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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Roger Moore
Christopher Lee
Britt Ekland
Maud Adams
Herve Villechaize
.
Directors
Guy Hamilton.
Screenwriters
Richard Maibaum
Tom Mankiewicz.
Running Time
124 minutes

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The Man With The Golden Gun
The Roger Moore one with Britt Ekland and Christopher Lee.


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Plot
This time round, secret agent James Bond 007 is on the trail of the Solex Agitator, a device that harnesses the sun’s radiation. His job is made even more diffcult by top flight assassin Francisco Scaramanga, renowned for his gun made of gold, who has been paid$1 million to rub Bond out.


Review

It was a marked feature of the early Roger Moore 007 flicks that, to avoid appearing anachronistic,  they imported  trace elements from the big hits of the period, be it Shaft (Live And Let Die), Star Wars (Moonraker) and Raiders Of The Lost Ark (Octopussy). Made at the height of Bruce Lee mania, The Man With The Golden Gun, Moore’s second outing as Bond, transplants the atmosphere and kung fu licks of Enter The Dragon on the set in stone James Bond formula and delivers an entertaining 007 adventure, something that tonally, if not qualitatively,  could happily sit within the Connery era.
 
          Kicking off with that Bond rarity — a bad John Barry song belted out by Lulu —  Golden Gun ticks all the boxes, some more squarely than others. As always there is some terrific action — on top of the kung fu,  there is a terrific car chase that sees Bond’s car cork screw in mid-air jumping across a river and ends when Scaramanga’s car turns into a plane — and Christopher  Lee (actually Ian Fleming’s cousin) imbues  Scaramanga with a cold weirdness — this is a Bond villiain with interesting quirks (three nipples, he caresses women with his gun and a cardboard cut out of 007 for starters), who could easily be the pervy flipside of Bond himself. Also, amidst the bad innuendos, there is some genuine wit: “Who’d pay a million dollars to kill me?” Bond asks M. “Jealous husbands, outraged chefs, humiliated tailors — the list is endless.”
 
          On the debit side, there is too much of an emphasis on knockabout  comedy — the midget henchman Nick Nack (played by Harve “The Plane! The Plane, boss!” Villechaize),  the reprise of redneck cop JW Pepper from Live and Let Die, conveniently on holiday in the Orient — and the women are flimsy creations; Britt Ekland, as secret agent Mary Goodnight (a name that allows Moore the immortal  line “Goodnight, Goodnight”)  could simper for Sweden and Maude Adams,(who would later play a more fully developed Bond in Octopussy) is wasted in the potentially interesting role as Scaramanga’s treacherous assistant.
 
          Yet the real surprise revisting the movie is Moore. For all Moore’s reputation for lightness of touch and suave urbanity, there are flashes of genuine brutality (not to mention mysogyny)  here. Watch him bitch slap Adams Andrea in order to get his own way. Next up for Moore was the gadget laden campery of The Spy Who Loved Me but, if he’d stuck closer to some of the spirit of Golden Gun, his tenure as Bond might have been coloured in a completely different, less cosy hue.


Verdict
Roger Moore's Bond has got a rough deal over the year, but whilst this takes itself a little too lightly it has a lot going for it.


Reviewed by Ian Freer

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Man With The Golden Gun
Empire Star Rating

Great fun.

Not as good as moores first outing but still a cracking bond yarn with a legendary villain, this one doesnt deserve the stick it gets and if most people would dare to admit that connery only did 3 great bond films, moore might start getting a bit of the credit hes due for making some classic bond movies, watch this and let it take you back to rainy bank hollidays. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by paulandnic14 at 23:16, 10 February 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Man With The Golden Gun , The

It's not the best Bond movie, but also not the worst. That honour goes to You Only Live Twice, where you can clearly see on Connery's face that he did not want to make this movie anymore.   The man with the golden gun has some cheesy moment (eg the flying car, Nick-Nack and the scene at the karate-shool) but Roger Moore is better in his second outing as James Bond. He looks more confident.   The movie suffers though from a bad final fight with Scaramanga. It is clear... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by M. at 13:00, 09 November 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Man With The Golden Gun , The

When i was younger this was my fav Bond film.  As i have got older i have become more wise to this but it still holds a place in my heart.   Love the location of this film, its just so bright and sunny and the island at the beginning and end is great just right for a bond film.  Roger Moore is at his best i feel her, funny but serious when he needs to be which he lost as the films went on.  Love the car and boat chase.  And for some reason i always liked this Bond t... More

Posted by goldleader at 11:25, 07 November 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Man With The Golden Gun , The

L: doncopey1 L: Kazuya resting, low-key Bond film. Not as flamboyant as some have made out, mercifully devoid of too much gadgetry and ridiculous set-piecesan With the Golden Gun is a thriller. I'm not excactly a fan of Moore as the famed 00 agent, to me Connery is Bond, but he does fairly well here. The film also sports my favorite villain of the entire series, the sinister Scaramanga, flawlessly portrayed by Christopher Lee. In terms of sticking to the source material it's way off, a... More

Posted by Kazuya at 15:09, 06 November 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Man With The Golden Gun , The

L: Kazuya resting, low-key Bond film. Not as flamboyant as some have made out, mercifully devoid of too much gadgetry and ridiculous set-piecesan With the Golden Gun is a thriller. I'm not excactly a fan of Moore as the famed 00 agent, to me Connery is Bond, but he does fairly well here. The film also sports my favorite villain of the entire series, the sinister Scaramanga, flawlessly portrayed by Christopher Lee. In terms of sticking to the source material it's way off, and the title tune s... More

Posted by doncopey1 at 14:50, 06 November 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Man With The Golden Gun , The

One of my favourite Bond flicks because of: the greatest car stunt ever, Christopher Lee's magnetic performance, his exotic lair, his flying car, Britt Ekland (yes, she's dumb, but so what?) and the unusual (for Bond) plot, which sees the villain go after Bond... initially at least.   ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bozo at 14:42, 06 November 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Man With The Golden Gun , The

Interesting, low-key Bond film. Not as flamboyant as some have made out, mercifully devoid of too much gadgetry and ridiculous set-pieces, The Man With the Golden Gun is a thriller. I'm not excactly a fan of Moore as the famed 00 agent, to me Connery is Bond, but he does fairly well here. The film also sports my favorite villain of the entire series, the sinister Scaramanga, flawlessly portrayed by Christopher Lee. In terms of sticking to the source material it's way off, and the title tune sti... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Kazuya at 07:30, 06 November 2007 | Report This Post


RE: The Man With The Golden Gun

It's a curious mixed bag, this one, with some really good parts to it countered by some really bad ones.   THE GOOD Roger Moore seems to be growing into the role. He's considerably less smarmy here than he was in "Live and Let Die" and for once comes across as a seasoned killer instead of a tired punster.   Christopher Lee is almost effortlessly charming and lethal as Scaramanga. He easily walks off with the film.   Maud Adams is really beautiful and even tries t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by RJNeb2 at 14:27, 05 November 2007 | Report This Post


The Man With The Golden Gun

This had great potential to become a great Bond movie. A good actor just settling in to Bond, a good plot, a great villian and beautiful women. But some of these things were ruined by little things that stop this from being a great film, instead it's just a pretty good one. Roger Moore is on top form as Bond in this one, showing his jokey side but also a dark side (bitch slapping Maud Adams). Christopher Lee is one of the best Bond villians out of all the Bond movies. He suits Scaramanga perfect... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Bond at 11:31, 15 August 2007 | Report This Post


3 stars?

No no no, an easy 4. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by The Tom at 18:42, 28 December 2006 | Report This Post


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