On seeing Tomorrow Never Dies for the second time I asked myself several times how James Bond and Wai Lin managed to loosen the ropes supporting the building banner of Elliot Carver in order to use it in the fashion of an abseil.
The answer comes to us from the insert in the Tomorrow Never Dies Soundtrack (the original release, not the full score). One of the promotional pictures provided shows Wai Lin with meat-cleaver-like knife hacking at one of the large ropes.
So where does this knife come from?
The reason for the knifes appearance occurs around 76:38 minutes into the movie. This is the scene where Bond and Lin jump through the window, away from Carver’s men, and onto the balcony. Finally, they hide behind an electrical switchboard.
Close to ten seconds later (76:46) Bond reaches out with his right hand and grabs a black toolbox. Contained in this toolbox is the infamous knife.
A closer look at the toolbox reveals the handle of the knife.
Despite presumably removing Bond reaching for the knife him cutting part of the rope then passing the knife to Lin and her then cutting another part of the rope the editors left in two tiny glimpses of the knife.
The first glimpse shows the knife in the hands of Wai Lin. It appears that she's cutten the rope around Bond's wrist. Look carefully under her chin, at this angle it's extremely hard to make out.
The second glimpse is a lot more obvious. If you forward the movie to 76:52 you’ll notice that Bond turns to look to his left (the right of your TV screen). Look carefully in his left hand, which comes up more or less in the centre of the screen. And there it is, the infamous knife that never obviously made the final cut of the film. Play the film at normal pace and you’ll miss it!
Now a few moments later Bond tugs on the rope and at approximately 76:55 Bond and Lin jump over the edge of the building.
It seems puzzling as to why the use of the knife was delete, but Bond reaching for the toolbox was not. Either way it's now a well documented part of Bond history.
Finally, I must say a big thank you to Christoph from 007-Web http://www.007-web.de/ for supplying me with the screen captures from Tomorrow Never Dies. Look out for more deleted scenes soon!