The brilliant actor Christopher Lee died Sunday at the age of 93. He will always be remembered to James Bond fans for playing the villain Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun. Apart from Roger Moore’s stylish Cyril Castle suits and Frank Foster shirts, Christopher Lee is the best reason to watch The Man with the Golden Gun. His performance alone made the assassin Scaramanga one of the most memorable Bond villains. For the final duel on Scaramanga’s Island, Lee wears a light blue tropical outfit that takes from both tradition and fashion. Though he looks very much a product of the 1970s dressed head-to-feet in light blue, the colour perfectly suits the tropical marine climate of Scaramanga’s Island.
Scaramanga’s pale blue lightweight cotton poplin shirt has a unique and practical design. It’s inspired by the bush shirt, but in pale blue it has a looks more tropical than it looks safari. The shirt was made by Thai tailor Harry, on location where The Man with the Golden Gun was partially made. The short-sleeve shirt is mid-hip-length and has many jacket-like details, though it’s not designed to be worn as a jacket. The shape is more jacket-like than shirt-like, as it’s tapered at the waist and flared at the hips. Scaramanga wears this casual shirt untucked, and like a proper untucked shirt it has a straight hem. The collar is a tall and long two-piece point collar.
There are five buttons down the shirt’s plain front, The front of the shirt has three patch pockets—one on the left side of the chest and two at the hips. The pockets are rounded at the bottom corners, have a box pleat in the middle and have pointed, buttoned-down flaps. The top pocket has a separate pen pocket accessed from above the flap, which Scaramanga uses for a gold pen that makes up part of his golden gun. He wears the bottom left pocket flap tucked in to the pocket. The back of the shirt has a one-piece yoke, a sewn-on half belt, an inverted box pleat between the yoke and belt, and a centre vent below the belt. The shirt also has pointed shoulder straps.
Multiple shirts were made for these scenes, but there are a few differences between them. The shirt Scaramanga wears when walking with Bond to the door of his dwelling has shirring at the yoke and belt, whilst the other shirts have flat seams on the back. Some of the shirts have clear plastic buttons whilst a shirt that Scaramanga wears when first seen in the funhouse has off-white plastic buttons. Both sets of buttons are around 24 linge, which is the button size typically found on suit jacket sleeves. This shirt also does not have a hole in the top of the breast pocket for a pen (which at this point in the film had been made into the golden gun).
This shirt has similarities to casual shirts Bond creator Ian Fleming—who was also Christopher Lee’s cousin—would wear in Jamaica. Fleming has been photographed wearing similar white and navy shirts, but Fleming’s shirts had full belts rather than a half belt in back, and they did not have shoulder straps. The shoulder straps on Lee’s shirt are clearly inspired by the safari jacket’s popularity at the time.
Scaramanga’s trousers are sky blue and slightly darker than the pale blue shirt. The trousers are made of a heavier cotton—most likely in a twill weave—than the shirt since trousers need to be sturdier than shirts do. The trousers have a flat front and flared legs, with a more pronounced flare than James Bond’s Cyril Castle trousers have. Though the shirt and trousers don’t contrast much in colour, the contrast in weight and texture help.
The shoes are white horsebit slip-ons with a black sole and heel. Like James Bond’s horsebit slip-ons in The Man with the Golden Gun, Scaramanga’s are also likely from Gucci, but they contrast Bond’s black and brown shoes. Gucci was prominently featured in this film; Bond wears Gucci shoes and belts, and his suitcase is from Gucci. Goodnight’s handbag is also from Gucci.
One example of Scaramanga’s shirt—the one with off-white buttons—was auctioned at Prop Store on 16 October 2014 for £5,000.