“My name is Scaramanga. Francisco Scaramanga. I feel I know you, although I never thought we would ever really meet. But it has been a pleasure for me to finally meet you Mr. Bond, thanks to Miss Anders here.„
~ Scaramanga introducing himself to Bond.
Francisco Scaramanga is the main antagonist of the James Bond novel and film The Man with the Golden Gun. In the movie he was portrayed by the late Sir Christopher Lee, who also portrayed Count Dooku, Count Dracula and Saruman.
The Man with the Golden Gun
Francisco Scaramanga is a high-priced assassin, supposedly the best in the world, charging one million dollars per kill. He’s best known for being “The man with the golden gun“, because he only uses bullets made of gold in a fictitious, 4.2 mm cartridge. All of Scaramanga’s dealings go through his henchman Nick Nack, which allows Scaramanga to be anonymous.
Francisco Scaramanga was a British national born in a travelling circus. His father was the ringmaster, a former Cuban national and his mother was the snake charmer. By age 10, he was part of the circus as a trick-shot pistol marksman. At age 15, he became an international assassin-for-hire. He was recruited some years later by the KGB while living in Ipanema, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and trained in Eastern Europe where for many years he was basically just another “overworked and underpaid assassin” for the KGB. He quit the KGB in the late 1950s, becoming an independent hitman-for hire. No photographs of him exist, but he has unusual anatomy: a third nipple. This information later comes in handy to Bond, who uses Scaramanga’s anonymity and only known physical feature to get into contact with Scaramanga’s current employer, the crime lord Hai-Fat — though Scaramanga is already at Hai-Fat’s estate, and Hai-Fat quickly guesses who Bond really is.
Later in the film, Scaramanga reveals to Bond that as a boy living in the travelling circus, he shot and killed an abusive animal trainer for killing an elephant that he had befriended. Scaramanga also demonstrates his marksmanship to Bond by using a Colt Single Action Army to shoot the cork off a bottle of champagne from long range (Scaramanga’s golden gun in the novel is a gold-plated Single Action Army), claiming later that it was a toy.
Scaramanga lives very well, drawing from the exorbitant sums of money he charges to carry out his assassinations, and has built his home on his own personal island somewhere off the coast of south-eastern China – paying for lease of the island and protection through assassinations (‘favours’) for the Chinese. Despite his assertion that “science was never [his] strong point,” the island utilizes many aspects of modern technology, including its own self-sufficient solar power plant. In addition to the power plant, Scaramanga’s home also includes a section which is something between a labrynthine maze and a funhouse, where Scaramanga and his foes duel to the death. Nick Nack hires assassins to kill Scaramanga as a challenge to keep him on his toes. Scaramanga is well aware of and approves of Nick Nack’s efforts, and wishes him better luck next time when his hired guns fail. In addition, Scaramanga also has a private junk, which Bond later steals to get off the exploding island.
Scaramanga also uses some of his wealth to finance research and development of technologies that rival those developed by MI6‘s Q Branch. Such technologies include a car that transforms into an aircraft and a solar-powered laser cannon.
Scaramanga was hired by Hai-Fat to assassinate a British scientist named Gibson, thought to be in possession of solar energy information and technology crucial to solving the energy crisis. Gibson is assassinated and his invention, the solex agitator, is stolen from the crime scene by Nick Nack. The solex agitator is a critical component of Gibson’s solar energy device.
However, instead of turning the device over to Hai-Fat, Scaramanga instead kills Hai-Fat with his golden gun and takes the device for himself. With it in his possession, it allows for him to sell the device to the highest criminal bidder or use it to power his personal solar energy cannon.
Scaramanga also desires to test his skills against the famed James Bond, whom he regards as the only man capable of being his superior. Besides the profit and/or power the solex agitator can give him, Scaramanga’s scheme in acquiring the device is also intended to lure Bond to Scaramanga’s private island so that the two of them can engage in one final, decisive duel (Although Bond is using his eight-bullet .32 Walther PPK pistol while Scaramanga uses the golden gun, Scaramanga states that he ‘only needs one’, Bond’s superior number of bullets being offset by Scaramanga’s advantages of fighting on his own ground).
After taking Goodnight (Bond’s semi-partner in the film) hostage, Scaramanga lures Bond to his private island. Scaramanga seems excited about Bond’s visit and gives him a tour about his plan for solar power. Bond has lunch with Goodnight and Scaramanga but Bond presses his luck which provokes him and Scaramanga into a duel. Once in the funhouse, Bond takes the place of a dummy “James Bond” and tricks Scaramanga into coming out in the open to look for Bond with his pistol drawn. Before he could react to the deception, Scaramanga is shot in the heart by Bond with a .32 Walther PPK pistol and killed.