Film: The Man with the Golden Gun
No one can catch him, no hitman can match him...
Bond: Who would want to put a contract out on me?
M: Jealous husbands, outraged chefs, humiliated tailors. The list is endless!The one with Christopher Lee
driving the flying car.
In this ninth James Bond
film, MI6 receives a gold bullet with "007" etched into its surface. M believes this to be a message from Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee
), a KGB-trained assassin (because we need to add the Commies into the mix somehow), announcing that Bond is the killer's next $1 million hit. Oh, there's also a missing solar power device needed to prevent an impending energy crisis.
This was the first Bond movie allowed to be screened in the Kremlin, where a Russian official told Cubby Broccoli that the KGB clearly didn't train Scaramanga very well. Possibly because there is only one mention of them in the entire movie. (Red China
, on the other hand ...) It's also the last film that Harry Saltzman worked on.
This film contains examples of:
- Action Girl: In a delightful subversion of the Faux Action Girl trope, two karate-kicking schoolgirls save Bond from a gang of mooks while he looks on in appreciation.
- Adaptation Decay: The only things this film has in common with the novel are the villain being a crack shot named Fransisco Scaramanga, and the fact that he uses a gold-plated gun. That's it.
- Affably Evil: Scaramanga. Nick Nack is also quite cheerful, courteous and pleasant.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: The Bangkok police actually used left hand drive AMC Matadors when the film was made.
- Antagonist Title: Scaramanga of course.
- Artistic License – Gun Safety: The Walther PPK in the hands of the Bond dummy, assuming it is real and the one Bond uses after he drops his own one, appears to be loaded.
- Asian Drivers: For the most part averted, but one driver in the car chase through Bangkok is so distracted cursing out Scaramanga that he drives his car onto a fruit cart and crashes into another car.
- Holly Wood Police Driving Academy: One of the police cars pursuing Bond crashes into the wrecked car, after swerving and skidding sideways, instead of simply moving over to the right.
- Auction of Evil: Though only if you consider multinational power companies evil. Scaramanga intends to sell the secret of the Solex Agitator to the highest bidder, granting them a monopoly. Or he'll take money from the Arab oil companies to keep solar power off the market.
- Badass Driver: Bond, who performs a whole manner of (very real) stunts in the car chase. Scaramanga for that matter (in fact, Christopher Lee was credited as a stunt driver).
- Ballistic Discount: Bond questions a gunsmith about a custom bullet he made by, in part, threatening to shoot him with a rifle the man is making for a customer who has lost 2 fingers on his right hand and needs something custom balanced. Apparently, the rifle fires an inch below the target for people with 5 fingers. Bond proves this by shooting at, and missing, the gunsmith's wedding tackle.
- Bavarian Fire Drill: Bond attempts (and succeeds) to masquerade as the villain, Scaramanga, to a Thai entrepreneur — by actually pasting a third nipple on himself and hanging out proudly by the pool. He's gambling on the idea that that the entrepreneur and Scaramanga have never actually met in person, and that the entrepreneur would only know Scaramanga by his identifying physical oddity. The plan actually works but then Bond gets found out and used for practice by a Thai krabi krabong school. Turns out, Scaramanga was RIGHT THERE!
- Beirut: With obligatory belly-dancer.
- Berserk Button: Unless you're another girl, never cockblock James. Nick Nack learned that the hard way.
- Betty and Veronica: Goodnight and Andrea.
- Bifurcated Weapon: Scaramanga's gun. It's made of a lighter, a cigarette box, a pen, and a cufflink.
- Bling-Bling-BANG!: The eponymous Golden Gun.
- Bond Villain Stupidity:
- Bond takes up Hai Fat's invitation to join him for dinner in his mansion while pretending to be Scaramanga, not knowing that the real Scaramanga had already gotten in touch with the guy. When he arrives there late at night, he's incapacitated by some guards in an ambush. As they're about to kill him, Hai Fat forbids them from doing so because he doesn't want Bond killed in his home. They'll just take him somewhere else to finish him off right? Nope. Hai Fat has Bond placed in a krabi krabong school to...get beaten up? Maybe?
- Justifiably invoked by Scaramanga late in the film; he freely admits that he could have used his solar-powered laser to blow up Bond's plane before he even landed on the island, but chose not to do so because of how unsatisfying it would be.
- But He Sounds Handsome: Bond makes a point of complimenting his skills while impersonating Scaramanga.
- Butt Monkey: Sheriff J.W. Pepper.
- Can't Bathe Without a Weapon: Andrea pulls a gun on Bond when he walks in on her in the shower.
- The Cavalry: Lt. Hip and his nieces, who show up Just in Time to save Bond from Hi Fat's minions. This results in a Crowning Moment of Funny when they accidentally drive off without him!
- Chekhov's Dummy: The mannequin of Bond seen in Scaramanga's funhouse during the cold opening comes in handy during the final confrontation.
- Closet Shuffle: Bond forces Goodnight to hide in a closet when he is visited by Andrea. She falls asleep there, and is quite dismayed when she finds out that she spend two hours there.
- Collapsing Lair: Scaramanga's hideout, when the helium's temperature rises too high.
- Combat Pragmatist: Bond in the dojo. Bond and Nick Nack on the junk.
- Convection Shmonvection: We're told that the beam of concentrated sunlight, which goes through open air with no isolation from the machine's operator, heats up to 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Bond later has it lit up a few centimeters from his face.
- Slightly averted, at least by this trope's usual standards. Bond is clearly shielding his face and in considerable discomfort from being so close to the beam. He really should be bursting into flames from his proximity to that much heat, but it's notable that he's affected by it as much as he is.
- Cool Plane: The Republic RC-3 SeaBee seaplane which Bond uses to fly to the Supervillain Lair, 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).
- Dark and Troubled Past: Scaramanga, whose only companion as a child was an elephant from his father's circus that was killed by a trigger-happy policeman.
- Deadpan Snarker: J. W. Pepper, of all people, during the car chase.
- Deathby Sex: Andrea Anders gets killed in public - with no one noticing - after having sex with Bond.
- Death Course: Scaramanga's funhouse
- Death Ray: One of the few supervillain tropes in this movie.
Scaramanga: Now that's why I call solar power.
Bond: That's what I call trouble.
- It "realistically" fires an invisible laser beam, but this only occurred because the special effects team didn't have the money to make the "golden beam of laser light" the script called for.
- Defictionalisation: The Bottoms Up strip club kept the same interior used in the film until it closed in 2004. The island which is Scaramanga's hideout (Ko Tapu or Nail Island) was virtually unknown to outsiders — it's now called James Bond Island and is an overcrowded tourist attraction (much to the annoyance of Christopher Lee when he took his wife there). Longtail boats are also referred to as "James Bond boats" in Thai tourist advertisements.
- Department of Redundancy Department: J.W. Pepper, upon being re-united with Bond.
J.W.: I know you! You're that secret agent! That English secret agent from England!
- Depraved Dwarf: Downplayed with Nick Nack. He's Affably Evil at all times, but he does work for a renowned contract killer, and does not hesitate to try and kill others when he feels like it.
- Do a Barrel Roll: Bond jumping with a car on a destroyed bridge. Yes, it was real; and yes, the producers had the guts to add a Narmy slide whistle!
J.W.: "You're not thinkin' o'—"
- Also, the first time a stunt was computer-simulated before in order to get it right.
- Performed by American Thrill Show stunt drivers, and done in their shows for years after.
- Double Meaning Title: Scaramanga points out that in addition to having a weapon made of gold, after the solar-powered beam is shot "You must admit I am now undeniably the Man with the Golden Gun."
- Dragon-in-Chief: Scaramanga. Hai Fat refers to him as his "junior partner", and Fat is the one who is actually after the MacGuffin, has most of the Mooks, and his company paid for and built Scaramanga's evil lair. But there's a reason he's not the title character.
- Dragon Their Feet: Nick Nack, pissed off that Scaramanga's base blew up (since it was to be his after his death), attacks Bond and Goodnight as they make their way back to civilization on the junk.
- Duel to the Death: between Bond and Scaramanga
- Dumb Blonde: Mary Goodnight, the most blatant example in the whole Bond series. Especially bad, considering she's supposed to be a trained agent herself (albeit in the Foreign Service, but still...)
- Evil Counterpart: Scaramanga is essentially Bond if he were a freelance killer with fewer scruples.
- Evil Laugh: One of the features of the funhouse is a recording of Scaramanga doing a deranged version of this.
- Evil Pays Better: This is part of Scaramanga's Not So Different speech to Bond, to illustrate the one difference between the two men as Scaramanga sees it. He can afford to live on an island paradise because he gets paid a million dollars per assassination contract, while Bond, as Scaramanga puts it, "work(s) for peanuts, a hearty 'well done' from Her Majesty the Queen and a pittance of a pension".
- Fan Disservice: Sheriff J.W. Pepper. And Scaramanga showing his Triple Nipple.
- The scene where Mary Goodnight's bikini-clad butt keeps knocking against the Big Red Button activating the killer laser. Sure, it's a Crowning Moment Of Stupid, but who's going to argue with a tight close-up of Britt Ekland's booty?
- Were it not for the ripples of the water in the pool, Chu-Mi's one appearance would constitute full-frontal nudity.
- Follow the Leader: Why else would Bond be at a martial arts school being forced to fight?
- Flying Car: A Truth in Television example (though apparently without the range cited in the movie)
- Gilded Cage: Scaramanga's mistress has a luxurious life on his secret island, but she is virtually his prisoner.
- Going Commando: Bond encounters Chu-Mi, a beautiful Thai girl swimming in Hai Fats' pool, who invites him to join her.
Bond: I don't have any swimming trunks.
Chu-Mi: Neither do I.
- Good Is Dumb: Mary Goodnight.
- Go-Go Enslavement: Scaramanga forces Mary Goodnight to wear a bikini - a rare justification, it's so she can't have concealed weapons, a legitimate concern as Goodnight is (at least supposed to be) a trained agent. The psychological effect of forcing her to be almost totally naked in the midst of her enemies, enhancing her sense of vulnerability, would probably be a good reason as well.
- Groin Attack: Bond stops a sumo wrestler's Bear Hug of Death by tightening his jockstrap.
- Two young karate-kicking Asian schoolgirls aid Bond from within a fight against a couple of mooks and near the end of the battle, one of the mooks gets kicked in the balls from behind by one of the schoolgirls, which causes Bond to be most impressed by it.
- Hall of Mirrors: Scaramanga's funhouse.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: Scaramanga's golden pistol is constructed from what appears to be an ordinary gold cigarette case and lighter, a gold pen, and a cufflink, thus enabling him to take it out and assemble it in full view of his victim without them realising what he's doing until it's too late.
- Holiday in Thailand: A third or more of the movie takes place here.
- Hollywood Silencer: Notably averted in the opening scene, where the gangster assassin's silenced weapon is still quite loud, although that might just be a foley goof.
- I'll Kill You!: Nick Nack to Bond, during their fight at the end.
- IKEA Weaponry: Scaramanga keeps his gun disassembled to pass it safely through customs.
- Improvised Weapon:
- In the fight at the belly dancer's room, a chair, a spray can, a bottle and lastly a mirror are used to hurt a human being.
- Bond wards off Fat's mooks with the prop of a longtail boat.
- Incurable Cough of Death: Hai Fat coughs briefly after he's shot.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Scaramanga's gun fires a 4.2mm bullet. A caliber that small (.165) has no stopping power to speak of unless you hit a point guaranteed to be an instant kill, which he always does.
- Jerk Ass: Inflicted upon Bond by the studio, in an effort to counteract Roger Moore's natural urbanity. Bond is infamously a total asshole throughout this film, threatening to break a woman's arm, slapping said woman, threatening to blow off a guy's testicles, and later pushing a kid salesman ("bloody tourist!") into a rapid stream during a boat chase. Having sex with Anders while Goodnight, who he was just about to have sex with, is hiding in the closet. And then she still has sex with Bond at the end! This could be viewed as reversing the changes of previous movies, as the Bond of the books is a much more ruthless, cold-blooded Jerk Ass than is generally portrayed (at least up until the second Casino Royale. Or Licence to Kill, anyway) Plus the undeniable fact that this is exactly how a real life agent would behave - you don't get to save the world without, at the very least, threatening violence.
- Keep in mind though that in this one, he also has a target on his back from the beginning, so like most other people who are being threatened, he's understandably willing to go to extreme lengths to save his hide. Of course, it still doesn't justify everything he does, but it's got to play a part in some of his actions.
- Kidnapped by an Ally: Bond doesn't find out that Hip is an ally until well after being arrested by him.
- Kingpin in His Gym: Scaramanga has a warped relationship with his diminuative manservant Nick-Nack; in the event of his death, Nick-Nack inherits everything...in return for Nick-Nack actually trying to kill him by hiring the best assassins in the world for Scaramanga to pit his skills against.
- Land Of Dragons: Two different locales, actually, none of them the mainland. The first is Hong Kong, the second is Scaramanga's island lair, somewhere in the Chinese-controlled part of the South China Sea.
- Legendary in the Sequel: Scaramanga wishes to fight James Bond because of his reputation as the best.
- Lighterand Softer: Easily one of the most jarring examples of this in the series, with the film's over-reliance on comedy regularly earning it scorn from many longtime Bond fans.
- Load-Bearing Boss: Averted. Scaramanga's death has no impact on the collapse of his lair, which was the result of Goodnight shoving Scaramanga's technician into a liquid helium vat, which destabilized the power station.
- MacGuffin: The Solex Agitator.
- Marked Bullet: The gold bullet sent to Bond has his number on it.
- Masquerading As The Unseen: Subverted. M tells Bond that no one knows what Scaramanga looks like. Later Bond assumes that when Hai Fat hired Scaramanga they never met. He decides to meet Hai Fat while posing as Scaramanga. It turns out Hai Fat had met Scaramanga and knew Bond was an imposter.
- The Millstone: Mary Goodnight.
- Missing Trailer Scene: The original theatrical trailer contained scenes from the showdown on the beach between Bond and Scaramanga that were cut from the final release.
- Averted. As opposed to several other Bond films, Scaramanga's hideout is staffed by only two henchmen. Both of them live longer than their boss does, and one even makes it all the way through!
- Played straight with Hai Fat, who has several armed guards at his home and an entire school of homicidal martial artists.
- Mythology Gag: Instead of the famous custom gun of the film, the titular Golden Gun's of the book are a Colt Single Action Army and a Derringer. Nik Nak holds Bond up in the stadium with a Derringer and Scaramanga uses a Colt SAA to shoot a bottle of champagne on his beach - which he then proceeds to call a harmless toy which could also count as a possible Take That to his book counterpart who is considered one of the weaker villains of the series.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- The movie could have ended about 40 minutes earlier if Goodnight hadn't tried to put a tracer in Scaramanga's car. She had the solex and Scaramanga wasn't particularly interested in hunting down Bond at this point. They could have just walked away and let him be.
- Also, the Collapsing Lair is due to Goodnight pushing a mook into a liquid helium tank.
- No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Before starting the duel, Scaramanga shows Bond around his island and has lunch with him.
- Superbly parodied here.
- Nobody Here but Us Statues:
- Rather convenient for Scaramanga to keep a statue of James Bond in his funhouse of death. And that his statue looked like Roger Moore rather than Sean Connery or George Lazenby.
- Nick Nack and the sumo wrestlers pull the same trick in Hai Fat's house to ambush Bond when he goes through its garden the second time.
- Not So Different: Scaramanga and Bond (though the latter disagrees).
- Oh, Crap: Bond drops his gun while under the funhouse, and has to clamber down and get it. Or maybe his dummy had a real gun with bullets — it's not quite clear.
- The One With: The one where the villain has a third nipple.
- Overt Rendezvous: Bond is scheduled to meet with Andrea Anders at a boxing venue so she can give him the Solex Agitator. When he gets there he finds her dead - murdered by Scaramanga.
- Phallic Weapon: Scaramanga only makes love before he kills, and it's clear from one scene with Anders that the gun is a penis substitute (he's caressing Anders with it suggestively as they lie in bed).
- Product Placement: Tabasco Sauce. And AMC Motors, which is why Bond isn't booting around in an Aston Martin or BMW in this one. Also an early example of the series' long-standing love affair with Sony.
- Punny Name: Chu-Mi and Hai Fat.
- Red Right Hand: Scaramanga has three nipples.
- Scaramanga Special: The Golden Gun itself. Scaramanga combines specially designed parts disguised as a pen, a cigarette lighter, a cigarette box and a cuff link. The Trope Namer and Trope Maker.
- Sequel Escalation: Averted. A refreshingly down-to-earth plot (no world domination plots, egomaniac villains etc) especially before The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker played this trope straight.
- Shooting Gallery: Scaramanga's funhouse.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Bond's response to Scaramanga's assertion that, bar the paycheck, he and Bond are the same:
- Sighted Guns Are Low Tech: Scaramanga is a good enough of a marksman that he doesn't need gun sights on his eponymous gun.
- Arguably not, as the pen clip is in the correct position for a sight (although he only aims obviously with it once.)
- Skinny Dipping: Bond finds a woman swimming naked in a swimming pool. She invites him to join her, and he politely declines until she asks again. The people he was waiting to meet interrupt him before he can cast off his clothes.
- Sleeping Dummy: Referenced — When Mary Goodnight is hiding under the covers, James Bond tells Andrea Anders that he was using the Sleeping Dummy trick.
- The Starscream:
- "Mr Fat has just resigned. I'm the new Chairman of the Board."
- Nick Nack's job is to be one, as he hires various assassins to kill Scaramanga to keep him on the edge. If he ever succeeds, he'll inherit his money.
- Storming the Castle: Bond in a plane.
- Surprise Slide Staircase: Scaramanga has one in his funhouse.
- Suspect Is Hatless: As Bond talks to Miss Anders about Scaramanga.
Bond: How will I recognize him?
Anders: Tall, slim and dark.
Bond: So's my aunt.
Anders: Yes, but how can I tell you? He's not like other men. [gestures toward her chest] He has three...
Bond: Fascinating anatomical tidbit. But probably the most useless piece of information I've ever heard. Unless, of course, the "Bottoms Up" is a strip club and Scaramanga is performing.
- It actually is a strip club, but Scaramanga doesn't perform.
- Tap on the Head: Nick Nack knocks Bond out with a trident.
- Tempting Fate: Hai Fat building his own mausoleum. And an In-Universe example — Scaramanga has left Nick Nack all his money in his will. Nick Nack in return arranges for various Professional Killers to murder his boss, which helps Scaramanga cope with his ennui. Nick Nack could of course simply poison his champagne, but he's actually quite loyal, and genuinely angry when Bond kills Scaramanga.
- Well, he's probably more mad that Bond (or rather, Goodnight) blew up his inheritance than anything else. As for poison Scaramanga's will might just be that specific - Nick Nack only gets it if he, Scaramanga, is murdered by another gunman.
- Ten Paces and Turn: Subverted - it's 20 for a start. Scaramanga disappears while Bond's back is turned, leading to a hunt.
- Theme Tune Cameo: A piano version and a jazz version plays in Scaramanga's funhouse.
- Title Drop:
[after presenting Bond his solar-powered laser weapon]
Scaramanga: You must admit I am now undeniably the Man with the Golden Gun.
- Too Dumb to Live:
- Mary Goodnight. Unfortunately, she does.
- Sheriff J.W. Pepper. Likewise.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: Mary Goodnight, compared to her literary incarnation.
- Tracking Device: Mary Goodnight has one as a button on her clothing. MI6 uses it to locate her after Scaramanga kidnaps her.
- Triple Nipple: Scaramanga is not like other men.
- The gene that triggers breast formation was named after him. 
- Unwinnable Training Simulation: Scaramanga vs. the gangster, except that Scaramanga could have died.
- Useless Protagonist: Other than killing Scaramanga, Bond doesn't really accomplish anything throughout the movie.
- The Villain Sucks Song: The innuendo-laden Lulu song. "He has a powerful weapon", apparently. "Who will he bang? We shall see..."
- Wacky Wayside Tribe: The gangster Scaramanga uses to test his abilities in the opening.
- Wham Shot: During the big duel at the funhouse, Scaramanga goes near the statue of Bond where he finished off the last person out to get him. Then there's a shot from behind the statue, and its fingers that he shot off before has somehow come back....
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Lampshaded.
- Notably, this is the first of the only two Bond movies (the other being The Spy Who Loved Me) where Bond dispatches a Big Bad by gunshot.
- Worthy Opponent: How Scaramanga sees Bond.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Bond is pretty displeased by Scaramanga's "compliments" as one Professional Killer to another.