THE TIMOTHY DALTON MOVIES
(Note: All timings quoted refer to the PAL
releases, unless otherwise stated)
THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS - 1987
A slightly improved picture for the UE
(though the SE was hardly lacking in this department) and a nicely
enveloping soundtrack, in both Dolby and DTS, but, for the second time in
the UE series, a fault at one time only to be found on the initial
pressings of the R1 SE, that of missing subtitles, has once again found
its way onto an R2 release, namely, the establishing caption ("BRATISLAVIA,
CZECHOSLOVAKIA"), which should appear at about the 9'54" mark, and, later,
in the scene where Kusov is smuggled out in the pipeline, Bond's
colleague, Rosika Miklos, seduces the security supervisor, to distract him
from his control panel. Her job done, she rebukes him: "What sort of girl
do you think I am?", but not in the UE: the line doesn't even appear in
the regular English subtitles. [18'40"]
Please note that the Inside The
Living Daylights featurette still contains the Sam Neill screen test
footage (which was - probably erroneously - blamed for the 2000 disc
becoming briefly unavailable).
LICENCE TO KILL
Heavily edited by the BBFC upon
release, and even then slapped with a “15” certificate, this film has had
something of a chequered history in most countries. I understand the
Japanese version was released uncut, and, later, some other countries were
gifted with an unexpurgated version on VHS (Brazil for one), but the first
time most British viewers got to Licence To Kill as its director
intended (ratio issues aside) was when ITV broadcast an uncut version
(violence-wise) a few years back, with no fanfare whatsoever. After that,
they reverted to showing a heavily cut version once more, until 2005, when
they showed the uncut version again. The UK VHS versions were beyond
appalling, with just about every violent moment either toned down or
removed altogether, dramatically hampering the film’s impact. Many impact
sounds were reduced, and shots such as the killing of the female assassin,
Loti, were trimmed to remove footage showing bullet impacts on both her
breasts. Far more complete was the SE release, which was a direct port of
the American PG-13 rated cut. This restored most of the sounds and footage
once removed by the BBFC, except for four short shots. The uncut version,
available on the UE, now contains the four shots removed from the SE.
These are as follows:
An underwater shot at 21'05", showing
Felix Leiter's bloody stump has been reinstated near the end of the
sequence where Sanchez lowers Leiter into the jaws of a shark.
Believing that Milton Krest has
betrayed him, Sanchez locks Krest into a decompression chamber,
pressurizes it, and then severs a feed pipe with an axe. Whilst previous
versions showed Krest’s head swell up, the end of the shot, where it
explodes, spattering the porthole with blood, has been reinstated at
During the sequence in which Dario is
dragged into the grinding machine, and is minced alive, the shot seen from
underneath the blades, showing bits of diced Dario hitting the camera lens
has been lengthened at 109'15".
A lingering shot of Sanchez on fire,
flailing in desperation before falling to his knees, has been reinstated
to his final confrontation in the desert with Bond at 122'06".
This particular cut in the PG-13
rated version was particularly damaging, since, in order to remove the
offending footage, Glen had to dramatically re-edit the sequence, ruining
the flow and continuity to quite a distracting degree. In the uncut
version, Sanchez's death is depicted as follows (newly restored footage in
1. Close-up of Sanchez's waist as
Bond sets light to Sanchez's midriff.
2. Close-up of Sanchez screaming as
3. Two-shot of Bond and the now
engulfed Shanchez as Bond rolls away.
4. Sanchez flails about for a moment,
then falls to his knees, still screaming and writhing, finally keeling
over to be completely consumed by flames.
5. Shot of Bond running from the
tanker as the vehicle ignites. He turns to look as it explodes, and races
off to the left of the screen. He turns to look again and staggers now to
the right of the screen.
6. Long shot - Tanker is annihilated
and Bond pegs it.
7. Bond hides behind a rock as the fireball
Here's the sequence as seen in the
previous 15/PG13 rated version:
4. Second half of shot 5 in the
un-cut version (as Bond staggers to the right of the shot).
5. Second half of shot 4 in the uncut
version, as Sanchez keels over into the fire.
6. First half of shot 5 in the uncut
version, as Bond runs away from the tanker and staggers over to the left
of the shot, at which point we cut to:
7. Shot 6 of the un-cut version. The
rest of the scene is the same in both versions.
In other words, to remove the shot of
Sanchez burning to a crisp and flailing about in agony, a later shot is
chopped in two, and the two halves are reversed and separated by another
shot. This leads to an awkward edit between the 3rd and 4th shots and the
6th and 7th shots in the cut version, since none of these match up too
well - Bond is suddenly quite a distance from the tanker as a result of
the first edit and has changed position and direction as a result of the
second. John Glen was doubtless particularly distressed by this edit since
this alteration harmed the otherwise exquisitely handled finale of the
The DTS track on the UE buries the
dialogue somewhat, in favour of the sound effects, which makes the film
harder to enjoy. The Dolby track has a far better balance, and it the
preferred option in this case. It should also be noted that, whilst the UE
is horizontally cropped, albeit only slightly, when compared with that
last release, this would appear to be an intentional decision, in order to
remove two odd-looking imperfections that run vertically from the top to
the bottom at the extremities of the image on the SE. The cropping in no
way affects ones enjoyment of the film. The colour has also been slightly
altered when compared with the SE (favouring a slightly colder hue
throughout), but again, not to any detrimental degree.
The one caption in this film,
“Ishtmus City”, is burnt-in, as it should be.
THE PIERCE BROSNAN MOVIES