Live and Let Die: Less is MOORE EditionFeatured
In all honesty, this is my least favorite of the Moore era, which is why I'm glad I'm going in order of release.
In relation to later entries, this one had a lot less of the cringey one-liners and outside of J.W. Pepper, this managed to be a bit more serious. The only plot point that I found to be a letdown was that most of the characters believed in the supernatural voodoo aspects except for Bond and then Baron Samedi appears in a scene towards the climax and is blown away like he is made of porcelain only to come back again, get knocked into a case full of venomous snakes and then reappear with his signature laugh at the very end of the film (where they initially had plans to feature him again, but that never came to fruition). My cutlist will reflect that Bond didn't buy into the supernatural and was right about at least the Baron being a sham.
- Bond's car ride as he arrives in NYC kicks into high gear as Whispers shoots a dart at the driver. I've trimmed things so that as soon as the driver is shot the car immediately loses control. Originally the dead driver was maneuvering in traffic really well for a dead guy.
- Cut dated dialogue between Bond and his cab driver (Bond literally refers to someone as a jukebox).
- Cut people calling Bond a honky and a cue ball.
- Cut Rosie Carver completely
- Cut Bond talking about handing the case over to Felix and then contradicting that in the next scene.
- Cut old lady at the air field
- Cut the next scene that references the old lady in the air field
- Make a cleaner cut from what the movie had going from Bond being lowered under the stage compared to what was there.
- Cut Bond saying "watch your step" before being cuffed to the chair. It just felt out of place.
- Cut Bond saying "butter hook" to Tee Hee when he was trying to take Bond's watch off.
- Cut Bond saying "oh I was counting on that" to Tee Hee when he's being left with the crocs
- Rework the whole speed boat chase, cutting out JW Pepper completely as well as the henchman driving his car after Bond as grabbing JW Pepper's relative's speed boat as well as Bond crashing a wedding and grabbing their boat.
- Add music to new speed boat chase
- Cut Baron getting shot by Bond and exploding
- Cut "keep the change" line
- Trim the quick fight scene between Kananga and Bond so that Kananga comes right at Bond without stopping to raise the knife in the air leaving himself open to getting punched or kicked which Bond doesn't do.
- Cut inflatable Kananga. Now we see him flail around after swallowing the compressed air dart and then we see the water explode.
- Cut Bond's terrible line after Kananga blows up
- Cut after Bond loses at cards as he immediately goes right in for the sex
- Add music to fight with Tee Hee
- Cut Baron sitting on back of train at the end
This was an amazing edit, turning a good film into an amazing one! No Rosie Carver, no Sheriff Pepper and a more believable plot! It's a shame the new Bond doesn't get a better introduction (sleeping in bed, really?) and the whole 'Mr Big's real identity' (as it is really obvious). But for the material you had to work with, you did a great job!
Live and Let Die is my second favourite Moore-era Bond movie, but I still find it something of a mixed bag, and probably no more than a mid-tier Bond movie. I'm glad to say this edit does a near-perfect job of cutting out the things that bug me - especially Sheriff Pepper and Rosie Carver, whose combined absences are not missed in the slightest. The only minor downside of removing these scenes is the pacing: it all flies by now in a way that is so fast it doesn't quite feel Bond-like.
The video and audio editing changes were faultless. I've recently seen the original film so there were moments where I was aware of the edits being made, but I suspect a first time viewer wouldn't be able to tell where the fan editor had intervened. So I feel it deserves a 10 on the technical ranking.
For enjoyment I've given it a 9. It's clearly better than the theatrical cut of the film, but I wish there were a few minutes added back in - especially during the New York sequence, where I have no issue with some of the lines of dialogue that were cut. I wonder if the film might have played marginally better with a little less editing in that first hour.
And thanks for removing the ridiculous blow-up Yaphet Kotto balloon!
Overall: great work. If you're a Bond fan who prefers the serious tone of the Connery, Dalton or Craig eras give this a watch. It's well worth the effort.