The Spy Who Loved Me: A Roger Moore as James Bond retrospective

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Christopher Lee back to back with Roger Moore, each holding a gun in the air in a scene from the film ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’, 1974. (Photo by United Artists/Getty Images)

The Man with the Golden Gun

The Man with the Golden Gun, the sixth Bond film, is also based on an Ian Fleming novel, though very loosely.

The film centers around a device called the Solex Agitator which can harness the power of the sun.  The 1973 energy crisis served as a backdrop of the film.  By the film’s release in December of 1974, England was still in the midst of the crisis.  The film also capitalized on the martial arts movie craze of the 1970s with much of the film being shot on location in Southeast Asia.

The film got mostly mixed reviews.  Critics panned the comic approach the film took.  Christopher Lee’s role as the assassin, Francisco Scaramanga, the man with the golden gun himself, was lauded as a high point in the film, but overall The Man With The Golden Gun was considered a low point in the franchise.

After a threat is made against 007’s life, Bond goes on an off-the-books hunt for the assassin he believes is responsible for the threat.  In the process, the Solex Agitator is stolen, and Bond is put on the case.

The threat is revealed to be a setup, and after some Muay Thai, car chases, and kidnappings, Bond chases Scaramanga to his island fortress where they face off in a duel to the death.  Scaramanga cheats and escapes, so Bond cheats back and sucker-kills him (it’s like sucker-punching but you die).  All’s well that ends in a big explosion, and Bond escapes with The Female Character.