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Bond: The Man With The Golden Gun

Nov. 4, 2008by: Chris Bumbray

The phenomenal worldwide success of LIVE AND LET DIE proved once and for all that Sean Connery was not the only actor audiences would flock to see as James Bond 007. In an effort to strike while the iron was hot, producers Cubby Broccoli, and Harry Saltzman immediately began work on a follow up film.

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN

PLOT: Bond goes after an international hit man, named Francisco Scaramanga, otherwise known as THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, after a golden bullet (Scaramangas trademark), with the prefix 007 etched in the casing, is retrieved by MI6.

REVIEW: As far as Im concerned, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN really marked the lowest point of the series. I really despise this film, and for me, the fault here lies with two people- screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz, and director Guy Hamilton. Together, they were responsible for the crappiest run of films in the series. First they did DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER- easily Connerys worst, then they tackled LIVE AND LET DIE, which is even worse. That said, those two films are like FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE & GOLDFINGER compared to this.

All of the Bond films Hamilton & Mankiewicz did together share the same flaws. Theyre all rather drab looking, with lazy performances by the actors- for which the blame should go to Hamilton. To be fair to the man, he also directed one of the best Bonds- GOLDFINGER, but his enthusiasm for the series must have really waned, as his direction on the rest of his Bond outings was workman like at best.

As for Mankiewicz- each of the films he worked on share the same campy sense of humor that does not work for Bond at all. The producers should have learned this lesson on DIAMONDS, but as the films continued to make money- they kept letting Mankiewicz wreak havoc on the series with his cringe-worthy jokes and lame characterization. That said, Mankiewicz later did some solid work on the first two SUPERMAN films (although they also suffer from his love of camp).

Another problem is that its based on Ian Flemings worst Bond novel, which was completed shortly before his death. Add to this the fact that star Roger Moore was still having a hard time getting a handle on the role, and you get a pretty lame Bond movie. Theres really only one cool sequence in the film- where a car does an absolutely insane barrel roll, but even this is ruined by the dumb ass inclusion of a slide whistle on the soundtrack.

BOND

Roger Moore is really awful in this film. For some reason, they tried to inject a bit of cruelty into the role, which did not fit at all. Theres a scene where Bond beats up Scaramangas girlfriend in a hotel room that I consider the worst Bond sequence of all time. Connery might have been able to pull this rough scene off- but Moore is way out of his element here.

VILLAIN

Christopher Lee as Scaramanga is easily the best thing about the film. In fact, it can be argued that Lee is too good in the role, as this is the only installment of the franchise where I actually rooted for the villain! Also, he has a third nipple- which is gross, but also kinda awesome (for those not in the know- in some cultures it's considered a sign of great sexual power). We also get the one, and only Herve Villechaize as Nick- Nack, Scaramangas dwarf henchman. The character is dumb as can be, but at least hes good for a few laughs- which is just about the only thing this film is good for.

BOND GIRL

Brit Ekland as Mary Goodnight. Ekland is certainly foxy, but she really gets nothing to do here besides run around in a bikini and act stupid. My choice for worst Bond girl (with Denise Richards in THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH being a close second).

BOND MUSIC: John Barry is back, but he contributes his worst Bond score- which I suppose is fitting considering how bad the film is. The theme song by Lulu is ok, but not particularly memorable. Supposedly Alice Cooper was going to contribute the theme, but the producers chickened out- although the song does exist, and can be heard on his album, Muscle of Love.

BODY COUNT: Bond only kills one person is this outing- any guess as to who it is? Weak.

NUMBER OF WOMEN BOND SLEEPS WITH: Two. At one point, Bond is about to get it on with Goodnight, until Scaramangas girlfriend, Andrea (Maud Adams- who would be back for OCTOPUSSY) walks in. Bond hides Goodnight in the closet and proceeds to get it on with Andrea, while Goodnight listens. Afterwards, Goodnight is pretty upset, but Bond re-assures her, Don't worry- youll get your turn. Wow- Connery could have pulled that one off- but its laughable coming from Moore.

BEST ONE- LINER: [Bond aims a gun at a mans crotch] Speak now or forever hold your piece!

BEST DOUBLE ENTENDRE: There's not much to choose from here- but I did like this little exchange- where Bond speaks to a girl with the delightful name Chew-Mee.
Bond: Good morning. How's the water?
Chew Mee: Why don't you come in and find out?
Bond: Sounds very tempting, Miss...?
Chew Mee: Chew Mee.
Bond: Really? Well, there's only one small problem. I have no swimming trunks.
Chew Mee: Neither have I.

BEST GADGET: Not much here, but Scaramangas Golden Gun is pretty sweet. Bond also sports a fake third nipple at one point. Gotta get myself one of those.

RECEPTION: $97,000,000 worldwide, with $20 million in the U.S, which is very mediocre for a Bond film. Its relative failure actually turned out to be a good thing, as it was the kick in the ass the franchise needed.

GRADE: 4/10- worst film of the series- bar none!

Previous reviews: DR. NO, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE , GOLDFINGER, THUNDERBALL, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER , LIVE AND LET DIE

Source: JoBlo.com

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-1
8:30AM on 11/04/2008
I couldnt disagree more. This (behind Goldfinger) is one of my favorite of the older Bonds.
I couldnt disagree more. This (behind Goldfinger) is one of my favorite of the older Bonds.
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9:54AM on 11/04/2008

Golden

Not my favorite, but not bad either. 6/10 for me.
Not my favorite, but not bad either. 6/10 for me.
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+1
10:21AM on 11/04/2008
I haven't seen this one since I was a kid. I remember liking it, but something tells me this is a movie better remembered than revisited.
I haven't seen this one since I was a kid. I remember liking it, but something tells me this is a movie better remembered than revisited.
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-1
10:35AM on 11/04/2008

WHAT???

This is definitely not the worst of the series. This is actually one of the better ones. The honor of worst bond flick, IMO, goes to From Russia With Love.
This is definitely not the worst of the series. This is actually one of the better ones. The honor of worst bond flick, IMO, goes to From Russia With Love.
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10:56AM on 11/04/2008
what a crap review! This is one of the better bond films in my opinion. Did you actually watch the film?! You didn't even touch upon all the Kung-Fu in the film! Very fishy!
what a crap review! This is one of the better bond films in my opinion. Did you actually watch the film?! You didn't even touch upon all the Kung-Fu in the film! Very fishy!
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+0
11:30AM on 11/04/2008

i agree

i love bond but arguably the worst

the guns cool and chris lee is always good but it lacks in alot of area's

6/10
i love bond but arguably the worst

the guns cool and chris lee is always good but it lacks in alot of area's

6/10
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+0
12:40PM on 11/04/2008

You need to revaluate your review

I have agreed with many of your reviews thus far, but this was a very harsh view on a film that still holds up as enjoyable to watch. Granted, it has its flaws and is not in my top 5, but its no Diamonds are Forever either. 6/10
I have agreed with many of your reviews thus far, but this was a very harsh view on a film that still holds up as enjoyable to watch. Granted, it has its flaws and is not in my top 5, but its no Diamonds are Forever either. 6/10
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3:20PM on 11/04/2008

Very good review!

"The Man with the Golden Gun" made a huge depart from the usual cool Bond fare (which won't really return until Dalton came into the picture, and improved when Craig would become Bond).

My score would be 4/10.

I recall falling asleep, or getting bored with this film.
"The Man with the Golden Gun" made a huge depart from the usual cool Bond fare (which won't really return until Dalton came into the picture, and improved when Craig would become Bond).

My score would be 4/10.

I recall falling asleep, or getting bored with this film.
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5:01PM on 11/04/2008
Ive got 2 agree with u I dont like this one either altho there are ppl who say its one of the favs
Ive got 2 agree with u I dont like this one either altho there are ppl who say its one of the favs
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6:38PM on 11/04/2008
I'm only going to assume he liked Moonraker (the worst in the series) better than this...how?
I'm only going to assume he liked Moonraker (the worst in the series) better than this...how?
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5:28PM on 11/05/2008

Bond the child abuser

You forgot the best part of this film; actually scratch that, the entire series! Bond. Shoves. A. Child. Out. Of. A. Moving. Boat.
You forgot the best part of this film; actually scratch that, the entire series! Bond. Shoves. A. Child. Out. Of. A. Moving. Boat.
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+0
7:03PM on 11/05/2008

NO!

Man with the Golden Gun is easily one of the most entertaining movies of all time!

8/10
Man with the Golden Gun is easily one of the most entertaining movies of all time!

8/10
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10:25PM on 11/14/2008

Well done Chris!

Well done Chris! 75% of the ratings at least. Gr8 reviews for the most part on all of them too. BUT-"A View To A Kill" and "Moonraker" 5.5/10!? I see these Roger Moore Bond films as a unique period/era for 007 those films seemed to fit the mood and feel for those years somehow...anyway great review for " On Her Majesty's Secret Service" only wish Lazenby would have been cast in "Diamonds Are Forever" to see how he would have developed in the role. and 1 correction from either yr review or
Well done Chris! 75% of the ratings at least. Gr8 reviews for the most part on all of them too. BUT-"A View To A Kill" and "Moonraker" 5.5/10!? I see these Roger Moore Bond films as a unique period/era for 007 those films seemed to fit the mood and feel for those years somehow...anyway great review for " On Her Majesty's Secret Service" only wish Lazenby would have been cast in "Diamonds Are Forever" to see how he would have developed in the role. and 1 correction from either yr review or somewhere in the Bond series of talk here at JoBlo-a minor one actually-Roger Moore was 57 at the wrap of filming "A View To A Kill" in 1st half of 1985 although he turned 58 that October after film was released.
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