The Man With the Golden Gun was producer Harry Saltzman's last hurrah before selling out his share in the Bond series to United Artists to ensure the maximum inconvenience to his detested partner Cubby Broccoli. It's certainly not premium Bond: at times it threatens to turn into an episode of The Avengers, what with Scaramanga's funhouse, his midget servant Nick Nack, its human statues or the off-kilter angles of MI6's Hong Kong HQ located in the rusting wreck of the Queen Elizabeth, not to mention Roger Moore's more Steed-like Bond. Although there are hints of the lows to come in Moore's tenure - Bond being saved by a pair of schoolgirls or defeating a villain by pretending to be a tailor's dummy - this is still recognisable an old-school Bond film, with thankfully few gadgets, although it's disappointing that the producers provide Scaramanga with an island lair and super-weapon to give Bond something to blow up at the end (a rather half-hearted effort to be sure: instead of a private army, Scaramanga simply has Herve Villachaize and a maintenance man). Britt Ekland's irritating `typical silly woman' comic relief was a bit hard to take in 1974 and gets worse with each passing year, but Christopher Lee's Scaramanga is one of the more interesting Bond villains, not least because of his imagined empathy with his prey - he regards himself as Bond's moral and professional equal, the kind of pathological snobbery Fleming's books were full of but the films increasingly abandoned.
Unlike many of the 2-disc `Ultimate Editions,' this is a fairly substantial upgrade, carrying over all of the original features and adding plenty more - a new commentary by Roger Moore (which reveals Moore's friendship with George Lazenby and admiration for OHMSS and the reason his first scene had to be somewhat obviously dubbed later - a noisy bout of stomach ache!), behind the scenes footage, interview with director Guy Hamilton and an amusingly cheesy extract from a British TV interview with Moore and Villachaize. The only disappointment is that the deleted Molotov Cocktail sequence from Bond and Scaramanga's duel that featured heavily in the teaser trailers has not been located and included.