The 1976 ABC Edit of On Her Majesty's Secret Service was a re-edit of the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service conducted by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) for the movie's television premiere on the ABC Monday Night Movie.
ABC had held the American broadcast rights to the James Bond films since 1972 and had already broadcast all of Sean Connery's then-James Bond films. They decided to move on to On Her Majesty's Secret Service, which was made in between two of Sean Connery's films, but starred a young Australian in his first-ever film role, George Lazenby.
The film was the longest Bond film at that time, so ABC decided the only way to fit the 2 hour, 22 minute film into a 2 hour time slot, with commercials, was to split it into two parts; however, ABC felt that the film needed to have some action during the first half, which they felt it lacked. In order to promote the Winter Olympics (which ABC was covering that year on their station), they decided to take a scene from the middle of the film, namely Bond's escape from Piz Gloria on skis, to begin the first half of the film; the film would shift back and forth between this scene, the scenes that immediately followed and the beginning of the film. At a certain point, the scenes set in the middle of the film stopped showing, and, bizarrely enough, the movie flowed into its original order with the scenes (previously shown) re-shown. Part two of the movie did not have any flashbacks. To explain what was happening, ABC hired an unidentified American narrator, who voiced Bond in the context of this edit, but mispronounced key names (most notably, Ernst Stavro Blofeld as Ernst Stravro Blofeld).
Part one was broadcast on Monday, February 16, 1976 and part two was broadcast on Monday, February 23, 1976. The time slots were 1 hour, 30 minutes.
The edit was broadcast again in 1980 but in one three-hour slot. The edit has never been broadcast since.
Although films were often re-edited for television to fit in the time allotted, to fit the screen, for sexual content, violence, and language, the ABC 1976 Edit of On Her Majesty's Secret Service is unique, in that the film's scenes were actually re-arranged beyond what was necessary, in part due to scheduling and United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines.
ABC re-editing a creators' work (in this case, director Peter R. Hunt and EON Productions) without the creators' consent, to this extent, was an issue brought up again when Monty Python sued ABC for the re-editing of their work.
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