Do you feel as I do that, despite terrible press and reviews over the years since the release of The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) over the years, it still has something about it that is special - it is very different in style and themes from many of the James Bond films that either preceded it or indeed followed it. There are the elements of the serial killer plot strand - Bond sent the 'calling card' of the OO7 engraved golden bullet, the light-007 versus the dark-007, the topicality of the 'energy crisis' plot, the transfoermation of Scaramanga from thug in the novel to a darker version of James Bond, the Flemingesque dialogue in the M-Bond briefing scene, the boxing match scene, the Scaramanga-Bond speeches at the dinner table etc.
This is a very Flemingesque film, and I think it is Moore's best James Bond performance after that in FYEO. It's a much better film that the bloated LALD that preceded it and the stunt-laden TSWLM and MR that followed it. Yet, despite all of these great elements - the welcome focus on Bond's character (odd in a Moore-Bond film) there's very little love for this film in the James Bond fan community. Roger Moore was just the optimum age for Bond here - after this he began to look increasingly too old for the part of the suave and sophisticated secret agent OO7.
It has some poor elements too - the way that (like in DAF) Bond's mission and the Scaramangs hunt are in fact linked is pretty hard to swallow, the end fight is poor - much of the good stuff involving Molotiov cocktails etc. left on the cutting-room floor etc. and the scenes in Hai Fat's 'school' feel like padding, as does the canal chase on klongs. Sheriff J.W. Pepper was also a great mistake - just like Mrs Bell in LALD.
I'd really love to hear your views on this overlooked flawed gem of a film - perhaps ambergrist rather than 24-carat gold...?