Bond films that could be improved by just cutting them down...

Junglist_1985Junglist_1985 Los Angeles
edited June 2020 in Bond Movies Posts: 251
Although “bloated” has arguably become a recurring staple of some Bond films - going hand in hand with OTT oftentimes - I feel there are a few Bond films that could just be chopped down a bit to become far superior. Contrast this with films that needed extra meat/scenes/fleshing out like QOS, TND - this would be impossible. But cutting could happen today and wouldn’t require much time or $$$:

Thunderball - clean up some of the dragging underwater scenes; it would make the 3rd act much more concise and end with more of a punch.

Spectre - you could pretty easily just remove the whole BroFeld aspect and the film instantly improves. Add a cut to the “author of your pain” BS and maybe the part tying together of all Craig villains (the MI6 HQ “booby trap” scene) and the films is WAY better.

Can you think of any others that could be edited down easily and vastly improve the film?

Comments

  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    edited June 2020 Posts: 4,022
    Casino Royale. Not that it needs much improvement, but somewhere in the Miami sequence, or the Venice sequence, I feel it could be slimmed down and it would feel tighter all around.
    In some ways Casino Royale feels longer to me than Spectre.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    edited June 2020 Posts: 8,658
    Moonraker's cartoon flourishes at the end of every reel. Octopussy's Tarzan yell and vine swing.

    Die Another Day's CGI cliff dive and especially tsunami parasailing. A lot of Jinx's dialogue. Penis jokes. Moneypenny's virtual reality. Plus Brosnan Bond's abdomen after he's released from the North Korean prison.

    That's about it.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,478
    A thread like this already exists.

  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    edited June 2020 Posts: 30,478
    Actually, upon going back to link this thread to that one, I realized that the older thread I'm referring to deals specifically with Bond films that fall apart after a half or two-thirds, which is different, but much of the same issues are discussed.

    https://www.mi6community.com/discussion/8740/potentially-great-bond-films-that-fall-apart-halfway-or-three-quarters-way-through#latest

    I'll reopen this one, as it's unique enough.
  • Posts: 512
    Spectre should have ended with the shootout at Blofeld’ s base in Morocco. If it had ended there then it would have been a shorter and tighter film. The London stuff at the end just drags on and on. IMO obviously.

    I’m in the minority here but I think TB’s pacing is nearly perfect and needs nothing cutting.

    And I’ll probably be in a minority here too but I think OHMSS could have benefited from a bit of trimming, although I’m stumped as to what could be cut.
  • GadgetManGadgetMan Nigeria
    Posts: 3,717
    I think OHMSS is fine as it is. I would have been happier if the rooftop chase wasn't cut, as it would have made the film more Epic....Plus Giving Lazenby more Screentime, since he ended up doing one Bond film.
  • LocqueLocque Escaped from a Namur prison
    Posts: 228
    I’ve always felt Octopussy is just a few edits away from being one of the best in the series: just take out all the stupid attemts at jokes - the Tarzan yell, the tennis noises over the rickshaw chase, and that one excruciating scene where Bond lets a woman cut in front of him at a phonebooth and just stands there looking at his watch like a schmuck while the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
  • Junglist_1985Junglist_1985 Los Angeles
    edited June 2020 Posts: 251
    I know what you mean about OHMSS — I have no idea where they could cut. However, I do think some slower/dramatic pacing from the Blofeld bobsled scene to the end would improve the film. You can tell they were running long and had to end the film quickly. Yes, that might have meant an even longer runt time, but the rushed ending is my main gripe with OHMSS.
    Locque wrote: »
    I’ve always felt Octopussy is just a few edits away from being one of the best in the series: just take out all the stupid attemts at jokes - the Tarzan yell, the tennis noises over the rickshaw chase, and that one excruciating scene where Bond lets a woman cut in front of him at a phonebooth and just stands there looking at his watch like a schmuck while the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

    Yes! I’ve heard this sentiment quite a bit. Like literally just snip out all the bad jokes from Octopussy and you have a vastly superior film. Easy.
  • LocqueLocque Escaped from a Namur prison
    edited June 2020 Posts: 228
    This may be a controversial opinion about OHMSS, but I feel it would have been better without the wedding and Tracy's death. It feels tacked on and unnecessary, even more so because we never got the pay off that scene deserved: it screams for a dark and violent sequel in which a grimly determined Bond exacts his revenge on Blofeld and Irma Bunt.

    Diamonds Are Forever, pre-credit sequence not withstanding, was not that sequel.
  • LocqueLocque Escaped from a Namur prison
    Posts: 228
    In Thunderball, everything concerning Paula could have been cut: she hardly says a word, has no discernable personality, and doesn't do anything important.
    Then she gets herself kidnapped, Bond goes out to rescue her, but when he gets there, he finds she commited suicide before the villains could interrogate her. So the villains have learned nothing from taking her, Bond has learned nothing from trying to rescue her, the whole thing takes up about 10 minutes of screentime in an already overlong film, during which the plot hasn't advanced one little bit.

    She seems to exist solely so they could slap another girl in a bikini on the poster.
  • Posts: 1,066
    In fairness she does look good.

    A bit of editing would improve moo taker tenfold although I do have a soft spot for it anyway.

    Spy who loved me - remove the fakesh side plot and go straight to max kalber

    Not sure we needed the sinking house in Venice
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    edited June 2020 Posts: 4,301
    Locque wrote: »
    In Thunderball, everything concerning Paula could have been cut: she hardly says a word, has no discernable personality, and doesn't do anything important.
    Then she gets herself kidnapped, Bond goes out to rescue her, but when he gets there, he finds she commited suicide before the villains could interrogate her. So the villains have learned nothing from taking her, Bond has learned nothing from trying to rescue her, the whole thing takes up about 10 minutes of screentime in an already overlong film, during which the plot hasn't advanced one little bit.

    She seems to exist solely so they could slap another girl in a bikini on the poster.

    TB was built for this question. Ditto all the nonsense around Shrublands with way too many characters (Lippe and the gun guy and the telephone guy. My head hurts.. And none of them are important.)

    And then...it's a double! Oh wait, the double's blackmailing back! Now he's dead!--you don't need the double, just a rogue pilot.

    The underwater scenes were amazing for their time, I'm sure, but they're just too long now. Compare to OHMSS. I'm sure the skiing scenes were equally amazing for that period but they didn't go on forever like TB.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 6,340
    To be fair, the stuff that happens in the first half of Thunderball is a writing issue rather than an editing one. The film is slowly paced, for sure, but considering the script that they were working from, the editing relays almost all the important information as efficiently as it can.

    I see what people mean about the underwater scenes, though. I still love them, personally.
  • Posts: 2,250
    echo wrote: »
    And then...it's a double! Oh wait, the double's blackmailing back! Now he's dead!--you don't need the double, just a rogue pilot.

    As Raymond Benson said in The James Bond Bedside Companion, the script of Thunderball is unnecessarily complicated. The double malarkey is a key example of this. It wasn't in the book and didn't need to be in the movie.

    As for OHMSS, the only bits that I think should have been cut are the scenes with Campbell. In the book his purpose was to blow Bond's cover, but Bond does that to himself in the film.

  • echoecho 007 in New York
    edited June 2020 Posts: 4,301
    Interestingly, I think Paula is only in TB because a Bond film "has" to have a sacrificial lamb. Ditto Campbell in OHMSS.

    That being said, I think SP suffers in the stakes department for not having a sacrificial lamb.

    Just rewatched TB and here's a controversial opinion: they should have cut the entire battle of the armies at the end. Keep the focus on Bond-Domino-Largo.
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe "I need a year off" Craig
    Posts: 7,293
    I think SP suffers for not having a plot.
  • Posts: 623
    Locque wrote: »
    I’ve always felt Octopussy is just a few edits away from being one of the best in the series: just take out all the stupid attemts at jokes - the Tarzan yell, the tennis noises over the rickshaw chase, and that one excruciating scene where Bond lets a woman cut in front of him at a phonebooth and just stands there looking at his watch like a schmuck while the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

    I'd love a de-sillied Octopussy, there's quite a few slapstick bits that spoil the vibe, (the Bond theme snake charm bit - ugh!) but I'd keep in the phonebooth wait. I've always thought that a good joke about English 'stiff-assed' politeness.
    That said, it's been a while since I've seen it, I may wince next time myself.
  • LocqueLocque Escaped from a Namur prison
    edited June 2020 Posts: 228
    shamanimal wrote: »
    Locque wrote: »
    I’ve always felt Octopussy is just a few edits away from being one of the best in the series: just take out all the stupid attemts at jokes - the Tarzan yell, the tennis noises over the rickshaw chase, and that one excruciating scene where Bond lets a woman cut in front of him at a phonebooth and just stands there looking at his watch like a schmuck while the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

    I'd love a de-sillied Octopussy, there's quite a few slapstick bits that spoil the vibe, (the Bond theme snake charm bit - ugh!) but I'd keep in the phonebooth wait. I've always thought that a good joke about English 'stiff-assed' politeness.
    That said, it's been a while since I've seen it, I may wince next time myself.

    In another context, perhaps it would work, but not when there’s an atomic bomb about to go off at a nearby airbase.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 3,561
    The films that spring to my mind are the following:

    TB: could use some real tightening up and the story (which was rather simple) seems to lack urgency. Trim out some of the Bond and Leiter flying around looking for the plane. Trim down SPECTRE hiding the plane. Not sure why we need to see the frogman hammering in stakes into the sea bed. The whole Shrublands serves no real purpose, in the book it was because Bond was out of shape. In the film there is no reason for him to be there.

    LALD wow could that boat chase be trimmed! It goes on and on and on with no real excitement unless watching boats land into swimming pools excites you.

    OP seems long in stretches, not sure what you can do to help it along. The other challenge is like TB when a villain dies the film loses some steam. Orlov in this case dying seems to take some of the fun out of the film. He's a much more interesting character then Kamal to me.

    TLD has pacing problems in Afghanistan.

    TWINE the boat chase seems a tad long to me. The action sequences lack punch and suspense. Except for maybe the sawblade caviar sequence.

    CR the third act needs some help. It always seems to drag after the game. Not sure why we need all those scenes of Bond getting back to health. Why can't we go right to Venice?

    SP another 3rd act fall apart. Not sure how to save this one though. I think a start would be to end the film in the desert and then bring Blofeld back for another adventure.
  • marcmarc Universal Exports
    Posts: 1,429
    I'd like to cut off almost all the underwater scenes in TB, but I like the double idea for the one moment where Derval meets his double at the door.

    In OHMSS, I would shorten the Gumbold office scene or add stakes.

    CR should end with the great card game and a very different Vesper death.

    In SP, Mr. White is meant to be the sacrificial lamb, in a way.
  • Posts: 225
    1. DN - Majory unpopualr opinion, but I actually find the whole film little sloggy at times - but can't think of exact moments that bog it down.
    2 FRWL - Not sure what I would cut here.
    3. GF - the Solo getting killed scene is way too long. Too much film-time is watching people drive.
    4. TB - I think some people are way too hard on the film's pacing, but I do agree about 5 minutes could have been shaved-off from the burying-the-bomb scene.
    5. YOLT - Bond turning Japanese and training puts me to sleep all the time.
    6. OHMSS - Agree that Campbell was useless in the film and could have shaved 5 minutes off to make the film a little tighter.
    7. DAF - The moon bugy chase and subsequent car chase are WAY too long.
    8. LALD - The motor boat chase is ay too long. Needs to skip all the camp and go straight to the awesome dispatching of Adam. Cutting out Pepper would be nice.
    9. TMWTGG - More overly long car chase with most of it being ey-rolling garbage from Pepper.
    10. TSWLM-The Liparus battle could be trimmed a bit.
    11. MR- Cut out the lazer battle.
    12. FYEO - Not in my top 8, but it feels like a tight, crisp film,
    13. OP - Trim the train sequence
    14. AVTAK - Firetruck sequence (You can see a theme here. MANY vehicle chases are too long in Bond films)
    15. TLD - Not sure what to cut. Feels like a short, crisp film.
    16. LTK - The PTS feels too long.
    17. GE - The scenes in Serbia are too long.
    18. TND - Everything after Bond and Lin escape from the CMGN tower.
    19. TWINE - the PTS is too long
    20. DAD -Everything after the fencing battle
    21. CR - I have no issues with the pacing of the film at all.
    22. QOS - I think the film could have used a longer running-time, honestly. The film feels a little incomplete.
    23. SF - the recovery/training section could be cut-down
    24. SP - the second-ending was unnecessary.
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