Live And Let Die: You Know My Name

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Faneditor Name:
Original Movie Title:
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1973
Original Running Time:
121
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
112
Time Cut:
9
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
Live and Let Die, the Goldilocks version: tempo is dialed up (no more looking at your watch during the boat race), jokes and stupidity are dialed down, Bondgirls are less bumbling, sheriff is mostly removed, and nobody pops like a balloon.
Intention:
Moore's first 007 has a harder tone than his later outings but it's undercut by lame jokes. The spectacular boat chase goes on too long, Solitaire is a stunning Bondgirl but why must she be so naive, sheriff Pepper is simply in the wrong film, the film contradicts itself on Voodoo (is it real or not?), having a black Bondgirl in Rosie is great but she's stuck in perpetual incompetence, and to top it all the villain explodes like a balloon.
For a long time I couldn't figure out how to improve this Bond. Seeing MusicEd921's version put me on the right track: I needed to cut enough but not as much. I approached this edit in a different way from any previous edit: a Goldilocks cut.
Special Thanks:
MusicEd921 for inspiration.
LastSurvivor for the Master-Class level commentaries on their 007 fanedits.
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
I took each part of the film I wanted to alter and made 2 versions of it: radical trims (bed's too small) and cautious trims (bed's the right size), while the theatrical original is the bed that's too big. The main points are:
Cuts and Additions:
1) Kananga blowing up. I first changed this to death from sharkbite. Seems more credible and certainly on-brand for a Bond story. It resulted in cutting most references to the shark-gun gas pellet (including a wonderful villain close-up when Kananga blows up a sofa), and M's amazement at the magnet in Bond's watch. In all, I lost too much runtime and too many typical Bond beats. That "bed" was too small.
My second version has Kananga still exploding, but under water so we don't see the balloon dummy. I took the shot of the exploding balloon and chroma-keyed bits of it over the shot of the bubbling water, creating the impression that the black clothing is being exploded out of the water. In the next shot where the water calms down, I removed the rubber mask floating to the surface. I also cut Bond's "inflated" remark (I think Connery could have delivered the line successfully with his dry sarcasm, but Moore just makes it sound like a bad joke).
Is this version "just right"? I think so, but that only really became clear after I had first cut too much!

2) Sheriff Pepper & the 13-minute boat race. My first version removed the sheriff completely. What a sigh of relief. But that lost the iconic boat-over-car jump. To stay with the Goldilocks analogy: this porridge was too cold. There wasn't enough excitement in the chase.
My second version reduced the sheriff but kept enough to retain that boat-over-car jump. The boat race is trimmed 50% (6 minutes cut). The baddies have fewer boats. No wedding. No police cars chasing the boats. The "Boat Race" track from LaLD's soundtrack is used to extend the music (by ~1 minute). We don't see the sheriff again after Bond jumps over his car. One change that helped this version work for me, is that now Bond looks over his shoulder at the sheriff as he speeds away. Probably thinking "Who the hell was that?" and then putting the sheriff from his and our minds and moving onto the next challenge.

3) Rosie Carver the double-agent. The toughest challenge to improve, because much of Rosie's screentime is connected. Change one scene and you have to change several more to keep things consistent.

My first version kept Rosie alive and as a regular agent not a double agent. To make the flow work, this sequence ran:
- No feathered hat in Rosie's room, so no reason for her to call Bond into her room. Consequence: she does not sleep with him that night.
- Bond announces he'll arrange a car, visits the shop with Tarot cards, then we go directly to Bond and Rosie driving into the hills. No mention of "It's down there", instead Bond stops the car for no reason other than to pressure Rosie into having lunch with him because he's in no hurry. Unintended consequence: this gives a nastier flavor to Bond's sex addiction, because he's clearly forcing himself on her.
- After they have sex, we cut to Kananga before Bond would have asked for answers (cut Kananga's two mentions at his desk of Rosie). After Kananga, we cut to Bond and Rosie walking to Quarrel's boat (not showing the different vehicle). The final shots of Bond and Rosie on the boat are darkened a bit to give the impression of sunset.
- Cut to Kananga, with big trims to remove mention of Rosie as double agent and of her death. Cut back to Bond on the paraglider, implying that they didn't leave the boat in between and that Rosie is therefore still on board.
I liked that version as a standalone part. It made Rosie stronger and added a nasty but uncomfortably believable angle of this Bond being a rapist. But after watching the edit again I realized that this loses us too much: Rosie has hardly any screentime left, we lose Solitaire standing up to Kananga because that's triggered by her mention of "the girl's death", and the overall pacing from arriving at the island to infiltrating Kananga's estate just felt too fast compared to the rest of the film. I realized that, no, I'd cut too much.

Version two, the "middle" version, runs:
- No feathered hat, and no sex the first night. Also, Rosie's double scream over the dead snake is trimmed (one scream is enough).
- When they board Quarrel's boat, Bond tells Quarrel under his breath that "I got your card" (Roger Moore's "I got" is taken The Man With The Golden Gun). This answers the question who sent Bond the Tarot card, and calls attention to Bond and Quarrel knowing something that they're not telling Rosie. The only frustration was the endless tries to achieve a good balance between the line being audible for tghe audience, while being enough "under his breath" that you believe Rosie doesn't hear it.
- Rosie doesn't assume Quarrel speaks no English, she doesn't explain what "to change" means.
- Her apology to Quarrel is simply "I'm sorry", without the (incorrectly) "I could've killed you." Quarrel replies "You might have killed me" instead of "even killed". More matter of fact and less of a putdown.
- In the (second) car, when Rosie says "it's down there", Bond doesn't contradict her but simply says to have lunch first. This way Rosie doesn't have to fib over getting her locations mixed up. Bond still pressures Rosie into sex, but now we know that Bond doesn't trust her: knowing that she's a "baddie" makes the feel less
- After sex, Bond confronts Rosie with the Tarot card. She sees the Voodoo mask and freaks out. Bond says nothing. Rosie says "It's a warning" (instead of "It's not an act"): she attempts to warn Bond of Kananga's trap. This removes Rosie's fear of Voodoo (and was necessary because the set up with the feathered hat the night before is cut), she is simply afraid of Kananga. The death plays out normal.
In this "middle" version, Rosie comes out stronger than in the original film. Not as strong or smart, but still an improvement. This retains several scenes including the exchange between Solitaire and Kananga, a rare moment where Solitaire stands her ground.

Other changes include:
- Bond's apartment scene plays before the opening credits (thank you MusicEd921, for showing this improvement). Used Flowframes to smoothly slow down the final frames showing Ms Caruso's dress, for a more fluid transition into the opening titles.
- In NY, the dead driver loses control of the car faster (12 seconds cut).
- Improve audio transition from Kananga speeching to Bond in garage.
- Trim some of the blaxploitation language: "jukebox" is replaced with "car"; "cueball" and one "honky" are cut.
- When Baron Samedi is introduced, cut "just a performer". Made no sense that they said that. Samedi dies only once (from snakes) and stays dead. No Baron sitting on the train (he's dead after all).
- No flight student in the airplane. Eagle-eyed viewers can still spot her grey jacket through the window in a wide shot: cutting that hurt the flow of the scene (I chose the lesser of two evils: see part of her in a properly flowing scene over not seeing her with a choppy flow). Bond's mention of her is cut in the subsequent scene.
- Removed short, loud pop in Left Front channel while Kananga questions Bond in chair. I cleaned up several clunky audio transitions, which gives the impression that the audio editor was under intense time pressure to deliver his work.
- Bond's speedboat still gets shot, but now by the thugs racing after him.
- Cut Solitaire's "Where's Kananga?". I know she's inexperienced in many things, but she doesn't have to be completely dumb!
- Replaced the closing shot of the locomotive (because Samedi is dead, so doesn't sit on the train) with a matching duration shot of a similar Amtrak train thundering past. Taken from Silver Streak (1976), turned day into night using the Color Curve preset in Vegas.
- Replaced the end-title song with an excerpt of the Beatles' "You Know My Name" and "Snakebit" from the LaLD soundtrack. A callback (call-forward?) to Chris Cornell's song in Casino Royale.
- Edited the English subtitles to fit the fanedit.
Cover art by lapis molari (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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User reviews

2 reviews
Overall rating
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0(2)
Visual Editing
 
10.0(2)
Audio Editing
 
10.0(2)
Narrative
 
9.5(2)
Enjoyment
 
9.5(2)
Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Good times for Bond fans: instead of a really great edit of Live and Let Die, now we have two of them (the other one being MusicEd's Less is Moore edition). Both remarkable, and whether you favor one or the other will likely depend on your personal preference. As for myself, there are bits I prefer in this and bits I prefer in Ed's, but if I had to choose (the great thing is that I don't), I'd give the edge to this one because it managed to keep Rosie Carver in the story in a way that removes her worst traits, and in consequence Quarrel Jr. is properly fully kept as well (for more on my thoughts about these characters, please take a look at my review of Ed's version). Also, Kananga's death manages to feel less abrupt in this cut by virtue of one extra shot for improved flow.

I have to mention, though (and this is something I discussed directly with Lapis, who gave their reasoning for keeping it, which half makes sense but still plays as somewhat odd to me), that for my tastes a small goof in character behavior has been introduced by keeping Rosie yet not having her sleep with Bond in the bungalow: in the subsequent boat scene, at some spots their body language and attitude is that of two people who most definitely have slept together. How much of that may be down to me knowing how the original scene played, I'm not certain. But still found it a bit distracting.

Later on, this edit tends to keep some more material than Music Ed's, much of which I have no strong opinion for or against, playing equally well to me. Be warned that Sheriff Pepper stays, although considerably trimmed. Now, maybe his scene could be reduced a bit more, but to be honest now he comes across as possessing something loosely resembling bearability. Also, the gag of the boats landing into the rich white guys' swimming pool is still present. Personally I would have lost it, but still no big deal.

Nitpicks aside, really great job. Remarkably well edited too, with a couple of dubbed lines working absolute wonders (the repurposed "It's a warning" for Rosie, and the way the puzzling Queen of Cups plot hole has been solved). Creativity at its finest. And the technical aspects are impeccable.

A much improved version of a weak (for my tastes) Bond film, which again would go up a few spots of appreciation if originally released this way. Highly recommended.
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Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Roger Moore's first 007 film has always been a favorite of mine. The whole concept of throwing Bond into the middle of a Blaxploitation film is just so much fun. This edit has tweaked things just enough that I wouldn't have even known what was missing if I hadn't seen it before. Both Kanega and Solitarie are great. Absolutely recommmended.

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