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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Loneliest Profession

The Man with the Golden Gun on IMDb

Plot Overview

Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee,) a hit man known as “the man with the golden gun,” was brought up in a circus. “Pointy hat” James Bond (Roger Moore) recites what is known of him: “He was a spectacular trick shot artist by the time he was ten and a local Rio gun­man at fifteen. The KGB recruited him there and trained him in Europe where he became an – over­worked, under­paid assassin. He went independent in the late '50s. Current price: one million dollars a hit. No photo­graph on file” and no useful description. “Present domicile – unknown.” The Red Chinese have him sequestered some­where in exchange for a favor from time to time. He lives on a secluded island with his “not unattractive” lover Andrea Anders (Maud Adams,) his maintenance & security man Kra, and Nick Nack (Hervé Ville­chaize) a midget servant. His work trips are infrequent and he uses Anders as a(n expendable) cut­out to resupply his specialty ammo. He's thus far eluded capture by the authorities.

money bagsLately he has gotten greedy. He's partnered up with a rich business­man Hai Phat (Richard Loo) of Hai Phat Enterprises in Bangkok to develop on his little island a proto­type solar energy plant to corner the energy market. The British government wants the technology open to avert an energy crisis, and they have dispatched Bond as part of their team to negotiate with scientist Gibson for proprietary technology. Bond gets pulled from the team to hunt for Scaramanga while Scaramanga uses bullets to get what he wants. He and Bond are headed for a showdown.


royal flushOne of Kenny Rogers's songs concerned a chance meeting with “The Gambler” on a train, who offered a passenger the advice that “the secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep.” The refrain of the song goes:

You've got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away, Know when to run. You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

This wisdom of the gambling man's repartee is old as the hills and was passed on by a raconteur, Agur in Proverbs 30:1, whose four meta­phors offered the same life advice as did Rogers's Gambler. That we find in, (Prov. 30:29-31) “There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.”

We have Agur's “lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any,” and we have Rogers's “know[ing] when to hold 'em.” In our movie Bond raids the hotel room of Miss Anders for infor­mation, but she gets the drop on him with her unexpected pistol in the shower. She demands he leave and covers him while she phones security. Bond doesn't turn away but acts as if he had every right to be there. As long as he doesn't spook her he figures a kept woman is unlikely to fire, and she's a novice as well, like one in a Don Winslow novel:

It's a young man's mistake.

Putting the gun too close to the guy you want to kill.

Keller leans away from the barrel at the same time that his hand shoots out, grabs the gun, twists, and wrenches it out of Ivan's hand. Then he smashes it three times into Ivan's face and hears the cheek­bone shatter before Ivan slides down to the floor like a robe dropped at Keller's feet. (18)

We have Agur's “king, against whom there is no rising up,” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to fold 'em” A king who knows when to give in to his subjects doesn't experience any uprising. Bond having comman­deered a car with redneck tourist Sheriff J.W. Pepper (Clifton James)—of “Live and Let Die” vintage—seated in it, acceded to his request to deputize him rather than deal with the blowhard pencil in hand who had only a guess whom they were chasing.

We have Agur's “he goat also” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to walk away.” When agent-in-place Mary Goodnight (Britt Ekland) is inter­rupted from her tryst (“James, I thought this would never happen”) by a knock at the door, she repairs to the closet so James can carry out his secret agent business with the new arrival.

We have Agur's “greyhound” and Rogers's “Know[ing] when to run.” When the trainees at the martial arts academy want to fight Bond all at once, he boogies on out of there.

The gambler gave the advice:

You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

At the end there's the report to ‘M’ (Bernard Lee) but it can wait on the slow boat from China.

Production Values

” (1974) was directed by Guy Hamilton. Its screenplay was written by Richard Maibaum and Tom Mankiewicz, with a nod to Ian Fleming's novel, The Man With the Golden Gun. It stars Roger Moore, Christopher Lee and Britt Ekland.

The plot includes a stated comparison between good guy assassin Bond and bad guy hit man Scaramanga. The former only kills other killers and at the official request of his government; he doesn't enjoy it … except some­times. Although this time there was no official sanction from the PM, and for that matter there is no posting him else­where in MI6, a tainted gun­slinger unwelcome near any­one else's desk. The latter does it for pleasure, and he gets rich at it. Now, how­ever, he's a partner with an assumed ruthless business­man whom MI6 investigated to find squeaky clean. Go figure.

The scriptwriters, known for coming up with amusing names, have outdone them­selves by intro­ducing alliterations (repeated first consonants) and then duplicating initials for characters on both sides of the fence. Francisco Scaramanga, “the man with the golden gun.

M’, Miss Moneypenny, Mary Goodnight, man with the …, “two masters”, Miss Chew Mee.

007 i.e. nought nought seven, Nick Nack, Goodnight, Andrea Anders, Penninsula Hotel. The hotel's name can be deconstructed Pen_i_s___, but who would pick up on that?

High Phat, Phuyuck—a vintage 1974 Thai champagne. The same people who recognized a Penis Hotel would probably see a Ph__uck wine, but it's not an ‘F’ word, no ‘F’ in it at all, not as we'd find in a certain A.J. Zerries novel:

boy diving off boardHe broke through the surface, forcing down the sputtering, the gasps for air. His best time under­water was a distant memory; even the diminished goal he pushed for required a feat of will.

“I frankly feel fucking fine, Fred!” he shouted, loud enough for the words to bounce back off the tile wall of the deserted Police Academy pool.

Years ago, after some Navy doctor had figured out that the inability to pronounce two consecutive words beginning with F signaled an embolism, a full-throated “I feel fine!” was required of SEALs surfacing from a deep dive. Detective Clay Ryder preferred the enhanced version. Even if he didn't feel fucking fine. Even if he hadn't felt fucking fine for a long time. (17)

Which word in that enhanced sequence is the ‘F’ word? Feel & fine are the Navy prescribed ‘F’ words. But fuck is the de rigueur ‘F’ word sailors utter under duress, and also the one banned in a PG flick. But then so is phuck banned and it's not even an ‘F’ word. Fortuitously, there's eff as a euphemism—down under, in America, & esp. in the UK—for fuck, so we can't go far wrong by calling it the ‘eff’ word. Okay. Information is lost when all letters but the first are removed from a word. We won't be so lucky with other letter-words. Phuyuck is a nonce word, a word contrived for a particular occasion and not in general use anywhere.

“The Man With the Golden Gun” is rated PG. For what it's worth, Ian Fleming was part of the Secret Service during the war, whose chief was called by one of his initials, and then subsequent chiefs used the same initial for their title. Fleming in his fiction just used the other initial ‘M’ that would carry over to all subsequent chiefs. This movie is a bit over two hours long. It's standard Bond fare.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

James Bond in the novels was a tragic figure: He was an orphan with no family, looking ahead life was nothing but a series of difficult and dangerous assignments that he just might not survive, and he had no prospects for lasting relations with any woman, just empty sex. Movie James Bond is a romantic figure: lots of fun adventures, gorgeous women galore, and replacement actors to step in for him when the predecessor ages. The one interesting factor that a Christian can take away, should he even watch this stuff in the first place, is God's providential care for the orphan showing in how things always work out for the hero here. These stories are a lot of fun and the fans know who they are.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability for children: Suitable for children with guidance. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Rogers, Kenny. Songwriter Don Schlitz. “The Gambler.” Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Pub. LLC. WEB.

Winslow, Don. The Border. Copyright © 2019 by Samburu, Inc. New York: Harper­Collins Pub., first edition. Print.

Zerries, A.J.. The Lost Van Gogh. Copyright 2006 by Al and Jean Zerries. New York: Tom Doherty, 2006. Print.