007 Film: The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)June 20, 2014
Release year: 1974
Directed by: Guy Hamilton
The Man with the Golden Gun was the fourth and final film in the series directed by Guy Hamilton. The script was written by Richard Maibaum and Tom Mankiewicz. The film was set in the face of the 1973 energy crisis, a dominant theme in the script—Britain had still not yet fully overcome the crisis when the film was released in December 1974. The film also reflects the then-popular martial arts film craze, with several kung-fu scenes and a predominantly Asian location, being shot in Thailand, Hong Kong, and Macau.
- Roger Moore as James Bond: An MI6 agent who receives a golden bullet, supposedly from Scaramanga, indicating that he is a target of Scaramanga. This was Moore’s second outing as Bond; he appeared in seven Bond films in total, from Live and Let Die in 1973 to A View to a Kill in 1985.
- Christopher Lee as Francisco Scaramanga: The main villain and assassin who is identified by his use of a golden gun; he also has a ‘superfluous areola’, or supernumerary nipple. Scaramanga plans to misuse solar energy for destructive purposes. Lee was Ian Fleming’s step-cousin and regular golf partner. Scaramanga has been called “the best-characterised Bond villain yet.”
- Britt Ekland as Mary Goodnight: Bond’s assistant. Described by the critic of the The Sunday Mirror as being “an astoundingly stupid blonde British agent”. Ekland had previously been married to Peter Sellers, who appeared in the 1967 Bond film, Casino Royale.
- Maud Adams as Andrea Anders: Scaramanga’s mistress. Adams described the role as “a woman without a lot of choices: she’s under the influence of this very rich, strong man, and is fearing for her life most of the time; and when she actually rebels against him and defects is a major step.” The Man with the Golden Gun was the first of three Bond films in which Maud Adams appeared; in 1983, she played a different character, Octopussy, in the film of the same name. She would also later have a cameo as an extra in Roger Moore’s last Bond film, A View to a Kill.
- Hervé Villechaize as Nick Nack: Scaramanga’s dwarf manservant and accomplice. Villechaize was later known to television audiences as Tattoo, in the series Fantasy Island.
- Richard Loo as Hai Fat: A Thai millionaire industrialist who was employing Scaramanga to assassinate the inventor of the “Solex” (a revolutionary solar energy device) and steal the device.
- Soon-Tek Oh as Lieutenant Hip: Bond’s local contact in Hong Kong and Bangkok. Soon-Tek Oh trained in martial arts for the role, and his voice was partially dubbed over.
- Clifton James as Sheriff J.W. Pepper: A Louisiana sheriff who happens to be on holiday in Thailand. Hamilton liked Pepper in the previous film, Live and Let Die, and asked Mankewicz to write him into The Man with the Golden Gun as well. Pepper’s inclusion has been seen as one of “several ill-advised lurches into comedy” in the film.
- Bernard Lee as M: The head of MI6. The Man with the Golden Gun was the ninth Bond film for Lee, who had appeared in every Eon-produced Bond film since Dr. No as Bond’s superior, Admiral Sir Miles Messervy.
- Marc Lawrence as Rodney: An American gangster who attempts to outshoot Scaramanga in his funhouse. Lawrence also appeared in Diamonds Are Forever.
- Desmond Llewelyn as Q: The head of MI6’s technical department. The Man with the Golden Gun was the seventh of 17 Bond films in which Llewelyn appeared. He appeared in more Bond films than any other actor and worked with the first five James Bond actors.
- Marne Maitland as Lazar: A gunsmith based in Macau who manufactures golden bullets for Scaramanga.
- Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny: M’s secretary. Maxwell played Moneypenny in fourteen Eon-produced Bond films from Dr. No in 1962 to A View to a Kill in 1985; The Man with the Golden Gun was her ninth appearance.
- James Cossins as Colthorpe: An MI6 armaments expert who identifies the maker of Scaramanga’s golden bullets. The first draft of the script originally called the role Boothroyd until it was realised that was also Q’s name and it was subsequently changed.
- Carmen du Sautoy as Saida: A Beirut belly dancer. Saida was originally written as overweight and wearing excessive make-up, but the producers decided to cast a woman closer to the classic Bond girl.