A fake Fabergé egg and a fellow agent's death lead James Bond to uncover an international jewel-smuggling operation, headed by the mysterious Octopussy, being used to disguise a nuclear attack on N.A.T.O. forces.
Scaramanga is a hit-man who charges a million dollars per job. He becomes linked to the death of a scientist working on a powerful solar cell, and James Bond is called in to investigate. As he tracks down Scaramanga, he realises that he is highly respected by the killer, but will this prove to be an advantage in the final showdown? Written by
Graeme Roy <email@example.com>
The Man With the Golden Gun was producer Harry Saltzman's last hurrah before selling out his share in the Bond series to United Artists to ensure the maximum inconvenience to his detested partner Cubby Broccoli. It's certainly not premium Bond: at times it threatens to turn into an episode of The Avengers, what with Scaramanga's funhouse, his midget servant Nick Nack, it's human statues or the off-kilter angles of MI6's Hong Kong HQ located in the rusting wreck of the Queen Elizabeth, not to mention Roger Moore's more Steed-like Bond. Although there are hints of the lows to come in Moore's tenure Bond being saved by a pair of schoolgirls or defeating a villain by pretending to be a tailor's dummy this is still recognisable an old-school Bond film, with thankfully few gadgets, although it's disappointing that the producers provide Scaramanga with an island lair and super-weapon to give Bond something to blow up at the end (a rather half-hearted effort to be sure: instead of a private army, Scaramanga simply has Herve Villachaize and a maintenance man).
Britt Ekland's irritating 'typical silly woman' comic relief was a bit hard to take in 1974 and gets worse with each passing year, but Christopher Lee's Scaramanga is one of the more interesting Bond villains, not least because of his imagined empathy with his prey he regards himself as Bond's moral and professional equal, the kind of pathological snobbery Fleming's books were full of but the films increasingly abandoned.
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