Licence To Kill
Licence To Kill
First of all: even in the USA it took a long time for the R-Rated version to get released. "James Bond 007 Licence To Kill" was supposed to receive an attractive PG-13 rating für theatrical release and for this the MPAA requested a few cuts. So like many movies "Licence To Kill" only had a censored theatrical run. But the uncensored version didn't even make it on VHS and yet again only the PG-13 version was available in rental and retail stores.
When the Bond movies experienced their worldwide DVD release the chance of releasing the uncensored version was you guessed it missed. Again
only the censored PG-13 version was released.
Fortunately there was an exception. The Dutch and Japanese laserdisc by Warner presented the movie in its uncut version. Unfortunately this laserdisc only came with a zoomed 1,33:1 fullframe aspect ratio and the picture quality was on VHS level.
The Ultimate Edition reissue DVD finally contains the uncut version in its original aspect ratio.
This is a comparison between the PG-13 version, represented by the German first edition DVD by MGM
and the R-Rated version, represented by the Dutch Warner laserdisc
Images were taken from the Ultimate Edition DVD.
5 cuts with ca. 6 seconds.
overall length.0.20.54 - (Felix Leiter gets mutilated by a shark)
One shot had to be removed for the rating. After both henchmen of Sanchez laugh we see an undetailed shot from beneath the surface. The shark swims out of frame, there's lots of blood in the water and we see Leiter's lower body with a leg missing.
1.34.05 (Decompression chamber)
As the head of Milton Krest starts to swell the shot has been trimmed in the end: we see more material of the head swelling before it explodes.
1.49.00 (Sanchez' henchman dies in the straw cutter)
After Dario slid down the conveyor belt and grabbed Bond we see a shot of the bottom end of the straw cutter. Bloody meat pieces are falling out. This shot is also included in the PG-13 version, but it's much shorter. The big gush of blood and splatters on the camera lens are missing.
1.50.12 (Impaled henchman)
Minimal cut! - Almost not noticable at all for the eye. Only when both version are running synchronously one sees a difference after this scene. When comparing PAL and NTSC times this cut would have gone unnoticed.
As the forklift driver crashes through the wall with the impaled henchmen (Colonel Heller) on his fork, the second shot of the guy hanging has been shortened in the end (after
Bond and the woman turned around). - To even catch that cut with the eye one has to observe the parts of the crashed wall whcih fall on the ground.
ca. 0,4 sec
2.01.54 (Sanchez burns)
Here the PG-13 version isn't just censored. Shots also have been reorganized:
Bond lights a lighter and Sanchez goes up in flames. On the edge of the frame we see Bond running away. After that the PG-13 version has been censored:
In the R-Rated version we see the burning Sanchez walking a few steps while screaming and then falling to his knees. In the PG-13 version a scene of the running Bond has been inserted. After this recut the PG-13 version shows Sanchez on his knees falling over on his face. But him walking and falling to his knees is missing.
Regarding the inserted scene with Bond running:
This is not an alternate shot! The scene which has been inserted in the PG-13 version for censorship reasons is also
included in the R-Rated version but comes a few seconds later. They just took a following shot of Bond fleeing from the explosion, shortened it and inserted it during Sanchez' burning. A closer look on that sequence makes it appear more logical in the R-Rated version.