"Licence To Kill" is about to be released
uncut for the first time on the forthcoming Ultimate
Edition DVD. MI6 takes an indepth look at the cuts
Licence To Kill Uncut
16th May 2006
The BBFC updated their entry for the 1989 James Bond
film "Licence To Kill"
on 4th July 2005 with an important decision - to waive all
cuts made to the film. Back at the time of release, several
cuts were made to the film in order to achieve the 15 certificate.
These included an underwater scene where Felix is being
fed to the sharks and a shot of his stump (where his leg
should be) was cut, a shot of Krest's head exploding, Lupe's
whipping, Dario's legs getting minced whist he is still
alive, and the fiery death of Sanchez was trimmed down.
The first video transfer submitted to the BBFC back on
12th February 1990, which ran for 126m 50s, was unchanged
from the 15 certificate cut theatrical release. The 2005
"uncut" version runs at 127m 44s, adding 54 seconds
back to the film and will be used on the Ultimate
Edition DVD release.
Order (Amazon UK)
|The volume of the punch to Lupe's lover's gut in the pre-titles
sequence is reduced to its original level.
When Killifer smacks the guard in the face with the butt
of his shotgun during the van ride, the sound effect has
been restored completely to the soundtrack, when before
it was missing.
During the scene where Felix is abducted, the dull thud
when he is hit on the back of the head by Dario has been
restored to its original volume.
Felix’s "death" is now complete. We now see an
underwater shot of the bloody remains of his leg bobbing in the
water. Felix's final screams and cries just after this have also
been restored as Sanchez signals for Felix to be brought back
In the sequence where Bond is raking in the crate of
maggots, the sound effect of the blow to the guard’s
gut has been increased to its original volume.
When Bond escapes from the Wave Krest, a heavy kick to
one of the bad guys underwater has been restored back to
it's original volume.
During the bar room fight when Bond first meets Bouvier,
the sound effects of the heavy kicks and blows in this sequence
have been restored to their original volumes.
After Bond’s failed assassination attempt at Sanchez, he gets
into a fight with ninjas from the Hong Kong narcotics team. The
sound effect of the rifle butt smacking into his head has been restored
to its original volume.
Just after this, as Sanchez’s men raid the building,
we now see the two bloody bullet impacts in each breast
of Loti, the female Asian agent who is shot. All we see
in the cut prints are the aftermath, with the wounds already
present as she falls.
When Krest is killed in the depressurization, we now see
his head explode in a bloody mess against the glass pane.
As Dario slowly slides into the rock crusher, some of his screaming
and pleading has been restored, along with the full-length shot
of his legs being mashed through the metal cutters, complete with
gore falling onto the camera.
BBFC Advice For Consumers
When Bond fights the truck driver, the sound effects
of the heavy blows in the fight have been restored.
Sanchez’s death is also restored to its full form.
Footage of Bond watching him burn before he starts to run
away is restored, as well as Sanchez flailing and falling
to his knees in agony. This was replaced in the cut versions
with new footage of Bond running away in an alternate shot.
Concise: Contains moderate violence
Language: Infrequent, mild
Sex/Nudity: Infrequent mild references
Violence: Frequent, moderate
Other: Some mild drugs references
Alternate Versions History
The initial UK Warner Home Video releases were the original edited
cinema versions (cut by 37 seconds). The UK MGM video release
in 2000 restored 26 seconds of cuts (mainly to the opening whipping
scene, Leiter being attacked by the shark and Dario's death in
the mincer) but was still missing some brief cuts (despite the
fully uncut version having been shown on British television).
When the film was submitted for video/DVD re-release in 2005,
the BBFC waived all cuts for the movie but an error by MGM resulted
in the edited version being released by mistake.
When the film was submitted to the BBFC in 1989, some scenes
had to be trimmed down for a "15" rating. In 2000, the
film was rated "15" again, but this time some cuts were
waived due to changed guidelines in the BBFC. In 2005, the film
was rated "15" and all previous cuts were waived.
The MPAA reportedly trimmed a few scenes to avoid an R rating.
The uncut version was submitted internationally.
The UK DVD is still slightly cut in places for violence. These
cuts may have been made by the BBFC or by the distributor. When
Felix is tortured by Sanchez, an underwater shot of the bloody
water and the stump where Felix's leg used to be is still missing.
In the scene where Krest is killed, the shot of his head actually
exploding is replaced by a shot of Heller squirming. The fiery
death of Sanchez has been trimmed.
On pan and scan VHS prints issued since 1990, the opening title
credits have been slightly altered to fit the screen. Some credits
that took one line in the widescreen version were altered to fit
two lines in the pan and scan version.
There is a mild dialogue alteration in the 5.1 mix for the new
Special Edition. The "What are you waiting for? Get in!/Yes,
sir." exchange has been moved to the next shot of Bond nodding
and approaching the tanker, after Pam stops it. Originally, she
said it right after stopping the tanker. The fact that Timothy
Dalton's lips can only slightly be seen to move when he says his
line confirms this alteration.
Licence To Kill Movie Coverage
Edition DVD Project
Many thanks to Gavin S from GnC Films.