Herve Villechaise wouldn't - but let's not hold it against him while we make this tonight's choice:
Despite a long list of positive elements - this 007 movie has always stood out as one of the weakest - and it's one of only two Bond movies to make the mistake of being very topical for the time they were made - this movie keeps mentioning the Energy Crisis - something that hogties it to 1974. (The other is The World is Not Enough's mention of the Millenium Bug.)
The positive elements - Roger Moore. Christopher Lee. A fine supporting cast. Beautiful locations and wild production design. The Golden Gun prop. The single greatest stunt in the series history (the 360 degree car flip).
But countering that - M seems to hate 007 in their scenes together. The film looks kind of cheap despite a good budget. Scaramanga lives on a island with a huge power plant - and one worker. They ruin that greatest stunt with a stupid slide whistle sound effect. It's pretty sexist - even for a James Bond movie. It also tries to make Roger Moore into Sean Connery - slapping Andrea (Maud Adams) and threatening to break her arm - scenes Moore is plainly uncomfortable with - and that extends to the audience, then and now. Finally, they bring back Sheriff J.W. Pepper from the previous movie, expecting us to buy the Louisiana sheriff in Thailand on vacation.
I think this movie's problems stem from one direct source: by this time the relationship between the producing team of Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli and Harry Saltzman had deteriorated so much that they were actually alternating producing the movies. After Cubby handled Live and Let Die, Harry was up to take care of Golden Gun. And I think we see where the strengths in the partnership lay - that is, entirely in the hands of Cubby Broccoli. Harry made some good movies away from Bond - the Harry Palmer movies are fine - but he couldn't make it work in the world of Ian Fleming's superspy.
Now, all that crabbing aside - even the weakest Bond movie is still a three star flick - so this is a perfectly watchable movie - and I'm always happy to sit down with it - even tonight - if you want to come back home from your vacation in Thailand and watch it with me.
Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Golden Gun, Cause I Am Outta Here!