The Godfather Trilogy (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972-1990)

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Michael
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The Godfather Films (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972/1974/1990)

#26 Post by Michael » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:08 pm

Did anyone see the new 40th anniversay screening of The Godfather that is making a run this month? I saw it today. First big-screen experience for me, the screen was HUGE, similiar to IMAX. I have seen the film on TV too many to count but the big screen, big sound experience was so staggering that I teared up many times throughout. The film restoration was magnificent. The Godfather never looked this ravishing. Soo gorgeously detailed that I could almost smell homemade wine, sugo simmering, tomato plants in the August sun, smoke, anisette... And to hear Nino Rota's soulful elegies in the complete "Big Sound" is an experience you will never ever forget - pretty much the whole cinematic extravaganza, every bit of it.
Last edited by Michael on Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Brian C
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Re: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

#27 Post by Brian C » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:21 pm

Is this the same restoration that Coppola did a few years ago for the brief theatrical run before the Blu release? He hasn't done more work on it since then, has he?

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Michael
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Re: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

#28 Post by Michael » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:29 pm

Brian C wrote:Is this the same restoration that Coppola did a few years ago for the brief theatrical run before the Blu release? He hasn't done more work on it since then, has he?

Yes the same restoration from 2008. But I didn't realize it was released theatrically then. Thought it was restored and then went straight to DVD and Blu-ray the same year. I have the Blu ray and it looks very much like what I saw today. Sooo beautiful on the big screen!

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Brian C
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Re: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

#29 Post by Brian C » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:37 pm

It's possible that it didn't have an actual theatrical run, but new 35mm prints were created - I saw the first two films in October 2008.

At any rate, yes, I remember them both looking and sounding sublime as well.

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Michael
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Re: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

#30 Post by Michael » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:28 pm

From the preview I saw today, The Godfather Part II will be screened next month.

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Re: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

#31 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:30 am

I loved the footage from that documentary that acted as an extended EPK for III, with Martin Sheen auditioning for Michael. Quite often you hear these stories of this or that actor trying out for this role, but I don't think I've seen anything quite like that. Even in the latest Back To The Future docs, you get like a few seconds of Eric Stoltz as Marty.

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Re: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

#32 Post by Cold Bishop » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:38 am

There's also DeNiro auditioning for Sonny. And there's the footage of Sam Fuller auditioning for Hyman Roth with Pacino. I hope that ends up on one of the next releases.

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Re: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

#33 Post by Polybius » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:57 am

I've always been very grateful that Francis kept Martin and DeNiro in mind for his future projects.

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Michael
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Re: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

#34 Post by Michael » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:40 am

I did a bit research. The Coppola Restoration of The Godfather 40th Anniversary Edition as a project began in 2006 between Paramount Pictures and the director. Archivist Robert Harris joined the project, followed by the original cinematographer of the film Gordon Willis, to complete the team. It was Cinemark who picked up the films Part I and II to screen on their XD screens this month and next month.

If folks were blown away by The Godfather when they first saw it in 1972, I now could certainly understand why. What Stanley Kubrick said of the film: "Possibly the greatest film ever made". I couldn't agree more.

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Re: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

#35 Post by RobertAltman » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:05 pm

Cold Bishop wrote:There's also DeNiro auditioning for Sonny. And there's the footage of Sam Fuller auditioning for Hyman Roth with Pacino. I hope that ends up on one of the next releases.
You can watch the Sam Fuller audition here. Very cool.

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Re: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

#36 Post by stroszeck » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:38 am

I wonder what that conversation is like, between Coppola and Fuller, with the former basically explaining to Fuller that he didn't get the part. I mean I'm sure Coppola ASKED Fuller to do the audition, I just imagine what Fuller's response would be when he gets told they're going with Lee Strasberg: "Go Fuck Yourself, Fattie" ?

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Re: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

#37 Post by Drucker » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:10 pm

stroszeck wrote:I wonder what that conversation is like, between Coppola and Fuller, with the former basically explaining to Fuller that he didn't get the part. I mean I'm sure Coppola ASKED Fuller to do the audition, I just imagine what Fuller's response would be when he gets told they're going with Lee Strasberg: "Go Fuck Yourself, Fattie" ?
Actually, I thought Coppola had a good idea of who he wanted for many of the parts, but the studio didn't trust him and made him audition actors that had more notoriety but he never exactly had in mind for certain parts? Don't know if that's true for this, but it certainly happened in the interview process.

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Re: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

#38 Post by Ishmael » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:27 pm

Drucker wrote:Actually, I thought Coppola had a good idea of who he wanted for many of the parts, but the studio didn't trust him and made him audition actors that had more notoriety but he never exactly had in mind for certain parts? Don't know if that's true for this, but it certainly happened in the interview process.
That's absolutely true of Part 1, where Coppola was set on Pacino, Caan, Brando, and I think Duvall (maybe some others), but the studio (Robert Evans?) insisted that he audition just about every other actor around because they wanted reliable marquee names for the film. By the time Part II came up, Coppola was able to negotiate a much better contract and the studio largely left him alone.

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Re: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

#39 Post by aox » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:42 pm

Drucker wrote:Actually, I thought Coppola had a good idea of who he wanted for many of the parts, but the studio didn't trust him and made him audition actors that had more notoriety but he never exactly had in mind for certain parts? Don't know if that's true for this, but it certainly happened in the interview process.
As far as I know, this wasn't true about Pt. 2

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Re: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

#40 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:29 pm

I was under the impression Fuller and Coppola were acquaintances and Fuller's audition was sort of a 'what the hell' idea for a difficult role

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Re: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

#41 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:01 pm

Didn't Francis want Scorsese to direct II, but Paramount balked?

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Re: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

#42 Post by Drucker » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:17 pm

Correct. He initially had no interest in doing II, told them he'd produce it and recommend another director, and upon recommending Martin they refused outright (Mean Streets had just come out).

He agreed to do it on condition of a million dollars, no studio interference, and that he get to call it Godfather Part II according to his commentary. (not sure if there was other stipulations I'm forgetting)

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Re: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

#43 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:26 pm

I think they also gave him a fancy car, which he asked for because he thought it a funny thing to ask for. But definitely a big part of it was that he didn't have to talk to Robert Evans anymore.

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Re: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

#44 Post by aox » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:50 am

matrixschmatrix wrote:I think they also gave him a fancy car, which he asked for because he thought it a funny thing to ask for. But definitely a big part of it was that he didn't have to talk to Robert Evans anymore.
Yes! This is confirmed by FFC in The Conversation commentary. And he received the car while filming the Conversation, and the car actually appears in the film in one shot.

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Re: Sight & Sound Poll 2012

#45 Post by Brian C » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:51 am

Michael wrote:I am with those of you who are disappointed over The Godfather I and II not making the cut to the top 10 due to the new rules. And yes, The Godfather I and II together is the greatest film of all time. Sorry it's impossible to separate those two.
I find it pretty easy to separate them, honestly. The first one is a masterpiece, while the second one takes a couple of points already made by the end of the first, and hammers them into the ground.

I don't mean to dismiss the second one altogether, as it has its share of fine setpieces and quotable lines of dialogue, but it's a pale shadow of the first film.

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Re: Sight & Sound Poll 2012

#46 Post by knives » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:59 am

Brian C wrote:
Michael wrote:I am with those of you who are disappointed over The Godfather I and II not making the cut to the top 10 due to the new rules. And yes, The Godfather I and II together is the greatest film of all time. Sorry it's impossible to separate those two.
I find it pretty easy to separate them, honestly. The first one is a masterpiece, while the second one takes a couple of points already made by the end of the first, and hammers them into the ground.

I don't mean to dismiss the second one altogether, as it has its share of fine setpieces and quotable lines of dialogue, but it's a pale shadow of the first film.
I agree with this. The film has its moments of brilliance, but they are almost entirely limited to the Fredo storyline which I must admit is amazing. Everything else though is a redundant, less well executed retread of the first film. Even the Vito stuff comes across as Michael's arc from the first film with in a similar fashion Michael's arc if there is one resembles Vito's from the first film too much. It hurts even more since Pacino is in full screaming mode with this performance.

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Re: Sight & Sound Poll 2012

#47 Post by Mr Sausage » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:18 am

Except for one brief outburst I don't recall Pacino screaming a single line in the whole movie. I remember it being the same coiled, subdued intensity as the first one.

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Re: Sight & Sound Poll 2012

#48 Post by Brian C » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:26 am

knives wrote:I agree with this. The film has its moments of brilliance, but they are almost entirely limited to the Fredo storyline which I must admit is amazing. Everything else though is a redundant, less well executed retread of the first film. Even the Vito stuff comes across as Michael's arc from the first film with in a similar fashion Michael's arc if there is one resembles Vito's from the first film too much. It hurts even more since Pacino is in full screaming mode with this performance.
Even the Fredo storyline, though, is somewhat redundant from the first film in the way it's basically the same dynamic of the Carlo storyline from the first. Cazale was a fantastic actor so Part II plays a little better in this regard, but as for how it fits in Michael's arc, I think it's a entirely predictable development given what we know about Michael from the end of the first film. The point's simply already been made.

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Re: Sight & Sound Poll 2012

#49 Post by knives » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:28 am

There are several outbursts in the film. Just about every interaction with Talia Shire is when it gets at its worst, but even a few other scenes have him screaming. If I remember it is not as bad as Scent of a Woman, but is certainly not as subtle and simmering as the first film.

Edit: You're right, but as you say Cazale gives such an amazing performance that I'm willing to forgive it.

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Re: Sight & Sound Poll 2012

#50 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:39 am

II obviously goes over a lot of the same thematic territory as the first- it's a sequel, it's part of the same world, and it's intended to further essentially the same themes. But it quite deliberately takes a lot of the romantic allure of the gangster lifestyle and the ethnic psuedojustification for it and simultaneously deepens it into something more meaningful (in the Vito sections) and exposes the underlying ugliness of pure capitalism which is its inevitable destination. It's a shockingly powerful movie, and Pacino absolutely isn't in screamy mode- with his sister, he raises his voice, but never comes close to losing his composure.

When he does lose his composure, it's terrifying, because you've seen the demonic intensity in his eyes throughout the movie. Comparing it to Scent of a Woman is ludicrous, as not only is Pacino playing in an entirely different register, but this is the period in which even full on histrionics Pacino was still a marvelous actor, as in Dog Day Afternoon.

The Fredo storyline is a meaningful darkening of the Carlo story- Carlo was an asshole who set his own wife up so he could get his brother in law murdered, and we as the audience never felt any particular loyalty to or pity for him. Fredo is an immensely sweet and likable person whose only real failing is that he's weak, and he's stupid, and he wanted to have some modicum of self respect. At the end of the first movie, Michael is a gangster. At the end of the second, he's a monster.

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