Bonding with Bond, Day 10: The Man with the Golden Gun

One intrepid RT editor is watching all of the James Bond films in order.

by | October 30, 2008 | Comments

Roger Moore made a very good Bond debut with Live and Let Die, so today’s film, The Man with the Golden Gun, would show me how well his portrayal would hold up.


The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) 44%

ManWithTheGoldenGun

One thing I’ve noticed about the two Roger Moore films I’ve seen so far is that, yes, while they are more playful and light in tone, they seem to have ramped up the action and stunts. In other words, they are closer to what a blockbuster film as we know it today might be, and perhaps they were, in fact, the trendsetters for the big action pieces we regularly see at the theaters. Having said that, I thought The Man with the Golden Gun started off promisingly, but quickly became a bit dull and ended up disappointing me overall. I had a better experience with Live and Let Die, but I’m also already comfortable with the sort of Bond that Roger Moore will be.

As I mentioned, the beginning scenes gave me high hopes for the remainder of the film. The first thing that set my heart aflutter was the appearance of Nick Nack (Hervé Villechaize, better known to me as Tattoo from the TV show Fantasy Island), dressed in a butler’s outfit and carrying a tray of champagne to an attractive woman sunbathing on a beach. So far, so good. As he approaches the woman, no less than Christopher Lee steps out of the surf to join them. Finally, as if Tattoo, a beautiful woman in a swimsuit, and Christopher Lee weren’t enough, we soon get a close-up of Lee’s chest, which reveals the curious presence of a third nipple! Throw in a shootout amidst carnival games and funhouse attractions, and I’m not sure I could have conceived a better intro if I was on acid.

ManWithTheGoldenGunNipple

Now, I won’t go so far as to say it was all downhill from there, but the movie certainly failed to maintain the same kind of entertainment value for its duration. The plot focuses on an assassin-for-hire, Francisco Scaramanga (Lee), who takes over a Chinese businessman’s shady enterprises to take control of some form of advanced solar cell, but the movie often loses sight of its plot and spends too much time on Bond-centered vignettes. The martial arts school scene, the boat chase immediately following, and the car chase (impressive as it was), are all examples of this. Pure action for the sake of action, which I suppose is not always a bad thing, especially when you have muscle cars doing barrel rolls over rivers and transforming into auto-planes.

I also thought the reappearance of Sheriff Pepper from Live and Let Die was completely unnecessary. I didn’t find his comic relief to be all that relieving in the first Moore film, and I didn’t find him any more endearing or enjoyable here. His role also smacked of a bit of racism, what with his calling all the Asians he encountered “pointy-heads,” but in a film where a Chinese tycoon lives in Thailand and displays statues of Japanese sumo wrestlers in his garden, I suppose that’s to be expected.

All the usual Bond conventions are present as well. There are cutesy names like Mary Goodnight and Chew Me; Bond conspires with his enemy’s mistress, Andrea Anders (played by Maud Adams), to defeat him; Scaramanga treats Bond to first class service, including a full tour and explanation of his evil toys; and his enemy’s henchman (Nick Nack, in this case) reappears in the final minutes after his boss has been defeated, only to be easily handled by Bond. These are not criticisms by any means; in fact, they are more like a warm blanket and a hot cup of tea, reminding me I’m at home in familiar territory.

The Man with the Golden Gun wasn’t terrible, but I didn’t think it was one of the stronger Bond films either. The action, superfluous as it was, actually managed to wow me on a couple of occasions, and Christopher Lee is probably one of the most capable actors to be featured in any installment thus far. Bond himself also showed a bit of his “old” self, manhandling an uncooperative Anders a bit and playing “bad cop” for the first half of the film before settling back into his charming ways. I thought the movie could have done without Sheriff Pepper, as I mentioned, and the final duel between Bond and Scaramanga was so poorly shot and edited, in my opinion, that I wasn’t really able to follow along, making it rather less exciting than it should have been. It seems a good number of people enjoyed The Spy Who Loved Me, so hopefully that will yield a better viewing for me.

ManWithTheGoldenGunBarrelRo

Favorite line: Tossup between “I’ve never killed a midget before, but there can always be a first time,” and “He must have found me quite titillating,” the latter being spoken after Bond applies a prosthetic third nipple to fool someone into thinking he’s Scaramanga.

Favorite moment: This has to be when Scaramanga escapes the car chase by attaching giant wings to the top of his car and flying off. Bond stares up at the sky with a look on his face that almost made me think he was going to say, “Where does he get those wonderful toys?


Other Articles:

Tag Cloud

CBS All Access SDCC Western screenings golden globes E3 Pop USA Network comiccon Toys Summer justice league mockumentary technology Lucasfilm sag awards rotten movies we love strong female leads YA game of thrones 21st Century Fox Amazon Prime The CW renewed TV shows Adult Swim Song of Ice and Fire ESPN Amazon Prime Video slashers south america CBS The Arrangement werewolf Fox News diversity canceled TV shows Disney streaming service E! finale Red Carpet Emmy Nominations GLAAD Rocketman crossover Trivia Grammys crime thriller APB Superheroe documentary Extras DC Universe Freeform elevated horror 2020 transformers Schedule DC streaming service YouTube hispanic Avengers Martial Arts American Society of Cinematographers VICE Christmas science fiction Universal Ovation TNT animated Lifetime Christmas movies 2019 period drama TV renewals Star Wars hist Comedy Central Rocky GoT Women's History Month travel Paramount Network Sundance Now MSNBC Acorn TV FOX DC Comics Fall TV based on movie movies Trailer Turner Classic Movies Chernobyl Sci-Fi Columbia Pictures Country Disney Plus Tubi Turner OWN comics Ghostbusters IFC Films Awards Tour TCA Winter 2020 dceu Elton John NYCC Reality Competition spain BET Star Trek composers Certified Fresh Endgame Animation breaking bad Pixar Food Network Comics on TV spinoff disaster TruTV Action Stephen King Musical Showtime Shondaland cancelled TV shows romantic comedy Hulu space biography cancelled Election Year in Review Mystery ghosts zombie streaming Superheroes cars Interview christmas movies MTV children's TV Photos sequel thriller Apple screen actors guild Character Guide indie Sneak Peek green book spider-man binge zombies nature NBC 2018 Reality Mary Poppins Returns social media casting name the review Spike Tumblr Disney+ Disney Plus Bravo what to watch Sundance vampires halloween facebook Infographic Warner Bros. harry potter MCU adventure docudrama natural history Quiz police drama crime Music Holiday series video TV ratings Tomatazos Chilling Adventures of Sabrina See It Skip It ABC Family miniseries Winners cartoon television historical drama Shudder RT21 Set visit dogs FX The Witch PBS Ellie Kemper anime cooking Cosplay psychological thriller 71st Emmy Awards Vudu award winner comic TBS joker anthology Film Festival Comic Book Winter TV Logo Television Academy Writers Guild of America dc Calendar SundanceTV San Diego Comic-Con USA Super Bowl psycho YouTube Red DGA cults Mindy Kaling Mary poppins politics 007 Lifetime doctor who supernatural Kids & Family BBC PaleyFest blockbuster movie teaser The Walking Dead CNN festivals toy story CW Seed Family TIFF Tarantino Academy Awards richard e. Grant Walt Disney Pictures Paramount El Rey LGBT game show boxoffice YouTube Premium Countdown book zero dark thirty IFC TV Land TLC Mudbound 2015 medical drama RT History witnail dramedy Marvel Creative Arts Emmys Thanksgiving Marvel Studios theme song revenge Nat Geo Premiere Dates Horror versus Drama Fantasy war History National Geographic Watching Series CMT Amazon stand-up comedy 2017 Awards BBC America robots Emmys TCA 2017 Esquire A&E serial killer A24 Marvel Television Spectrum Originals tv talk Binge Guide unscripted Nominations Oscars Crackle Captain marvel Anna Paquin ITV Sony Pictures canceled Masterpiece Film Valentine's Day 45 quibi Cannes Box Office Marathons Amazon Studios cancelled TV series sports Opinion Britbox jamie lee curtis FXX Musicals Hallmark spy thriller Baby Yoda Syfy crime drama New York Comic Con LGBTQ cops Peacock Spring TV foreign First Reviews Classic Film cats singing competition The Purge Mary Tyler Moore kids Discovery Channel WarnerMedia GIFs HBO Max X-Men latino Pride Month Disney Channel Rom-Com batman Comedy independent Starz SXSW Hallmark Christmas movies TCM talk show Nickelodeon political drama 24 frames Video Games TCA Sundance TV Trophy Talk Best and Worst Arrowverse Lionsgate cancelled television Biopics Cartoon Network directors Apple TV+ First Look free movies VH1 Brie Larson Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt romance Pirates spanish language adaptation Heroines Teen Black Mirror Polls and Games reboot aliens true crime WGN blaxploitation Podcast cinemax Disney OneApp 20th Century Fox Apple TV Plus dragons DirecTV President Epix Crunchyroll ABC Netflix Christmas movies Dark Horse Comics Netflix Pet Sematary sitcom 2016 mutant Holidays discovery HBO AMC Rock