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[[Francisco Scaramanga by Christopher Lee|250px]]

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Francisco Scaramanga is a fictional character and the main antagonist in the James Bond film and novel The Man with the Golden Gun. The film was so named because it described Scaramanga's possession of a golden gun.[1]

In the novel, the character is nicknamed "Pistols" Scaramanga and is also called "Paco" (a Spanish diminutive of Francisco).[2] Scaramanga was played by British actor Christopher Lee, who is also the cousin of Ian Fleming,[3] the creator of James Bond.

Novel biography

Francisco Scaramanga, of Catalan origin, became a trick shot and performed in acts in a circus owned by his father Enrico while a youngster, and he also cared for one of the circus elephants, which he stated was his only real friend. When the elephant went on a rampage during the circus visit to Trieste, Scaramanga witnessed a policeman kill him. The enraged boy retaliated by killing the policeman with a single shot through the eye, being 16 at the time. He then made his way to the United States from Naples, where he found employment as an enforcer for the Spangled Mob, an outfit that plays a role in two other Bond novels: Diamonds Are Forever (where they were the main foe of Agent 007) and Goldfinger as an accomplice to Auric Goldfinger's Operation Grandslam. He acted like a pitboy at the casino of Tiara Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, while in fact he was executioner of cheats and other transgressors within and outside the gang. In 1958 he was forced to emigrate from the U.S because of his gun duel with Ramon "The Rod" Rodriquez, his opposite from the Detroit Purple Gang, also featured in the novel Goldfinger, killing Ramon and earning $100 for it. He spent some time travelling the Caribbean as a representative of Las Vegas interests in real-estate and plantation dealing, later switching to Trujillo of the Dominican Republic and Batista of Cuba where he settled in 1959, in Havana. While remaining a Batista man he started an undercover work for Fidel Castro's party, becoming an "enforcer" for DSS after the revolution.

By the time Bond finally encounters him in The Man with the Golden Gun, Scaramanga is a Caribbean gunman who often works for Fidel Castro's secret police, in addition to being engaged in other criminal enterprises such as drug-running into the United States in partnership with the KGB. Bond's service has evaluated him as one of the finest shots in the world, and M authorizes Bond to assassinate Scaramanga— if he can.

Bond catches up with Scaramanga in Jamaica, where Bond pretends to be a freelance security officer, and Scaramanga hires him to guard an upcoming meeting of gangsters. During the meeting, a KGB officer blows Bond's cover, subsequently pitting Scaramanga and Bond in a shootout. Bond wounds Scaramanga, but before he can finish the gunman off, Scaramanga shoots Bond with a poisoned bullet from his backup weapon, a golden Derringer. Bond returns fire with his .32 Walther PPK pistol, killing Scaramanga instantly; soon thereafter, a policewoman finds the nearly dead Bond in time to save him.

In the novel, British intelligence also has an in-depth psychological profile on Scaramanga, which is printed in the book before the mission begins. He is 6 ft 3 inches (190 cm) tall (as such he is the one of four Fleming 007 villains taller than Bond's 6 ft [183 cm], the others being Mr Big, Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Julius No), slim and fit. He is about 35 (he is also perhaps the only Fleming villain younger than Bond, the fact hinted in the novel); and has light blue eyes. His hair is reddish in a crew-cut with long sideburns.

The profile (read by M) is unusually disturbing in describing his background and psyche. The profile also claims that Scaramanga might be a latent homosexual.

Film biography

In the film The Man with the Golden Gun, Francisco 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 equal. 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 six-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.


Scaramanga apparently lives alone on his private island, accompanied only by Nick Nack, Miss Anders (his kept woman), and a mechanic named Kra who is in charge of maintenance and security.

Hit list

This is the death toll caused by Scaramanga in the film.

  • Rodney, arguably the same Slumber Inc. employee from Diamonds Are Forever.
  • Bill Fairbanks, MI6 Agent 002
  • Dan Gibson, inventor of the solex agitator
  • Hai-Fat
  • Andrea Anders

In other media

Scaramanga has been featured as a villain in various video games.

In 2004, Scaramanga returned for the game GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, as an ally of Auric Goldfinger.[4] He is the manufacturer of the synthetic eye given to the player (GoldenEye) and makes a virus used against Goldfinger's O.M.E.N. device.[5] Once again, Scaramanga was voiced by Christopher Lee.[6] The game also features a Multiplayer "Funhouse" level, including the traps that caused Bond to lose most of his bullets, such as Al Capone and Cowboy mannequins and an image of Scaramanga.[7] In addition, the level includes a Bond mannequin, whose gun the player can take and use.[8]

Scaramanga is a playable character in the multiplayer portion of 2003's Nightfire and 2010's GoldenEye 007. In the original GoldenEye game, it is said in the briefing for the "Egyptian" mission that the Golden Gun was stolen from Scaramanga by Baron Samedi.

The Golden Gun

Main article: Golden gun

In Ian Fleming's novel, the Golden Gun was a gold-plated, single-action Colt Peacemaker .45 calibre revolver that fired silver-jacketed bullets with a gold core. However, in the film, it was a single-shot weapon that fired a custom made 4.2-millimetre golden (23-carat gold with traces of nickel) dum-dum bullet. The movie gun could be disassembled and its components disguised as a fountain pen (the barrel), a cigarette lighter (breech), cuff-link (trigger), and a cigarette case (the grip), all gold-plated.

Scaramanga used the Golden Gun in numerous assassinations of officials, political enemies, gangsters, and a 00-agent, Bill Fairbanks (002). Scaramanga later used the Golden Gun to kill British scientist Gibson and Scaramanga's own employer, Hai-Fat. But, when Scaramanga was killed and his island destroyed, the Golden Gun was presumably also lost.

The Golden Gun ranked sixth in a 2008 20th Century Fox poll of the most popular film weapons, which surveyed approximately two thousand film fans.[9]

In October 2008, the Golden Gun was stolen[10] from the company Elstree Props which is based in Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire. At the time, the prop was estimated to be worth of £80,000.

Video games

Francisco Scaramanga's weapon, the golden gun, was initially added to the Egyptian level and multiplayer portion of the video game GoldenEye 007. Due to its popularity it was also added into subsequent James Bond games The World is Not Enough, Agent Under Fire, Nightfire, Everything or Nothing, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, From Russia With Love and Quantum of Solace, as well as the 2010 video game 2010 remake of GoldenEye for the Nintendo Wii. In The World is Not Enough for the Nintendo 64, the gun must be assembled from the pen, lighter, and case before it could be used. In each of the games (except Everything or Nothing), the golden gun would count for an instant kill, which reflected that Scaramanga never missed, although in the games the player can and because of this, the golden gun is not available in single player mode (except Everything or Nothing) but golden versions of the game's standard weapon(s) are usually available (such as a golden Walther PPK, P99, and a golden rocket launcher). In GoldenEye, the Golden Gun appears in a special mission. In the mission, the Golden Gun is stolen by Baron Samedi, and Bond needs to defeat Samedi and recover the Golden Gun. Although Samedi isn't killed, Bond escapes with the Golden Gun. Interestingly, another first-person shooter game from Rare, the makers of GoldenEye 007, In the Quantum of Solace video game, the gun appears to be designed on the gun from the novel, similar to a gold-plated revolver, rather than the design used in the film. It is likely to be based on a Smith & Wesson Model 686 in the game.[11]

Perfect Dark, made by GoldeneEye developer Rareware, also featured a golden gun which would count for an instant kill, this time a customized Colt Python revolver belonging to NSA boss, Trent Easton. [12]

In a game totally unrelated to James Bond canon, killer7, the main character, Garcian Smith, having just lost his team of heroic assassins to a new type of enemy, must use a Golden Gun to finish the team's mission. This gun is capable of killing ALL the enemies he comes across in one shot. It appears to be in a design similar to the Golden Gun depicted in the novels, rather than that found in the movie.


Chris Nashawaty argues that Scaramanga is the best villain of the Roger Moore James Bond films.[13]

In popular culture

  • Ian Fleming is reported to have named Francisco Scaramanga after George Ambrose Scaramanga, a fellow student at Eton with whom he reportedly shared a lasting rivalry.
  • Ian Fleming asked Pandias Peter Scaramanga - whom he met on the Greek island of Hydra - if he minded his name being used for a villain. Scaramanga said that he didn't mind, but that for superstitious reasons preferred the character not be killed. Fleming died before completing the novel.
  • Scaramanga was mentioned in the British television show Dead Ringers on a sketch parodying Die Another Day. In the sketch, a stereotypical Bond villain is advertising a supervillain's torture machine called "The Dr Diabolical's Super-Hero Slice-A-Matic Deluxe 4000". Scaramanga said of it, "I couldn't believe how much time it saved me."


  1. [1]
  2. Henry A. Zelger, Ian Fleming: The Spy Who Came in with the Gold (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1965)
  4. "Goldeneye Rogue Agent". Electronic Arts Inc. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
  5. "GOLDENEYE: ROGUE AGENT". Electronic Gaming Monthly (187): 130–131. January 2005. 
  6. "Goldeneye Rogue Agent". Electronic Arts Inc. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
  7. Speer, Justin (Holiday 2004). "GOLDENEYE: ROGUE AGENT - Killin' Like a Villain". Electronic Gaming Monthly (186): 34. 
  8. EA Los Angeles. GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. (Electronic Arts). Level/area: Funhouse.
  9. Sophie Borland (2008-01-21). "Lightsabre wins the battle of movie weapons". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  10. "Bond assassin's golden gun stolen". BBC News. 2008-10-11. 
  11. 007: Quantum of Solace (VG) - imfdb :. guns in movies :. movie guns :. the internet movie firearms database. imfdb. Retrieved on 17 September 2010.
  12. Rare. Perfect Dark. Nintendo 64.
  13. Chris Nashawaty, "Moore...And Sometimes Less: A look at the most--and least--memorable bad guys, babes, and Bonds in Roger Moore's 007 oeuvre," Entertainment Wekly 1025 (December 12, 2008): 37.

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