James Bond: Roger Moore’s horrific underwater discovery on The Man with the Golden Gun set

Roger Moore in 'The Man With the Golden Gun' duel scene

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After 1973’s Live and Let Die, Roger Moore’s second James Bond movie followed a year later in The Man with the Golden Gun. The loose adaptation of Ian Fleming’s final 007 novel saw the actor co-star opposite the writer’s cousin, Christopher Lee as the title character Francisco Scaramanga. Both were good pals and enjoyed each other’s company on location in Thailand.

One day, Moore found a cave full of bats and couldn’t resist telling Lee about his discovery and joked to the Dracula star: “Master, they are yours to command!” But this wasn’t the last of the actor’s findings.

During filming in Bangkok, The Man with the Golden Gun production shot the boat chase on the city’s canals known as the klongs.

The Bond star recorded in his autobiography how he had fallen in the water twice. The first time was because they told him not to and the second was on purpose.

Upon the second fall, he came across the most gristly sight beneath the surface and soon realised why he was warned not to let the water into his mouth.

Moore, who was 46 at the time of filming The Man with the Golden Gun, wrote in his autobiography: “When we got to Bangkok we filmed another boat chase, this time on the klongs, the waterways found threading around the city. The word went round that, if we fell in, under no circumstances should we let any of the filthy water pass our lips. I did fall in myself, twice in fact. The first time was deliberate, but the second time was when I took a bend on the river – under an undertaker’s – a bit too tight and lost my balance.”

Moore continued: “I stayed under to avoid the rotor blade, but made the mistake of opening my eyes – I discovered what the undertaker did with some of the poorer people’s bodies. When I look back on the sequence now, I cringe when I think of pushing the little boy who climbed into Bond’s boat trying to sell a wooden elephant, into the klong.”

Aside from this grim and devastating discovery, the actor was known for being very generous on The Man with the Golden Gun set.

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Barbara Broccoli told Empire in 2020: “Charm was Roger’s middle name. He was such a gentleman. I’d known him since I was a kid. I remember we were night-shooting at about 3 o’clock in the morning and some people came over. He had just sat down to eat something. He didn’t take a beat. He got straight up.”

Moore then immediately introduced himself to the group with great charm in a situation where anyone else would probably have felt very frustrated. The Bond star asked: “Where are you from? Nice to meet you.”

She remembered: “I was just like ‘Wow.’ It was very unusual. These films were so impactful to him. He travelled all over the world and obviously saw both sides of life.”

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