THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS: What would you have done differently?

edited May 19 in Bond Movies Posts: 568
As most of us here are quite dedicated fans of the franchise, and I'm sure could say that it is one of or even the best franchise out there. For me personally, it definitely is despite the problems some of the films have. A while ago, I created a discussion for 'SPECTRE: What would you have done differently?' I thought I'd create a new discussion where we can go through each James Bond film and say what we would have differently.

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First up, is the first ever James Bond, DR. NO. This is your chance to say whatever you would have differently wit the film, so things like; plot change, character additions or subtractions. Anything you like. People will be given the chance to give their responses within 7 DAYS from today (this may change so let me know if you want me to extend the time for longer) until the discussion moves on to the next James Bond film. This will run until we reach SKYFALL as a discussion for SPECTRE already exists.

Hope you guys enjoy hearing everyone's responses!
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Comments

  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe "I'VE GOT NO ARMOUR LEFT!!" Great dialogue
    Posts: 5,870
    It's a near perfect film!
  • Posts: 568
    It's a near perfect film!

    I can understand that :D

    What do you think it could have done to be exactly perfect?
  • edited May 2017 Posts: 1,867
    Some business, as opposed to creative, items:

    1. Make sure Jack Lord got in a couple of days before filming started at the Kingston airport. He didn't arrive until the first day and they fell behind schedule by a half-day out of the box.

    2. Be a little more honest with Film Finances, the company that provided the completion bond. If they had, Film Finances probably wouldn't have taken control of the movie during post-production.

    Ken Adam sent a memo to Harry Saltzman that the interior sets were going to cost more than budgeted. Saltzman didn't inform Film Finances. Eventually, Film Finances saw the Adam memo. The executives were not happy.

  • jake24jake24 Sitting at your desk, kissing your lover, eating supper with your family
    Posts: 8,086
    It's a near perfect film!
    Agreed, it's pretty much a near-perfect film. If anything, I would have given Dr. No a bit more screen time.
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    Posts: 148
    Nice idea for a discussion @MadeleineSwann :)
  • echoecho Piz Gloria, I hope you enjoy it.
    Posts: 2,636
    It's a bit unfair because who could have known what FRWL and GF would bring, but I'd change the soundtrack.
  • jake24jake24 Sitting at your desk, kissing your lover, eating supper with your family
    Posts: 8,086
    echo wrote: »
    It's a bit unfair because who could have known what FRWL and GF would bring, but I'd change the soundtrack.
    That too.
  • edited May 2017 Posts: 2,469
    With the advantage of hindsight, I would have done a PTS complete with an official title track.

    I would have hewed closer to the novel in having Bond put through the "obstacle course" and Honey confronted with the black crabs. And the giant squid? Would that have been possible to film in '62? If so, do it. If not, perhaps he has to fend off a swarm of barracudas.

    And I'm a bit iffy on Dr. No's death. Not that it was poor, but to quote Elliot Carver, "it lacked...punch." Bond hurls him into the barracuda pool?

    And again, with the benefit of hindsight, a Barry score wouldn't have gone amiss.
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe "I'VE GOT NO ARMOUR LEFT!!" Great dialogue
    Posts: 5,870
    Yes, the soundtrack. That's what I'd change.
  • Posts: 1,664
    The score. As it stands I don't think normans score hurts the film (it creates good atmosphere), but a Barry score would have been amazing as usual
  • Posts: 3,407
    w2bond wrote: »
    The score. As it stands I don't think normans score hurts the film (it creates good atmosphere), but a Barry score would have been amazing as usual

    Agreed. The score doesn't affect the film in a negative way, but thinking of what Barry brought with FRWL, one could only imagine what the film would be like with a Barry score.

    Other than that, I can't really think of much. It doesn't feel as big scale as the films to come, but as with the score, it isn't really a negative thing. Some of the better films are not the "biggest" in that sense.

    Now, if there's one little thing - and that's very little; I do feel that Anthony Dawson as Professor Dent look more menacing than Joseph Wiseman as Dr. No. Not that Professor Dent as a character is any more threatening than Dr. No, it's just that Dr.No in the film is somewhat controlled, and Professor Dent isn't, really.
  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    Posts: 1,703
    The score and a different Felix. Actually, I think Felix could be completely removed from the movie and nothing would change.

    Also I like the idea of having the obstacle course closer to the novel's, with the giant squid at the end.

    But really, as far as I'm concerned, it's pretty much a perfect film.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 21,010
    I would have done a few more takes of Connery behind the wheel of the Sunbeam Alpine. It's a bit contrived even for 1962. Also, give it a Barry soundtrack & a PTS, as others have said. Other than that, it's great as it is. Lean and trim.
  • Posts: 656
    There was a thread similar to this, where people discussed what they would change about the films. I think it cycled through DN to TB before the original poster disappeared.

    https://www.mi6community.com/discussion/16973/things-i-would-have-changed-in-thunderball/p1
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.
    Posts: 29,181
    If they could've pulled it off with great tension and practical effects, I'd enjoy having the squid involved. Other than that, it doesn't get much better for me than DN.
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe "I'VE GOT NO ARMOUR LEFT!!" Great dialogue
    Posts: 5,870
    Milovy wrote: »
    There was a thread similar to this, where people discussed what they would change about the films. I think it cycled through DN to TB before the original poster disappeared.

    https://www.mi6community.com/discussion/16973/things-i-would-have-changed-in-thunderball/p1

    Into thin air.
  • Posts: 2,469
    w2bond wrote: »
    The score. As it stands I don't think normans score hurts the film (it creates good atmosphere), but a Barry score would have been amazing as usual

    Agreed. The score doesn't affect the film in a negative way, but thinking of what Barry brought with FRWL, one could only imagine what the film would be like with a Barry score.

    Other than that, I can't really think of much. It doesn't feel as big scale as the films to come, but as with the score, it isn't really a negative thing. Some of the better films are not the "biggest" in that sense.

    Now, if there's one little thing - and that's very little; I do feel that Anthony Dawson as Professor Dent look more menacing than Joseph Wiseman as Dr. No. Not that Professor Dent as a character is any more threatening than Dr. No, it's just that Dr.No in the film is somewhat controlled, and Professor Dent isn't, really.

    However, Wiseman is the spit and image of Fleming's Dr. No. Perfect casting choice, IMO.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,232
    This is one of the few films where I'd change very little, so really my nitpicks are...

    1.) Get rid of the nuclear angle and that wretched bathing scene. Utter lunacy and it really bogs down the pacing as Bond and Honey enter No's lair. They should've just been taken from capture and been sent to their rooms to continue building the tension.

    2.) Give Felix something to do. I mean, anything. (I could say this for literally every 60s film with Felix, unfortunately)

    3.) John Barry on the score? Couldn't hurt.

    4.) Expand Bond's fight with Dr. No, or give him more enemies to battle. In comparison to the finales like we'd get in later 60s films, this one feels in the prototype stages. It was the prototype though, so it's understandable.


    Still, it's amazing that even with a very meager budget the team were able to pull off a film that still holds up and embarrasses a lot of the later films with exponentially larger funds.
  • BondAficionadoBondAficionado Former IMDBer
    Posts: 1,012
    The title sequence is quite bizarre and the changing of songs is jarring to say the least. That's all I'd fix.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger The 0,07 %
    Posts: 26,866
    During the car chase I would tell Sean to take it a bit easy with the teethgrinding. That s it.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 2,876
    Give the (formerly) crosseyed dragon a snaking neck that lashes out like whip, delivering flames to a target. It would look fantastic at nighttime and in silhouette. Then can be revealed as machine.

    And at least try the krakon. So we could see the deleted scene on Bluray.
  • Posts: 568
    We got off to a slow start but it's been great to hear all your different ideas, love what I'm hearing. Now, it's been just over a week so I think it's time we moved on to FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE.

    from_russia_with_love_ver3_xlg.jpg

    Again, this is your chance to say whatever you would have differently wit the film, so things like; plot change, character additions or subtractions. Anything you like. People will be given the chance to give their responses within 7 DAYS from today (this may change so let me know if you want me to extend the time for longer) until the discussion moves on to the next James Bond film. This will run until we reach SKYFALL as a discussion for SPECTRE already exists.

    Looking forward to hearing what you guys think.
  • Posts: 2,469
    Hard to find significant fault with this one, but I'll try.

    Now I understand sensibilities were somewhat different in '63 than they are now, but it would have been marvelous to see Rosa Klebb in her "finery" in which she attempted to seduce Tatiana in the novel, and to see Tatiana flee Klebb's flat in horror rather than to submit to her advances. Such would have heightened Klebb's psychotic derangement and made her even more malevolent.

    More of Red Grant's backstory would have been nice, too. Fleming sets up the novel beautifully by describing Grant's serial murdering and his control by lunar cycles. Grisly by '63 standards, of course, but again, would have further elevated the villain's heinousness.

  • Posts: 173
    No SPECTRE.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    Posts: 14,806
    Cut the boat turmoil at the end and you've got a perfect film.
  • JamesBondKenyaJamesBondKenya God I love Quantum of Solace
    Posts: 1,907
    I like the boat chase except maybe make it make more sense
  • edited May 2017 Posts: 656
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Cut the boat turmoil at the end and you've got a perfect film.
    That is basically all that needs doing.

    A few other things bother (bombastic Bond theme while Bond checks for bugs in hotel room, Bond's wave on the boat at end), but they're not a big deal.

    As for Dr. No (I know I'm late, and I said this already on the other thread): my main problem is that it's too easy for Bond to escape the obstacle course. If they had the budget, the squid fight would have been marvelous to see here. (No, I don't buy arguments that such a thing would be too silly. If it worked for Fleming, it can work in the films.)
  • 2 tiny things but I hate Bond's wave goodbye to the film at the end. Just looks totally rubbish. Plus there is a strange cut around that point that is noticeable by the jump in the soundtrack. Out of place with the rest of the film. Oh yes, and the whole rear projection of that whole scene
  • Posts: 3,407
    Agreed with the points mentioned above - the boat chase and the wave. I'll ad to that the Monty Norman music from Dr. No, which is so out of place from the fantastic Barry score. Other than these things, it really is a fantastic movie with few flaws. So good, that it holds a #1 spot on my Bond film ranking.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 2,876
    Is that Monty Norman music, or the John Barry additions to the DR. NO score? I ask because I don't think Norman was credited for anything more than the specific James Bond Theme. And likely over-credited. So to me it's a clue to how much Barry contributed in the first film. But yeah, it is garish in comparison.

    Changes to FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE? There is the chance to use the cliffhanger ending with OO7's life in question. I guess the film needs the cheery ending, but something to think about.
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