From Russia with Love: Excess Excised

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Faneditor Name:
Original Movie/Show Title:
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1963
Original Running Time:
115 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
108 minutes
Subtitles Available:
Available in HD:
Synopsis:
The usual removal of superfluous shots and scenes for a tighter narrative and less distraction, plus a remixed beginning for a little misdirection.
Intention:
One of the closest adaptations of any of Ian Fleming’s novels, Terence Young’s 1963 film “From Russia with Love” is often considered one of the greatest Bond adventures. After doing a light edit to tidy up a few items I was never fond of, I started thinking that a little more tinkering could produce interesting results.

In the 1957 book the plot is instigated by SMERSH (Smert Shpionam "Death to Spies"), the early archenemy of James Bond and a fictionalisation of a real-life Soviet organisation. Either trying to be more apolitical and/or not wanting to date the stories by tying them to the Cold War, Fleming shifted focus to the completely fictitious SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counter-intelligance, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) in 1961’s “Thunderball” and the two other Bond books published in his lifetime.

I wondered if SPECTRE’s involvement here could be concealed for a little while so a fresh viewer might think that the scheme is a SMERSH plot (the name is still mentioned), right up until we come to Blofeld himself about ten minutes later than in the original. By altering the scene order between the credits and Bond’s first (proper) appearance I believe it works out quite well.
Other Sources:
Sourced from 2013 blu-ray set.
Special Thanks:
Many thanks to lapis molari and Problem Eliminator for their encouragement and helpful suggestions.
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
First items removed were a few moments that immediately stuck out to me as unnecessary, Bond spending a day with the two women after the camp fight and his actions towards Tania after finding Kerim and Benz on the train. Next came the idea to mislead the audience at the beginning, a little scene rearranging and a couple of additional edits seem to have produced the desired results. I then had a few suggestions from other users, after trialling them I found that I agreed and such changes are marked on the cutlist.

Exported Full HD H265 with 5.1 channel sound.
Cuts and Additions:
• Venice scene moved to later, faded from black into Istanbul late to avoid original fade from SPECTRE Island.
• Added “Istanbul” title card (extracted letters from opening credits) over establishing shot, think it fair to say that most people would not recognise the location (unlike Venice) and the move is not unprecedented in Bond films (such as for Tangier in “The Living Daylights”).
• The final part of Tania’s journey to meet Klebb now features a push-in (with new pillar-boxes maintaining the aspect ratio) to conceal Donald Grant (who is now yet to be introduced) on the left-hand side.
• Cut Tania knocking on the door, Klebb opens it right away as if she knew the precise moment (hopefully invoking a little Cold War paranoia).
• End of Tania/Klebb scene now ends after “Or you will be shot!”, consider rest superfluous even though it comes (considerably toned down) from the book. Now fades into the helicopter approaching over SPECTRE Island (now never named as such, always sounded silly to me anyway), cutting the earlier part of the scene where the masseuse arrives.
• Repeated a section of the clean helicopter idling audio to mute the first part of the conversation “Welcome to SPECTRE Island, a great honour”.
• Removed “in Istanbul” from Klebb’s last line so as not to clash with the upcoming view of Venice.
• Faded to Venice (the original scene following the opening titles) early to beat the original fade to Istanbul.
• Trimmed out Klebb saying “It is most unlikely she would know I am now working for SPECTRE”, she now sounds more certain of her new loyalty being kept secret (particularly important since in this version she has already approached Tania).
• Cut from Klebb’s last shot (sorry Kronsteen) to Bond on the river, fading audio in early.
• Made a few trims to the two-woman fight scene so it plays a little more seriously (if that is at all possible): no undressing, no face-off at the start, no trying to gouge eyes (with a slightly silly facial expression) and less attempting to choke one another on the ground.*
• Cut Kerim saying that they will have to find Krilencu tomorrow.
• Cut the scene where Bond spends time in the company of the fighters at the camp, it just showed that an entire day was spent doing nothing important.
• Trimmed the start of the scene between Bond and Tania that occurs just after he finds Kerim (and they miss their rendezvous) so he no longer comes across as a brute. We now fade into her Tania upset at the situation rather than being attacked, even the literary Bond with all his many flaws never does anything like this to my knowledge (in this specific scene he does no more than ask “…sharp, brutal questions”).
• Rearranged sequences after the train stops to enable removal of boat fight: Bond and Tania escape with the truck; Blofeld exercises discipline; helicopter attack and departure on the boat; fade to Venice just after Tania asks where they are going. Pasting in a bit of later dialogue during the latter scene allows for a slower/more natural fade (with slowed down establishing shot), he now responds "Venice, with a bit of luck we shall be there by tomorrow morning."*
• Tried to smooth over the jarring audio cut just before Tania asks “What is it?” as Bond looks at the film reel.
• Removed final shot of Bond waving, fade from first “The End” shot to the one that pans up while the rest of the credits roll.*

*Items edited at the suggestion of others
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie/Show Title:
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1963
Original Running Time:
115 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
108 minutes
Subtitles Available:
Available in HD:
Synopsis:
The usual removal of superfluous shots and scenes for a tighter narrative and less distraction, plus a remixed beginning for a little misdirection.
Intention:
One of the closest adaptations of any of Ian Fleming’s novels, Terence Young’s 1963 film “From Russia with Love” is often considered one of the greatest Bond adventures. After doing a light edit to tidy up a few items I was never fond of, I started thinking that a little more tinkering could produce interesting results.

In the 1957 book the plot is instigated by SMERSH (Smert Shpionam "Death to Spies"), the early archenemy of James Bond and a fictionalisation of a real-life Soviet organisation. Either trying to be more apolitical and/or not wanting to date the stories by tying them to the Cold War, Fleming shifted focus to the completely fictitious SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counter-intelligance, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) in 1961’s “Thunderball” and the two other Bond books published in his lifetime.

I wondered if SPECTRE’s involvement here could be concealed for a little while so a fresh viewer might think that the scheme is a SMERSH plot (the name is still mentioned), right up until we come to Blofeld himself about ten minutes later than in the original. By altering the scene order between the credits and Bond’s first (proper) appearance I believe it works out quite well.
Other Sources:
Sourced from 2013 blu-ray set.
Special Thanks:
Many thanks to lapis molari and Problem Eliminator for their encouragement and helpful suggestions.
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
First items removed were a few moments that immediately stuck out to me as unnecessary, Bond spending a day with the two women after the camp fight and his actions towards Tania after finding Kerim and Benz on the train. Next came the idea to mislead the audience at the beginning, a little scene rearranging and a couple of additional edits seem to have produced the desired results. I then had a few suggestions from other users, after trialling them I found that I agreed and such changes are marked on the cutlist.

Exported Full HD H265 with 5.1 channel sound.
Cuts and Additions:
• Venice scene moved to later, faded from black into Istanbul late to avoid original fade from SPECTRE Island.
• Added “Istanbul” title card (extracted letters from opening credits) over establishing shot, think it fair to say that most people would not recognise the location (unlike Venice) and the move is not unprecedented in Bond films (such as for Tangier in “The Living Daylights”).
• The final part of Tania’s journey to meet Klebb now features a push-in (with new pillar-boxes maintaining the aspect ratio) to conceal Donald Grant (who is now yet to be introduced) on the left-hand side.
• Cut Tania knocking on the door, Klebb opens it right away as if she knew the precise moment (hopefully invoking a little Cold War paranoia).
• End of Tania/Klebb scene now ends after “Or you will be shot!”, consider rest superfluous even though it comes (considerably toned down) from the book. Now fades into the helicopter approaching over SPECTRE Island (now never named as such, always sounded silly to me anyway), cutting the earlier part of the scene where the masseuse arrives.
• Repeated a section of the clean helicopter idling audio to mute the first part of the conversation “Welcome to SPECTRE Island, a great honour”.
• Removed “in Istanbul” from Klebb’s last line so as not to clash with the upcoming view of Venice.
• Faded to Venice (the original scene following the opening titles) early to beat the original fade to Istanbul.
• Trimmed out Klebb saying “It is most unlikely she would know I am now working for SPECTRE”, she now sounds more certain of her new loyalty being kept secret (particularly important since in this version she has already approached Tania).
• Cut from Klebb’s last shot (sorry Kronsteen) to Bond on the river, fading audio in early.
• Made a few trims to the two-woman fight scene so it plays a little more seriously (if that is at all possible): no undressing, no face-off at the start, no trying to gouge eyes (with a slightly silly facial expression) and less attempting to choke one another on the ground.*
• Cut Kerim saying that they will have to find Krilencu tomorrow.
• Cut the scene where Bond spends time in the company of the fighters at the camp, it just showed that an entire day was spent doing nothing important.
• Trimmed the start of the scene between Bond and Tania that occurs just after he finds Kerim (and they miss their rendezvous) so he no longer comes across as a brute. We now fade into her Tania upset at the situation rather than being attacked, even the literary Bond with all his many flaws never does anything like this to my knowledge (in this specific scene he does no more than ask “…sharp, brutal questions”).
• Rearranged sequences after the train stops to enable removal of boat fight: Bond and Tania escape with the truck; Blofeld exercises discipline; helicopter attack and departure on the boat; fade to Venice just after Tania asks where they are going. Pasting in a bit of later dialogue during the latter scene allows for a slower/more natural fade (with slowed down establishing shot), he now responds "Venice, with a bit of luck we shall be there by tomorrow morning."*
• Tried to smooth over the jarring audio cut just before Tania asks “What is it?” as Bond looks at the film reel.
• Removed final shot of Bond waving, fade from first “The End” shot to the one that pans up while the rest of the credits roll.*

*Items edited at the suggestion of others

User reviews

7 reviews
 
86%
 
14%
5-7 stars
 
0%
3-5 stars
 
0%
1-3 stars
 
0%
Overall rating
 
9.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.7(7)
Audio Editing
 
9.3(7)
Visual Editing
 
9.3(7)
Narrative
 
9.2(7)
Enjoyment
 
9.4(7)
View all user reviews View most helpful
Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I was sceptical initially on watching this fan edit. I am a massive James Bond fan, and I know it is impossible to choose which one is best, but if I had to choose, it would in fact be From Russia With Love, a masterpiece in my opinion. One of the greatest films of the 1960s, arguably the best James Bond film, and one of the best thrillers ever made. I will not go into why since it is quite obvious. I personally did not think it needed a fan edit. It is not a film for most modern audiences or teenagers with short attention spans who expect an explosion every 10 mins. It is aimed at a more mature and sophisticated audience who value an interesting plot, innovative storytelling, a magnetic screenplay, gripping suspense and tension, and phenomenal acting.

There is one primary reason to watch this fan edit, the unexpectedly good reworked opening 15 minutes after the title sequence. I feel it tells the story here more coherently and more clearly than the theatrical release, I found it easier to understand exactly what was going on. I think it also grabs the viewer's attention in a more effective manner. Since almost 10 minutes are removed, the pace is faster. Really, the only scenes noticeably missing include, the extra day with gypsies, slap/interrogation scene, and, of course, the boat chase. In the original, I enjoyed the boat chase and I think Bond interrogating Tanya is a fantastic dramatic scene.

DISCLAIMER: A man should never EVER under no circumstances hit a woman, unfortunately this was common back then, and is still common in many countries today. It is a good scene which has not aged well or one that never should have been filmed with the inclusion of the physical strike in the first place. I would watch this fan edit for the opening, and I would recommend fans of the original film to see the opening 15 minutes after titles. I would also recommend this version to people who prefer a faster pace, the original is still extremely well paced in my opinion. This edit accomplishes the goals it set off to accomplish. It is subjective at the end of the day, all depending on the type of viewer.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0
(Updated: November 01, 2022)
Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Most of the changes this edit makes are small, but add up over time to create a great alternative.
Two of the bigger changes feel like they were made for me specifically, as trimming the gypsy camp and cutting the boat chase entirely fix the two areas of the movie I felt dragged the most and help to keep up the energy and pace of the film.
One change that was made that I'm mixed about is Bond's rough handling of Tania on the train. I can understand why the change was made, but I also feel like it helped to inform Bond's depth as a character after the loss of a friend and one of the more memorable sidekicks of the series.
There were some occasions that I could tell a cut was made or a transition was inserted, but these issues are so minor overall enjoyment won't be impacted.
If you enjoyed the original movie, give this edit a watch, does exactly what it says on the tin.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0
Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
I'm a product of the sixties, and I rediscovered this really good James Bond thanks to you and your wonderful editing work. Looks better to me and the narrative makes sense. The feeling of being in a real genre espionnage movie transpires throughout the film. Following the books, is often a better choice that many movie directors tend to overloook ...

Good job ParanoidAndroid !!

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0
Overall rating
 
8.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
I must confess I found myself to be somewhat indifferent towards this edit because to me, an edit is usually made to improve on the original product and I didn't really see an improvement (nor a worsening, mind you) of the original experience. Now, in terms on which version I would prefer to watch from here on in, I would ultimately pick this edit simply because the editor managed to tell the same story with similar emotional resonance in 10 less minutes. In that sense, I suppose it was a success; but I guess what I wanted was a lessening (even further I suppose) of the gypsy camp sequence, and a lessening of the train sequence in the third act. Both of those sequences always dragged to me, and this edit doesn't really improve that feeling for me during those sequences. However, cutting out the boat sequence at the end was such a good call! I found myself indifferent towards that sequence originally and I do kinda like how Bond got out of that one, but taking it out really made me realize how unnecessary that whole thing was. To delay the reveal of SPECTER's involvement was a neat idea, but it felt a little unnecessary since the reveal is only prolonged for an additional 10 minutes. I'm ultimately neutral on which cut I prefer in terms of the reveal of SPECTER's involvement.

In terms of the editing itself overall, almost everything was smooth and unnoticeable...except for ONE part that jumped out at me. At the very beginning during the intro music sequence the music cuts out a little too suddenly at the end. The only reason why I noticed that is because I love that musical number.

Despite all that, I still enjoyed it and would ultimately recommend.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0
(Updated: June 28, 2022)
Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Good movie edit. I liked the beginning scenes of the movie. That was good you took out unnecessary scenes & dialogue. The beginning of the movie was a little slow and you made it speed up a little. The silly 2 girIs fight at the camp you cut looked better. I like trim the part when Bond was questioning Tatiana and you took out the slap. That's not cool to do that especially today. The boat chase at the end I liked it, I got a kick out of it how Bond got them and burnt them up. I don't know why you don't like it, I guess the movie is better to make it a little shorter. The audio & visual had no problems. Thanks for the movie Paranoid Android.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0
View all user reviews