The Man with the Golden Gun

The Man with the Golden Gun

The Man with the Golden Gun is a 1974 James Bond film, the ninth in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, and the second time Roger Moore had starred as the world’s favourite spy.

The movie is loosely based on a novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, and it sees Bond tasked with stopping criminal mastermind, and expert marksman Francisco Scaramanga, and boasts a star studded cast.

The plot revolves around the Solex Agitator – a device that can harness solar energy, and a golden bullet that’s sent to MI6 with ‘007’ etched on it. Bond goes in search of both and it takes him to Beirut, Macau, Hong Kong and then Thailand, where he and Scaramanga end up having a duel.


The movie stars Roger Moore, Christopher Lee as Scaramnaga, Britt Ekland as Mary Goodnight, Maud Adams as Andrea Anders – Scaramanga’s mistress, Hervé Villechaize as Scaramanga’s henchman Nick Nack, and Clifton James returns as the holidaying Sheriff J. Pepper for another catch up with 007.

the man with the golden gun

The Man with the Golden Gun was met with mixed reviews, and it still hasn’t faired better all these years later, but there are great scenes in it, even if there are bits of silliness we got used to in Roger Moore Bond films.


MI6 is sent a golden bullet with ‘007’ engraved on it. It’s believed that the bullet is from hitman assassin Francisco Scaramanga, but the only thing they know about him is that he’s the best hitman in the world, whose weapon of choice is a golden gun. Nobody knows what he looks like, but they do know he has three nipples.

M is concerned and tells Bond to take time out from his ongoing investigation on an energy scientist called Gibson, but with a glint in his eye he let’s him know it’s ok to unofficially go and find Scaramanga.

Miss Moneypenny brings Bond word about a Beirut belly dancer owning a used golden bullet, prompting him to head to Beirut to see her. Venturing into the belly dancing club, he sets out to charm her in her dressing room and succeeds in retrieving the precious golden bullet from her navel.

The bullet leads Bond to Macau where he obtains information from the bullet manufacturer on where to find out the owner of the bullets. He takes Bond to a club to discover, and Bond observes Scaramanga’s mistress, Andrea Anders collecting the bullets.

Bond and Belly Dancer in Beirut - Man with the Golden Gun

Bond then follows her from Macau to Hong Kong and gets information from her. She tells him to go to the famous strip club Bottoms Up in Kowloon that night, and as he’s standing outside there Scaramanga expertly snipes and kills the man right next to Bond.

The man shot dead just happens to be Gibson, who had the Solex Agitator on him. Scaramanga’s knee-high henchman Nick Nack goes down to the scene and removes the Solex Agitator from Gibson just as the police arrive.

Bond is the only one there with his gun out and is quickly arrested, but it’s not the police who arrest him it’s Lieutenant Hip, a local aid with connections in Hong Kong and Bangkok.

Hip takes Bond to the RMS Queen Elizabeth shipwreck to meet M and Q. They fill 007 in on information regarding Scaramanga and assign him the post of recovering the Solex Agitator, which they believe the man with the golden gun has.

Bond is unaware that Hai Fat knows what Scaramanga looks like, and is actually at Hai Fat’s estate when Bond goes there. Bond’s plan fails and he’s attacked by Hai Fat’s Sumo guards, he beats them off but is knocked unconscious by Nick Nack.

This takes him to Bangkok, Thailand, where he’s helped by Lieutenant Hip. Bond thinks nobody knows what Scaramanga looks like and so he puts on a third nipple and goes to see Hai Fat, a wealthy Thai businessman who paid the million dollars to Scaramanga to kill Gibson.

Hai fat and Scaramanga

Just as Nick Nack is about to kill Bond Hai Fat insists he should be punished by fighting the best black belts at his martial arts school. Bond sees off one before the next one beats Bond heavily before he makes a daring escape through a wooden window,

Just as Bond jumps out onto the road Lieutenant Hip and his 2 nieces are driving past, who all help him fight off Hai Fat’s men. Bond then runs down to the klong and speeds away on a sampan.

Scaramanga then shoots Hai Fat and takes over his organization and with it the Solex Agitator. Bond then gets together with Miss Goodnight and they’re about to spend the night together before Scaramanga’s girl, Andrea Anders comes to see him.

He hides Miss Goodnight and spends the night with Anders, who tells him it was her that sent the golden bullet with 007 engraved to London. She wants Bond to kill Scaramanga and will give him the Solex Agitator at a Muay Thai event the following night.

Bond goes there to meet her, sits down next to her, but she’s dead – shot by Scaramanga after he suspected her. Then Scaramanga sits next to Bond, introduces himself and it’s clear he respects Bond as a marksman.

Bond and Scaramanga at the Muay thai event

While they’re chatting Bond gets the Solex Agitator and hands it to Lieutenant Hip, who’s walking past dressed as a popcorn seller. He hands it to Miss Goodnight, who then puts a tracking device in Scaramanga’s car, but he sees her and pushes her in the boot with the Solex Agitator.

Bond sees Scaramanga driving off and so he rushes into a showroom and steals an AMC Hornet that the holidaying Sheriff J.W. Pepper is supposed to be taking for a test drive. Pepper recognizes Bond from his exploits in Live and Let Die but is now on Bond’s side. They give chase through the streets of Bangkok, but Scaramanga’s AMC Matador transforms into a plane and takes off.

Bond can track the car/plane thanks to Goodnight’s tracking device and it leads him down to Scaramanga’s private island in the Red Chinese Waters. Bond heads down there in a sea plane and Scaramanga tells the air traffic security to allow him through but that he will not be leaving.

Scaramanga is welcoming to Bond, gives him dinner and tells him all about his plan with the Solex Agitator and how he will sell it to whoever will pay the most.

Scaramanga then tells Bond they will have a duel as it’s his desire to be the one to have killed James Bond, creating what he calls an “indisputable masterpiece”.

Nick Nack oversees the duel, and Bond and Scaramanga move twenty steps away from each other. Just as Bond turns to fire, however, he finds that Scaramanga has disappeared.

Bond and Scaramanga in the funhouse at the end of Man with the golden gun

Nick Nack then ushers Bond into an eccentric funhouse filled with a myriad of circus themed deadly traps. There’s a waxwork of James Bond holding a gun, so 007 replaces it with himself. This tricks Scaramanga as he sees it and thinks it’s the waxwork, but it’s actually Bond who shoots him dead.

Bond and Miss Goodnight escape the island with the Solex Agitator just as it’s all going up in flames on Scaramanga’s Chinese Junk boat. And while they’re relaxing on the bed together, Scaramanga’s midget henchman Nick Nack attempts one last attack, but Bond locks him in a suitcase and then ties him up on the mast as they sail away.

Roger Moore as James Bond in The Man with the Golden Gun

The Man with the golden Gun is the second of the Roger Moore Bond films, and it confirmed what Bond fans had figured, that he was a more of a frolicsome Bond than Sean Connery.

Gone is the Connery toughness, the cigarettes, fast cars, gadgets, and there’s no ‘shaken, not stirred’ martinis. In place we have a more coltish, cigar smoking Bond who gets by with his charm and boy next door, English charm.

That’s not to say Roger Moore as bond wasn’t tough, because he is, of course he’s James Bond. He’s just different, and some like him some don’t.

'All in the line of Duty' James Bond meme

In The Man with the Golden Gun, although it wasn’t received well, it had some memorable moments, but more in a lighthearted, fun way. Hiding Mary Goodnight under the blankets and then in the cupboard for 2 hours when Scaramanga’s mistess Miss Anders surprisingly pays him a visit late one night. ‘All in the line of duty’ of course.

There are fun parts, bordering on silly, such as the Sumo wrestler guards at Hai Fat’s hideaway. Bond is confronted with two Sumos who attack him. He sees one off but the other is getting the better of him until Bond twists the Sumo’s Fundoshi until it tightens so much it squeezes his family jewels and so he has to let go.

Then there’s the big brawl outside the martial arts school. Lieutenant Hips’ nieces, dressed in their school uniform, help Bond overcome a gang. It was a bit silly, but this was the 1970s and typical of Roger Moore’s reign as Bond.

The end dual with Scaramanga borders on silly with Nick Nack being the referee, but once it goes inside into the funhouse, it brings a dimension to Bond films that we’d never seen before and made for some tense moments.

Roager Moore as James Bond in he Man with the Golden Gun

Bond Villains

Francesco Scaramanga

Francesco Scaramanga is a first class assassin, an expert sniper and he has respect for and wants the notoriety of being the one that kills James Bond.

In the words of James Bond,

‘Scaramanga, the man with the golden gun: Born on a circus whose father was a Cuban ringmaster and mother an English snake charmer. He was a spectacular trick shot artist by the age of 10, and a local Rio gunman aged 15.’

‘The KGB recruited him there and trained him in Europe, and he became an overworked, underpaid assassin. He went independent in the 1950s. Current price, one million dollars a hit. There’s no photo of him on record but he does have one distinguishing feature: a superfluous papilla – a third nipple.’

Scaramanga pops up on MI6’s radar when a golden bullet with ‘007’ engraved on it is sent to HQ. This prompts M to relieve Bond of his duties in an ongoing assignment, and take unofficial leave so he can hunt down Scramanaga.

Francesco Scaramanga The man with the golden gun

Played by legendary Dracula actor and Ian Fleming’s cousin Christopher Lee, Scaramanga is a Bond villain that’s almost as cool and sophisticated as 007. He kills Hai Fat and takes control of his criminal organization and with it the Solex Agitator as he aims to get very rich with it.

He’s already extremely rich thanks to his million dollar hitman fees, and he resides on his own private island, but of course he wants more. He could easily have killed James Bond a few times but he yearns the notoriety of being the one to kill James Bond.

Bond and Scaramanga have a duel at the end. Starting on the beach the duel ends up in Scaramanga’s circus themed funhouse, which he knows the layout better than anybody. However, he’s outwitted by Bond who stands in the place of a waxwork of himself. Scaramanga sees what he thinks is the waxwork, hut it’s actually the real Bond and he shoots him dead.

Nick Nack – Scaramanaga’s Henchman

Played by Hervé Villechaize, Nick Nack is the pint-sized butler, chef, henchman and all-round sidekick of the notorious assassin Francisco Scaramanga.

Although diminutive in stature, he proves to be just as dangerous as any of the villains James Bond encounters throughout his mission. He comes to the aid of the 2 sumo wrestler guards Bond is getting the better of and knocks him out unconscious with a garden rake. He’s just about to kill Bond with the rake, before Hai Fat stops him as he doesn’t want the mess in his compound.

Nick Nack - Scaramanga's butler and henchman

Bond and Nick Nack are involved in another classic scene at the end when he attacks Bond while he’s on the bed with Mary Goodnight. Nick Nack is a tough fighter, but Bond eventually gets the better of him by famously locking him in a suitcase, and then ties him up on the mast of the Chinese Junk ship 007 had acquired to escape the island.

After the movie was released, Nick Nack quickly gained a cult following due to his memorable personality and mischievous behaviour which was pronounced more with his small size.

Bond Girls

Mary Goodnight

Mary Goodnight is a Secret Service field agent and James Bond’s assistant while he’s in South East Asia, and is very keen on 007, who plays her along a bit. Played by Britt Ekland, Goodnight is very competent at times, but also comes across as a bimbo stereotype, damsel in distress.

She tries to play hard to get with Bond, but really, she wants him. In one scene, they’re in bed just about to spend the night together when Scaramanga’s mistress Andrea Anders breaks in. Bond then hides her under the blankets and in the wardrobe as he spends a couple of hours with Anders.

In the line of duty, she’s a bit dizzy and is just about to do the right thing and place a tracker in Scaramanga’s car boot, but she takes an age and the man with the golden gun sees her and locks her in the boot with the Solex Agitator that Bond had only just got his hands on.

Mary goodnight Britt Ekland in Man with the Golden Gun

Thanks to the tracking device she has, Bond tracks her down to Scaramanga’s private island. After Bond kills Scaramanga, she knocks his security chief into a pool of liquid helium, and just as it seems like she’s done the right thing, the reaction of a human in the liquid helium puts them in great danger.

The movie finishes with Bond and Goodnight setting sail, in bed, from the burning island, and they get to enjoy some time together after Bond sees off Nick Nack for the last time..

Andrea Anders

Andrea Anders, played by Maud Adams, is Francisco Scaramanga’s long suffering mistress. She’s trapped with Scaramanga and she is the one that sends the golden bullet with ‘007’ etched on it, in hope that Bond will hunt Scaramanga down and kill him.

Andrea Anders in Man with the Golden Gun

We first see her collecting a new packet of golden bullets in Macau, but Bond sees her and follows her back to Hong Kong, and gets information about Scaramanga from her, although Bind doesn’t know it was her that sent the bullet.

She breaks into Bond’s suite just as he’s getting into bed with Mary Goodnight, who is quickly hidden under the blankets. Bond and Anders then spend a couple of hours together, and she tells Bond to meet her at a Muay Thai event where she’ll give him the Solex Agitator. The following night, Bond goes to the event and sits down next to her, but she’s dead – shot with a bullet to her heart.

Best Scene in The Man with the Golden Gun

The best scene in the Man with the Golden Gun is the car chase from Muay Thai event. Scaramanga has just shoved Mary Goodnight, with Solex Agittator in hand, in to the boot of the car and left with her.

Bond runs out onto the road, and sees an AMC Hornet in a showroom. He runs inside to take a car, and by amazing chance Sheriff J.W. Pepper of the Louisiana State Police is sat in the car, looking to take the car out for a test drive.

Pepper is the same old character from Live and Let Die but this time he’s on Bond’s side. Recognizing Bond, he says, ‘I know you, you’re that English Secret Agent from England.’

Watch Bond and Sheriff Pepper Chase Scaramanga through Bangkok

Bond and Pepper give chase of Scaramanga’s AMC Matador through the streets of Bangkok. The Thai cops give chase and this time, Pepper is the one leaving the cop cars in a pile. They rid the police as they head out of Bangkok, and into the quiet country.

Scaramanga makes a break for it across the khlong (canal) and looks to be getting away until Bond sees a twisted and broken bridge. Bond then takes the Hornet over the bridge twisting it in the air and lands perfectly on the other side of the khlong.

Scaramanga drives into an old barn and locks the door, while the police catch up with Bond and Pepper again, and this time arrest the Sheriff Pepper. But then amazingly, Scaramanaga emerges from the barn and his Matador has converted into a carplane and he and Nick Nak fly off.

The Man with the Golden Gun

The Man with the Golden Gun is a good film. it was panned by critics when it was first released, and it might not be the best Bond film, but it’s become a cult classic with plenty of iconic moments.

It may not have the gadgets or flashy vehicles of other Bond films, but it still offers classic and comedic moments with Roger Moore’s portrayal of Bond.

Christopher Lee’s portrayal of the suave and collected villain Scaramanga is spot-on, as is Hervé Villechaize’s portrayal of his diminutive henchman Nick Nack.

The film also features some of Bond’s famous one-liners and noteworthy scenes with Bond girls. While it may not excel in certain areas, the film’s use of exotic locations, larger-than-life characters, and thrilling action sequences make it a worthy addition to the Bond franchise and a film worth revisiting.

The Man with the Golden Gun - The End