1

Topic: Never Say Never Again - The Conservative Cut

So, as most of you have learned by now, I'm an avowed NSNA fan and will defend it against most fans who feel like EON needs defending or something. However, I wouldn't be honest if I didn't admit I had problems with it. The narrative issues I can forgive, actually, since they had little choice but to stick with the book and film. But the aeshetic choice of no gunbarrel, and no title sequence and the ruination of the opening action sequence by adding the title song over it... its just ugly. I mean, I suppose no gunbarrel could be acceptable - three of the recent Bonds didn't have them. But with the exception of CR, I missed the gunbarrel in every one of them. As I did here.

And lets not get into the lack of the Bond theme.

So I decided to do a conservative cut of the film. Its basically the same film, for all intents and purposes, with almost no scenes cut but with the gunbarrel present and a title sequence (and, for one, not the same as Thunderball's!). The pre-title I used was from Pegasus, but I redid the gunbarrel from another one (can't remember the name) and edited the music of the gunbarrel to both Legrand's intended track and Norman's Bond theme. The title sequence uses Phylis Hyman's version of the song, the true intended song for the film, and its such a better song for it, too.

Then, I simply added variations of the Bond theme throughout. The original theme in the motorbike sequence, the variation of the theme as heard in the Blofeld Must Die track from DAF when Bond enters the casino, as well as the 007 theme heard in that same track after Bond begins his attempt to disturb SPECTRE's plans in the Tears of Allah hidebout, and the variation of the Bond theme as heard in the final action scene in Kamal Khan's palace in OP when Bond and Leiter are surveing the area near the Tears of Allah hideout. I may have left out one or two more touches, but those are the most of them, score-wise.

Beyond that, what I always wanted to have done is remove Blofeld. Which was surprisingly, well, easy. Firstly I cut the scenes featuring him, and secondly, I dubbed over some of Sydow's as they refered to SPECTRE, and replaced the organization with QUANTUM, making this the organization retroactive first appearence in the franchise (they were always a knock-off anyway), and pitching the overall voice performance lower so its indistinguishable from the original. The domino effect (no pun intended, though it is fun to make) that this has is that Largo is the de-factor leader of the whole film, and the ambiguity of the voice heard in the NATO assembly leaves the implication still open as to whether that is someone speaking for Largo or if he's the leader of QUANTUM, and also the story is firmly from Bond's perspective, the events unfolding as they do for Bond and us, as well.

Beyond all of the above, I didn't change a thing. There are a few more audios edits I wish I did - like changing Moneypenny to Penelope Smallbone (basically have Bond call her Penelope and not Moneypenny in their two scenes), Largo to Argo (or Iago, my prefered choice) and hardest of all, Domino to someone else. My main goal with ALL of those changes, is to make this less obviously comparitive to TB, because otherwise I find the film largely enjoyable as is.

Just thought I'd share this here.

2

Re: Never Say Never Again - The Conservative Cut

Can I ask, this there different edited versions of all James Bond films on DVD? Are they longer than the 'normal' films or do they have some different scenes?

3

Re: Never Say Never Again - The Conservative Cut

I don't know many extended versions of Bond films that exist on DVD. But there do exist fan-edits of several of them, the most well-known of them being Never Say McClory Again, which replaces all of Legrands score with music cues from the first twenty EON films, along with a title sequence (which is Thunderball's, actually), restored opening and gunbarrel. Another well known edit is Icarus, which is a fan-edit of DAD, and honestly it's pretty great.

4

Re: Never Say Never Again - The Conservative Cut

Interesting that you found it necessary to edit a film you liked so much.

While NSNA is far from a perfect film, its worthwhile as Connery’s last performance as Bond. The differences it has from the EON formula pics are what make it interesting to me. When I last watched it a month or so back, it occurred to me that it’s more comedy than drama, almost every scene is played ( or overplayed ) with a comedic undertone. Largo is far more interesting than the pirate with an eyepatch in Thunderball. Fatima was also a brilliant take, being like Largo, absolutely crazy.

But that’s my opinion ... I really like the ‘67 Casino Royale too! For me Bond doesn’t have to exist only in the very stale packaging EON puts out. Fresh takes are very welcome. I feel the real Bond is in the Fleming thrillers and outside the early films with Big Tam, only the Craig Casino Royale has a dabble of Fleming present.

But I will agree that there is ONE thing in NSNA that is outrageously bad and that is Jack Petacchi’s contact lens! I would love to see that edited out ...

5

Re: Never Say Never Again - The Conservative Cut

Jimmy Bond wrote:

I don't know many extended versions of Bond films that exist on DVD. But there do exist fan-edits of several of them, the most well-known of them being Never Say McClory Again, which replaces all of Legrands score with music cues from the first twenty EON films, along with a title sequence (which is Thunderball's, actually), restored opening and gunbarrel. Another well known edit is Icarus, which is a fan-edit of DAD, and honestly it's pretty great.

Thank you. Are these films you mention on you tube?

6

Re: Never Say Never Again - The Conservative Cut

Joshua wrote:
Jimmy Bond wrote:

I don't know many extended versions of Bond films that exist on DVD. But there do exist fan-edits of several of them, the most well-known of them being Never Say McClory Again, which replaces all of Legrands score with music cues from the first twenty EON films, along with a title sequence (which is Thunderball's, actually), restored opening and gunbarrel. Another well known edit is Icarus, which is a fan-edit of DAD, and honestly it's pretty great.

Thank you. Are these films you mention on you tube?

Nope.

7

Re: Never Say Never Again - The Conservative Cut

Jimmy Bond wrote:

  the variation of the theme as heard in the Blofeld Must Die track from DAF

????  ajb007/confused

8

Re: Never Say Never Again - The Conservative Cut

I find the different fan edits interesting. I've seen one edit that opens with Connery's THUNDERBALL gunbarrel and another with Connery's NSNA head pasted on Tim's gunbarrel.
Big fan of NSNA myself,  and have always been fascinated by it's history.

9

Re: Never Say Never Again - The Conservative Cut

I've never had much problem with Never Say Never again, apart from the dreadful soundtrack and the drifts into camp from time to time.

Given that it was a non-official Bond film, there was no way they were going to be able to use the gunbarrel, Bond theme, etc.  Actually, I think it's extraordinary it resembles an official Bond film even as much as it does.  The cinematography is closer to a 60s film than most in the 1980s, too.

Phyllis Hyman's terrific original song for the film is so obviously superior, it's a travesty it was not used, but at the same time, it sounds so much like a traditional Bond song, right down to seemingly incorporating notes from the Bond theme, that I've always suspected the whole Legrand wanting his own song was just a cover story to avoid their getting sued.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBvDSbFdgic

While Kim Basinger was only slightly better than average as the Bond girl, Klaus Maria Brandauer was the most interesting villain any Bond film had had in a long time, which is even more extraordinary given he's the second actor to play Largo.

People said Connery looked pretty old in the movie, which is funny to me as I'm closing in on his age then.  I didn't think he looked old so much as his toupee in the movie looked stodgy and obvious.  Perhaps if they'd given him a little more style, like they did in his later films, it wouldn't have seemed so.

But Never Say Never Again is still fun and certainly better than half of Moore's Bonds.

10

Re: Never Say Never Again - The Conservative Cut

Gassy Man wrote:

I've never had much problem with Never Say Never again, apart from the dreadful soundtrack and the drifts into camp from time to time.

Given that it was a non-official Bond film, there was no way they were going to be able to use the gunbarrel, Bond theme, etc.  Actually, I think it's extraordinary it resembles an official Bond film even as much as it does.  The cinematography is closer to a 60s film than most in the 1980s, too.

I love the film. And I have the compulsion to correct anyone who says that its a non-official Bond film, because... its simply not the case. Its a Bond film, featuring a character called James Bond, working in MI6 in London, for Her Majesty's Secret Service, and his boss is M, his Chief of Staff Bill Tanner, and a secretary called Moneypenny.

In my opinion, the film has actually predicted and, perhaps unwittingly, influenced/predicated the current Bond films in their adherence to character and less slavish devotion to its trademark motifs. Indeed, as you said, its very much like a Bond film, despite the lack of a familiar surrounding for MI6 HQ, or the lack of the familiar faces from said HQ and even Foreign Secretary.

Thats why I added the gunbarrel, title sequence and the Bond theme in only the places where the soundtrack of the film fell silent. I like the end result, as it only reinforced what we as fans have always known about NSNA - that it is just as much a Bond film as all the others have ever been.

Phyllis Hyman's terrific original song for the film is so obviously superior, it's a travesty it was not used, but at the same time, it sounds so much like a traditional Bond song, right down to seemingly incorporating notes from the Bond theme, that I've always suspected the whole Legrand wanting his own song was just a cover story to avoid their getting sued.

That's a good point. Although I do think he wanted his own stamp at the theme song, seeing as how every other composer in the series had such impact. Doesn't stop Hyman's song being so good.

While Kim Basinger was only slightly better than average as the Bond girl, Klaus Maria Brandauer was the most interesting villain any Bond film had had in a long time, which is even more extraordinary given he's the second actor to play Largo.

Basinger elevates the non-existant role of Domino, which may not seem like much given how the result is still a fairly vapid companion, but its to her credit that she is memorable anyway.

And Brandauer is the first post-modern Bond villain, IMO. The best villain performance of the decade and one of the best ever. And his scenes with Connery and Carrera respectively just sparkle!

People said Connery looked pretty old in the movie, which is funny to me as I'm closing in on his age then.  I didn't think he looked old so much as his toupee in the movie looked stodgy and obvious.  Perhaps if they'd given him a little more style, like they did in his later films, it wouldn't have seemed so.

At least they aknoweldged his age in the narrative. The only time they even inferred such in the Moore films was in FYEO, so there's that.

But Never Say Never Again is still fun and certainly better than half of Moore's Bonds.

Better than all of them, for my money. The only ones of his that could be taken as better is FYEO and TSWLM, but NSNA has a distinct charm that is hard to go by.

11

Re: Never Say Never Again - The Conservative Cut

Jimmy Bond wrote:

his Chief of Staff Bill Tanner

No, that isn't the case. There is a character in Tanner's position, but he's called "Elliott". Fleming hadn't named the Chief of Staff "Tanner" by this point (although we know his first name is "Bill") and McClory & co couldn't use anything that isn't in TB.

12

Re: Never Say Never Again - The Conservative Cut

Barbel wrote:
Jimmy Bond wrote:

his Chief of Staff Bill Tanner

No, that isn't the case. There is a character in Tanner's position, but he's called "Elliott". Fleming hadn't named the Chief of Staff "Tanner" by this point (although we know his first name is "Bill") and McClory & co couldn't use anything that isn't in TB.

Fair enough. Not exactly important, any way.

13

Re: Never Say Never Again - The Conservative Cut

Of course not, it's just a detail. I was also intrigued by a detail in your music choices, please see post 7 above.

14

Re: Never Say Never Again - The Conservative Cut

Barbel wrote:

Of course not, it's just a detail. I was also intrigued by a detail in your music choices, please see post 7 above.

I see why you would be. The track is actually To Hell With Blofeld, I just misremembered.

15

Re: Never Say Never Again - The Conservative Cut

Great, thank you. One more thing-

Jimmy Bond wrote:

...the lack of a familiar surrounding for MI6 HQ, or the lack of the familiar faces from said HQ and even Foreign Secretary.

I was under the impression that Lord Ambrose was the Foreign Secretary, but it has been a while since I watched NSNA. This is in contrast to the official films which at the time regularly featured the Minister of Defence.

16

Re: Never Say Never Again - The Conservative Cut

Barbel wrote:

Great, thank you. One more thing-

Jimmy Bond wrote:

...the lack of a familiar surrounding for MI6 HQ, or the lack of the familiar faces from said HQ and even Foreign Secretary.

I was under the impression that Lord Ambrose was the Foreign Secretary, but it has been a while since I watched NSNA. This is in contrast to the official films which at the time regularly featured the Minister of Defence.

You're totally correct. I always mix them up but, whatever.

To fix the note quoted, I will say this: It's refreshing to see another 80s Bond film WITHOUT the Minister of Defense in it. I was basically sick of him by OP (I mean, at least he filled the gap by the lack of Bernard Lee).

17

Re: Never Say Never Again - The Conservative Cut

I think Never Say Never Again although it's not an EON Produced Film fits into the Bond Films really well, it's well made, good cast, Connery may be a little older but plays Bond excellently as if Diamonds Are Forever never happened and actually he looks better in NSNA than he did in DAF.

Shame Bond hasn't had a Motorbike like that one in the EON films - The bikes one of the best things in this Movie.