Bond

Countdown to Spectre: The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)

This is the next installment in my look back to the James Bond 007 series in anticipation for the new installment, Spectre coming out on November 6th. If you are interested in any of my earlier installments, click here.

Agent 007, James Bond (Roger Moore) searches for a stolen invention with the ability to turn the heat from the sun into a dangerous weapon. During his investigation, he comes across the menacing Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee), an assassin so skilled, he has a seven figure fee. For this investigation, Bond joins forces with the beautiful Mary Goodnight (Britt Ekland) and together they must track Scaramanga to a tropical island hideout where the assassin lures the secret agent through a deadly maze for their final duel.

So this is Roger Moore’s second of seven Bond films and only the second Roger Moore Bond film I’ve actually seen. I’ve already seen all of the Bond films I’ve reviewed thus far and the last movie Bond movie I’ve seen until Goldeneye (I’ve seen pretty much all of them after that). I was excited about this one because I’ve always been a big fan of Christopher Lee. I think he is one of the all time great actors. This isn’t his best role but I thought he was really good here as Scaramanga. He for me is my favorite Bond villain so far as I found he played the role really well. His character acted as a counterbalance to Bond being someone with the same skills and abilities as him but just has a different ideology. Despite their limited scenes, I thought they had great chemistry with one another with each being witty with the other. Moore’s version of Bond continues what he started in the previous film by being just cool, calm, and unfazed by everything. I found it fun to watch since the film did not try to take itself too seriously and I liked that. Britt Ekland’s Mary Goodnight was just your classic ditzy Bond girl making stupid decision after stupid decision and was always able to put herself in peril but I thought she did a good job at this and she had great chemistry with Bond as well. Hervé Villechaize was also a great addition as Scaramanga’s evil assistant Nick Nack, one of the best Bond henchmen. The story in this one isn’t too great as the film starts off with Bond on the hunt for a powerful solar energy cell during the energy crisis but this investigation gets interrupted when has a kill order set on him. Eventually the two plots converge but I thought they just didn’t work together. A problem I’ve had with the last few Bond films was that I thought it took too long for things to start but I did not find that to be the case this time. I liked that the plot took the film to various locales such as Beirut, Macao, and Hong Kong which I found to be well shot. There isn’t too much action in this film (but the most for a Roger Moore Bond film) but the action we got was really good. Of course with a Bond film, you get your obligatory motor vehicle chases. This time there’s a car and a boat. The chases themselves are not overly original but the only difference being where they took place. The one exception was that it was practically shot so the things you saw were real and not fake. That’s something you don’t get to see very often. There weren’t too many gadgets in this one so it was nice to see Bond do things himself for a change. Overall, the story may not be where it needs to be but it easy to forget this when the film has Christopher Lee in it.

Score: 8/10

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Next: The Spy Who Loved Me

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9 replies »

  1. This one feels a bit silly to me but it’s still enjoyable. I think James Bond films have tended to hold up better with age than the average movie.