A New Version Of A Classic Trilogy!
One of cinema’s greatest achievements, “The Godfather” trilogy has been released on blu-ray in many different configurations, but now, “Cult Movie Monday” tackles the most controversial question of the series:
Is “The Godfather Part III” A Masterpiece? Or A Debacle?
There are many reasons to feel frustration for “what could have been” – what if Coppola had paid Robert Duvall what he asked for to come back as Tom Hagen, the trusted family Attorney…but they didn’t, so George Hamilton showed up as a new Advisor…
And what if Wynona Ryder hadn’t dropped out of the film at the last minute, leading the Director to put his own daughter, Sofia, into a main role – her first ever?
A New “Godfather III” Is On The Way!
Well, Director Francis Ford Coppola is going back to re-cut the film so we can decide for ourselves!
The “Godfather” trilogy is widely acclaimed, but for two reasons: “The Godfather” won Best Picture in 1972, and “The Godfather Part II” won Best Picture in 1974…the only time a sequel has ever been awarded that honor.
But when “The Godfather Part III” was released in 1990, the reaction was much more polarizing: even though it was nominated for Best Picture, many were massively disappointed in the final film of the trilogy…well, it’s time to re-assess!
Paramount Pictures has announced it will release a new edit and restoration of Francis Ford Coppola’s third and final film in his epic “Godfather” trilogy, “The Godfather: Part III.”
The film will be rebranded as “Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone”, Paramount says, and announced that it:
“achieves director/screenwriter Coppola and screenwriter Puzo’s original vision for the finale, which has been meticulously restored for the finest presentation of the Corleone saga’s last chapter.”
Here is the trailer for the original film:
The original film was maligned by critics as not living up to the standard set by the first two films in the franchise. Will this change minds?
The new version will have a limited theatrical release in December, then will be released for the home market.
Here’s what Coppola says:
“Mario Puzo’s The Godfather: The Death of Michael Corleone is an acknowledgment of Mario’s and my preferred title and our original intentions for what became The Godfather: Part III,” Coppola said in a statement. “For this version of the finale, I created a new beginning and ending, and rearranged some scenes, shots, and music cues. With these changes and the restored footage and sound, to me, it is a more appropriate conclusion to The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II and I’m thankful to Jim Gianopulos and Paramount for allowing me to revisit it.”
The press release notes:
Coppola and his production company American Zoetrope worked from a 4K scan of the original negative to undertake a frame-by-frame restoration of both the new Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone and the original The Godfather: Part III. Zoetrope and Paramount’s restoration team began by searching for over 50 original takes to replace lower-resolution opticals in the original negative. This process took more than six months and involved sifting through 300 cartons of negative. American Zoetrope worked diligently to repair scratches, stains, and other anomalies that could not be addressed previously due to technology constraints, while enhancements were made to the original 5.1 audio mix. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, midway through the project all work—even the search for the negative—shifted to the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles and was completed remotely.
Coppola’s “Hands On” Approach!
The press release makes clear that Coppola is taking charge of this “new” cut of the film.
“Mr. Coppola oversaw every aspect of the restoration while working on the new edit, ensuring that the film not only looks and sounds pristine, but also meets his personal standards and directorial vision,” said Andrea Kalas, SVP, Paramount Archives.
Well, I cannot wait to see if the third film in the trilogy will get a fresh re-evaluation…
There is no doubt that the first film is a masterpiece – with lines that still resonate today: “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse” just one of them – and of course, THIS SCENE:
Yes, that horse head is real! It’s just one of the many fascinating bits of trivia about the greatest film ever made – and you can read them all by clicking on my story here:
One other thing I love about the film is the food – yes, the food!
When the families “go to the mattresses”, Michael Corleone gets a lesson on cooking for a bunch of holed-up Mobsters.
Well, I’ve made “Clemenza’s meatballs” and they are delicious! You can see the entire recipe here:
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