In his autobiography, Sir Roger Moore said that when they were filming the boat chase on the klongs, he fell in twice. The first was on purpose (because they told him not to do it), and the second time was by accident. On the second fall, Moore made the mistake of opening his eyes underwater, and saw what the local undertakers did with the bodies of the less fortunate. Conversely, this is the only Sir Roger Moore Bond movie where the Bond character is not drenched in water in some way.
One of the lowest grossing Bond movies. That fact, combined with behind-the-scenes problems, nearly made this the final Bond movie, and delayed production of the next entry in the franchise, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).
According to Sir Roger Moore, Director Guy Hamilton wanted to toughen Bond up more, in order to be closer to Ian Fleming's original intent for the character. One of the ways was by having Bond twist the arm of Andrea Anders behind her back, and threaten to break it unless she told him what he wanted to know. Moore didn't enjoy filming the scene, feeling that Bond would have instead charmed the information out of her. Another scene Moore didn't enjoy, was pushing the boy into the water during the boat chase.
While on-location in Thailand, Sir Roger Moore found a cave full of bats. He couldn't resist seeking out Sir Christopher Lee, telling him what he had found and joking "Master, they are yours to command!" Lee appreciated the joke.
"The Man with the Golden Gun" was the thirteenth and final complete James Bond novel written by Ian Fleming. It was the first and only one of his full James Bond novels to be published posthumously. Some sources claim that it was unfinished at the time of his death, whereas other experts, such as Andrew Lycett and John Cork, maintain that Fleming had completed it before he died. It is of controversial debate as to whether Fleming wrote the novel completely himself or whether other(s) were involved. Fleming's own personal correspondence from the period indicates that he had completed the novel and submitted it to his publisher before his death. The correspondence also indicates that Fleming was not pleased with the novel, and was considering retiring from writing Bond novels, because he feared he had lost his edge.
Though James Bond and Francisco Scaramanga are enemies in this movie, Sir Roger Moore and Sir Christopher Lee were close friends, dating back to the early days of their respective professional acting careers.
The corkscrew car jump was apparently conceived several years before this movie went into production. Researchers at Cornell University were studying rollover collisions for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and they did a computer simulation of the barrel roll stunt used in this movie. Race car driver W.J. Milligan, Jr., who was the promoter of the American Thrill Show during the 1960s and 1970s, with the sponsorship of the American Motors Corporation, performed the barrel roll stunt, known as the Astro Spiral Jump, and it debuted on January 12, 1972, at the Houston Astrodome, using an AMC Javelin. Milligan was contacted by Producer Albert R. Broccoli during an American Thrill Show performance in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where he wanted the stunt performed in a James Bond movie. Producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli allegedly took out patents and copyrights on the stunt, as they did not wish it to appear in another movie before they had used it. The three hundred sixty-degree car-spiralling jump over a canal, was performed in just one take by uncredited British Stuntman "Bumps" Williard as eight cameras simultaneously captured the spectacle. So potentially hazardous was the nature of the stunt, divers, ambulances, and cranes were on standby alert, in case of any catastrophic consequences. The stunt was so rapid, that the film is shown in slow motion. Williard was given a large bonus for completing the jump on the first take. Jay Milligan performed the driving stunts with the AMC Hornet used in this movie. AMC provided fifteen vehicles used in this movie (some of them where AMC Matador police cars). There were two AMC Hornets used for the spiral jump stunt, and one of them is owned by Jay Milligan, which is the back-up vehicle, while the other one is in a museum. The jump is also credited with being the first stunt ever to be calculated by computer modelling.
The title role was originally offered to Jack Palance, before it eventually went to Sir Christopher Lee, the cousin of Ian Fleming who was known as the Man with the Golden Pen. (Fleming had previously offered Lee the title role in Dr. No (1962).)
Britt Ekland admitted to being terrified when filming the scene where she and Sir Roger Moore escape from Scaramanga's island. In his autobiography, Moore pointed out one particular shot, right before the second explosion goes off, when Ekland falls to the floor; according to Ekland, that wasn't acting. Moore came back, picked her up, and helped her go on. His arm was around her back as the second explosion went off, and he felt the tiny hairs on her skin get singed.
While doing the title sequence, Title Designer Maurice Binder ran into a problem with one of the nude models. Her pubic hair was sticking up when they needed it flat. After a few minutes of her trying, and failing to get it right, Binder smeared her pubic hair with Vaseline. She gave Binder the brush and told him to fix the hair to how he needed it. The whole thing was seen by Sir Roger Moore and Producer Harry Saltzman, causing Moore to turn to Saltzman and quip, "If you're the producer of this film, you're not getting the perks!"
This is the James Bond movie on which the partnership between Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli is said to have deteriorated. Sir Roger Moore stated in his DVD audio commentary, that this predominantly occurred behind closed doors.
First James Bond movie to be shown at the Kremlin. According to Sir Roger Moore in his audio commentary, apparently when the movie had finished, one Russian official turned around and said "We didn't train him (Scaramanga) very well." Scaramanga was recruited by, and acted as a hitman for, the K.G.B.
Producer Harry Saltzman wanted an elephant stampede in the movie, so Bond and Scaramanga could chase each other on elephant back. The rest of the creative team balked at the idea, but Saltzman went to see an elephant trainer. It turns out, that elephants need a special shoe on their feet to protect them from rough surfaces when they work. A few months later, while filming in Thailand, Producer Albert R. Broccoli got a call saying his elephant shoes were ready. Saltzman had ordered about twenty-six hundred pairs of them. The sequence was not in the movie, but the man who made the shoe had not been paid. As of 1990, Eon Productions still owed him.
As a joke on Desmond Llewelyn, Sir Roger Moore wrote fake dialogue for Q, and then gave it to the Script Girl to give to Llewelyn after he had spent a whole month learning his lines, and was about to come on-set.
The source of the name "Scaramanga" originates in the name of a man that Ian Fleming knew, called "Pandia Scaramanga". He had met him, and stayed at his house on the island of Hydra, in the Greek isles. Reportedly, Fleming sought permission from him to use his surname, indicating that he would be James Bond's adversary in "The Man With The Golden Gun". The real Scaramanga apparently responded: "I certainly do not mind you using my name, but please do not to kill me."
Hervé Villechaize lamented to Sir Roger Moore, that whenever he stayed at a hotel, he could never get a room above the first floor. When Moore asked him why, he said it was because he couldn't reach the buttons in the elevator.
The golden gun was manufactured by Special Effects Wizard John Stears, from several tobacco and men's accessories, such as a cigarette case, fountain pen, and cigarette lighter. During the 1950s, K.G.B. Agents were issued with miniature, one-shot, .22 caliber guns, compacted in cigarette cases.
Before acting, Sir Christopher Lee had a brief career in the British Secret Service, in which he studied several languages. One of these languages was Swedish. Off-set, he spoke Swedish with Britt Ekland and Maud Adams. His wife, Birgit Kroencke, was born in Sweden.
In earlier versions of the script, the character of Nick Nack (Hervé Villechaize) was originally called "Demi Tasse", and Hai Fat had a business partner called "Lo Fat", a character which was scrapped.
Alice Cooper's "Muscle of Love" album has a song "Man With the Golden Gun" on it. The CD version includes notes claiming it was to be the theme song of the movie, but the producers opted for the version sung by Lulu instead.
This movie bears virtually no relation to the book, other than the name of Scaramanga, his third nipple, his golden gun, his occupation as an assassin, and a brief monologue about the shooting of an elephant when he was younger. Even the locale was shifted from Jamaica, as that location had already been used for Dr. No (1962) and Live and Let Die (1973). Scaramanga was changed from an American hood, into a more urbane methodical assassin, more akin to Bond.
In the dinner scene with Scaramanga, Bond says, "There is a word with four letters, and you are full of it." A sentence that was used again by Bond, this time played by Timothy Dalton, in The Living Daylights (1987), after being captured by Koskoff.
The Republic RC-3 SeaBee seaplane, which Bond uses to fly to the Scaramanga's lair, was donated by a wealthy American James Bond fan (though only on the condition he fly it himself. Which he did, all the way from the United States to Thailand).
When first meeting Bond in the car, Lieutenant Hip's nieces greet him in two different languages. Niece number two says "Sawadee ka" (Thai for "Hello" and "Goodbye") and niece number one says "Ni hao ma" (Mandarin for "How are you?"). Also, in their second meeting, niece number two says "He is handsome" in Thai, and niece number one replies in Mandarin.
Marc Lawrence played Rodney, the gangster who was shot by Scaramanga at the beginning of the movie. He also played a Las Vegas hood, who worked for Slumber, Inc. in Diamonds Are Forever (1971). It is not clear whether or not they were intended to be the same character.
According to Production Designer Peter Murton, the sequence where Scaramanga's car transforms into a light airplane was accomplished in the editing room. Wings were attached to the car, and a stuntman drove the carplane to the runway. At this point, the editor simply cut to a radio-controlled model, built by John Stears.
Two scenes written by Richard Maibaum were either eliminated or shortened before filming began: The first had Q at Hong Kong airport trying to persuade Bond to use a gadget-laden camera on his trip to Thailand, and being forced to admit that the one thing it couldn't do was take photographs. The second set of changes were made to the climactic battle between Bond and Scaramanga, which was originally planned to be much longer.
The idea of a "Golden Gun" in the James Bond universe predates the 1965 novel and movie. Ian Fleming's villain Auric Goldfinger in the 1959 novel and the movie Goldfinger (1964) brandished a golden pistol while disguised as a military Major.
When Bond says, "The energy crisis is still with us", to M, that had a lot of truth to it. Britain had not yet overcome the oil crisis of 1973, as it had not yet had North Sea oil and gas flowing through its pipelines.
During the belly dancing scene, Sir Roger Moore was wearing a brand new suit. When the scene was finished, as a gag, Producer Albert R. Broccoli got on a ladder, and poured a bucket of paste all over Moore's new suit.
Three Golden Gun props were made; a solid piece, one that could be fired with a cap, and one that could be assembled and disassembled, although Sir Christopher Lee said that the process "was extremely difficult."
The original plan was to shoot in Iran. This was partly inspired by Albert Lamorisse's The Red Balloon (1956). The start of the Yom Kippur War was an instrumental reason in calling off the idea of filming there. Southeast Asia was the new location chosen.
On October 10, 2008, it was discovered that one of the golden guns used in this movie, which is estimated to be worth around eighty thousand pounds sterling, was missing (suspected stolen) from Elstree Props, a company based at Hertfordshire studios.
Speaking to Robert Osborne of The Hollywood Reporter (April 12, 1982), Producer Albert R. Broccoli noted that "I can't say there is a single (Bond movie) I'd like to completely redo if I had the chance, although there are parts of The Man With the Golden Gun I'd change."
The Queen Elizabeth wreckage in Hong Kong harbor, the Hong Kong base of MI6 in this movie, was launched in 1938. At its launch, it was the largest passenger ship ever built. It was refurbished as a floating university until it was destroyed in a blaze by arsonists in 1972.
Scaramanga's solar gun fires an invisible laser beam (which is true to science, as laser beams are invisible), because the special effects team didn't have the money to make the "golden beam of laser light", for which the script required.
During shooting, the cast and crew had to take a one hour boat ride to the set. They decided to leave their equipment overnight, and employed two security guards to watch over it. One night, Sir Roger Moore said that two large generators were stolen. The guards claimed they saw nothing.
The original teaser trailer features a short clip not used in the final cut: While Bond is chasing Scaramanga on his island, he throws a Molotov cocktail and shoots it, causing it to explode into a ball of flames. The duel was shortened, as the producers felt it was causing pacing problems.
Adolf Hitler had a gold plated Liliput pistol, a very small semi-automatic pistol, with beautiful engravings. Although this golden gun was in a standard caliber, the Liliput was more famous for its now obsolete 4.25mm Liliput rounds (the smallest mass produced center fire rounds of the age). While Q and his staff are checking out Scaramanga's ballistics, they tell Bond that it is a very rare 4.2mm, which would be about the size of the little Liliput. However, the insert shot of the box of shells given up by the gunsmith in this movie were much larger.
Long-time Director of Photography Ted Moore quit halfway through the production, either through illness or disagreements with the producers, depending on who you ask. Ernest Day acted as Director of Photography for about a week, before Oswald Morris came on-board.
In the novel and this movie, Scaramanga (Sir Christopher Lee) has an additional nipple, which can be a real biological occurrence. It is known as a supernumerary nipple, but can also be called an accessory nipple, or third nipple. The medical name for such can be either polythelia or polymastia. In this movie though, it is referred to as a superfluous papilla. In Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), Goldmember (Mike Myers) also had a third nipple.
When Britt Ekland read the news that Maud Adams had been cast, she became upset, thinking Adams had been selected to play Mary Goodnight. Producer Albert R. Broccoli then called Ekland to invite her for the main role, as after seeing her in a movie, Broccoli thought Ekland's "generous looks" made her a good contrast to Adams.
This is the eleventh James Bond movie, and the ninth in the EON Productions official film franchise. It's the second James Bond film to star Sir Roger Moore, the eleventh to feature Bernard Lee as M, and Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny, and the ninth to feature Desmond Llewelyn as Q.
One of the rumored titles for Spectre (2015), which proved to be false, was the title "Devil May Care". This is the name of a retrospective 2008 James Bond novel by Sebastian Faulks, set in 1967, and is a book sequel to this movie.
The game shown at the casino during the bullet drop-off is a Chinese dice game called "Sic Bo". The baskets featured in the same scene are used to allow more players in the game by dropping and receiving bet money for the players on the top level.
The novel was adapted as a comic strip, in the Daily Express newspaper in England, from January 10 to September 10, 1966. It was written by Jim Lawrence, and illustrated by Yaroslav Horak, and has been reprinted on more than one occasion.
Product placements, brand integrations, and promotional tie-ins for this movie include: American Motors Company (AMC); Dom Perignon Champagne; The Bottoms Up Club, Hong Kong; Sony; The Peninsula Hong Kong Hotel; Nikon; Moët; The Floating Macau Palace; Tabasco Sauce; Rolex watches, specifically a Rolex Submariner 5513; Dunlop; Pepsi, and Guinness beer.
A poster for the movie being released for Christmas 1974 promised "A Christmas Present From James Bond". The present was, as the ad read: "A solid gold fountain pen that screws into the body of a gold cigarette lighter. A gold cigarette case that is snapped into place to form a handle. A solid gold cuff link that becomes the trigger. A single gold bullet that is placed in the chamber". The present of course was the Golden Gun, and the poster's tagline then read: "The Man With The Golden Gun Is Ready To Assassinate James Bond".
Vehicles featured included various American Motors cars including two AMC Cassini Coupés, a red 1974 AMC Hornet X Hatchback Special Coupé, which performed the spiral loop jump, and a brown and gold 1974 AMC Matador X Coupé, which became a carplane, which was based on the Aerocar International's Aerocar, or Taylor Aerocar; a fleet of green Peninsula Hotel Rolls-Royce Silver Shadows; a Cairo taxi; an MGB; Mercedes-Benz 240D; Longtail boats riding the Bangkok floating market's canals, and waterways, known as "the Klongs"; Scaramanga's diesel-engine Chinese Junk; a Republic RC-3 SeaBee seaplane; and a Hong Kong Harbor Patrol boat.
Race car driver W.J. Milligan, Jr. drove the AMC Hornet during the chase scenes in Bangkok, Thailand, with the exception of the barrel roll stunt performed by "Bumps" Williard in this movie. Fifteen AMC vehicles (which ranged from AMC Matador police cars, painted in black and white, similar to the color scheme used by the Los Angeles Police Department, an AMC Matador Coupé, and a few AMC Hornets, some of them modified for stunts) were used in this movie.
Director Guy Hamilton decided to put Marc Lawrence, with whom he had worked on Diamonds Are Forever (1971), to play a gangster shot dead by Scaramanga at the start of the movie, because he found it an interesting idea to "put sort of a Chicago gangster in the middle of Thailand".
Tom Mankiewicz wrote a first draft for the script in 1973, delivering a script that was a battle of wills between Bond and Scaramanga, whom he saw as Bond's alter ego, "a supervillain of the stature of Bond himself". Tensions between Mankiewicz and Director Guy Hamilton and Mankiewicz's growing sense that he was "feeling really tapped out on Bond" led to the re-introduction of Richard Maibaum as the Bond Screenwriter.
The literal translations of some of this movie's foreign language titles include: 007 Against The Man With The Golden Pistol (Brazil); The Man With The Golden Colt (Germany); 007 And The Golden Gun (Finland); and 007 Versus The Golden Gun (China).
Originally, this movie was to follow On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), with George Lazenby playing Bond. Lazenby even briefly reported that it would be his follow-up in the media, before changing his mind, and quitting the role.
Francisco Scaramanga is also known as "Pistols" Scaramanga and "Paco" (from the Spanish diminutive for Francisco) in the novel. Scaramanga also appears in the video game GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (2004), in which Sir Christopher Lee reprised his role, and provided his voice. Scaramanga is also a playable character in the multi-player section of 007: Nightfire (2002).
The destruction of the facility was a combination of practical effects on the set, and a destruction of the miniature. Derek Meddings based the island blowing up on footage of the Battle of Monte Cassino.
The Golden Gun consisted of several gold components from Pistols Scaramanga's personal effects. These included: A gold 15 x 1.5 centimeter fountain pen, which became the gun barrel; a 8 x 4 centimeter gold cigarette lighter, which formed the hammer and bullet chamber; a 10 x 6 centimeter gold cigarette case doubled as the gun's magazine hand grip (or gun butt or handle); while a solid gold cuff link from his shirt cuff was adjoined to the cigarette case that turned into the gun's trigger. In the movie, custom-made twenty-three carat golden bullets, with nickel trace elements, were manufactured for the gun by Eastern expert Portugese gunsmith Lazar.
The first line of the novel read: "The Secret Service holds much that is kept secret, even from very senior officers in the organization." The last line read: "At the same time, he knew, deep down, that love from Mary Goodnight, or from any other woman, was not enough for him. It would be like taking 'a room with a view'. For James Bond, the same view would always pall."
Tony Bramwell, who worked for Producer Harry Saltzman's music publishing company "Hilary Music", wanted Sir Elton John or Cat Stevens to sing the title song. However, by this time, the producers were taking turns producing the movies. Albert R. Broccoli, whose turn it was to produce, rejected Bramwell's suggestions. Bramwell subsequently dismissed the song as "mundane".
Thailand was chosen as a primary location, following a suggestion of Production Designer Peter Murton, after he saw pictures of Phang Nga Bay in a magazine. Producer Harry Saltzman was happy with the choice of the Far East for the setting, as he had always wanted to go on-location in Thailand and Hong Kong.
Director Guy Hamilton adapted an idea of his, involving Bond in Disneyland for Scaramanga's funhouse. The funhouse was designed to be a place where Scaramanga could get the upper hand by distracting the adversary with obstacles, and was described by Peter Murton as a "melting pot of ideas", which made it "both a funhouse, and a horror house".
After the novel was published, and this movie was made, two James Bond novels were written with similar title prefixes beginning "The Man..." . These are 1991's "The Man From Barbarossa" by John Gardner, and 2002's "The Man with the Red Tattoo" by Raymond Benson.
Apparently, Mary Goodnight cannot read. Not only did she take no notice of the large warning sign about maintaining absolute zero and pushed the attendant into a cooling vat, but when Bond is attempting to remove the Solex device from the core of the machine and asks her to find the scanner interlock button on the console and push it, she looks at the console, and as her finger traces the printed words "computer control lock-in" she simultaneously says, "Computer interlock."
Third of five James Bond movies where the title is the same name of a villain or a criminal organization in the movie. The others are Dr. No (1962), Goldfinger (1964), Quantum of Solace (2008), and Spectre (2015).
This is the first Bond movie since Dr. No (1962), where Bond does not rely on Q's gadgets to survive, but rather relies on his wits. During the fight with the henchmen in Beirut, Sir Roger Moore was visibly accidentally punched in the mouth, hence the blood running down on his lower lip at the end of the fight.
Gotta be quick before a movie edit, but during the car chase as Bond and Sheriff Pepper are speeding along the side of the canal, they drive so fast their car leaves the road on a bridge and also blows the hat off a pedestrian in a blue shirt walking on the left sidewalk on the bridge.
Director Guy Hamilton has stated that Nick Nack was intended as being a miniature version of Oddjob (they both wear black bowler-style hats) from Goldfinger (1964), a movie he also directed. Nick Nack was the first villain (but a henchman) in the EON Productions official film franchise, whose fate was to be captured, and not killed.