The Man With The Golden Gun

 Release Details - Credits - Music - Cast - Notes

release details
Date of release: 19 December 1974 (UK/US)
Running time: 125 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.85 : 1
Classification: PG (UK), PG (US)

Alternative titles: The Man With The Golden Colt (Germany), 007 And The Golden Gun (Finland).

Directed by: Guy Hamilton
Produced by: Albert R Broccoli and Harry Saltzman
Screenplay by: Richard Maibaum and Tom Mankiewicz
Associate producer: Charles Orme
Production designer: Peter Murton
Directors of photography: Ted Moore BSC, Oswald Morris BSC
Editors: John Shirley and Raymond Poulton GBF
Special effects: John Stears
Stunts co-ordinator: W J Milligan Jr
Main title designed by: Maurice Binder

Music composed, conducted and arranged by: John Barry

Main theme: "The Man With The Golden Gun"
Sung by: Lulu
Lyrics by: Don Black
Highest chart position: Did not chart.

Musical notes: The version of the theme tune used for the end credits is a slightly different arrangement that opens with a new verse that follows on from the close of the film (and is unusual since it mentions James Bond by name). Alice Cooper's "Muscle Of Love" album features a track called "The Man With The Golden Gun" which Cooper claims was originally intended to be the theme to the movie until the producers backed out.

James Bond: Roger Moore
Francisco Scaramanga: Christopher Lee
Mary Goodnight: Britt Ekland
Andrea Anders: Maud Adams
Nick Nack: Herve Villechaize
Sheriff JW Pepper: Clifton James
Hai Fat: Richard Loo
Lt Hip: Soon-Taik Oh
Rodney: Marc Lawrence
M: Bernard Lee
Miss Moneypenny: Lois Maxwell
Lazar: Marne Maitland
Q: Desmond Llewelyn
Colthorpe: James Cossins
Chula: Chan Yiu Lam
Saida: Carmen Sautoy
Professor Frazier: Gerald James
Naval Lieutenant: Michael Osborne
Communications Officer: Michael Fleming

Chief of Staff (Bill Tanner): Michael Goodliffe
Hip's Nieces: Joie Vijjijiva, Cheung Cheun Nam
Thug in Beirut: George Silver
Bottoms Up Waitress: Keiko Mari
Gibson: Gordon Everett
Scaramanga's Technician (Kron): Sonny Caldinez

The gunbarrel: The film opens with the same gunbarrel footage that was used for Live And Let Die. John Barry's music shuns the guitar, instead utilizing strings for the part of the theme after Bond fires.

Using the title: The film uses its title as a nickname given to Scaramanga, as mentioned by Bond in the briefing scene and later by Scaramanga after demonstrating his solar powered weaponry: "You must admit Mr Bond, I am now undeniably the man with the golden gun."

The novel approach: "The Man With The Golden Gun" was the last of Fleming's novels; indeed he actually died before completing it properly. Very few elements of the book survive to the screen, mainly the names of the villain and heroine, with even the location changed (the novel is set in Jamaica). Fleming's Scaramanga was a second rate thug in contrast with the version portrayed by Christopher Lee. Scaramanga's third nipple is mentioned by Fleming, but not used as a plot point in the way that it is in the film. However, the story that the film Scaramanga tells Bond about his relationship with a circus elephant is taken from the novel. In the novels, Mary Goodnight was Bond's secretary who first featured in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" before being promoted to a Bond girl proper.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service: After a change in emphasis in Live And Let Die things return to normal, with the return of Q and a traditional briefing scene. M himself is a thoroughly bad mood throughout the film. We see more Secret Service personnel in the form of ballistics consultant Colthorpe and the Chief of Staff. The latter was an important regular character in Fleming's novels who appears in the movies for the first time here, although the character's appearance is pointless and the actor playing him (Michael Goodliffe) is uncredited. However, the Chief of Staff would play a more important part in a number of later films, starting with For Your Eyes Only.
The Secret Service makes use of a British spying base that is hidden within the wreckage of the sunken liner Queen Elizabeth in Hong Kong harbour. The staff of the Service's Hong Kong branch includes Mary Goodnight and Hip, although both are seen to operate in Thailand as well. Hip's status is confused; he is named as Lt Hip and also seems to have some status within the Hong Kong police.

The Double 0 Section: Bill Fairbanks, 002, was killed by Scaramanga in Beirut in 1969. This is the first time that a Double 0 agent other than Bond is named.

Locations: Scaramanga's island home in Red Chinese waters; Secret Service HQ in London; Beirut; Macau; Hong Kong; Bangkok, Thailand.

The villain: Francisco Scaramanga, one of the world's top assassins who charges one million dollars a kill and known as "the man with the golden gun". Scaramanga was born in a circus. His father was the ringmaster (probably Cuban) and his mother was an English snake charmer. He became a spectacular trickshot artist by the age of 10. At this time his best friend was a bull elephant which went beserk after being mis-treated by its handler, causing Scaramanga to kill it. This made him realise that he liked killing and he had become a local Rio gunman by the age of 15. He was recruited by the KGB in Europe and trained as an assassin. He left to become independent in the 50s. Prior to the film, his appearance and location are unknown by the Secret Service, although the CIA have his fingerprints on file. However, it is known that Scaramanga has three nipples.
Scaramanga actually operates from his island base in Red Chinese waters (in return he does occassional "favours" for his landlords). He kills using golden bullets that have an unconventional calibre of 4.2 mm. These are made by Lazar, a Portugese craftsman who lives in Macau.
Scaramanga has a bizarre relationship with his manservant, Nick Nack, a midget cordon bleu chef. Nick Nack employs various hitmen in order to attempt to kill his employer (since he will then inherit everything), which allows Scaramanaga to keep in shape. Scaramanga's entourage also includes his mistress, Andrea Anders, whom he sleeps with only before a kill since he believes that this improves his aim (which puts an interesting interpretation on one of the lyrics in the theme song). Andrea hates Scaramanga but is too afraid to leave him so she sends a golden bullet to Bond in order to prompt him to kill Scaramanga. Although it is too late for Andrea, Bond kills Scaramanga when he wins their duel. In an unusual move, Nick Nack actually survives the film.

The girl: Mary Goodnight, a Secret Service operative based in Hong Kong. She knew Bond two years previously, although they don't seem to have been lovers at that point.

Bond's conquests: Only two (Andrea and Goodnight) and it takes him over an hour into the film before the first of these. It's amazing he hadn't exploded by this point.

Gadgets: For once, its the villain who has the most toys. Scaramanga's 4.2 mm golden gun can be assembled from a number of seemingly innocent items (principally a ballpoint pen, cigarette lighter and cigarette case). He also has a car that can turn into an airplane (apparantly Q has been working on one of these). In contrast, all Bond uses is a fake nipple in his attempt to impersonate Scaramanga.

Recurring characters: Clifton James returns as JW Pepper, the Louisiana sheriff who was perplexed by Bond in Live And Let Die. Pepper is on holiday with his wife in Thailand (although this doesn't stop him from being interested in buying a car!).
Marc Lawrence appears in the pre-titles sequence as Rodney, an American gangster who attempts to kill Scaramanga. This is possibly intended to be the same character that Lawrence played in Diamonds Are Forever.

Continuity: The events of Live And Let Die are implicitly referenced through Sheriff Pepper recognising Bond as "that English Secret Agent...from England".

Cuts: A number of sequences from Bond's duel with Scaramanga did not make it to the final version of the film, including one where Bond manufactures a Molotov cocktail. Some shots from these scenes appeared in the original theatrical trailer.

I didn't catch the name?: Bond uses his trademark introduction when meeting both Saida and Lazar.

Vodka Martinis: None. When meeting Andrea Bond orders Dom Perignon 62 rather than the 64 that was offered and later drinks the unfortunately named Phuyuck when at dinner with Goodnight.

Gambling: Lazar passes his golden bullets to Scaramanga at the casino in the Bottoms Up club in Macau.

Bond bits: Bond has recently been working on an assignment that involves looking for Gibson, the inventor of the Solex Agitator, a device that can harness solar energy and therefore bring about an end to the energy crisis (very topical for 1974). Bond is relieved of this mission when it seems that he is in danger from Scaramanga, although fortunately it turns out that Scaramanga is also after the Solex device. As with the preceeding films, it is clear that Bond enjoys widespread fame. Lazar would be proud to make a weapon for him and Scaramanga is an admirer, even to the exent of having a waxworks figure of him within his funhouse. Bond claims to have an aunt who is tall and dark, but he is possibly just being sarcastic to Andrea. He is also something of an expert on solar power and has never killed a midget. As in Live And Let Die, Bond smokes cigars.

Other trivia: The golden bullet that Bond retrieves from Beirut weights 20.003 (which allows Colthorpe to calculate its calibre). Hip has two nieces who live in Bangkok; they are proficient at martial arts since their father runs a karate school.

Anything else?: This was the last film which Harry Saltzman was involved in; following The Man With The Golden Gun he sold his share in EON Productions and subsequent films were produced by Cubby Broccoli alone.
The mechanical cowboy seen in Scaramanga's funhouse in the pre-credits sequence is actually played by Roger Moore.

The Bond Film Informant was compiled by Matthew Newton. © Copyright MJ Newton. No part of this site may be reproduced without permission unless otherwise stated.

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