Bond Wardrobe Review 9: The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

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A Humiliated Tailor’s Final Turn Dressing Roger Moore

Roger Moore as James Bond
Director: Guy Hamilton
Wardrobe supervisor: Elsa Fennell
Wardrobe master: Tiny Nicholls
Tailoring: Cyril Castle
Shirts: Frank Foster
Shoes: Gucci

Overview

The Man with the Golden Gun‘s wardrobe review immediately follows Live and Let Die‘s because the wardrobes go hand-in-hand. Cyril Castle’s second and final turn at tailoring James Bond ties up some loose ends from the previous film in the form of a black tie look. We get to see a bit more of Castle’s and Moore’s personal styles this time as well as more 1970s fashion.

The film’s wardrobe has a number of recurring themes that make it stand out from other Bond wardrobes and give a strong identity. Among these themes are silk, double-breasted jackets, striped shirts that tonally match the suit or jacket, shiny solid-coloured ties and safari clothes. The silk theme, particularly featuring slubby silks in jackets and ties, was likely chosen because of the Asian locations because Asia is famous for its silks. Solid silk ties have always been a Bond look, but The Man with the Golden Gun brings a new approach to them with more shine and new textures.

Black Tie

Roger Moore’s James Bond finally gets his turn at black tie in his second film, though he’s still trying to do something different than his predecessors. While Sean Connery already wore two ivory dinner jackets as Bond before, Moore becomes even more associated with the look because he starts his black tie tradition with it instead a black or midnight blue dinner suit.

Moore also differentiates his Bond’s black tie style from the two previous Bonds by wearing a double-breasted dinner jacket instead of a single-breasted. While it may not be the most appropriate style for the character, this dinner jacket looks amazing. Though it’s updated for the 1970s, the jacket itself does not find itself dated to the 1970s. It has a 1960s flair, but with the wider peaked lapels that have a timeless quality on a double-breasted jacket.

Moore avoids the quintessential double-breasted ivory dinner jacket that has a shawl collar and four buttons that only fasten at the bottom. Largo wears it in Thunderball, and more famously Humphrey Bogart wears it in Casablanca. Instead, Moore’s jacket has the typical double-breasted suit arrangement with six buttons and two to close. It’s not as traditional for a dinner jacket, but it looks balanced.

The jacket is beautifully made in a slubby silk dupioni. The traditional self-faced lapels work especially well on a silk jacket. The buttons are white mother of pearl. The return of gauntlet cuffs—a Cyril Castle staple, and not just on dinner jackets—is a nice touch. The slanted pockets are too sporty for a dinner jacket and incongruous with a double-breasted jacket, but they were fashionable at the time. And I like them here. Since they lack flaps they look more formal, and I like how the angle of the pockets balances the peaked lapels.

There’s nothing to distinguish this dinner jacket from a suit jacket, but that’s okay. The jacket is fancy enough, and the black evening trousers as well as the rest of the outfit say it all. The beautiful Frank Foster shirt is made of ivory silk crepe de chine and has a pleated front and cocktail cuffs. I like how the cocktail cuffs mirror the jacket’s gauntlet cuffs, but I understand if it’s too repetitive for some people. The black bow tie is a bit too large for Roger Moore’s face, but it was the fashion and a small criticism of an otherwise excellent outfit.

Lounge Suits

Cyril Castle’s suit style returns from Live and Let Die, but this time the lapels are slightly wider to reflect the infamous 1970s trend that the previous film avoided. However, they are still a reasonable width and look good. The jackets have long double vents, slanted flap pockets and flared cuffs with a link-style button.

Because it’s still the 1970s, the gently flared trousers are repeated in this film, and they now take a belt instead of being supported by side adjusters. The outfits are frequently shot from the knee-up so we aren’t constantly being bombarded with the flared trousers. I thank Guy Hamilton for not subjecting us to the flares too often.

Along with the double-breasted dinner jacket came two double-breasted suits and a double-breasted blazer. While double-breasted jackets are still a minority of this film’s wardrobe, they define the look of this film. Even though the narrow-wrap, wide-lapelled double-breasted jackets look good on Roger Moore, they are impractical for James Bond. It is awkward for Bond to draw his PPK from his shoulder holster, and in one scene when Bond needs to draw his gun the camera cuts to a shot with him already holding it.

The shirts with the suits and jackets are all from Frank Foster. The shirts are styled with the same classic semi-spread collar from Live and Let Die, but the cocktail cuff is a different design and the buttons are now on display down the front placket. The shirts all still look fresh today.

Bond’s first outfit of the film is one of two double-breasted suits. Bond wears it to M’s office, so while the suit may be out of character it’s not inappropriate for Bond’s circumstances because he doesn’t expect action in London. It’s made of a classic grey flannel chalk stripe, which looks appropriately British for the character. It’s an absolutely perfect choice for the office, and making it in a lighter shade of grey than the usual charcoal is a flattering choice for Moore’s complexion and makes him look young. The outfit also introduces another theme for the film’s wardrobe: fine Bengal-stripe shirts that match the colour of the suit of jacket. This one has a grey stripe. The look may be a bit too studied for Bond, but it’s a lovely choice. The otherwise monochrome look is contrasted with a textured red tie—an excellent choice for Bond.

The second suit is one of the best of the series. For an evening out at a nightclub, Bond wears a marine blue silk single-breasted suit. It’s flashy because it’s silk and a vivid shade of blue, but it fits the setting. The blue cotton voile shirt with cocktail cuffs is a Bond classic and ideal for warm weather. He again wears a red tie, but this time it’s appropriately smoother and shinier for the evening. The suit is iconic because of the colour, but it effectively helps Bond stand out in a dimly lit nightclub. The outfit overall looks fantastic on Moore.

He continues the silk suit theme with the next suit: a light blue-grey single-breasted. The swelled edges add a fun, sporty touch. With a white shirt and a solid navy tie he looks appropriately Bondian.

The next suit is the film’s only one that doesn’t work. The olive suit with tan pinstripes a red chalk stripes may have looked hip in 1974, but today it looks drab and unattractive. The tonal coordination with an olive silk shantung tie and a golden-olive striped shirt effectively keeps within the wardrobe’s themes, but I don’t know if improves or diminishes the look. Bond’s black shoes don’t look as good with this suit as brown shoes would have, but black shoes get a pass because it’s the evening and Bond wouldn’t be wearing anything else when dressing up after dark. The suit also fails Bond in an action moment because he can’t realistically draw his gun because it’s double-breasted. The only good thing about the outfit is how well it matches the RMS Queen Elizabeth set. This look is more appropriate for Brett Sinclair than for James Bond, and I would say that about very few of Moore’s Bond looks.

A charcoal mini-herringbone single-breasted suit for another evening affair has a subtle sheen that suggests it’s a wool and silk blend. A white shirt with fancy black and grey stripes again follows the tonal stripe theme, while a black silk satin tie dresses up the outfit for the evening. The outfit is tasteful, and while it’s not traditionally Bondian it works well for Bond in this context. Like the blue suit, it’s similarly a good compromise between traditional Bond style and Roger Moore style.

A black mohair single-breasted suit both starts and ends Bond’s tailored outfits in The Man with the Golden Gun. When we first see this suit it’s on a James Bond waxwork, and by the end of the film Bond dons it himself. Black isn’t usually Bond’s colour for suits unless he’s at a funeral, but in Bond’s world people die every day. Here the black suit effectively makes an imposing impression on the waxwork in a dark funhouse. The cream poplin shirt and Fleming-esque black silk knitted tie complete the look perfectly.

With all of his suits, Moore wears side-bit loafer that are most likely from Gucci since he also wears their branded belts and carries their luggage throughout the film. Most of these Gucci products are too flashy for Bond, particularly the belts with the large branded buckles. The Ferragamo shoes that Moore wears in later films are more tasteful, but the English shoes from the Sean Connery and George Lazenby films are sadly missed.

Jackets and Blazers

The Bondian blue blazer returns for this film, and Moore’s Bond’s first version of it is similar to Lazenby’s from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. It has six buttons with three to button, slanted pockets and double vents. Silver buttons are a nice twist on the classic brass. Here the double-breasted style is a nod to Bond’s naval heritage, particularly in this high-buttoning cut, so it’s much more acceptable than the double-breasted suits.

Moore wears the blazer twice in the film, first with a blue and white fine Bengal stripe shirt—on theme for the wardrobe—and a mid blue tie and grey flannel trousers. It returns later with a cream shirt, cream trousers and the film’s only striped tie. The first outfit is a superb and classic combination. The second one is appropriately naval aboard the RMS Queen Elizabeth but would have looked better again with a striped shirt and solid tie.

While the blazer stands the test of time, Moore unfortunately also wears one of his worst tailored looks of the Bond series in this film. His first true safari look as Bond comes in the form of a tailored cream silk or silk-linen safari jacket. While I’m a fan of safari clothes, this one completely misses the mark and ventures into 1970s leisure suit territory. The droopy dog-ear-style Ulster collar, skinny pocket flaps and contrast topstitching look unbalanced. The cream shirt, brown tie and brown trousers complete the outfit’s ’70s earth tone palate, but that part of it doesn’t bother me.

The large-check jacket that Bond wears when he arrives on Scaramanga’s Island is a divisive one, but I’m in the camp of people who love it. The check is large and bold, but being mainly in black and white with a bit of red keeps it somewhat Bondian. The cream shirt, solid and textured black tie, black trousers and black shoes ensure that the rest of the look doesn’t compete with the jacket. Some people mistake the large checked cloth for being a heavy tweed, but the cloth is lightweight and loosely woven in either wool or a wool and silk blend so it wears somewhat comfortably in the tropics.

This jacket’s beautiful plain-weave pattern

It’s a bit odd that he comes to a remote tropical island in a jacket and tie, but it’s to demonstrate respect for his host, particularly when showing up unannounced. He wears the jacket for lunch, but when it comes time for the his showdown with Scaramanga he’s dressed in his shirt sleeves without the tie. It’s a fantastic moment for showing off the cream Frank Foster shirt.

This jacket shows one downside to the well-fitted wardrobe: while the close fit looks nice on Moore, there’s a moment when he wears his PPK in his holster with the jacket buttoned. It reveals that the jacket was not tailored for concealed carry. Full fits like Connery wore in the 1960s were too out of fashion for Bond to dress realistically for concealed carry.

The venerable Fox Flannel love this jacket too, as they created a heavy cloth inspired by it (and unfortunately named it after Moore’s later tailor Doug Hayward), but I do hope that one day someone does a proper summer-appropriate re-creation and calls it the ‘Castle check’.

Casual Attire

The casual looks in the film don’t get as much attention as the tailored ones. The first one is a cream-on-cream look of a cream silk shirt and cream linen trousers. While it looks comfortable in the hot and humid climate, a bit of contrast would have helped. The full-fitted shirt doesn’t look so good on Moore, and Castle’s flared trousers are a focus of the outfit. The nicest part of it are the classic dark brown Gucci bit loafers, and they’re best use of Gucci products in the film.

His sage green safari shirt and beige trousers is a fantastic look by contrast. The flared trousers, again, unfortunately stand out, but the shirt is almost perfect. It’s a perfectly tailored shirt by Jimmy Chen with classic safari details. The camp collar is a bit large, reflecting 1970s fashions, but the rest of the shirt stands the test of time. It’s much less of a ’70s fashion piece than the cream safari jacket is. It’s appropriate for the location and looks great on Moore. The choice of footwear is elegant but inappropriate. The brown tassel loafers are nice, however it would have been more appropriate to wear boat shoes, chukka boots or more rugged boots to match the safari look.

The wardrobe also includes a classic light blue bathrobe, likely belonging to Bond’s hotel, and a luxurious black silk bathrobe that belonged to Scaramanga. Both are far superior to the dressing gowns that Bond wears in Live and Let Die.

When Bond is captured at Hai Fat’s home he is brought to a martial arts school and dressed in an appropriate white outfit. Even though it’s not Bond’s own outfit, he looks good in it. The scenes when Bond wears this outfit are amongst the worst in the film, but the outfit makes sense in context.

Other Characters

Nobody else’s clothes hold a candle to Roger Moore’s in The Man with the Golden Gun. Britt Ekland’s bikini is the next-most memorable outfit after Bond’s clothes. Christopher Lee’s Scaramanga dresses in some stylish looks that are very unique to his character. His blue shirt from the final showdown is particularly stylish and creatively styled.

Well Done, James

Like in Live and Let Die, the tailored clothes are all beautifully crafted. The full-cut chest and suppressed waist on all the jackets create a dramatic but elegant silhouette. The nods to 1970s trends are subtle and rarely overdone, except in the olive suit and cream safari jacket. Otherwise the rest are all notably superb and stylish choices.

The film’s striped shirts, as well as Bond dressing in shirt sleeves for the film’s climactic showdown, bring more attention to shirtmaker Frank Foster. They made beautiful shirts for Moore, and they’re given centre stage this time.

The green safari shirt is a very nice look too, and it’s both classic and practical. It’s one of Moore’s best safari looks of the series.

Not Perfected Yet

Castle’s poorly fitted collar returns, and it’s the reason Roger Moore cited for leaving Castle behind after this film. The subtly flared trousers return, again a necessity for the era but are tastefully executed. The olive suit and cream safari jacket are both very poor choices, and they date terribly. The cream casual outfit is not a flattering look, although it’s considerably better than the powder blue trucker suit from Live and Let Die.

There was a trend for eye-catching linings in the 1970s, and a number of red or patterned linings that show up on screen. They can be fun and quite appealing in real life, but on screen they are more distracting than they are anything else.

Verdict

The wardrobe has a fun selection of suits, jackets and casual styles. It gets ahead by having one of the largest tailored wardrobes in a Bond film, tied in second place with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, behind Diamonds Are Forever. More suits usually result in less places to go wrong. The dinner jacket and the large majority of the suits and the jackets—particularly the grey chalk stripe suit, the marine blue suit, the black suit, the ivory silk dinner jacket and the blue blazer—are among Moore’s best looks as James Bond.

The necessary flared trousers bring the wardrobe down a notch. Though there are a few appalling looks with the olive suit, the cream safari jacket, and the cream silk sports shirt, for the most part Moore looks in top shape throughout the films thanks to the exciting but tasteful outfits. The themes in the wardrobe give it a unique identity that help bring a new edge to classic Bond looks for the Roger Moore era.

Rating: 8/10

Do you agree or disagree with my assessment? Leave your comments below.

42 COMMENTS

  1. I broadly agree with you. The jackets are particularly well done, balancing 1970s fashions with classic style. What I think makes them look more classic than most 1970s suits is that the lapels are not exaggeratedly wide, the shape of the lapels is classically British with a slight curve rather than the exaggerated curved lapels some 1970s suits have and the gorge is quite high.

    To me the flared trousers and flashy Gucci loafers detract significantly from the otherwise mostly elegant outfits though. A good costume designer should know when to lean into fashions and when to avoid their excesses (as Lindy Hemming did by dressing Brosnan in suits with a draped but not baggy cut), and even in the 1970s a good costume designer should have known that flared trousers were a temporary trend that may not age well.

  2. I’m not the biggest fan of the Moore era sartorially, but I quite liked a lot of what he wore in TMWTGG (particularly the first half).

    • Could not agree more! Always loved Moore in the sixties as Templar but he was never Bond to me, ever!

  3. I’m really enjoying these reviews of each movie. I can’t wait for movie number 16 (LOL) but here 8/10 seems pretty fair, all things considered.

    This movie didn’t quite consolidate Moore in the role (this would occur with the following movie) because Connery’s shadow was a very long one and due to accusations of Moore being a lightweight, they included a few scenes here which attempted to show Bonds tougher side. That said, the Cyril Castle look established in LALD which differentiated his Bond from his two predecessors was expanded upon here and, as you say, Matt, the tailoring was really showcased this time round. The double breasted, dilettante lounge lizard Bond was starting to consolidate alongside the campy humour (which suited Moore’s Bond) and the tougher side (the roughing up of a woman was at odds and wouldn’t make him Connery). This was the Roger Moore Bond who brought his own wardrobe with him to whatever production he was in and character he played (which were, all an extension of Moore the man anyway).

    As you point out, the flaws aren’t many and while you dislike the safari style sports coat I think it straddles 70s fashions while nodding to Bond’s colonial past; something only a Bond in Connery or Moore’s generation could achieve plausibly. The blazer, another symbol of Britain’s colonial heritage, would become the other hallmark of Moore’s tenure, worn with more flair and flamboyance than his predecessor. The only part of the casual cream outfit I have a particular issue with is the very outsize collar. I believe this shirt was made by Chen who made the safari shirt and had it been the work of Foster would have likely been more understated. Incidentally, for whatever reason, the Foster shirt collars here really do have much more presence than in LALD.

    The contentious plaid sports coat. I was always dubious about this, not for how it looks per se (it looks great actually and I have a similar one myself but on a beige base) but the context and setting in which it’s worn. I always felt a tan sports coat in silk or cotton/linen/silk would have worked better on a tropical island but I can see the reasons and issues the production faced; he had already had a light hued sports coat in the movie and they needed something which could be paired with black or dark charcoal trousers on account of the change to the dummy’s suit later on.

    The olive suit, yes, isn’t my favourite in this movie but I don’t hate it either. Yes, its more reminiscent of Brett Sinclair’s clobber but I think the colour was chosen to match his surroundings on the dark night streets of Hong Kong and M’s Q Elizabeth Office decor and again, to complement Roger’s complexion. It certainly looks better than any suit worn by anyone else in that room.

    The ivory dinner jacket, blue/grey silk suit, marine blue suit and the grey chalk stripe are all just outstanding. Roger’s stamp was definitely being put on the role. It’s interesting that the next movie would bring a new tailor and yet a continuation of the Moore template but unfortunately, it would be ten years since such a minimal amount of tailoring was featured in a Bond movie, in direct contrast to TMWTGG!

    • I concur that Moore never really tried to play Bond he just continued to play the smug aging playboy that he had played in The Persuaders.
      There are several outfits in this film that 007 would never contemplate wearing, although none as bad as what Moore would wear in TSWLM. Thankfully the director made Moore tone it down in his first 2 movies and someone did the same with the costumes.
      Sadly no one did the same for the next movie which is the nadir for Bondian clothing.

      • Well, that’s a little unfair. In the The Persuaders Roger played an English Lord and his regular wardrobe was merely tweaked a little to make it more flamboyant, to fit such a character, who would probably be smug. Anyone who ever met the real Roger Moore would tell you that he was a gracious, kind and generous man and far from “smug”.

        As for TSWLM, I don’t see the “nadir” thing though all our tastes are different. The movie has one of the least amount, unfortunately, of tailored pieces but those that are are beautifully tailored.

  4. Interesting re the weight of the checked jacket on Scaramanga’s Island. I’m not a fan, in part because, even taking on board what you say, it looks heavy, and even if it isn’t, I feel vicariously uncomfortable when I see it.

  5. Great series of articles. It’s very interesting to look at each movie as a whole and in chronological order. I think Moore is a victim of the fashion trends of his early films’ era, and for that reason I only pluck certain elements from his outfits for inspiration. But that is in large part looking back with a contemporary eye.

    So maybe at the time these films were coming out, the 70s styles (Connery in Diamons included) were not so much a shock to audiences since it would’ve been seen just as the character keeping with the times. But the only thing I can really compare it to is Craig all of the sudden wearing terrible shrunken suits in Skyfall. That was pretty shocking to me in 2012, would Moore’s outfits been received that way at the time or would everyone just have thought it was normal?

    • Compared to Craig, James Bond eased himself into the 1970s trends. Though the wide lapels made a blip in Diamonds Are Forever, Moore grew into them over the course of his first three films. He also eased himself into flared trousers, which had been in mainstream fashion for half a decade by the time he started wearing them in 1973, albeit not in English suits. But they weren’t a brand new thing in suits for 1973 either. By contrast, when Craig started wearing shrunken suits in 2012 it was shocking because they had mainly existed on the runway, and perhaps in the entertainment industry or for nightclubs until that time. Nobody was wearing them for business in New York City, where I live. I made a trip to London in Summer 2012, and I didn’t see any shrunken suits there either. They were a shock in Skyfall because Bond wore them for business when nobody else did, apart from people who gained too much weight for their suits.

      • That’s an interesting point and I probably should have considered it, that the trends evolved in other items of clothing and then moved into the world of suits (or suits in the realm of professionals to be more precise.)

        I guess you’re correct that the shock of Craig wearing such tight suits was the suddenness it happened with. Much like you describe, here in Florida in 2012, the shrunken look had certainly not begun to be worn by anyone in a formal business capacity. And as I recall, it was not really a thing in casual wear either. At least not any mainstream way, I have no doubt there were subcultures where that was popular but I am not really counting those.

        Going in too much on the trends can be a real shame; I think it takes away a lot from everyone’s perception of Moore. And I agree with you that other aspects of Craig’s outfits are really good but the fit just overshadows everything.

    • Actually I had forgotten about the shrunk in the wash look that Craig affected. That really is the nadir of Bond costuming.
      To be honest I rarely even remember that the Craig film’s exist, they’re of so little interest to me.

  6. “Castle’s poorly fitted collar returns, and it’s the reason Roger Moore cited for leaving Castle behind after this film”.

    But is possible that Roger Moore noticed this ugly feature only more of ten years after have chosen Castle as tailor?
    The jacket that Moore dressed in “the Saint” in 60s had poorly fitted collars?
    I suspect that Cyril Castle (that was not a tailor) have changed the cutter sometime between the end of 60s and the begin of 70s, or that his cutter (his broter Claude Castle) had a decline.

    Said that,the wardrobe of “The man of the golden gun” , minus the defects of the cut, is remarkable,and with “His majesty secret service” the more rich in the series.

    But again, is not James Bond,is Roger Moore.

    Someone have said that Moore was the only actor in the role of Bond to be interested in clothes (in the other cases were the directors or the costume designers to choose).

    Well,is true, but is also a problem because the taste and the style of clothes were chosen by Moore for Moore, not for James Bond.

    • Based on my research, Claude was cutting the suits the whole time Moore was wearing them. I believe the real reason why Moore stopped using Castle was because of Moore’s tax exile status and neither would travel to meet each other.

  7. Good review and I broadly agree. Some of the suits Roger wears in this movie are truly beautiful. I like the check sports jacket he wears to sScaramanga’s island, it is almost like he is going to a country house weekend. But to me the black trousers don’t complement the jacket well. I’d like to see trousers that are a bit lighter and more playful in colour with a country jacket. The Gucci loafers are flash but Fleming always says that Bond wears mocassins, so maybe this is more authentic in a way than Sean’s Lobbs? The collars do look too big but back in the 70s, a man’s virility was considered proportionate to the size of his collar (so they tell me!)

    • Good observations. I’d usually pair charcoal trousers with a jacket like that myself because black can be harsh, but I think the black trousers were chosen for an more believable transition to the black suit later, as well as to keep the look tonal. Cream or tan trousers would look superb with this jacket for a more summery look. I have a similar jacket and don’t find that many other trousers go well with it.

      The formal shirt collars are high in the back, but the points aren’t that long. They’re only about 3 1/4 inches. The poor fit of the jacket collars shows off too much of the shirt collar and makes them look bigger than they are. The collars would get considerably larger in the new film.

    • The only reason he’s wearing black trousers and a black tie is to match the James Bond dummy in Scaramanga’s trap (not that Bond knows anything about that). I think if the script hadn’t shoehorned Bond into that outfit, he’d probably have worn a safari outfit like Moore’s Bond was famous for wearing, or else something more like Scaramanga’s light blue outfit (which I quite like even though I’d never wear it).

  8. I feel the all-cream outfit must receive a bit of slack on the grounds that it’s Bond in disguise as Scaramanga, who he was told always wears a white suit.

    • But it doesn’t excuse the awkward cut of the shirt. If Moore wore a shirt more like his safari shirt instead it would have looked much better and still been in character for Bond and Scaramanga.

      • That’s fair. I would have liked to see him actually commit to the disguise by wearing a linen suit, but I guess the idea was to easily get his shirt off to show the superfluous nipple. I don’t think it would have taken much creative writing to fix that, then this film was another draft or two away from being great as a whole. Squandered a great concept.

  9. A beautiful wardrobe. After distancing from Connery in LALD, Moore’s Bond went back to “his customary formal attire” as Lisa and Pfeiffer put it in the Bond bible “The incredible world of 007”. I have two cream cocktail cuff shirts just because of this film !
    I also had a mohair blend marine blue Dormeuil suit that I liked to pair with a blue shirt and red tie. But the most inspired look is the Q scene blazer. I often emulated it though in single-breasted form.

  10. That blue silk ensemble with the red paisley lining gets a lot of praise but I’m going to have to go against the grain (weave?), and cite the light grey silk as Moore’s best look, especially when balanced against his relatively dark tan with a dark navy knitted / grenadine tie. The white of the shirt could be regarded as a little ‘stark’ but it’s still elegant in spite of it, and this IS James Bond, after all.

    I guess it all comes down to how you want to attract attention – in a ‘dandy’-like manner as in the marine blue (nothing wrong with that either), or brightly sharp statement like the grey.

  11. Perhaps M expected action in London, and ordered Bond to wear DB-suits to the office, to make it slightly more awkward for him to draw his gun, giving M time to push a button to lower a protective shield of glass, preventing Bond from shooting his own superior (cf. the book). LOL

  12. I disagree about the slanted pockets on the dinner jacket being too sporty. Shockingly, they were actually an accepted style on dinner jackets in the 1930s featured in Apparel Arts. I wish I could find the link for the source, but it is forever since I read the article.

    They make a lot of aesthetic sense because as you mention, they actually complement the lines of the peak lapels quote well. This is more of a case of Castle and Moore reviving a classical style that fell out of fashion.

  13. A propos the “humiliated tailor”, could the jacket callar issue also come from the wider collars and longer lapel lines compared to the Saint’s and the Persuaders 3-button jackets and narrower lapels ? The height is roughly the same behind the collar whatever the lapel width but the lapel line is clearly lenghtened and the lapels widened which really changes the shape. The issue does not seem so obvious in those earlier series.

    • I can’t imagine why the collar and lapels would change this. Moore said that he complained to Castle about the collar riding up, and perhaps Castle lowered them to fix the issue while creating this one in the process. I suspect that Moore didn’t start complaining about the collars until the 1970s. I can sometimes see the same issue in The Persuaders.

  14. I think that the perfect metaphor for this movie is that Moore impersonates his own waxwork and no one can tell the difference

    • Haha perfect!
      It’s hard to know where to aim the blame – was it the producers who steered the films in that direction or was it Moore’s ‘character image’ that magnified things? Perhaps a bit of both but as I wrote in the DAF review, the fact that DAF may in many ways be considered a Moore film in all but name, I think the case against the producers is the strongest. It wasn’t helped by the way Moore didn’t take himself or his career very seriously and so sleep walked his way through seven films and almost killed off the series into irrelevance before the corner was finally turned.
      Another way I look at it is if Ian Fleming were somehow revived and taken to see a Moore film he probably wouldn’t even recognise his own creation on the screen.

      • I don’t like it when people call Diamonds Are Forever a Roger Moore film. Connery did it first, and had he made another Bond film I don’t imagine the tone would have been any more serious. I’d say the silly Bond started with Connery in You Only Live Twice. I believe that had Moore played Bond in the 1960s, he would have played Bond as he played Simon Templar: much more serious but not as tough as Connery. Moore and Connery made the Bond films of their eras. Connery did another “Roger Moore film” when he did Never Say Never Again. That one feels even more like a James Bond parody than Moore’s films do.

      • Well this is kinda my point above in laying most of the blame for the tone of the films with the producers rather than the actors. But I agree Connery having had a band experience in Japan with YOLT and dropping out for OHMSS really just phoned in his performance in DAF and didn’t take the thing seriously at all. Hence the comparison with Moore.

        I also agree – as we have discussed before – that Moore as Templar showed a much more gritty and violent side to his acting in the sixties. Watching re-runs of The Saint when they were on TV a few years ago there is at least one violent punch up in just about every episode in the earlier serials. Had he got the licence to kill around that period he would have made a much more realistic, tough and Flemingesque Bond than that which he became in 73 by which time the canon had (d)evolved into self parody.

      • It was a trend thing, to attract the hippies. Backfired wildly, though. But it goes to show what integrity – or lack of it – can produce, and the following long-lasting effect.

      • The tones of the movies are much more ascribable to the directors than the actors. Moore’s films went through three distinct eras with three distinct directors, and all the Guy Hamilton films follow a consistent tone and aesthetic. Connery playing DAF for campy laughs is really just an extension of Goldfinger, without any of the residual grit from the first two movies.

  15. Another great detailed review Matt. Again, I agree with all your likes/dislikes. I share your and many others love of the marine blue suit and the shirt and tie worn with it. Flared trousers aside, it’s one of my favourite suits in the whole series and on my wish list.

  16. I always thought Cyril Castle had a great British, clean and elegant cut. The Angelo suits were just a bit too snug for my taste, especially the shoulders, and the Hayward flattered Moore’s not so athletic silhouette well but weren’t that special. I remember watching TMWTGG often on French tv and thought of it as a touristic world map guide mostly with forgettable characters (ah that sheriff…), but now I realize how beautiful the suit cloths are in general. The sober ties Moore wore with his suits balanced well the minor 70s details and the link button cuff looks cool with the cocktails cuffs. The suit jackets would be wearable today. Well rated Matt !

  17. “I don’t imagine the tone would have been any more serious. I’d say the silly Bond started with Connery in You Only Live Twice. I believe that had Moore played Bond in the 1960s, he would have played Bond as he played Simon Templar”

    Obviously we will never have proof to the contrary,but i think that if Roger Moore (that was considered for the role in 1962) had played James Bond in “Doctor No”,I’m not sure that the series would explode becoming a worldwide phenomenon.
    The success of 007 in 60s is closely related to Connery charisma.
    Though Moore would act more seriously,hardly James Bond would have gone further a couple of good adventure movies.
    But the real question is another: why from a certain moment was decided to make 007 “silly”?
    I agree with you that the thing start with the last Connery movies, although the Lazenby’s Bond was a little more serious.
    But from Live and let die, the phenomenon became alarming.
    I not blame Moore for this; he was an actor and if they had asked to play Bond more seriously he would (within the limits of his abilities).
    “For your eyes only”,that came after the atrocious Moonraker (the lowest point of the series) show a Moore/Bond more serious;
    again is more the Saint that 007,but was a step in the right direction; proves that a serious cut can work again with Bond.
    I’ve always wondered if a “For your eyes only” with already Timothy Dalton in the role (with a good wardrobe advisor,of course) would have worked better.

  18. Dear Matt,

    We had rather hoped you would, at last, give attention to Nick Nack’s manservant’s outfit which he dons during the duel. For many years now we had hoped you would point your gaze to this sartorial piece. Alas. . .

  19. My favourite outfits in this are the double breasted dinner jacket (and in white too, Roger puts his stamp on it by going double breasted which I like), the double breasted charcoal suit and the navy suit with the red tie.

  20. I always thought the Scaramanga Island suit was a dark charcoal. As were the trousers he wore with the black, white, and red sport jacket.

    • I’ve looked very closely at the film and at every still I could find to figure out whether it’s black or dark charcoal. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s too flat to be charcoal. The suit was also sold at auction, where it was described as black, but auction listing have been wrong.

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