Francisco Scaramanga: Wikis

  
  

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Francisco Scaramanga
Character from the James Bond franchise
Francisco Scaramanga by Christopher Lee.jpg
Affiliation KGB
Portrayed by Christopher Lee

Francisco Scaramanga is a fictional character and the main antagonist in the James Bond film and novel The Man with the Golden Gun. In the novel, the character is nicknamed "Pistols" Scaramanga and is also called "Paco" (a Spanish diminutive of Francisco).[1] Scaramanga was played by British actor Christopher Lee, who is also Ian Fleming's stepcousin.[2]

Contents

Novel biography

Francisco Scaramanga, of Catalan origin, became a trick shot in a circus act 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, Scaramanga witnessed a handler kill him. The enraged boy retaliated by killing the handler with a single shot through the eye, being 16 at the time. He then made his way to the United States, 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.A. because of his gun duel with the Ramon "The Rod" Rodriquez, his opposite from the Detroit Purple Gang, also featured in the novel Goldfinger. 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, killing Scaramanga instantly; soon thereafter, a policeman 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's the one of two Fleming 007 villains taller than Bond's 6 ft [183 cm], the second one being Mr Big], slim and fit. He's about 35; and has light brown 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 traveling 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 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 traveling 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 in the novel used a gold-plated Single Action Army.)

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. Despite his assertion that "science was never my 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 has a habit of hiring these other assassins to kill Scaramanga as a sort of challenge, or perhaps to just keep him on his toes. 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 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.

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. Before he could react, Scaramanga is shot in the heart and killed.

Henchmen

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

The Golden Gun

In Ian Fleming's novel, the golden gun is a gold-plated .45 ACP Caliber revolver that fires silver-jacketed bullets with a gold core. However, in the film, it was a single-shot weapon that fires a custom made 4.2-millimeter 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 is 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.[3]

In October 2008, the golden gun was stolen 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.

Although Scaramanga prides himself as being an expert marksman with a golden gun, he wasn't the first Bond villain to do so. 007's earlier rival, Auric Goldfinger, also carried a golden gun and often killed his victims with one shot through the right eye.

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, and From Russia With Love. 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). Interestingly, another first-person shooter game from Rareware, the makers of GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark, 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.

Scaramanga is a playable character in the multiplayer portion of Nightfire.

In 2004, Scaramanga was brought back to life again the third time for the game GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. In the game, Scaramanga is an ally of Auric Goldfinger. Using his extensive network of contacts, he obtains the synthetic eye given to GoldenEye, and arranges of periodic upgrades. Later, he makes a virus that is used against Auric Goldfinger's O.M.E.N. device. Once again, Scaramanga was voiced by Christopher Lee.

There is also 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. In addition, the level includes a Bond mannequin, and of course, the One-Shot Golden Gun.

In a game totally unrelated to James Bond canon, Killer 7, 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.

Reception

Chris Nashawaty argues that Scaramanga is the best villain of the Roger Moore James Bond films.[4]

Trivia

  • 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. Fleming and Scaramanga were at Eton in the 1930s until the Bond author was expelled. According to the story, following several schoolground spats Fleming decided to use the animosity he felt towards George Scaramanga for the influence behind one of his most famous villains.
  • 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. Mr. Scaramanga said that he didn't mind, but that for superstitious reasons preferred the character not be killed. Mr 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."
  • In an episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy, Eddy says that "Ed has a third nipple like that bad guy in James Bond." This is a reference to Scaramanga.
  • Underground rapper Sir Menelik released the album Seven Eyes and Seven Horns in 1999 under the pseudonym Scaramanga.
  • Christopher Lee is the step-cousin of Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond novels. Lee was also considered for the role of Dr. No, yet the part eventually went to Joseph Wiseman.
  • Auric Goldfinger also uses a gold plated gun. He unsuccessfully tries to shoot Bond with it when he hijacked his private jet on route to Washington DC. The result however was Goldfinger blowing a hole in the fuselage by firing the weapon, thus causing him to be sucked out of the airplane and plummet to his death.
  • Christopher Lee is one of the tallest actors in the James Bond film series at 6'5". Ironically and significantly, he was cast alongside the shortest of all actors in the series, Hervé Villechaize, at 3'11".

References

  1. ^ Henry A. Zelger, Ian Fleming: The Spy Who Came in with the Gold (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1965)
  2. ^ http://www.bakerstreetdozen.com/scaramanga.html
  3. ^ Sophie Borland (2008-01-21). "Lightsabre wins the battle of movie weapons". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/01/21/nweapon121.xml. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  4. ^ 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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