Live and Let Die: Less is MOORE Edition

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9.5 (5)
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Live and Let Die: Less is MOORE Edition
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie/Show Title:
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1973
Original Running Time:
121
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
93
Time Cut:
28
Brief Synopsis:
Roger Moore's first foray into the spy world of Bond was a pretty good start in terms of seriousness, but some of the outdated slang and J.W. Pepper really kills the feeling of this being a classic James Bond movie. Also, the boat chase was like 20 minutes long.
Intention:
This has been a project I've wanted to get to for a long time. Live and Let Die is one of my least favorite Bond movies of all time. After editing it, it's a bit easier to swallow. J.W. Pepper being completely excised is enough to make it more enjoyable!
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
Released in 1973, Live and Let Die was Roger Moore's first foray into the popular spy franchise and it took Bond to the exotic locale of.....New York City. Along with the the seedy underbelly of Harlem featuring lots of dated slangs being thrown around, we have Jane Seymour's first film role.

In all honesty, this is my least favorite of the Moore era, which is why I'm glad I'm going in order of release.

In relation to later entries, this one had a lot less of the cringey one-liners and outside of J.W. Pepper, this managed to be a bit more serious. The only plot point that I found to be a letdown was that most of the characters believed in the supernatural voodoo aspects except for Bond and then Baron Samedi appears in a scene towards the climax and is blown away like he is made of porcelain only to come back again, get knocked into a case full of venomous snakes and then reappear with his signature laugh at the very end of the film (where they initially had plans to feature him again, but that never came to fruition). My cutlist will reflect that Bond didn't buy into the supernatural and was right about at least the Baron being a sham.
Cuts and Additions:
- With this being a new Bond's first appearance, I was surprised they didn't include him before the opening titles. I have moved things around so that our new Bond appears as M is coming to give him his mission while Bond is hiding the fact that he has a woman in his apartment. The titles kick in as Bond uses the magnetic watch to undress his lady friend.
- Bond's car ride as he arrives in NYC kicks into high gear as Whispers shoots a dart at the driver. I've trimmed things so that as soon as the driver is shot the car immediately loses control. Originally the dead driver was maneuvering in traffic really well for a dead guy.
- Cut dated dialogue between Bond and his cab driver (Bond literally refers to someone as a jukebox).
- Cut people calling Bond a honky and a cue ball.
- Cut Rosie Carver completely
- Cut Bond talking about handing the case over to Felix and then contradicting that in the next scene.
- Cut old lady at the air field
- Cut the next scene that references the old lady in the air field
- Make a cleaner cut from what the movie had going from Bond being lowered under the stage compared to what was there.
- Cut Bond saying "watch your step" before being cuffed to the chair. It just felt out of place.
- Cut Bond saying "butter hook" to Tee Hee when he was trying to take Bond's watch off.
- Cut Bond saying "oh I was counting on that" to Tee Hee when he's being left with the crocs
- Rework the whole speed boat chase, cutting out JW Pepper completely as well as the henchman driving his car after Bond as grabbing JW Pepper's relative's speed boat as well as Bond crashing a wedding and grabbing their boat.
- Add music to new speed boat chase
- Cut Baron getting shot by Bond and exploding
- Cut "keep the change" line
- Trim the quick fight scene between Kananga and Bond so that Kananga comes right at Bond without stopping to raise the knife in the air leaving himself open to getting punched or kicked which Bond doesn't do.
- Cut inflatable Kananga. Now we see him flail around after swallowing the compressed air dart and then we see the water explode.
- Cut Bond's terrible line after Kananga blows up
- Cut after Bond loses at cards as he immediately goes right in for the sex
- Add music to fight with Tee Hee
- Cut Baron sitting on back of train at the end
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie/Show Title:
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1973
Original Running Time:
121
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
93
Time Cut:
28
Brief Synopsis:
Roger Moore's first foray into the spy world of Bond was a pretty good start in terms of seriousness, but some of the outdated slang and J.W. Pepper really kills the feeling of this being a classic James Bond movie. Also, the boat chase was like 20 minutes long.
Intention:
This has been a project I've wanted to get to for a long time. Live and Let Die is one of my least favorite Bond movies of all time. After editing it, it's a bit easier to swallow. J.W. Pepper being completely excised is enough to make it more enjoyable!
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
Released in 1973, Live and Let Die was Roger Moore's first foray into the popular spy franchise and it took Bond to the exotic locale of.....New York City. Along with the the seedy underbelly of Harlem featuring lots of dated slangs being thrown around, we have Jane Seymour's first film role.

In all honesty, this is my least favorite of the Moore era, which is why I'm glad I'm going in order of release.

In relation to later entries, this one had a lot less of the cringey one-liners and outside of J.W. Pepper, this managed to be a bit more serious. The only plot point that I found to be a letdown was that most of the characters believed in the supernatural voodoo aspects except for Bond and then Baron Samedi appears in a scene towards the climax and is blown away like he is made of porcelain only to come back again, get knocked into a case full of venomous snakes and then reappear with his signature laugh at the very end of the film (where they initially had plans to feature him again, but that never came to fruition). My cutlist will reflect that Bond didn't buy into the supernatural and was right about at least the Baron being a sham.
Cuts and Additions:
- With this being a new Bond's first appearance, I was surprised they didn't include him before the opening titles. I have moved things around so that our new Bond appears as M is coming to give him his mission while Bond is hiding the fact that he has a woman in his apartment. The titles kick in as Bond uses the magnetic watch to undress his lady friend.
- Bond's car ride as he arrives in NYC kicks into high gear as Whispers shoots a dart at the driver. I've trimmed things so that as soon as the driver is shot the car immediately loses control. Originally the dead driver was maneuvering in traffic really well for a dead guy.
- Cut dated dialogue between Bond and his cab driver (Bond literally refers to someone as a jukebox).
- Cut people calling Bond a honky and a cue ball.
- Cut Rosie Carver completely
- Cut Bond talking about handing the case over to Felix and then contradicting that in the next scene.
- Cut old lady at the air field
- Cut the next scene that references the old lady in the air field
- Make a cleaner cut from what the movie had going from Bond being lowered under the stage compared to what was there.
- Cut Bond saying "watch your step" before being cuffed to the chair. It just felt out of place.
- Cut Bond saying "butter hook" to Tee Hee when he was trying to take Bond's watch off.
- Cut Bond saying "oh I was counting on that" to Tee Hee when he's being left with the crocs
- Rework the whole speed boat chase, cutting out JW Pepper completely as well as the henchman driving his car after Bond as grabbing JW Pepper's relative's speed boat as well as Bond crashing a wedding and grabbing their boat.
- Add music to new speed boat chase
- Cut Baron getting shot by Bond and exploding
- Cut "keep the change" line
- Trim the quick fight scene between Kananga and Bond so that Kananga comes right at Bond without stopping to raise the knife in the air leaving himself open to getting punched or kicked which Bond doesn't do.
- Cut inflatable Kananga. Now we see him flail around after swallowing the compressed air dart and then we see the water explode.
- Cut Bond's terrible line after Kananga blows up
- Cut after Bond loses at cards as he immediately goes right in for the sex
- Add music to fight with Tee Hee
- Cut Baron sitting on back of train at the end

User reviews

5 reviews
Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.6(5)
Audio Editing
 
9.6(5)
Visual Editing
 
10.0(5)
Narrative
 
9.0(5)
Enjoyment
 
9.0(5)
Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Live and Let Die has always rated pretty low for me in the Bond ranking, the main reason is that it is frequently at odds with itself, not sure of what it wants to be or do, and containing elements that just don't belong in the 007 world (I'm still scratching my head over the many lives of Baron Samedi). Also, sadly, it contains one of the worst cases of Bond being a total piece of trash in the whole series, manufacturing a whole deck of cards just to deceive a naive young woman into bed. Sadly, there is no way around this (or there is, but the price would be confirming the supernatural elements of the story as unambiguously genuine, which absolutely wouldn't fit, so damned if you do and damned if you don't) but still a lot can be done to streamline and improve it. And a lot has been done here, with remarkable results.

Though I must say, not everything is exactly what I would have done. For starters, there's the issue of the cold open sequence, which for me it's another case of damned if you do and damned if you don't. It is true that it feels quite odd that the theatrical version of the pre-credits does not feature Bond at all, being the only installment in the series that doesn't (technically, neither From Russia With Love nor The Man With the Golden Gun feature Bond either, but arguably they come close enough), but it is equally true that these openings are all about action and shock, and by moving Bond's apartment scene there it kind of comes across as a bit too long, a bit too expository, and a bit too calm for this spot. In fact I'm still undecided about whether I prefer the theatrical approach or this one.

Then, I admit I miss Rosie Carver. Sure, she's a pretty weak character, but I'd vote for keeping her mainly for two reasons: her historical importance as the first black Bond girl of relevance (before her, if I'm not mistaken, there was only Thumper in Diamonds Are Forever, which was a bit part), and the fact that losing her also loses any development for Quarrel Jr., a rare instance of a heroic black character in the story (only him and agent Harry Strutter are any sympathetic), reduced here to little more than an extra. This said, I thought that the way Ed recontextualized the Kananga/Solitaire conversation about the Rosie set-up to refer to the snake trap instead, was nothing short of brilliant.

And yes, as others have commented, at 93 minutes it feels a bit short for a Bond movie (the shortest unedited Bond, Quantum of Solace, is 106 minutes long), and Kananga's death feels abrupt and anticlimactic. Still beats that silly balloon by far, though.

But despite the above, this was highly enjoyable. For the most part, less is indeed "Moore" and it all feels so much more consistent. While it retains flaws inherent to the source material, it is no longer a wandering movie in search of a path and fits much better in the Bond canon. Other than the Rosie and Quarrel Jr stuff, I did not miss any of the removed material, and found myself enjoying the movie much more than ever before. Video and audio editing were very well done, despite some of the music nips and tucks being a tiny bit noticeable at a few spots, but comparatively a small price to pay for the removal of a few terrible lines.

Still not my favorite Bond, but would go up quite a few slots had it been released that way. Good job, 007.
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Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
This Bond is less silly, which is a clear improvement. Narrative decisions are logical and consistent.

Video editing is seamless except for the cut when Kananga dies: I understand why, but it felt like a shot was missing. Replacing instead of cutting might have worked better.

The added music was noticeable. It sounded not that much louder, but more forward placed than the original music. But(!) I listened to an h.264 conversion of the original file, and it's possible this artifact crept in during that conversion.

The movie felt over too soon. I didn't miss any specific details, but the pacing felt (too) fast. For that, I'd love to see some padding put back in.

In all, a good alternative to the original but not a complete replacement.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
L
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
9.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
Aside from my BluRay player, none of my other tools could read this, even VLC which I found puzzling.
Consequently, I’m not going to list some of the specs which I normally do.

MusicEd921 has taken an average Bond and made a pretty good one.
There is a lot of cutting throughout, and the pace is considerably peppier.
Trims show nothing jarring, video and audio wise.
I am scoring the narrative for how cohesive it remains, but this feels truncated, like 007 lite.
Of course, everything he cut was either padding, frivolous or inappropriate.
Enjoyment, I wish the film itself were better.
For whatever reason, it looks cheap. Bond on a budget.
Moore and Seymour have poor chemistry.
None of this is MusicEd’s fault, this is what he has to work with.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
This was an amazing edit, turning a good film into an amazing one! No Rosie Carver, no Sheriff Pepper and a more believable plot! It's a shame the new Bond doesn't get a better introduction (sleeping in bed, really?) and the whole 'Mr Big's real identity' (as it is really obvious). But for the material you had to work with, you did a great job!

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
W
Top 100 Reviewer 54 reviews
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Live and Let Die is my second favourite Moore-era Bond movie, but I still find it something of a mixed bag, and probably no more than a mid-tier Bond movie. I'm glad to say this edit does a near-perfect job of cutting out the things that bug me - especially Sheriff Pepper and Rosie Carver, whose combined absences are not missed in the slightest. The only minor downside of removing these scenes is the pacing: it all flies by now in a way that is so fast it doesn't quite feel Bond-like.

The video and audio editing changes were faultless. I've recently seen the original film so there were moments where I was aware of the edits being made, but I suspect a first time viewer wouldn't be able to tell where the fan editor had intervened. So I feel it deserves a 10 on the technical ranking.

For enjoyment I've given it a 9. It's clearly better than the theatrical cut of the film, but I wish there were a few minutes added back in - especially during the New York sequence, where I have no issue with some of the lines of dialogue that were cut. I wonder if the film might have played marginally better with a little less editing in that first hour.

And thanks for removing the ridiculous blow-up Yaphet Kotto balloon!

Overall: great work. If you're a Bond fan who prefers the serious tone of the Connery, Dalton or Craig eras give this a watch. It's well worth the effort.
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