The Man with the Golden Gun fully embraces the kung fu craze that defined the 70’s at the time. Hence why just about every character in the movie knows martial arts (including Bond himself). Despite being the ninth film in the long running franchise, The Man with the Golden Gun is actually based on the 12th book written by Ian Fleming. Considering it took place around the same time, the primary focus is on the 1973 energy crisis. With solar power being a key component to the story. The Man with the Golden Gun was considered to be the lowest point in the franchise at the time. Even though it finally gave us a Bond villain that was on equal footing with Bond himself.
The Mission: Track down deadly assassin and retrieve Solex Agitator with destructive power to harness the sun
Gadgets & Vehicles: Golden Gun
Bond Girls: Mary Goodnight, Andrea Anders
Bond Villains: Francisco Scaramanga, Nick Nack, Hai Fat, Lazar, Kra
Analysis: Although many consider The Man with the Golden Gun to be one of the weaker Bond films, I would argue that it’s a bit underrated. Sure it can get really ridiculous at times, and Roger Moore isn’t a comedian, but the villain is one of the most underappreciated in the entire franchise. Being the first Bond villain actor I was familiar with beforehand, the late great Christopher Lee plays Francisco Scaramanga. So Lee’s played Dracula, a dark sorcerer, a Sith Lord, and a Bond villain. The man knew villains. Scaramanga stands out for being the titular “Man with the Golden Gun.” Although Desmond Llewelyn does return as Q, 007 doesn’t really have any notable gadgets in the movie. The Golden Gun is really the only one. Not that it isn’t a cool gadget. Made up of found objects cast in gold. Scaramanga is a freelance assassin and therefore able to match Bond physically. He’s almost like the Anti-Bond. His only embarrassing attribute is the superfluous third nipple he posses. His henchman is also notable. Nick Nack, played by famous little person Hervé Villechaize. Meaning Nick Nack is a carbon copy of Tattoo from his show Fantasy Island. I mean Scaramanga does own his own island. The kung fu caze is exemplified by the primary location being China. Bond fights several martial arts masters in a dojo, but it really gets silly when 2 school girls join in. Even sillier is the return of the possibly racist Sheriff J.W. He briefly joins Bond in a car chase where he performs an impressive loop jump. The film just might feature the most nudity to date. Along with the psychedelic naked women in the opening credits sequence. Accompanied by the insanely catchy Lulu theme. Andrea Anders has a very revealing steamy shower scene. This would be the first of two Bond girls Maud Adams would play in the franchise. Mary Goodnight looks great in a bikini, but she’s one of the more clueless primary Bond girls. There’s also a skinny dipper aptly named Chew Mee. The Man with the Golden Gun can’t help but embrace the over-the-top nature of the spy series.
James Bond will return in The Spy Who Loved Me