The Man with the Golden Gun: Special Edition (1974)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 8-Nov-2000

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Bond Featurette-Inside The Man With The Golden Gun
Featurette-Double-0 Stuntmen
Audio Commentary-Guy Hamilton (Director) et al
Trailer-2
TV Spots-2
Radio Spots-3
Gallery-Photo
Booklet
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1974
Running Time 119:48
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (101:03) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Guy Hamilton
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Roger Moore
Christopher Lee
Britt Ekland
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music John Barry


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (256Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (256Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Based on the final Bond book, The Man With The Golden Gun places our man Bond (Roger Moore) in peril as he becomes the target of the reclusive and exceptionally effective assassin, Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee). Scaramanga has sent his signature, a golden bullet, to MI6 with "007" engraved into it indicating that James is his new target. Bond  is taken from his assignment and summoned to M's (Bernard Lee) office. M wants Bond to take a leave of absence but Bond won't hear of it and proposes that he hunt down and confront the mysterious Scaramanga instead. M agrees and the action begins! Being a Bond movie things are blown up, people are shot, beautiful women are seduced and so on. Bloody good show old chap!

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This DVD contains a good 1.78:1 16x9 enhanced video transfer that I'm happy to say generally continues the high standard set by the earlier Bond releases.

    This transfer is as sharp as you have any right to expect from a film that is after all, over 26 years of age. I thought that there was enough shadow detail visible in this transfer to support a mark of good and that the black level was excellent.

    Colour saturation is also very good and while skin tones do have a slightly brown appearance there is nothing else wrong with the colours in this transfer.

    MPEG artefacts were not a problem in this transfer but film grain is almost always noticeable. I didn't however, find it distracting.

    I found only minor occurrences of moiré effects. The most significant example I saw was at 1:13-1:16 on Nick Nack's waist coat.. This transfer does however, suffer from minor telecine wobble throughout. It's not annoying, but it's there nevertheless - see 42:46-42:48 for a typical example. Film artefacts were quite common and at times quite obvious. The worst example I noted was at 0:34-0:41. I also saw a fairly major mark at 35:33 but fortunately it is only visible for a fraction of a second.

    This is an RSDL disc with the layer change occurring at 101:03. It is placed right on a scene change and while noticeable, is not disruptive to the flow of the movie.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    This soundtrack is fine and while not surround, is on par with many of the other Region 4 Bond releases and on the whole is a pleasing effort.

    There are two audio tracks present on this disc. Both are Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo tracks encoded at 256 Kb/s. One is the main English track and the other is an English Director's Commentary. I listened to the main English stereo track and the Audio  Commentary. You should note that the packaging is incorrect in this regard. It says that the audio on this disc is in mono.

    Dialogue was always clear and audio sync was never a problem.

    The score is typical Bond and credited to John Barry. It is well chosen, effective and adds nicely to the film without drawing undue attention to itself.

   The stereo soundtrack is good and does make good use of both channels on occasion. I noted one example for you which can be found at 4:17-4:29. In this example, the evil laughter in Scaramanga's "Fun House" moves between the left and right channels. There were no pops or clicks and the effects were nicely matched to the action. All in all a solid effort.

    The subwoofer was not called upon at all.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There is a good collection of high quality extras on this disc as well as some stuff that could just as easily have been left out.

Featurette - Inside The Man With The Golden Gun (30:56)

    Presented in Full Frame video with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, this featurette is a documentary about the making of this particular film. It shows passages from the film, archival footage, still images and interview footage with members of the cast and crew. It is narrated by Patrick MacNee and is very good.

Featurette - Double-O-Stuntmen (28:35)

    Narrated by Marie Clairu this featurette discusses one of the most important aspects of Bond films, the stunt work. As with the 'making of' documentary, film footage, archival footage, still photographs and interview footage is included. The interviews feature many of the main stuntmen from the majority of the movies and is again, very good.

Audio Commentary - Guy Hamilton plus members of the cast and crew

    This audio commentary is in the same format as the other Bond films which is a collection of interview snippets introduced by a narrator. It does contain a wealth of information and is very well put together.

Theatrical Trailers

    Two trailers are available in this sub-menu. One is a teaser trailer and the other a more traditional, longer trailer.

    The teaser trailer has an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. Quality wise, it isn't the best. The audio is quite shrill and the colour is distorted somewhat.

    The release trailer is 16x9 enhanced with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. There are quite a few film artefacts and the colour is a little faded but the quality is acceptable and certainly better than that of the teaser trailer.

TV Spots

    The quality of the two TV spots presented here falls somewhere between the teaser trailer and the main trailer. They feature Dolby Digital 2.0 sound that is generally clear but you do hear the odd pop and crackle. The video has its fair share of film artefacts and slight telecine wobble but is watchable. Why these are included  I'll never know as they each repeat the same stuff and are tedious to say the least!

Radio Spots

    There are three radio spots available for listening on this menu. They each feature Dolby Digital 2.0 sound that is easily understood should you wish to sample what is really a boring inclusion.

The Man With The Golden Gun Gallery

    This section is broken down into the following sub-sections each of which includes a number of 16x9 enhanced still images:

Booklet

    An eight page booklet is included which contains snippets of  information about the producers, production of the film and the stunts. The booklet also includes a section which lists the chapter stops.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

   The Region 1 and Region 4 discs appear to be identical which makes the Region 4 disc the winner due to the superiority of PAL.

Summary

    The Man With The Golden Gun is a good Bond film but by no means a classic. I didn't find the Scaramanga character particularly villainous and the story didn't quite flow. Still, Bond fans should be happy with the quality of this disc. While not without flaws, both the video and audio transfers are solid efforts.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Richardson (read my bio)
Friday, December 22, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output
DisplayGrundig MW82-50/8. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSherwood 8090R
SpeakersMains and Rears: Tannoy Mercury M1. Centre: Tannoy Mercury MC. Subwoofer: Polk Audio PSW-120

Other Reviews
The DVD Bits - Vincent C
Web Wombat - James A

Comments (Add) NONE