The Best and Worst of James Bond — Ranking The 007 Films

22. The Man with the Golden Gun

Original Release — December 20, 1974

If Bond is an eternal hero, he then naturally becomes defined by the villains he faces. The usual ilk of masterminds hiding behind the guns of hired muscle is the status quo, but The Man with the Golden Gun gave Bond a true physical adversary in famed assassin Francisco Scaramanga. It is therefore all the more unfortunate that the chance to give Bond a rival outside of someone with cackles and menacing plans resorted to unnecessary humor, weak characterizations, and a narrative that doesn’t play to the full strengths of what is actually a profound idea.

Similar to Octopussy, Golden Gun is filled with comedy that is unintentional — by far the worst kind you would want from a film. Christopher Lee’s performance as Scaramanga is the true standout — Lee brings the appropriate menace, gravitas, and pageantry to a role that is sadly overshadowed by the inconsistencies of the film itself. Lee’s grandeur shouldn’t come as a surprise to film buffs however — the iconic villainous actor has graced our screens as both Count Dooku from the Star Wars Prequels and Saruman from The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Image Source: IMDb