James Bond: British versions -- urban myth?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by PaulBigelow, Nov 29, 2003.

  1. PaulBigelow

    PaulBigelow Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello,

    From time to time I hear of the "British" versions of the Connery Bond films. Do those versions truly exist? If so, have any of the alternate versions ever appeared on any video? Is there a site detailing the differences?
     
  2. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    There have been mentions on various documentaries that they filmed some scenes twice. Once for the U.S. cut and once for the European since they didn't have the same "taboos" at the time.

    I don't know if MGM has only released the U.S. versions on the discs world wide or not.

    I'd love to see the definitive cuts of these films, fully restored when they come to video again.

    Dan
     
  3. Neil S. Bulk

    Neil S. Bulk Screenwriter

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    I've read most of the major books about Bond (some of them several times) and I've never heard this about the films, so I'm guessing this is a rumor.

    However, it is well known that the British version of Die Another Day had a bit more thrusting in the sex scene between Bond and Jinx.

    I saw a beautiful British print of Goldfinger 3 years ago. The end credits said James Bond would return in On Her Majesty's Secret Service instead of Thunderball. That is also documented on the DVD. Also, most of the CD's do not have extra music to cover up extended edits, so I'm going to pass this one up as a rumor.

    Neil
     
  4. Jason Adams

    Jason Adams Supporting Actor

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    The only differences between a American cut and a British cut, were only in one Connery film, Thunderball. Its nothing serious...I believe that only a few lines are added and changed. And also, the British version uses the 1962 version of the James Bond theme as its end titles, instead of the one John Barry wrote.
     
  5. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    Back inthe 90's, Criterion released the first three Bond films (one printing was in CAV with audio commentary...now quite valuable). The aspect ratio was 1.77, which is the British ratio. The DVD releases are in 1.85 so some vertical cropping does occur.

    As far as a different cut of the movies go, I've never heard of them existing, but if they do, I'd be interested in seeing them.
     
  6. Jay Pennington

    Jay Pennington Screenwriter

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    I read something recently about From Russia With Love being edited slightly for a British re-release in the 70s, after a new ratings system had been implemented.
     
  7. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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  8. Andy_G

    Andy_G Stunt Coordinator

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    1. 1.78:1 is a ratio used for HD. I am not aware that it was ever used in theatrical projection.

    2. Have you even looked closely at the framing of the DVDs? The "flat" bonds are all clearly at 1.78:1 (with no matting to 1.85:1.
     
  9. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    ^^^

    The "flat" Bonds?

    Not sure what you are referring to but I was referring to the first three movies.

    I've run Goldfinger side by side (DVD and Criterion) and more vertical info is seen. Thought it was 1.77 but guess it could be 1.78... very little difference.

    This was the actual aspect ratio produced and shown in England (according to Criterion).
     
  10. Andy_G

    Andy_G Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd guess that the Criterion is actually framed at 1.66:1, which seems far more likely (given the european origin).

    "Flat" = Spherical lenses.
     
  11. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    I found this in reference to the laserdiscs I mentioned. I own the CAV version but the review is focused on the CLV version. There are comparisons done. Check it out. He mentions the framing as well, which was supposed to be 1.75:1 but apparently was not?

    http://www.laserrot.com/ldreviews/us/d/cc1292l.html
     
  12. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  13. Jimmy M

    Jimmy M Second Unit

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    Little bit late, but welcome to the forum Jay!

    Jimmy!

    (Yes, THAT Jim)
     
  14. Mike Heenan

    Mike Heenan Second Unit

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    As for From Russia, my previous IB tech print had a lab splice at the end where he said "he was right you know" and then the stock changed to slightly mistimed print, which leads me to believe this line was in the original cut but was cut out for general release. As for other Bonds, I know of a collector who has several British LPP reels of OHMSS, and he says the differences between the British and US versions are subtle, but they're there. Nothing major though. As for Die Another Day, the British theatrical version was the same as the US theatrical version from what I hear. I inquired to several Bond fanatics over there and they said it was the same. I think for test audiences they made it a little raunchier but that was cut by the MPAA.
     
  15. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    My highschool histroy teacher was a cold-war buff and always flaunted his bootleged "copy of a copy of a copy" Soviet-Russian James Bond knockoff. The subtitles were really, really bad (as was the PQ). I just thought it was funny that the "super spy" had a handgun bigger than his car! (The actual movies werent very good)
     
  16. Michael St. Clair

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    I never trust anyones memory on matters such as these. When the Beatles Anthology DVD came out, a couple of people at another forum described various additions/extensions that they had noticed on the new release. I synched the DVD to the new video (picture-beside-picture on my HDTV) and despite viewers' "memory", the DVD was identical down to the last frame.
     
  17. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Regarding the earlier discussions of the Criterion laserdiscs, I have those first 3 Bond films on the Criterion CAV LD and with the audio commentary. Interesting to hear that they are still considered valuable.

    As for the AR of the LD's, on my Sony 32' monitor, it looks like it virtually fills the screen top to bottom, just a slight bit of black bars above and below. The earlier comment regarding varying overscan of different monitors makes sense. It's not an issue, I believe what Criterion says regarding the British AR of the time of it's original release, milieage obviously varies depending on make and model of monitor. Maybe I'll compare now with the DVD's.

    Nelson
     
  18. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Why is it that some of the documentaries that were made for the Bond films actually mention filming some scenes twice? Once for a U.S. release and once for Europe? Either to lessen violence or sexual subtexts for the U.S.

    Dan
     
  19. Neil S. Bulk

    Neil S. Bulk Screenwriter

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  20. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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