This is the last blog post I’ll be making in my mission to get my fiancee to like the James Bond films. I’ve failed. Thank you to everyone for reading and supporting the blog.
In the next blog I’ll be trying to persuade my wife to like James Bond!
But first, The Man With The Golden Gun. This month’s repast is a chinese take-away, suggested by the location of Scaramanga’s island in Chinese waters. Kung-Po chicken for me, extra-hot Kung-Po chicken for Mel.
On screen Francisco Scaramanga is sunbathing on his beach with his girlfriend. He removes his shirt to reveal a third nipple while his diminutive manservant, Nick-Nack, serves them with drinks.
Mel says, “You can tell they are the bad guys because they have physical imperfections. They do this in all the James Bond films.”
After a hitman hired by Nick-Nack fails to kill Scaramanga, we see he has a life sized Roger Moore dummy in his base.
Mel thinks it’s quite life-like, “Was that really Roger Moore just standing still?”
According to the director’s commentary, it is a dummy. A world away from Roger’s acting.
The titles start with Lulu’s song, also called The Man With The Golden Gun.
“I actually really don’t like this song. It’s one of the worst ones.”
Mel’s favourite is still We Have All The Time in the World from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Miss Moneypenny and Bond flirt outrageously outside M’s office.
“She pisses me off. She throws herself at him every time she sees him.”
Moneypenny tells 007 where a suspected victim of Scaramanga, Bill Fairbanks (002), died in 1969. He flies off to Beirut to find the golden bullet that killed Fairbanks. He meets Saida, the belly dancer that Fairbanks was with when he died.
Saida asks Bond how long he’ll be in Beirut.
“Long enough to shag you, Love,” Mel answers on his behalf.
Bond is attacked by some men, and they smash the place up during their brawl.
Saida cries, “My perfumes!”
“That’s great! She doesn’t give a shit about James Bond, just her perfume! That —-er will be all right.”
Bond swallows the golden bullet out of Saida’s belly button in the melee, so takes a taxi to the pharmacist.
Back at Q Branch Bond says of the golden bullet, “You’ve no idea what it went through to get here.” Mel wrinkles her little nose with distaste.
Q’s analysis leads him to bespoke weapons and ammunition manufacturer Lazar. When he arrives at Lazar’s workshop, the gunsmith recognises Bond’s name immediately.
“That goes against everything he’s supposed to be: a secret agent.”
Lazar reluctantly tells Bond he delivers the golden bullets to the casino. Our hero goes there to follow the trail and watches Miss Anders take delivery
“He’ll shag her.”
Following Anders to a hotel room, Bond watches her through the frosted glass of the shower for a while.
“He’s such a perv. Look at him!”
She opens the door brandishing a gun and demanding Bond pass her a bathrobe.
“Why would she be bothered about him passing the robe when she’s just opened the door to him naked?!”
Bond twists her arm up her back and threatens to break it unless she reveals who the bullets are for. She protests that they will kill her. She gives in and tells Bond it’s Scaramanga.
“That didn’t take long!”
He was going to break her arm, I say.
“She just said she’ll get killed! A bit of pain for about six seconds or death.”
Bond gives her a slaps too, when she becomes reticent again.
In My Word Is My Bond by Roger Moore (2008, Michael O’Mara Books Limited) the legendary actor says:
“Guy wanted to toughen up my Bond a little. I think it’s most evident in the scenes I had with Maud Adams, where I twisted her arm and threatened – rather coldly – to break it unless she told me what I wanted to know. That sort of characterisation didn’t sit easily with me. I suggested my Bond would have charmed the information out of her by bedding her first. My Bond was a lover and a giggler. However, Guy was keen to make my Bond a little more ruthless, as Fleming’s original had been. I went along with him – his instincts were always very good.”
Bond goes to find Scaramanga at the club. Scaramanga shoots Gibson, inventor of the Solex Agitator, and leaves Bond alone. Back on his junk the eponnymous Man with the Golden Gun traces the barrel of his weapon over Anders’ face and body.
“This is abuse! Bond slaps her and tries to break her arm. Now he’s molesting her with his gun. This is what makes me angry.”
But Bond had to find Scaramanga and stop him, and only Miss Anders knew where he was.
“Yeah, he’s only trying to save himself… stop Scaramanga from killing him.”
But indirectly he’s saving lots of people. Bond will go on to save the entire world.
“They would just get another secret agent to do that. No one is irreplaceable.”
But Bond is the best!
“If I died tomorrow they’d just get another company and commercial solicitor to do my job.”
They wouldn’t be as good either, darling.
“No one is irreplaceable.”
Bond has to go back to base and explain his failure.
M says, “I almost wish that Scaramanga had a contract out on you.”
“I like him. And I love Q.”
But M’s bad mood extends to the Quartermaster too, and he tells Q to shut up. Twice.
“Don’t be nasty to Q!”
Bond visits Hai Fat’s house and meets Chew Mee, who seems to be skinny-dipping.
“Is she supposed to be naked? Cos she’s got a nude swimsuit on.”
Chew invites Bond in for a swim, but he hasn’t got his trunks.
“Neither have I!” Says the girl.
“She’s lying,” says Mel.
Bond is trying to escape from Hai Fat’s goons in a slow-moving boat. A young Thai boy swims up and clambers aboard, trying to sell the spy a wooden elephant ornament. Bond offers him twenty-thousand Baht if he can speed the boat up. The kid turns a valve and the boat goes faster. Bond tips the kid overboard, not paying him the money.
“Awwwww. That is awful. And he’s in breach of contract. I hate him even more now.”
In his autobiography UNICEF Ambassador Moore says:
“When I look back on the sequence now, I cringe when I think of pushing the little boy who climbed into Bond’s boat trying to sell a wooden elephant, into the klong [Thai word for river].”
Later Bond is turning on the charm over dinner with Goodnight.
“Urrghh. Pervy —-er. If you spoke to me like that I’d honestly dump you. At least Sean Connery was attractive. You could kind of understand why women would be attracted to him. He has the arrogance, but the looks to back it up. Whereas he [points at Roger Moore] is just a slimeball. He comes across as a perv.”
It’s a pity Mel didn’t enjoy Connery when when we were watching Bond films.
Goodnight seems to agree and turns down his advances…
“Good lass! Thank God for that. Someone can see through his smarminess.”
… but shortly afterwards Bond arrives back at his hotel room to find Goodnight in the bathroom.
“My hard-to-get act didn’t last very long, did it?” asks Goodnight
“What the hell was hard-to-get about that? As if you’d need to play hard to get with James Bond. He’ll go with anyone.”
Harsh. But fair.
“She’d better not sleep with him now after she showed such promise.”
Before he gets the chance Miss Anders arrives at his room, so he hides Goodnight under the covers while they sit on the bed and talk.
“There you go, have sex with her while the other one’s in the bed.”
Mel thinks Bond is so crass that he would have sex with Miss Anders with Goodnight hidden under the sheets beside them. Of course, he doesn’t. He bundles her into the wardrobe next to the bed while they have sex.
“That’s dogging! He’s a dogger. A filthy dogger!”
A couple of hours later Goodnight is let out of the wardrobe.
“Poor lass. That is so humiliating.”
Bond tries to comfort her,as only Roger Moore’s magnificent bastard of a Bond can, “Your turn will come, I promise.”
“Oh my God! That is… WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING?!”
Sorry… still laughing about you saying he was dogging.
“This is like something you’d see on Jeremy Kyle. Disgusting. He’s no better than a footballer. I don’t understand why people like this. He’s a hit a woman, dogged and shat out a bullet in this film”
He’s done some cool stuff too, I protest.
“If you tried to put me in a cupboard while you had sex with another woman I’d go mental. And to be honest I can’t believe she sat in a cupboard for two hours! Why didn’t she get out and say, ‘I don’t like this’?”
It’s done the trick though, and Anders agrees to meet Bond at a boxing match with the Solex Agitator. Scaramanga has killed his girlfriend by the time Bond has arrived, but he manages to get the Solex to Hip, who passes it to Goodnight.
“I like her Gucci handbag.”
“Don’t —- up, Goodnight.”
Goodnight follows Scaramanga and Nick-Nack to their car, and tries to plant a homing device in their boot. Scaramanga throws her in and closes it.
Bond teams up with Sheriff JW Pepper, from Live and Let Die. I ask Mel if she remembers him?
I feel bad for the screenwriters who created this most subtle and nuanced of characters.
Bond follows them to Scaramanga’s island in Chinese waters. Nick-Nack introduces himself when Bond arrives on the beach.
“I like Nik-Naks. Y’know… the crisps.”
Scaramanga shoots the cork out out of the Dom Perignon and it sprays all over Nick-Nack.
“What. A. Waste.”
They sit down to lunch. It’s mushrooms. This how can you tell they’re evil, never mind Mel’s theory about their physical imperfections.
Over lunch Bond and Scaramanga have a great conversation about the nature of their jobs and the loneliness of their profession. Scaramanga is genuinely respectful of Bond, and relishes the opportunity to talk to someone in the same field. Scaramanga argues that they are the same, but Bond is not well paid for it. 007 says he only kills killers, on the orders of his government. For me it’s the best scene in the movie.
“Yeah, but why is the woman just sat there in the bikini not saying anything?”
Scaramanga proposes a duel to determine who is the best, “Like every great artist I want to create an indisputable masterpiece once in my lifetime. The death of 007, mano-a-mano, face-to-face, will be mine.”
While the men prepare for the ‘duel between titans’ , Goodnight is being ogled and then fondled by Scaramanga’s head of security, Kra.
“It’s disgusting what women are put through.”
The gun-play continues through Scaramanga’s fun house.
“I think Scaramanga will end up using his one bullet on the James Bond dummy.”
She’s close, but instead Bond substitutes himself for the dummy and kills Scaramanga.
As Bond tries to release the Solex agitator, Goodnight’s bum accidentally activates the master override switch, almost incinerating 007. She struggles to reverse it.
“Don’t be —-ing thick. The big red button, Love!”
The island base explodes. Bond escapes with Goodnight in the junk. Autopilot engaged, they get into bed.I think about making a joke about her riding his junk, but decide against it.
A hatch above the bed opens and Nick-Nack is looking down on them with his little knife in his hand (this is not a euphemism, he tries to kill them).
“Here’s another dogger!”
After Bond traps Nick-Nack in a suitcase, they get back into bed. M phones to congratulate the pair on a successful mission. Bond puts the phone down on the bed next to them.
“You can listen to them have sex now,” Mel tells M. “She’s watched it, Nick-Nack’s watched it, now you can hear it. There’s something seriously wrong with him.”
The title song starts up with Lulu singing,
Sleep well, my dear,
No need to fear, James Bond is here”
“There is need to fear. He’s a —-ing pervert, Love. Run.”
What do you think?
I tell Mel the next film is The Spy Who Loved Me. In Ian Fleming’s book of the same name he wrote it from the point of view of a female character, so that he could re-discover Bond and fall in live with the character again. I ask if she would like to write up the next blog?
That will be in June. There’s no blog in May as we’ll be busy getting married!
Order The Man With The Golden Gun on DVD from Amazon:
Order some Nik Naks to snack on while you enjoy the movie: