You thought you were out, but they pulled you back in...
The first two Godfather movies rank among some of the greatest pieces of cinema of all time. They are heralded by critics and viewers and even at being over 3+ hours in length, a joy to watch over and over again.
The third Godfather movie had an impossible task to complete. It had to live up to those legacies while also dealing with a changing Hollywood where stars wanted more money and actors were not available. What we got was interesting and challenging, but failed to be one of the greatest movies of all time. Which, again, is not a fair comparison at all.
Well, Coppola is getting the chance to take another whack at it.
The Godfather Part III is not only getting a recut but it's also getting a new title—a new, very long title, Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, and is headed to theaters and digital platforms this December.
Apparently, this is the title that Coppola always intended, but also one that Paramount did not approve at the time.
While we cannot expect them to add Winona Ryder as Michael's daughter, we can expect maybe something better than what we got?
Paramount says this new cut “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.”
Coppola had this to say, "Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: 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. 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.”
So what we are getting?
According to the press release, American Zoetrope did a 4K scan of the original negative to “undertake a painstaking, frame-by-frame restoration” of both the new cut and the original Godfather Part III.
So, it seems like Coppola had everything he ever wanted at his fingertips to rework the story where it needed help. This process took more than six months and “involved sifting through 300 cartons of negative.”
I feel bad for their interns.
They also restored “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.”
I have never seen The Godfather movies on the big screen, so I am hoping that this marks a possible rerelease for all of them. But with corona raging, I'll probably stick to watching this one at home.
Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone will have a limited theatrical release in December, followed by availability on Digital home entertainment platforms and on disc.
I hope this inspires other studios to use the downtime to dig into their archives and restore all the older classics into 4K for our consumption.
What are some other movies you'd like to see receive this treatment? (Personally, I'd love to see someone restore Hal Ashby's work.) Let us know in the comments.