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.
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.
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!
Hey nice job on this. You really cleaned this movie up nicely. The music changes you made were really outstanding and well thought out. There were a couple of spots where I think you may have been able to cut a little deeper. One example was the voiceover of Lazemby saying something like "this is where I stop" at the end of the bobsled scene. It felt awkward and took me out of the scene.
Also, I was thinking if you chose to resolve Blofeld's story, you could have edited him out of the drive by shooting scene and made it appear that Bunt did the shooting as revenge for Bond killing Blofeld. That of course involves a significant change of story and probably wasn't what you were going for. All in all, I really enjoyed.what you did with this film. I did notice some peculiarities with the sound, especially some of the dialog, but I suspect they were source material limitations.
One note about this film and others of its vintage, it really shows how far the craft of movie making has come, especially professional film editing. The original video and sound edits (not the fanedits) Seem clumsy and awkward in spots. It definitely not cut it in today's film industry
For me, the amazing action, cinematography and music in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service make the film one of the richest pleasures in the Bond series. No doubt the public would agree with this assessment had Connery stayed on as Bond, if only because so many people dismiss the film due to Lazenby. It must also be said that OHMSS – which features Bond falling in love, resigning and getting married – is probably the least appropriate story with which to introduce a new actor.
But what can you do? Last Survivor removes many of Bond’s worst lines, improving Lazenby’s performance (I would have liked to see several other lines dropped, such as “He’s branched off”). LS also wisely cuts references to previous Bond adventures, which in the original film only ensure that Lazenby is haunted by his predecessor in the role.
Scenes are cut so that Tracy can return to the film sooner. Nancy’s seduction is not missed, as it only echoes Ruby’s seduction; neither is Bond’s bash-up with the SPECTRE goons in the barn filled with bells, as there’s plenty more action extravaganza to enjoy. LS also fixes a few pet peeves, such as some goofy editing in the stock car rally and the mistimed detonation countdown at Piz Gloria.
But I feel the editor has cut too much in an effort to speed up the second act. The amusing idea that Bond (posing as Sir Hilary Bray) doesn’t like women isn’t properly established when the dinner scene is trimmed so heavily. Not a huge loss, but the film is less rich for the cut. What is a huge loss, for me, is Telly Savalas’ menacing, take-no-prisoners performance as Blofeld in the curling scene. Blofeld later calls Campbell, the bumbling climber, a “brilliant conversationalist” – a line dripping with condescension, my fav line in the film – but it doesn’t work without Blofeld confronting Campbell at the curling game. While the curling scene certainly could have been shorter, I think excising it completely is a mistake. Blofeld's presence is also diminished when he's not even on screen, as Bond and Bunt's "characteristic ambition" exchange (another fav of mine) is gone, and we hear less in the dinner scene about how much Blofeld controls the clinic's patients.
I found no issues with video or audio quality, and the video editing is seamless. Two issues in audio editing: there’s a loud pop at 52:13; and although I appreciate the option of “We Have All the Time in the World” over the titles sequence (it’s not for me), I would have preferred this option appear in the second audio track, rather than the main audio track, where it took me by surprise (not in a fun way).
I did enjoy the inclusion of John Barry’s “Bond Settles In” when Bond, er, settles in at Piz Gloria. Perhaps a future edit could also include Barry’s beautiful “Dusk at Piz Gloria,” which was unfathomably cut from the original film (you can find the track synced to the proper scene on YouTube). Also, props to LS for using the film’s original mono track, so we can hear all the glorious ‘60s SFX, and for his commentary track, which contains great insight into the mind of an editor and Bond fan.
In summary: The LS Cut makes all the changes necessary to bring OHMSS closer to perfection. However, the removal of too much material (particularly regarding Blofeld and the “angels of death”) brings the film back down for me.