Phuket, Thailand, is now a major Southeast-Asian tourist destination, but when 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun was filming on location, the area was remote and isolated. The movie’s villain, Scaramanga, had his HQ in the village of Phang Nga, at Phang Nga Bay on the island known as Koh Tapu in Phuket—a place that required the crew to pass through pirate-inhabited waters to reach it. But the island’s isolation didn’t last long after the movie came out. These days, the island is better known as James Bond Island and is a major tourist attraction.
Another piece of Golden Gun lore is that because filming was in Thailand, producer Harry Saltzman thought there should be elephants in the movie, preferably in an elephant chase scene. Because elephants have to wear protective shoes to walk on hard surfaces, which might have been required during filming, Saltzman ordered the necessary footwear. Later, when Cubby Broccoli, another producer, was on set, he was presented with about 2,000 pairs of elephant shoes that had been ordered for the shoot months before — even though, by that point, the elephants had been cut out of the script.
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