On Her Majesty's Secret Service - The LS Cut

 
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Overall rating 
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
9.0
Enjoyment 
 
9.0

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.

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Yes
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Overall rating 
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
9.0
Enjoyment 
 
9.0

This is one of those edits that isn't about fixing a botched movie, it's just about trying to "perfect" something that was close to brilliant anyway. I'm one of those that's of the opinion that Lazonby is a great Bond and it's the film he's in, that has the problems. OHMSS has lots of little flaws and this corrects almost all of them.

Audio/Video Quality: I watched the HD file (And alternate music/audio track) and it's pretty much equal to the Blu-Ray, without the filesize being massive. Great job.

Visual Editing: This is spot on without anything that stands out. There a few more inconsistent studio shots that I'd personally like to have seen removed, or regraded but the really bad ones are all gone.

Audio Editing: As per usual with an LS edit this feature seemless music replacement and general audio work. The music change over the closing credits is just beauiful, I'd be amazed to find any person who would not agree this was the way it should have been... including John Barry. I also feel that on the alternate-audio-track, the new instrumental-montage is also undeniably better. The opening credits change might be controversial though but with the option to remove it why not. IMO this totally transforms the movie by shifting the tone much more towards a romantic film and adds strength to every later scene where the theme is woven back in.

Narrative: The big narrative change is of course trimming a large chunk of fat from the romance and Tracy free Piz Gloria middle act. It's still hugely flawed that Tracy isn't this part of the movie (She could have easily been one quick rewrite away from being one of the brainwashed girls?) but LS gets through it very quickly so she doesn't feel "left out" anymore. There were one or two further trims that I think could have been made (e.g. Bond could have climbed across the cable-car engine room rope just the once) but that's nitpicking.

Enjoyment: The gold standard test for any "Fanfix" is "Does it replace the original?". This absolutely does for me. OHMSS was never my favourite Bond movie, but this brings it a lot closer to the top of the ranking.

Extras: The audio commentary was very enjoyable and interesting, even when you've already listened to the official commentaries and watched all the documentaries. The two other optional audio tracks are also a touch of class.

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Yes
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Overall rating 
 
8.6
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
8.0
Enjoyment 
 
8.0

This is better than the original, but I still have major problems with the film. The continuity errors with the last film, Lazenby's terrible performance and Bond cheating on Tracy with no problems with it whatsoever. Oh well, I guess there's only so much you can do.

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Overall rating 
 
8.8
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
9.0
Enjoyment 
 
8.0

This edit is a bit polarizing for me. On the one hand, I love all the little things in this edit, the fixing of continuity errors and slight trims here and there to really tighten things and remove some of the more dated and silly elements. On the other hand, the removal of two scenes dampen my enjoyment a bit. The first is the rearranging of Campbell's ascent and capture, as I feel without the scene where they're all playing curling we lose sight of Blofeld for too long. I love Telly Savalas as Blofeld and feel the removal of this scene hurts the film by keeping him out of frame for far too long. The second is the removal of the bell room fight, one of my favorite action scenes in the film. I understand why it was cut, but I think it adds a certain element of danger to Bond's escape, that he's far from being out of the woods even when he makes it to the town. I love all the other work LastSurvivor has done, such as removing some of the egregious rear projection shots and recutting the battle at Piz Gloria to be more coherent and suspenseful, and the musical changes throughout to correct some baffling bits of tone-deafness on the part of the soundtrack. I feel that if these two scenes were retained or only slightly modified, I'd consider this a replacement for the theatrical version, hands down. Perhaps at some point in the future, there will be another version of this edit that fixes my minor quibbles. I won't hold my breath, though. However, aside from those complaints, this is a superb edit. Nearly seamless visual and audio editing and a good grasp of story and character make this an edit to seek out, even though it might not fully replace the original. It's still fun to see attention being paid to what is, in my opinion, the greatest James Bond film ever made.

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Yes
Format Watched?
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Overall rating 
 
8.7
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
9.0
Narrative 
 
9.0
Enjoyment 
 
8.0

A very good edit that trims away some of the problems I have with the original. Most prominently, the scenes with the Angles of Death. The film at least moves on now, instead of dies completely. Vultural's review below really says it all, so I will only commend LS's skills as a editor. Though I would argue against Vutural that this cut makes Lazenby quite alright as Bond (despite the poorly inserted one-liners they gave him). No silly callbacks and I like some of the fights in this, especially the one on the beach.

Then again, "Lazenby would always pick the wrong wine" is a wonderful description!

A clear improvement. Well done!

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