The Man With the Golden Gun

dir. Guy Hamilton

TIFF Cinematheque - Retrospective

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Bond squares off with high-priced assassin-for-hire Francisco Scaramanga (Hammer horror icon Christopher Lee) in this exotic outing set in the Far East.

While on the trail of a disappeared solar energy specialist, whose "Solex" device could provide the solution to the current energy crisis, Bond receives an odd gift at MI6 headquarters: a golden bullet engraved with his double-O number. Believing that Bond has been targeted for death by high-priced assassin-for-hire Francisco Scaramanga — known as "the man with the golden gun" for his signature weapon — MI6 head M (Bernard Lee) relieves him from duty and unofficially sends him to Macao to track down the cultured killer. Both assignments dovetail, however, when Bond discovers that Scaramanga is working with a crooked Thai industrialist to sell the stolen Solex technology to the highest bidder. Roger Moore's second Bond outing features one of the series' most iconic villains in the urbane, white-suited and tri-nippled Scaramanga, played with suavely sinister relish by Hammer horror icon Christopher Lee (who was Bond creator Ian Fleming's cousin and the author's personal choice to play Dr. No). There's also plenty of colourfully corny trappings, including Scaramanga's deadly funhouse, a slanted MI6 Asian headquarters housed in the wreck of the RMS Queen Elizabeth, and Scaramanga's dwarf assistant Nick Nack, played by immortal Fantasy Island co-star Hervé Villechaize ("De plane, boss, de plane!").