets, although it's disappointing that the producers provide Scaramanga with an island lair and super-weapon to give Bond something to blow up at the end (a rather half-hearted effort to be sure: instead of a private army, Scaramanga simply has Herve Villachaize and a maintenance man).

Britt Ekland's irritating 'typical silly woman' comic relief was a bit hard to take in 1974 and gets worse with each passing year, but Christopher Lee's Scaramanga is one of the more interesting Bond villains, not least because of his imagined empathy with his prey – he regards himself as Bond's moral and professional equal, the kind of pathological snobbery Fleming's books were full of but the films increasingly abandoned.