1st Edition James Bond, Man with the Golden Gun, by Ian Fleming
London: Jonathan Cape 1965. 1st Edition 1st Issue. Flemings 12th outing for Commander Bond. With original dust jacket priced at 18 shillings. Cover artist Richard Chopping (Jonathan Cape ed.). The Man with the Golden Gun is the twelfth novel (and thirteenth book) of Ian Fleming's James Bond series. It was first published by Jonathan Cape in the UK on 1 April 1965, eight months after the author's death. The novel was not as detailed or polished as the others in the series, leading to poor but polite reviews. Despite that, the book was a best-seller.
The story centres on the fictional British Secret Service operative James Bond, who had been posted missing, presumed dead, after his last mission in Japan. Bond returns to England via the Soviet Union, where he had been brainwashed to attempt to assassinate his superior, M. After being "cured" by the MI6 doctors, Bond is sent to the Caribbean to find and kill Francisco Scaramanga, the titular "Man with the Golden Gun".
The first draft and part of the editing process was completed before Fleming's death and the manuscript had passed through the hands of his copy editor, William Plomer, but it was not as polished as other Bond stories. Much of the detail contained in the previous novels was missing, as this was often added by Fleming in the second draft. Publishers Jonathan Cape passed the manuscript to Kingsley Amis for his thoughts and advice on the story, although his suggestions were not subsequently used.
The novel was serialised in 1965, firstly in the Daily Express and then in Playboy; in 1966 a daily comic strip adaptation was also published in the Daily Express. In 1974 the book was loosely adapted as the ninth film in the Eon Productions James Bond series, with Roger Moore playing Bond and Fleming's cousin, Christopher Lee, as Scaramanga.
The Man with the Golden Gun film was filmed in 1974 the ninth film entry in the James Bond series and the second to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. A loose adaptation of Ian Fleming's novel of the same name, the film has Bond sent after the Solex Agitator, a device that can harness the power of the sun, while facing the assassin Francisco Scaramanga, the "Man with the Golden Gun". The action culminates in a duel between them that settles the fate of the Solex.
The Man with the Golden Gun was the fourth and final film in the series directed by Guy Hamilton. The script was written by Richard Maibaum and Tom Mankiewicz. The film was set in the face of the 1973 energy crisis, a dominant theme in the script. Britain had still not yet fully overcome the crisis when the film was released in December 1974. The film also reflects the then popular martial arts film craze, with several kung fu scenes and a predominantly Asian location, being set and shot in Thailand, Hong Kong, and Macau. Part of the film is also set in Beirut, Lebanon, but it was not shot there. Ian Fleming wrote The Man with the Golden Gun at his Goldeneye estate in Jamaica in January and February 1964, completing it by the beginning of March. His health affected him badly during the writing process and he dropped from his usual rate of two thousand words a morning to a little over an hour's worth of work a day.
As with his previous novels, Fleming used events from his past as elements in his novel. Whilst at Kitzbühel in the 1930s, Fleming's car, a Standard Tourer, had been struck by a train at a level crossing and he had been dragged fifty yards down the track. From that time on he had associated trains with death, which led to their use as a plot device not just in The Man with the Golden Gun, but also in Diamonds Are Forever and From Russia, with Love. To show just how much all things original Bond are appreciated in the world of collectors the Walther pistol used by Connery in the poster of From Russia With Love, in 1963, and also drawn in the man With The Golden Gun poster as shown here an air pistol, .177 (4.5mm) Walther 'LP MOD.53' Air Pistol, Serial No. 054159, was sold by Christies in 2010 with an estimate of £15,000 to £20,000 for an incredible £277,000. We dropped out of the bidding at £22,000 Incredible in that it was never used in any film, was an air pistol not a real automatic, and only used in promotional posters. It was 'said' to have been used by accident in fact as they couldn't find a correct Walther PPK on the day of the photoshoot.