This is a fun fan-made trailer for 1974's James Bond entry, The Man with the Golden Gun. It's edited to make it look like a much more contemporary movie, which Golden Gun most assuredly is not. Rather, it's a campy, tacky, bloated piece of cinema trash, but like nearly every 007 picture, it's the best trash money can buy.
Opening tonight and playing through Thursday at the Laurelhurst (showtimes here) in what is reportedly a very good-looking print, The Man with the Golden Gun suffers from an especially poor reputation. Some consider it the worst of the Bonds; at a recent Bond marathon, fans rated this film 2.5 out of 10, the lowest score of all 25 films screened. I have always loved it, though—to me, it's as entertaining as the series gets. Here's why:
· It's Bond versus a single enemy: the assassin Scaramanga. (Plus a few thugs, give or take.) It's not Bond taking down all of SPECTRE, or Bond fighting army after army of vicious henchmen. Yes, the story is incredibly silly, but it might be the easiest to follow of the entire series (except for perhaps Dr. No, with which this film has more in common than any other Bond film). When I was a young kid watching these movies for the first time, comprehensibility of plot was no small virtue.
· Scaramanga is played by Christopher Lee, one of the greatest Bond villains ever (and 007 creator Ian Fleming's cousin). He wears terrible '70s clothes and manages to look about as unthreatening as Christopher Lee can look. It's hilarious.
· Speaking of Maud Adams, she and Britt Ekland are the two Bond girls this time around. They're both unspeakably gorgeous, which, in a Bond movie, matters. Adams in particular does a lot with a thankless role. Ekland is kind of chirpy and annoying, but so's her character.
· A big piece of the plot hinges on a character's third nipple. Bond sports a false third nipple for a stretch as well.
· Bond really is a shitheel in this one. He's violent towards Maud Adams' character, slapping her around until she tells him what he wants. To Roger Moore's credit, he hated this aspect of Bond's character, and requested that future installments in the series didn't have him acting like such a dick.
· Bond's pretty awful to Ekland's character, Mary Goodnight, as well. For instance, they're about to fuck in Bond's hotel room when Adams' character taps on Bond's door. He tosses Goodnight into the closet and proceeds to fuck Adams, more or less, in front of her.
· Bond is mean to children as well! While escaping thugs in the canals in Thon Buri, Thailand, his boat breaks down. An enterprising child swimming in the canal climbs into the boat, and Bond offers him a huge sum of money to help him fix the boat. The child does, but instead of paying him, Bond tosses him back in the canal and zooms off.
· The character of southern sheriff J.W. Pepper returns from Live and Let Die. Pepper is, implausibly, on vacation in Thailand with his wife. He constantly refers to all the Thai natives as "pointy-heads." He is also revealed to be a Democrat. (This seems beyond unlikely.) There's a 15-minute stretch where Golden Gun turns into a buddy picture, with Bond and Pepper teaming up in pursuit of Scaramanga.
· During this buddy-picture stretch, two amazing car-related things happen. I won't say too much about them. One is the 360-degree twirl over the canal. It's an incredible car stunt.
· The other is the car-plane. That's right, a car turns into a plane. It's more ridiculous than it sounds: The car has an ungainly pair of wings dropped on to it, and away it goes.
· Lulu's theme song is terrible. Really terrible—no two ways about it. But it becomes entertaining when you realize that "Golden Gun" is really a metaphor for "penis."
· There's a scene at a martial arts school, which might have been mainstream US audiences' first exposure to any kind of martial arts onscreen. (I am thinking of people like my parents, who have probably not even heard of Enter the Dragon.) It's a great scene. Bond has no honor at all. When his opponent bows to him, Bond kicks him in the head.
· Two more things I absolutely loved as a kid: The sunken Queen Elizabeth in Hong Kong harbor is revealed to be British intelligence HQ. And the duel between Bond and Scaramanga on the beach!
This really is an incredible movie.