The Man With The Golden Gun
Another Far Eastern trip for Bond ...
The Man With The Golden Gun(1974)
Distributed by MGM/UA Home Video
Director Guy Hamilton's 4th outing with 007 following Goldfinger, Diamonds & Live .. has Roger Moore resuming only a year later as British secret agent James Bond. Influenced this time by the martial arts movies, the opening duel sequence has mirrors at the hitman's lair are clearly knicked from Enter The Dragon and our Rog turns up as a wax dummy.
After a brief visit to a Beirut night-club to recover a bullet, 007 is off to the Far East in search of the hitman with his number on the next bullet. During the brief encounter with the dancer who "lost her charm", Bond replies "Not from where I'm standing". Next stop Macao to meet the bullet maker and then Hong Kong to meet Britt Ekland as Miss Goodnight ( nothing like the literary version ). On encountering the other Bond girl, Maud Adams ( later to be Octopussy ) in her shower, James asks "A water pistol ?" Moore brings plenty of one-liners plus the watch & long cigars from Live .. for this trip.
After Bond is 'missed' outside a club, he gets back on track to recover the missing Solex Agitator. - yes we all wanted one of them. Following an impersonation of our hitman called Scaramanga ( played by Christopher Dracula Lee ) with a 3rd nipple, Bond is later knocked out and wakes up in "Heaven" which turns into a Bruce Lee Kung Fu fight. Luckily 2 school girls show our hero a trick or two. Driving off without our James by mistake (?) is just another excuse for another boat chase. Live And Let Die's J W Pepper pops up during the chase, on holiday with his missus, and later joins 007 for the best car stunt over a river.
Plot goes silly with Goodnight trapped in the boot of Scaramanga's car which turns into a plane. Ekland's just another dumb blonde in this adventure and if it wasn't for that solex device I would have left her on the island with Lee. On 007's arrival, another excuse for a big Bond set ( run by one technician !! ) and an explosive ending. The fight on the boat with Scaramanga's little assistant Nick Nack is also stupid with the shattering glass bottles which disappear for Bond's amorous advances on Miss G.
Despite John Barry's return with an exotic score, perhaps another year's wait and a little more thought would have made this Bond screening worth the effort.
In 2006 MGM Home Entertainment released the James Bond Ultimate Edition 2-Disc DVD set of each of the 20 movies. The format remains the same with disc one having the digitally restored movie and disc two with the extras - Declassified: MI6 Vault, 007 Mission Control, Mission Dossier, Ministry of Propaganda & Image Database. Each menu has a Bond lookalike silhouette, shooting girls, casino chips & cards and gun barrels incorporating photos & music from the movie. A regular feature tucked away in 007 Mission Control with movie snips is a section called Exotic Locations narrated by Maud Octopussy Adams about the filming locations & their history.
Purchased as part of a Roger Moore Ultimate Edition set, each movie comes within smaller disc folders and alas no eight page booklet. For this disc, new audio commentary comes from Sir Roger Moore along with director Guy Hamilton and cast & crew. Documentaries include looking at the famous car roll with the American Thrill Show, another with Roger & Hervé answering questions to chat show host Russell Harty ( not seen). The usual Inside .. doc narrated by Patrick Macnee and another about all the Bond stunts called Double-0 Stuntmen. Found the trailers amusing describing the movie as the "greatest adventure" .. not really.
So another for the Bond archives.