The Godfather Trilogy

Discussion in 'DVD' started by ChuckSolo, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    I borrowed this release from my brother and finished watching Godfather II last night and have some observations. Back in the 1990's I purchased a VHS boxed set which was entitled "The Godfather Saga" which contained 3 tapes. The first tape actually starts the story in Sicily and shows the parts from Godfather II in succession so the entire 3 tapes are more or less in chronological order. There are two scenes missing from the DVD release which I found were pretty interesting, if not essential to the story that were absent on the DVD release, but included on my VHS boxed set, both being from Godfather II. These are: A scene which shows the Don Fenucci (Black Hand) charcter getting his throat cut by a street gang, and Michael Corleone having his old bodyguard from Sicily, Fabrizio, killed by a car bomb after he emigrates to the US and opens up a pizza joint. Having these scenes ommitted bummed me out. I know the DVD set is composed of the theatrical releases, but I missed these scenes non-the-less. Any opinions on those that have seen the "Saga" version?
     
  2. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Chuck,

    The scenes you mentioned are on the Bonus Disc of the DVD Set along with many others that were put into the Godfather Saga.
     
  3. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Ok, haven't got there yet. I'll check it out.
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Since we're talking about what's on the DVD and the VHS sets, the thread should be here.
     
  5. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    The saga version was edited for TV; scenes were added, but IIRC, it was also cut and some of the more violent scenes excised.

    There was some merit in seeing it in chronological order, but it did jar when that brilliant opening scene from The Godfather was simply dropped in the middle of the narrative.

    ---
    So many films, so little time...
     
  6. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Ok, Jack, thanks.

    John is right in that the impact of the opening scene was diminished by being put into the middle of the "Saga" but I still really enjoy that version the best.
     
  7. Sean Cauley

    Sean Cauley Stunt Coordinator

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    I think there was also a home-video version of the Saga released in the early 1990s, which included The Godfather Part III. I've never seen it, but I assume this one didn't have TV-standards (language, sex, violence) edits to it.

    I know the chronological version usually shown on TV (USA Network, TNN, etc.) is The Godfather: The Complete Novel for Television, which is the re-ordering of parts I and II chronologically, with all the sex/violence/language edits. I have seen that one, and while I find it interesting (especially because of the added scenes), I much prefer the theatrical format; if nothing else, I like the juxtaposition of 1958 Michael with pre-Godfather Vito throughout Part II.
     
  8. Britton

    Britton Supporting Actor

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    The Saga version sacrifices a strong narrative point of The Godfather Part II. The theatrical cut is much more powerful because you see Vito blazing a path and manipulating events into making an empire, whereas events manipulate Michael and force him down a path that completely destroys his soul.

    It's the best prequel and sequel ever made.
     
  9. Bill GrandPre

    Bill GrandPre Cinematographer

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    It's inappropriate that the chronological re-edit was called "The Complete Novel For Television". First of all, none of the "sequel" elements of "Part II" were in the novel. They were created by Francis Ford Coppola specifically for the sequel. Secondly, the "prequel" elements were much more minor in the original novel. Coppola significantly expanded them. Most importantly, these elements did not appear first in Mario Puzo's novel. They appear roughly two-thirds into the novel. They were never meant to serve as an introduction to the characters, be it in a literary sense or a cinematic sense. Plus, it is my opinion that portraying the rise of Vito and the fall of Michael simultaneously is much more interesting than watching a chronological re-edit.
     
  10. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    I was under the impression that Mario Puzo helped write the screenplay as well.
     
  11. Bill GrandPre

    Bill GrandPre Cinematographer

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    Puzo was credited as co-writer on all three films. In reality, Coppola adapted Puzo's novel himself for the first movie but Puzo still got credit. Puzo was also credited as co-writer on "Part II" due to his contributions for the prequel elements. Coppola wrote the sequel elements himself. While Puzo was involved with the first two movies, Coppola and Puzo never directly collaborated until "Part III", which was truly co-written by both of them. His influence was still there in the first two, however. He famously disagreed with Coppola's decision to kill Fredo in "Part II" but Coppola made a compromise by promising that Michael would wait for the death of their mother to kill Fredo.
     
  12. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    On laserdisc, at least, this set was entitled "The Godfather Trilogy: 1901-1980." It was numbered and included a very nice (but slim) book and a bonus disc of the "The Godather Family: A Look Inside" documentary. The book claims that this version was prepared especially for home video (and thus not TV) by Coppola, although the director chose to frame it at 1.33:1 for some reason. It was not edited for content, and was even given an R rating by the MPAA in 1992 (though I wonder if they really screened the entire 9-hour-plus program [​IMG]).

    DJ
     
  13. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    And then there's the supposed re-restored versions coming out later this year. Those are the ones I'm most interested in.

    To be frank, this DVD version is quite lackluster in the audio/video departments, with too much edge enhancement yet again (any EE is too much anyway).

    Dan
     

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