Trivia - The Man With The Golden
During production on the fifth James Bond film "You
Only Live Twice" (1967), producers Albert
R. Broccoli and Harry
Saltzman had originally intended for this
film to be the sixth entry in the Bond series. It was to be
shot in Cambodia and Roger
Moore was considered to fill Sean
Connery's shoes as the second James
Bond. However, the Vietnam War caused the producers to change
plans and pick "On Her Majesty's Secret
(1969) as the sixth Bond film instead.
The original plan was to shoot in Iran. This was partly inspired
by Albert Lamorisse's film "Le Ballon Rouge" (1956). Iran declaring
war on Israel was an instrumental reason in calling off the idea
of filming there. Southeast Asia was the new location chosen.
Two scenes written by Richard Maibaum were either eliminated
or shortened before filming began:
- The first had Q at Hong Kong airport trying to persuade Bond
to use a gadget-laden camera on his trip to Thailand and being
forced to admit that the one thing it couldn't do was take
- The second set of changes were made to the climactic battle
between Bond and Scaramanga which was originally planned to
be much longer.
The energy crisis storyline was inspired by media stories of
such current events of the time. Britain had not yet overcome
the oil crisis of 1973, as it had not yet had North Sea oil and
gas flowing through its pipelines.
In earlier versions of the script,
the character of Nick
Nack played by Hervé Villechaize was originally
called Demi Tasse and Hai Fat had a business partner called
Lo Fat, a character
which was scrapped.
Harry Saltzman wanted an elephant stampede in the movie so Bond
and Scaramanga could chase each other on elephant back. The rest
of the creative team balked at the idea, but Saltzman went to
see an elephant trainer. It turns out that elephants need a special
shoe on their feet to protect them from rough surfaces when they
work. A few months later, while filming in Thailand, Albert R.
Broccoli got a call saying his elephant shoes were ready. Saltzman
had ordered about 2,600 pairs of them. The sequence was not in
the movie, but the man who made the shoe had not been paid. As
of 1990, EON production still owed him.
Long-time DP Ted Moore quit halfway through the production,
either through illness or disagreements with the producers depending
on who you ask. Ernest Day acted as DP for about a week before
Oswald Morris came on board (though none of the footage shot
by Day made it into the final film).
Scaramanga's distinctive island
hideaway was shot on the island of Khow-Ping-Khan, one
of a cluster of islands near Phuket off the Malay peninsula.
It would be used again in Tomorrow Never
Dies , by which time locals had taken to referring
to it as James Bond Island.
Whilst shooting in Thailand, the cast and crew were unwittingly
housed in a bordello.
The secret headquarters for MI6 in Hong Kong Harbour was the
wreck of the real life ship RMS Queen Elizabeth. The vessel had
actually however been renamed before the time of filming and
was known as the Seawise University.
The title role was originally offered to Jack Palance, before
it eventually went to Christopher
Lee, the cousin of Ian Fleming
who was known as the Man with the Golden Pen. (Fleming had previously
offered Lee the title role in Dr. No (1962), the first James
Bond movie.) Francisco Scaramanga is also known as "Pistols" Scaramanga
and "Paco" (from the Spanish diminutive for Francisco)
in the Ian Fleming novel, "The Man With Golden Gun".
The Scaramanga character also appears in the video game GoldenEye:
Rogue Agent (2004) in which Lee reprises his role
and provides his voice. Scaramanga is also a playable character
in the multi-player section of 007:
The source of the name "Scaramanga" originates in
the name of a man that James Bond creator Ian Fleming knew called
Pandia Scaramanga. He had met him and stayed at his house on
the island of Hydra in the Greek isles. Reportedly, Fleming sought
permission from him to use his surname, indicating that he would
be James Bond's adversary in "The Man With The Golden Gun".
The real Scaramanga apparently responded: "I certainly do
not mind you using my name but please do not to kill me."
In both the source novel and this film, the Scaramanga character
has an additional nipple which in reality can be a real biological
occurrence. It is known as a supernumerary nipple but can also
be called an accessory nipple or third nipple. The medical name
for such can be either polythelia or polymastia. In this movie
though, it is referred to as a superfluous papilla.
During June 1974, while on location in Thailand, Roger
Moore found a cave full of bats. He couldn't resist seeking
out Dracula star Christopher
Lee, telling him what he had found and joking "Master,
they are yours to command!"
The Golden Gun wielded by Scaramanga was made up from a Waterman
fountain pen, a Colibri cigarette lighter, a cigarette case
and a cufflink. It was manufactured by special effects
wizard John Stears. In 1997, EON allowed the prop to be used
in an exhibition
and had it insured for £6,500.
Britt Ekland auditioned for the role of Scaramanga's mistress,
but landed the Goodnight role after posing in a bikini. Mary
Goodnight drives a car of the model known as MG, the same initials
Marc Lawrence plays Rodney, the gangster who is shot by Scaramanga
at the beginning of the movie. He also played a Las Vegas hood
who works for Slumber Inc. in Diamonds Are
Forever (1971). It
is not clear whether or not they are intended to be the same
Filming began on November 6, 1973 with a double filling in for
Roger Moore who wasn't scheduled to begin shooting until April,
The jaw dropping 360 degree spiral roll - technically known
as a Javelin Jump - was inspired by a similar stunt being performed
American Motors stunt team at the time the film was being prepared.
The stunt had originally been devised and refined by a group
university students using computers to plot the speed and angle
of take off. The car, a 1974 Hornet X, had to be specially modified,
equipped with a lightweight six cylinder engine, a centered steering
wheel and a custom built fuel injection system to prevent the
engine cutting out when the car was upside down. Though American
Motors experienced a few difficulties during their tour, the
stunt was done in one take by uncredited British stuntman 'Bumps'
Williard as 8 cameras simultaneously captured the spectacle.
So potentially hazardous was nature of the stunt, divers, ambulances
and cranes were on standby alert in case of any catastrophic
consequences. The stunt was so rapid that the film is shown in
slow motion. Williard was given a large bonus for completing
the jump on the first take. The jump is also credited with being
the first stunt ever to be calculated by computer modeling. The
producers took out patents and copyrights to ensure that the
stunt did not
appear on screen elsewhere before their movie was released.
In the fight in the dancer's dressing-room,
Roger Moore sprays one of the villains in the face with an aerosol
can of what is
clearly Brut-33, a nod to the Fabergé company with which
Moore was associated.
According to British production designer, Peter
sequence where Scaramanga's car transforms into a light airplane
was accomplished in the editing room. Wings were attached to
the actual car and a stuntman drove the carplane to the runway.
At this point the film editor simply cut to a radio-controlled
model built by John Stears.
Britt Ekland stated she was terrified when they shot the scenes
of Roger Moore and her escaping from Scaramanga's island. There
is one particular shot where the pair of them are running, she
slides to the floor, and Roger grabs her by the arm to hoist
her back up; according to her that wasn't acting.
Vehicles featured included various American Motors cars including
two American Motors Cassini (AMC) Coupés, a red 1974 AMC
Hornet X Hatchback Special Coupé which performs the spiral
loop jump and a brown and gold 1974
AMC Matador X Coupé which
became a car-plane which was based on the Aerocar International's
Aerocar or Taylor Aerocar; a fleet of green Peninsula Hotel Rolls
Royce Silver Shadows; a Cairo Taxi; an MGB; Mercedes-Benz 240D;
Longtail Boats riding the Bangkok floating market's canals and
waterways known as the Klongs; Scaramanga's diesel-engine Chinese
Junk; a Republic RC-3 SeaBee
seaplane; and a Hong Kong Harbour
Product placements, brand integrations and promotional
tie-ins for this movie include American Motors Company (AMC);
Champagne; The Bottoms Up Club, Hong Kong; Sony; The Peninsula
Hong Kong Hotel; Nikon; Moët; The Floating Macau Palace;
Tabasco Sauce; Rolex Watches, James Bond wears a Rolex Submariner
5513; Dunlop; Pepsi and Guinness Beer.
According the CD liner notes for Alice Cooper's Muscle of Love
album, his track Man With the Golden Gun was set to be the theme
song before the producers lost their bottle and got Lulu to do
This was the first of the Bond films
to be shown at the Kremlin. According to Roger Moore in his
DVD audio commentary, apparently when the movie had finished,
one Russian official turned around and said we didn't train him
very well. The Scaramanga character in the James Bond universe
was recruited by and acted as a hit-man for the KGB.
This is the last Bond film to be shot/shown in a 1.85:1 aspect
Speaking to Robert Osborne of The Hollywood Reporter [12 April
1982], Broccoli noted that "I can't say there is a single
[Bond film] I'd like to completely redo if I had the chance,
although there are parts of The Man With the Golden Gun I'd change."