My favourite fan editor is BACK! And he does not disappoint!!!
The original OHMSS seems to divide many Bond fans, some praise it, others seem to loathe it. As a casual Bond watcher, it has always fallen somewhere in the middle for me. It has a fantastic cast in Rigg and Salvalas and some truly spectacular stunt work. Lazenby definitely has the physicality for Bond and exudes the needed confidence, though his inexperience at times shines through. His performance in the original was also hampered by the producers constantly injecting references to previous Bond movies in the film, thus keeping the ghost of Connery present throughout the film and causing Lazenby to never truly own the role.
Luckily, this frustrating weakness has been smartly removed by Last Survivor. The suggestion of past exploits remain, but the blatant over the top/in your face references through past movie soundtracks, one liners and trophies are gone. This small but significant change goes a long way to make Lazenby immediately more acceptable as the new OO7.
The other weakness of the original film for me has always been the second act. As soon as Tracy disappears from the screen and Bond begins his investigation/infiltration of Blofled's headquarters, the movie moves like molasses. But again, it is here LS makes the most of his cuts. His edit choices are smart and very well executed; they keep the story moving forward as fast as possible without losing any vital plot.
Last Survivor's overall edit work has improved the story significantly, and clearly enhances Lazenby's performance and proves to me he had the potential to be one of the great Bonds.
But LS's work does not end in mere story editing. As always, he has done some truly incredible audio replacement work. I watched the Alternate Audio version and was blown away! I think his music switching and changes are sheer genius and far superior to the original! Great work mate!
If I were to nit-pick....There is also a couple of instances of clever audio/dialogue dubbing that works though slightly noticeable. Also, the jump cut during the conversation between Bond and Draco is a bit off putting, I completely understand why it was done. Some of the more cringe worthy one liners remain. And there is some minor video artifacts/compression in the blacks. But none of these detract from the enjoyment I experienced with watching.
But for me, the absolute best part of this edit is Last Survivor's commentary. I have said it before, but LS delivers some of the best, most engaging, informative commentaries I have ever had the pleasure to listen to... he puts many professional dvd commentaries to shame. What I enjoy so much about his commentaries is the sheer love for the material he has and how infectious it is. When I listen to LS's love for Bond, I begin to love Bond. I see the character and the franchise in a new way. It makes me want to go out experience more Bond -- watch more Bond movies, research more about Bond, read the books, etc. Anyone and everyone who watches this or any of LS's previous edits, MUST take the time to listen to Last Survivor's insights and comments. To do otherwise, is to do your self a great disservice.
So to recap, a brilliant edit both technically and narratively. Definitely superior to the original in my opinion and well worth watching for both Bond fan and non-fan alike.
Wow, this was a nice edit, thanks LastSurvivor! I always liked the movie in the original, and felt it was a bit underrated, but found the references to the other Bond disturbing, I'm glad you took out all of those. Mind you, it's years ago, that I watched the original, so my memory is not perfect regarding every scene...
I loved that you brought Tracy into the focus of the movie, by reducing Bond's excessive promiscuity and by removing some of the plot regarding Blofeld (in that regard his character and role took a bit the backseat, but I didn't mind, as I just wanted to see how it went with Tracy, as she is such a magnetic Bondgirl).
So, in a sense, this is a very different Bond movie, it's not about saving the world or defeating the villain, that is only the sidestory, instead it's about saving Bond's love-life, he starts to get doubts and searching for something else besides his secret mission work, beside killing and having a jetlife. All that because he met a woman that is finally his match, his soulmate. And she, who has contempt for life and does everything to end it, finally finds something to live for after gotten to know Bond, she develops a hope for a future.
Very romantic and beautiful, and Louis Armstrong's song "We have all the time in the world" (this reminds me to buy a collection of his work, Armstrong has such a haunting voice) perfectly accompanies this throughout the movie to the sad and heartbreaking end (thanks for exchanging the credits-music with Armstrong's song, fits much better (though strangely it's in both audio-tracks for the credits, I thought one of them was the original one)).
I love how Lazenby plays Bond in that heartbreaking end-scene and what he says, it's not possible to do it better, an ending worth to be part of cinematic history, and now improved by you, thanks to the removal of the original music in the credits, and the use of Armstrong's song.
Very well edited, love it. The only things I wished were better:
1. The dining-scene with the girls should have been longer, as it wasn't established that Bond played that he were gay.
2. The credits in the beginning show scenes from older Bond-movies, which detracts a little bit, but that is only a very minor problem.
3. I wished the line "He branched off" was removed, it just didn't fit to the intensity of the finale.
First, please forgive this rather short review....
I thought this was excellent! Most serious James Bond fans know that this is a good movie and that Lazenby made a great Bond, but only got the chance this one time.
I don't have much to say beyond Well Done! I couldn't point to anything "wrong" with this edit at all. I've given it 10s across the board except a 9 for enjoyment, and that is only because it still feels just a little long to me. But I don't have any great suggestions for where more could have been cut. Overall, I highly recommend this.
A flawless edit front to back. OHMSS is a top five Bond film for me so I wouldn't have thought that an edit would be necessary, and yet this was so well done I'm not sure I like it any less than the original.
This is a film I have seen multiple times and yet I genuinely didn't notice a single cut. I didn't read the cutlist until after viewing so, while watching, I really couldn't tell much of what was being trimmed and removed, yet, in the end, LastSurvivor managed to axe a full 15 minutes, improving the pacing in the process.
Of course, edits are always subjective, and I'm not sure I completely agreed with everything. I will say I have a fondness for the humor that comes with the nixed "other fellow" line and Bond's seductions, though I do understand why they were cut. As well (and others have noted this) the removal of "Hillary"'s uninterest in women is problematic, and Campbell's capture is missed somewhat. Ultimately, however, these cuts, along with the other edits, go a long way towards LS's primary goals. He sought out to make sure the film didn't spend enough time away from Tracy to forget about her, and he succeeded.
The Hillary Bray second act flies, and feels more like a short side interlude to the primary love story (in fact it's more or less the only part of the film where he's "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"). The result is, in many ways, a subtly, but decidedly, different tone for the film. This really is more of a romance than a typical Bond flick (in that regard it's probably best to watch with the audio track that has "All the Time in the World" play during the title sequence [even though the Barry composition is much better]).
I can't honestly say that this replaces the original for me, but I do truly appreciate it. It's not better, per se, but it is different, and, perhaps, just as great. There were some things that were cut that I missed, but probably for the best, as the edit wouldn't be nearly as interesting or unique with them included. A different film, but commendably so. An edit well worth your time if you have any love for the world's greatest super spy.