Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) in Hong Kong

I really, really don't like James Bond films.

I'm not interested enough to watch too many of them and give them all a chance. And I sure as hell am not going to sit through the gritty new ones with Daniel Craig.

Only Diamonds Are Forever (1971) seems to strike the right balance of camp and seriousness.

That said, I like Bond parody films like the Matt Helm series, and the first two Austin Powers flicks.

1974's The Man With The Golden Gun has a few good things going for it: the underappeciated Lulu title song, the scrumptious Britt Ekland, and a fairly good use of locations in both Thailand and Hong Kong.

Oddly, while the opening of 1967's You Only Live Twice takes place in Hong Kong, there are more scenes filmed there in this flick.

Britt Ekland as Miss Goodnight picks James up at the ferry pier after he arrives from the casinos of Macau.

I think the famous Bottoms Up club that James stakes out in Hong Kong is long gone after moving locations a few times. I did see a plaque on a Wan Chai streetcorner but I forget the address at the moment.

(This site has a lot of information on the Hong Kong locations used in this Bond film.)

Veteran Korean-American actor Soon Tek-Oh not only has his name misspelled in the credits, he's also playing what is presumably a Chinese character in Hong Kong.

The bits of this film in Thailand featuring Clifton James -- reprising his unfunny role from the previous year's entry of Live And Let Die -- are just painful. I realize that the guy is supposed to be playing an ugly American but the dialogue is extremely racist. Even supposing that it's played for laughs, it's a long way to go for so few chuckles.

I'd venture to say that The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) is slightly more enjoyable than Live And Let Die (1973) but that's faint praise.

Watch it for the Hong Kong bits. And Britt Ekland.