Francisco Scaramanga – The Man Who Owns The Golden Gun
Francisco Scaramanga is a character and the main Bond villain in the 1974 James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun. Played by the legendary Christopher Lee in the film, he’s based on the same character from Ian Fleming’s 1965 novel of the same name.
He’s a complex character, with cunning tactics, lethal skills, and a twisted path that leads him to become one of James Bond’s most formidable adversaries. Join us as we uncover the secrets behind the man with the deadly golden touch, tracing his journey from a young marksman in a traveling circus to a feared assassin at the pinnacle of his criminal career.
Born to a British mother and a Cuban father, Francisco Scaramanga was raised in a traveling circus. His mother was a snake charmer, while his father was the ringmaster. By the age of ten, Scaramanga had become a skilled marksman, using his talents to take down an abusive animal trainer.
At fifteen, he left the circus and found work as a gunman in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Eventually, he was recruited by the KGB and trained in Eastern Europe. Among his victims is MI6 Agent Bill Fairbanks, 002. After years of service, he left the KGB in the late 1950s to work as an independent assassin, charging one million dollars per hit.
Francisco Scaramanga’s accomplice, Nick Nack, handles all of his business dealings, allowing Scaramanga to remain anonymous. Despite having no known photographs, Scaramanga is recognized by his unique physical trait: a third nipple.
The film takes off at the height of his career. He’s a wealthy assassin, he owns his own private island and he owns advanced technology, rivaling MI6’s Q Branch. His arsenal includes his signature Golden Gun, a car that transforms into an aircraft, and a solar-powered laser cannon.
Scaramanga lives in luxury on his island off the coast of southeastern China, accompanied only by Nick Nack, his lover, Andrea Anders, and a mechanic named Kra who oversees maintenance and security.
As a junior partner in Hai Fat Enterprises and personal assassin to the company’s owner, Scaramanga becomes involved in a plot to get the Solex Agitator, a critical component for a highly efficient solar power plant.
Francisco Scarmanga is sent to Hong Kong by Hai Fat to kill the scientist and retrieve the Solex. Scaramanga shoots him dead outside the Bottoms Up club, and the Solex Agitatir is swiped from the crime scene by Nick Nack.
Initially, Scaramanga hands the device back to Hai. Fat, but after being visited by Bond, Hai Fat gets angry with Scaramanga. Scaramanga isn’t happy with Hai Fat’s reaction so he kills him and takes the Solex Agitator for himself. His plan is to sell the solar technology to the highest bidder, regardless of their intentions.
Scaramanga harbours a desire to challenge his abilities against the renowned James Bond, whom he considers the only individual worthy of being his equal. His wife Andea Anders knows this and secretly wants Bond’s help.
She steals the Solex Agitator from Scaramanga’s safe, and tries to hand it over to Bond, but Scaramanga understands what’s happening and shoots her in the chest while she’s waiting for 007 at a Muay Thai arena.
He rummages through her purse before Bond arrives but fails to locate the device, which has fallen beneath her seat. When Scaramanga meets Bond in person for the first time, he shares the story of his upbringing, his fascination with firearms, and his passion for killing.
As the two talk, Bond spots the Solex and discreetly passes it to his associate Hip, who is disguised as a food vendor at the event, and in turn, Hip hands it off to fellow agent Mary Goodnight. Scaramanga quickly leaves, only to find Goodnight trying to attach a tracking device to his vehicle, so he locks her in the trunk.
Bond can follow them thanks to the tracking device, and chases him through the streets of Bangkok with a holidaying Sheriff J.W. Pepper in tow. However, Scaramanga and Nick Nack successfully get away as their car transforms into an aircraft, allowing them to fly of to immediate safety.
Tracking Goodnight’s homing signal, Bond pilots a seaplane through Red Chinese waters, evading their radar, and touches down on Scaramanga’s island. Bond is immediately greeted by Scaramanga, who proudly showcases the state-of-the-art solar power plant he constructed. While demonstrating the facility, Scaramanga uses it to obliterate Bond’s aircraft with a a potent solar beam.
Under the threat of his Golden Gun, Scaramanga dares Bond to engage in a climactic duel—his signature weapon against 007’s Walther PPK. Disregarding Bond’s greater ammunition capacity as irrelevant, Scaramanga boasts about his superior knowledge of the local terrain, claiming, “I only need one.” Hesitantly, Bond accepts the challenge, and they convene on the beach after lunch, with Nick Nack overseeing the event.
Following the customary twenty paces, Bond whirls around and shoots, only to discover that the assassin has deceived him, escaping into a labyrinth-like funhouse where Scaramanga and his adversaries regularly engage in deadly duels.
Bond confronts Nick Nack, suspecting collusion, but Nick Nack tells him that if Bond kills Scaramanga, he will inherit all of his assets, giving him no incentive to help the assassin. As a result, Nick Nack directs Bond to the funhouse to conclude the duel.
The lethal opponents stalk one another through the maze until 007 ingeniously swaps places with a mannequin replica of himself. Fooled by Bond’s trick, Francisco Scaramanga is fatally shot through the heart as Bond catches him off guard. Scaramanga collapses lifeless to the ground, his Golden Gun falling beside him.
Born on May 27, 1922, in Belgravia, London, Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was a legendary English actor and singer. He spent his early years in Switzerland before returning to England to attend Wellington College, where he excelled in Ancient Greek and Latin. After a brief period working as an office clerk, Lee served as an intelligence officer in the RAF during World War II, utilizing his multilingual skills for the Special Operations Executive.
Lee’s film debut came in 1947 in Terence Young’s Corridor of Mirrors, and his career took off after joining Hammer Film Productions. He portrayed iconic characters like Frankenstein’s monster in The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and Count Dracula in Dracula (1958).
Lee reprised his role as Dracula in several Hammer Horror films, such as Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1965) and Scars of Dracula (1970). Additionally, between 1957 and 1977, he took on roles in various horror movies produced by other companies, such as I, Monster (1971) and The Wicker Man (1973).
Christopher Lee also appeared in various Sherlock Holmes films, playing both Sherlock and his brother Mycroft. He later turned away from horror to play Bond villain Francesco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974).
Leaving the UK in 1977 due to concerns about being typecast, Lee appeared in American films like Airport ’77, Steven Spielberg’s 1941, and Disney’s Return from Witch Mountain. His career revival began with his role as Saruman in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy and continued with appearances in the Star Wars prequels and Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Francisco Scaramanga – The Man with the Golden Gun
Francisco Scaramanga is a fascinating and memorable Bond villain whose deadly skills, cunning intellect, and enigmatic persona have left an indelible mark on the James Bond franchise.
Portrayed by the legendary Sir Christopher Lee, Scaramanga’s character displays a complex blend of ruthlessness, ambition, and an almost twisted sense of honour. His role in The Man with the Golden Gun was central to the film, and although it hasn’t gone down as one of the best Bond films, Christopher Lee certainly plays his part.