YMMV / The Man with the Golden Gun

The film:

  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Scaramanga runs off and is rather unceremoniously shot by Bond after a brief game of hide and seek.
    • Nick Nack simply kicks Bond in the shins, throws bottles of wine at him, and is defeated with a suitcase.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Britt Ekland in a bikini. That's all you need to know.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The karate school.
  • Broken Base: As a direct result of the debate between the halves of the Bond fandom preferring a silly or gritty tone, the film is either very good, or a shame to the entire Bond franchise.
  • Cry for the Devil: When Scaramanga worked as a child in his father's circus, his only friend was an elephant he took care of. When the trainer shot the elephant, Scaramanga murdered the policeman and so began his life of crime.
  • Damsel Scrappy: Mary Goodnight is among the least popular girls from the Bond franchise.
  • Evil Is Cool: Scaramanga. Being played by Christopher Lee really helps here. Because of this trope, the villain is often regarded as one of the best things in the movie and by extension, one of the best in the entire series.
  • Foe Yay: Between Bond and Scaramanga, mostly one-sided. Scaramanga may like the ladies, but he also seems to have a bit of a guy crush on Bond, just enough to qualify as Ho Yay.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The Beirut scene can come across like this, if one remembers that less than four months after the movie's premiere in London the Lebanese Civil War erupted on 13 April 1975. The war would last for another 15 and a half years and claim the lives of 150,000 people.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Meta-example. Christopher Lee died in 2015. For the In Memorium segment at the following Oscars, the clip for him was a line from this film (considered one of the lesser Bond outings) that nonetheless completely encapsulates the life and work of Sir Christopher Lee.
    "To us, Mr. Bond. We are the best."
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • As Scaramanga shows off his high-tech lair to Bond, he tells him that he cannot explain its finer points, as science isn't really his thing. Years later in the Licensed Game GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, he is quite the opposite, as he is made into an Evil Counterpart of Q, and his job is to come up with the all the cool gadgets for the protagonist. This is actually much closer to his characterization in the novel.
    • Maud Adams character is killed after having sex with Bond - and specifically because she had sex with Bond, which Scaramanga did not appreciate. Years later Maud Adams played the title character in Octopussy where she thinks that Bond dies horribly after having sex with her, but fortunately he survives.
  • Idiot Plot: Much of the movie, particularly the final third, could've been avoided if Goodnight wasn't so silly. Also, the entire sequence in Beirut — why did Bond need the slug that killed 002 when he already had an intact bullet sent to him? He could have gone straight to Macau, and the film likely would have been better.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: It's a safe bet that a lot of people are only interested in this film because it has Christopher Lee as the villain.
  • Narm:
    • Why, why, why did they ruin one of the greatest car stunts in film history with a SLIDE WHISTLE?!
    • Bond's "fight" with Nick-Nack on Scaramanga's boat. Mr. Mendo describes it as "The most one-sided fight in the entire [Bond] series.".
    • Lulu's completely insane title song straddles the line between this and Narm Charm.
    • Bond swallowing the golden slug that the belly dancer used as a charm, and then having to have his stomach pumped to retrieve the bullet to show to Q back in London. An entirely useless sequence, and probably the most ridiculous thing to happen to Bond.
  • Never Live It Down: The infamous slide whistle sound effect placed over the famous barrel roll scene remains a constant target of mockery for most critics of this film.
  • Padding: The film is prolonged by pointless meandering in a few cases. For example, why Bond had to get the bullet in Beirut when he had the one sent to him, the Kung Fu scene and its following canal chase etc.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Due to Bond being a complete Jerkass at several points in the film, and Scaramanga being impeccably stylish, Affably Evil, and played by Christopher Lee, it's not difficult to start rooting for Scaramanga.
  • The Scrappy: J.W. Pepper gets even more annoying after his debut in Live and Let Die.
  • Sequelitis: Ever since its initial release, it has gained a reputation as one of the weakest Bond films to date, as many have criticized it for overly campy tone and long, drawn-out pacing.
  • Signature Scene: The famous barrel roll stunt Bond and Pepper take over a collapsed bridge while in an AMC Hornet, a stunt that was successfully filmed in one take. Unfortunately, some may find their amazement sullied by the infamous slide whistle sound effect playing over it.
  • Special Effects Failure: The "dummy" portraying Al Capone in the opening blinks and flinches while shooting at the hitman.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: In his last scene, Pepper is arrested by the Thai police, and as far as anyone knows, he's still in Thai prison.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Mary Goodnight. The Goodnight from the novels was competent and likeable, far from the Dumb Blonde of this film.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Sort of. Although the climax of the film is by no means bad, the concept of Bond and Scaramanga having a showdown should have been a LOT more suspenseful and dramatic. Instead, Scaramanga spends almost the entire duel running away and leaving Bond to traverse his funhouse, before being shot before he manages to even pull the trigger.
    • Not to mention Sir Christopher was a member of the SOE during World War II, working with Ian Fleming and being one of the inspirations for 007. In short, we had a real James Bond going up against James Bond himself! The duel should have been far more epic than it was!
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Christopher Lee's excellent performance deserved a better Bond film than this one.
  • Values Dissonance: The depiction of women in the series bottoms-out into outright misogyny in this one. In this it follows a trend; earlier entries may have had dated Gender Roles by contemporary standards, but they still managed to find a place for badass women like Pussy Galore and Tracy Bond. Beginning with Diamonds Are Forever, the Bond Girls degraded into Shrinking Violets, and by Man With the Golden Gun, we've devolved into Bond brutalizing Scaramanga's Sex Slave Andrea Anders (Who subsequently dies a cruel and sudden death with little fanfare), and Mary Goodnight, as a Dumb Blonde. Fortunately, this trend would reverse with the very next entry in the series, The Spy Who Loved Me.
  • Vindicated by History: A very minor example. Although it still is regarded as cringe-inducingly camp at times, the film's theme of duality has been commended in recent years, as has its villain, Moore's performance, and even its pace, despite the arguable Padding.

The novel:

  • Take That, Audience!: Pulp adventure novels like the James Bond stories had (and have) a strong appeal to veterans and gun owners. The psychological profile of Scaramanga basically says, "If you're a gun enthusiast, even a target shooter, you've got a penis problem."
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: A brainwashed James Bond working for the Soviet Union is an interesting story itself, but it is quickly undone so that he can be put against Scaramanga, who is essentially just a glorified thug whose grand plan is to build a hotel.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • M reads a psych report speculating that Scaramanga is gay because he uses a large calibre gun.
    • Further dissonance in the idea that being a latent homosexual is Scaramanga's 'perversion'.
    • The most remembered part of the aformentioned report is that "homosexuals can't whistle". However, even in the novel this is held only to be a myth that isn't supported by the scientific community.