You thought you were out but they pulled you back in …
The first two Godfather films are among the greatest cinema pieces of all time. They are announced by critics and viewers and even if they are longer than 3 hours it is a pleasure to see them again and again.
The third Godfather film had an impossible task to complete. It had to live up to that legacy while also grappling with a changing Hollywood where stars wanted more money and actors weren't available. What we got was interesting and challenging, but it wasn't one of the greatest films of all time. Which, in turn, is not a fair comparison at all.
Well, Coppola gets a chance to try again.
The Godfather Part III not only gets a recut, but also a new title-a new, very long title, Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleoneand will hit theaters and digital platforms this December.
Apparently, this is the title Coppola always intended, but also one that Paramount did not approve at the time.
While we can't expect them to add Winona Ryder as Michael's daughter, maybe we can expect something better than what we got?
Paramount says This new cut "achieves the original vision of director / screenwriter Coppola and screenwriter Puzo for the finale, which has been carefully restored to present the final chapter of the Corleone saga at its best".
Coppola had this to say: "Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone is a recognition of Marios and my preferred title and original intentions for what became the Godfather Part III. For this version of the finale, I created one new beginning and ending and some scenes, takes and music cues rearranged. With these changes and the restored footage and sound, it is a more appropriate conclusion to The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, and I am grateful to Jim Gianopulos and Paramount who allowed me to visit it again. "
So what do we get?
According to the press release, American Zoetrope performed a 4K scan of the original negative in order to perform "a careful, image-wise restoration" of both the new cut and the original Godfather Part III.
So it seems like Coppola had everything he ever wanted on hand to revise the story where it needed help. This process took more than six months and “involved searching through 300 negative boxes”.
I feel bad for their interns.
They also "restored scratches, smudges, and other anomalies that previously could not be fixed due to technological limitations while improving the original 5.1 audio mix".
I've never seen The Godfather movies on the big screen so I hope this is a possible re-release for everyone. But if the corona rages, I'll likely stick to seeing these at home.
Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone will be released in theaters on a limited scale in December, followed by availability on digital home entertainment platforms and on discs.
I hope this inspires other studios to take advantage of the downtime to rummage through their archives and restore all of the older classics in 4K for our consumption.
What other movies you want to see are getting this treatment? (Personally, I'd love to see someone restore Hal Ashby's work.) Let us know in the comments.