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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Godfather Saga

Over the last few evenings I revisited the Godfather saga and watched all three films. This is only the second time I've seen the much maligned third installment, and to be honest it's a far better film than I remember. I recall hating it when I first saw it, but perhaps I was expecting a more straightforward mobster movie as delivered in parts 1 and 2, but I've come to the conclusion that whilst part three is not as good as one or two, it is still a great film and a fitting end to the trilogy.

Of course the movies are all superb and Marlon Brando's performance in Part 1 is nothing short of excellent, as is that of his son Michael, played of course by Al Pacino, who reluctantly takes over the family business and becomes  more of a monster than his father ever was. The second part shows Michael building up the empire, settling old scores and facing a senate committee into organized crime. Alongside this Robert De'Niro becomes a younger Marlon Brando for the flashback storyline which sees the original Godfather rising to power. The third is then set some years later and tells of Michael's attempts to legitamise the family business while his nephew Vincent played by Andy Garcia takes over the family business.

Many years ago I remember seeing the Godfather edited into a TV mini-series , and it was recut into chronological order so we started off with the young Vito (De'Niro) and then went onwards to old Vito (Brando) and onto Michael becoming the new head of the family. Watching the movies like this showed how seamlessly De'Niro had stepped into the boots of Marlon Brando. The third movie hadn't been made when this cut was made but I recall that this TV edit was unbelievably even better than the movie versions. Now I love these movies and wouldn't be without my movie cuts but I do wish the edited version of parts 1 and 2 were available on DVD. I believe the edited version was called The Godfather Saga but can find scant information online about the edit. The  WIKI states it was made for NBC Television but doesn't state of the edited -film ever had a DVD release.


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