The Golden Gun is more, and less, than a Golden Gun

Bond, James Bond. (Well, Roger Moore, actually.) In The Man with the Golden Gun he stands on the beach back to back with Scaramanga. (Christopher Lee, if truth be told.)  Scaramanga’s accomplice, Nick Nack (Hervé Villechaize, as in Tattoo), counts down twenty paces in the duel. The camera cuts back and forth between the duel and Britt Ekland in a blue bikini. (Does anyone really care what her character’s name was?)

Scaramanga holds the Golden Gun. No, scratch that. Scaramanga holds a glued-together pen, cigarette case, cigarette lighter and cufflink, for those are the items glued together to form the famous Golden Gun.

Photo from Wikipedia

We visited “Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style” at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on the weekend. Is James Bond theme music running through your head already? Can you picture the gun barrel opening scene? James Bond music and imagery are such a part of our popular culture that even people who aren’t avid fans know them: James Bond himself, the metallic jaws of Jaws, Oddjob’s hat, and the Golden Gun.

Or rather, the golden pen, cigarette case, cigarette lighter and cufflink.

The Golden Gun is a widely known James Bond prop. It’s not just a gun, it’s the Golden Gun—the focus of one of the most famous James Bond scenes. The Golden Gun is revered, by some. The story that goes along with it makes it larger than life.

But, broken down to its essential bits, it is a pen, a cigarette case, a lighter and a cufflink.

People are like that, too. Broken down to our essential bits, we’re just molecules and atoms. Our physical components aren’t what make us interesting: our stories are. The most compelling stories grow out of simple physical materials.

The next time you bemoan your average height, your crooked nose or your less-than-perfect smile, remember, your simple physical components can play great roles. It’s the story you create with them that counts.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”  —Mary Oliver,  New and Selected Poems

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