The Man with the Golden Gun is one of the lesser Bonds in my opinion, put it does have some points to recommend it and I have to admit that each time I see it, it grows on me.
001 The Kung Fu Kick gets a 007 Twist
The early Seventies were filled with Blaxpoitation and Kung Fu Movies. Since the year before, Bond had indulged in the urban drama of the gritty streets, it seems logical that Bruce Lee will not have died in vain. His legacy provides Bond wit an opportunity to don a gi and get his karate freak on. Of course in the end, the twist is that the two teen girls are the real Bruce Lees of the film.
002 The Cartoon Funhouse Shooting Gallery
At the beginning of the film, a mob assassin shows up to do in Scaramanga, but he is deposited in a strange “dark ride” environment. It makes little sense but it is visually fun and it sets up the duel between Bond and Scaramanga at the end of the film.
003 The Secret Lair
The movie has some spectacular locations, none more beautiful than the island lair of Scaramanga, supposedly located just inside Chinese territory to give him cover.
The lush background for the duel between the titans of death is also the location of a solar energy plant. And it’s not located in the California dessert just before the Nevada border.
004 A Penny Slide Whistle Ruins a Great Stunt
As complicated and dangerous as the alligator gag in the previous movie, but requiring more physics and math than most of us will ever do. AMC cars, a sponsor of the film (based on the make of most of the vehicles in Thailand) gets it’s money’s worth with an incredible 360 degree spin of a car jump. It looks great but as it happens, someone made the mistake of choosing to make it a comedy moment and they add a slide whistle sound effect to the film. It spoils the moment but not the achievement.
005 The Sun Never Sets on England (or at least English Territory)
Great Britain still controlled Hong Kong in 1974 , and in the harbor, a shipwrecked “Queen Elizabeth”, the companion luxury liner to the “Queen Mary”, lies on it’s side,a burnt out hull, or does it. MI6 apparently can’t afford the rents in Hong Kong anymore than the rest of the world, so some great set design is used to take a piece of contemporary history and turn it into a James Bond moment.
006 Francisco Scaramanga AKA Christopher Lee
With his skyscraper frame and intense eyes, he makes a perfect Bond Villain. The late Christopher Lee loos terrific in the white suits and sea island shirts that he wears in this film. He feels like he is indeed a match for James Bond.
An assassin who gets a million dollars a contract, Scaramanga also manages a business stealing technology and using it to blackmail the rest of the world. His secret weapon, well let’s just say we will be discussing this in a moment.
When he acquires the solex that turns his solar panels into energy, he also manages to turn that energy into a weapon. The golden rays of the sun become a metaphorical golden gun that he uses against
007 The Golden Gun
My most coveted piece of Bond memorabilia. I’d love to get one of these reproductions of the clever Golden Gun that the villain uses to dispatch the objects of his contracts.
A cigarette case, a lighter, a fountain pen and a cuff link, come together to create a deadly toy.
Just the Christmas present that anyone would be happy to recieve, hint hint, nudge, nudge.
James Bond will Return in:
“The Spy Who Loved Me”