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Part III is the best episode of the Godfather trilogy in that it comes full circle and brings Michael Corleone to where his modus operandi has been leading him (Hell). Like Faust, Macbeth, and other great tragedies, it's about the price one pays for the life he has led. Al Pacino endows his character with Shakespearean awareness. The sinner is haunted but can no longer turn the tables. When he meets the Cardinal, and the Cardinal asks for his confession - what a crossroads between God and man. LOOKING FOR RICHARD III and THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE come to mind. I thought Sophia Coppola played what her character represented - the last shred of innocence and beauty to which her father clings.
Starring: Al Pacino, Andy Garcia, Talia Shire, and Diane Keaton.
Everyone's favorite Mafia don is back, this time trying to get out of the "family business" (I got to stop using that term). But many obstacles interrupt him from leaving the bloody job. The ending in the Opera is magnificent. Garcia, in my opinion, should've gotten the Oscar because his performance is flawless. Great end to a great trilogy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Coppola is very gifted. That said, place some blame where it belongs and
that's Paramount. Puzo took over 3 years to research and write The
Godfather; then several months with Coppola to write the screenplay, ..it
shows. In Godfather PART II, Coppola had only 3 months, but had obviously
wanted to make some statements with the 1st movie, so some of those ideas
had been simmering for 2 years (plus Puzo already had the background story
written of Vito's rise to power) and that high quality shows too. Now Part
III! Coppola and Puzo wanted 6 months to write, and release at the end of
1991. Paramount allowed only 6 WEEKS, and demanded a release for the 1990
year-end holiday season. So...the writing team had to take a "if it ain't
broke don't change it" attitude, and THAT shows too.
One can only speculate (humorously) how that 1st script reading went when they gathered all the principles together: (SPOILERS from all 3 movies)
COPPOLA: "Welcome everybody to our first reading of The Godfather Part III. (Applause) Now during this run-thru, I'd like everyone to stay in character, so I'll be referring to everyone by their character names. Ready??? This is how Part III will be fresh and different. First off, this movie is going to begin...With a Celebration!" MICHAEL: "But I thought that's how we started 1 & 2? " COPPOLA: "That's right! But in the first one I was trying to show the family warmth under Vito's regime and in the second one I was showing how it was getting colder under Michael's regime." MICHAEL: "So what's different?" COPPOLA: "Well this time we're going back to the warmth, cause last time it was cold." MICHAEL: "Oh!" COPPOLA: "Then we're going to do a family portrait with everyone posing. And just before the photographer clicks..." KAY: "I know! I know! Michael's going to say 'Wait a minute', walk over to where I'm standing, grab me and walk me back so I can be in the photo too." COPPOLA: "No-ooo... I said this was going to be different! This time Michael will say 'HOLD IT!', grab Vincent so HE can be in the photo." KAY: "Oh!" COPPOLA: Then we're going to have Tom Hagen say to Michael that Luca Brasi wants to see him and Michael will be kinda nervous and sort of stammer 'Is this necessary?'" MICHAEL: "I just talked to Tom yesterday and he says he can't be in the movie cause the pay ain't high enough. And Luca's dead! And do I have to say that line cause Vito already said that in the first movie when Tom told HIM about Luca being at the wedding." COPPOLA: "Alright! then we'll have Al Neri say that Joey Zaza wants to see you and you say, 'Do I have to see him?' Is that better?" KAY: "A Dance! We gotta have a Dance!" COPPOLA: "That's right! And in this one the Don is going to dance with his daughter." CONNIE: "But Vito already danced with me at the end of my wedding in the first one. And we danced to the 'Godfather Waltz'. Remember??" COPPOLA: "That's right! But in this one, Don Michael, not Don Vito, will dance with his daughter Mary." MICHAEL: "Are we going to play the same waltz that was played 35 years ago?...cause they've had some good dance tunes during the past few years you can really danc..." COPPOLA: "No-ooo...we're going to play the same waltz because it will remind the audience of what a great time they had watching the first movie. And we're going to stretch it by playing the waltz over and over while I show the chandelier." MARY: "Why do we need to show the chandelier?" COPPOLA: "Because this movie has STYLE and I want to show that Mary is the light of Michael's life." MARY: "Oh!" COPPOLA: "And I want all the guys to wear black suits and all the girls to wear deep red or gold gowns." CONNIE: "But Francis, this is 1979, nobody wears all the same colors anymore. In fact, they didn't even wear the same colors in the two other movies. There's this word I saw in the dictionary called 'variety'; I read it, and it means..." COPPOLA: "Anyone not wearing their assigned colors will not be allowed in the party. We already had variety in the other movies and I said this would be different." CONNIE: "Oh!" COPPOLA: " Now, later on Michael will send Vincent to go undercover to visit Don Altobella because he wants to find out what he's got under his toes." MICHAEL: "WAA-AAI-IT A MINUTE! Didn't Vito try that little trick when he sent Luca over to the Tattaglias to find out more about the turk Sollozo? And they figured that scheme out kinda quick because, correct me if I'm wrong, Luca ain't with us today because of that little stunt. And besides! The proper term is to find out what he's got under his fingernails, not toes. Why would you have me send Vincent to check out the guy's toes for????" COPPOLA: "Alright...FINGERNAILS!! Ya happy?? Then we're going to have Vincent 'make his bones' on Joey Zaza, and it will be during a Catholic parade and there'll be a police officer involved and..." MICHAEL: "Hold up Francis! If I remember right, Vito 'made his bones' on Fanucci during a Catholic parade; and I 'made my bones' on Capt McCluskey who was a police officer. Am I right or am I right? COPPOLA: "That's right! But this time 'Vincent' is the police officer and the last time the parade was going east and this time it will be coming from the west." MICHAEL: "But if the parade is coming from the west, then it's STILL going east" COPPOLA: "Then we'll shoot it so people will think it's going west, but they'll be reminded of the parade from the second movie and remember what a good time they had watching it." B J HARRISON: "Jeeszee Francis...sounds like we're going over familiar ground here" COPPOLA: "What's YOUR beef? What have you been in the last 10 years? If we paid Tom the money he asked for, you wouldn't even be sitting here. Oh! That reminds me! Vincent... can you ride a horse? VINCENT: A Horse???? In Brooklyn?? Why would I have wanted to take the time to learn how to ride a horse for??? I'm a Corleone outcast! I grew up in a concrete jungle in a tough neighborhood...not out west! They've got some modern inventions in New York called subways and taxis and cars, and they can get me to wherever I want to go faster than any horse I know. And where do I find a poopie scooper big enough to pick up the kind of mess THEY leave behind? And besides... I don't remember you asking Michael to jump on a horse and go chasing after Sollozo. And what about Sonny? I think my dad would've looked kind of assinine gallopping after Carlo and telling HIM to get out of town. And what's with this 'Yippee-kai-yea'? I gotta say 'Yippee-kai-yea' while I'm shooting Joey Zaza?? COPPOLA: "Alright! Just say his name once or twice...then shoot him." KAY: "But the new stuff? When do we get to the new stuff?" VINCENT: (under his breath) "This horse thing sounds kinda new to me." CONNIE: "But we had a horse in the first movie." COPPOLA: "Nooo...we had PART of a horse in the first movie. This is different!" VINCENT: (still under his breath) "Yeah...REAL different!" KAY: "But some GOOD new stuff! When do we get to the GOOD new stuff? And what about me? What do I get to do?" COPPOLA: "Well I was coming to that...but first we've got to have a scene in Italy with Don Tommasino inside the villa." MICHAEL: "The same villa where the car blew up?" COPPOLA: "That's right! And in this scene we'll give Vincent an orange." VINCENT: (irritably) "What for??" COPPOLA: "Because the orange is a symbol of evil and we need to show it to the audience." VINCENT: "So what do I do with it?" COPPOLA: "I don't know! Sniff it!" VINCENT: "But I KNOW what an orange smells like." COPPOLA: "Well after you sniff it, bounce it up in the air a couple of times and catch it one handed." VINCENT: "Com-on Francis! It's gonna be hot. I'll be hungry. Why don't I just eat it." COPPOLA: "That's the dumbest thing I ever heard. Do you want the audience to look at a mutilated half-eaten orange? The whole symbolic evil thing will go right out the window." VINCENT: "But oranges can be slippery. When I catch it, can't I use two hands?" COPPOLA: "Now I've heard everything! You want to be the new Don? You want to learn underworld business, double crosses, billions of dollars of legal and illegal revenue?...and you don't want to take 10 minutes to learn how to catch an orange one handed. VINCENT: "Well I don't remember Michael or even Vito having to learn to catch an orange one handed. How come I'm getting all this new stuff?" COPPOLA: "Alright, we'll get you a kitten. Vito had to handle a kitten in the first movie at Connie's wedding. And a kitten moves. And it makes noise. And it has claws. Is that what you want? You want to be bouncing a kitten up in the air while you're talking to Don Tommasino? Cause if you catch it wrong I don't want to be within a hundred yards of you and some teed off kitten." VINCENT: "Alright, I'll learn this orange thing, but I gotta tell you, all this new stuff keeps getting worse." KAY: "Me!!What about me!! COPPOLA: "I'm getting to that. Now Michael, I've been watching you rehearse your last scene. You're falling out of the chair okay, but you're not dropping the orange right." MICHAEL: "That's cause I don't want to hit the puppy." COPPOLA: "Then keep one eye open so you miss the puppy." MICHAEL: "You want me to gasp my last, drop the orange, slump over, fall out AND keep one eye open. Won't the audience see I have one eye open?" COPPOLA: "No, because just before you slump, put your sunglasses on." KAY: "But me!! How about me?? What do I get to do?" COPPOLA: "Well Kay, when you go to visit Michael at the hospital, I want you to walk DRAMATICALLY into his room." KAY: "You mean walk dramatically up to his bed??" COPPOLA: "No...pretend you're walking around the block to get to your next door neighbors' house, because I'm trying to show that there's still some distance between you and Michael." KAY: "Like this?? You want me to walk dramatically like this???" COPPOLA: "Let's keep it down everybody! People in the back...no more snickering out loud while Kay works on her dramatic walk." MICHAEL: (from the back) "Hey Francis! I hear Johnny Fontaine is coming to the party to sing another love song like he sang at my sister's wedding." COPPOLA: "That's right!" MICHAEL: "Who is he going to sing to this time?"
For me, the end of the story will always be the last scene in Godfather PART II that shows Michael contemplating the consequences of his actions. That haunting image says more in 10 seconds than anything that followed in Part III.
Conclusion: They tried! Vatican sequences was intriging. But you can't take a pint to fill a gallon container. The Godfather and The Godfather PART II will always be a milestone in movie history and Part III will never take that away. I'll wait till they put the uncensored Godfather Novel For Television in chronological order on DVD (without Part III) before I buy it...or not buy it at all!
I recently picked up The Godfather DVD Collection, having seen (and loved)
the first two films. I proceeded to watch the first two over again, enjoying
every minute almost as much as the first time around. Then I watched the
third one, which I had never seen before. I'd heard how bad it was, and how
Coppola ruined the series with Part III, so my hopes were less than high,
even though the brilliance of the first two films was still fresh in my
mind. So I watched it all the way through, trying to keep an unbiased
Well, it's not great, that's for sure. But I wouldn't call it horrible either. It certainly lacks the wonderful mood and appeal of the first two films, and it doesn't hold together nearly as well. The first two are so masterful that it takes a very keen eye and many repeated viewings to find even the most minute flaws in them. In Part III, there's plenty of cheesy scenes, forced acting and hammy lines. On the other hand, a lot of the scenes were really good. I liked most of the time spent in Rome, especially the confession scene with Michael and the soon-to-be Pope. The construction of the story itself was pretty decent as well, although it's ruined a little bit by some bad acting.
The main problem with the story of Part III was that it wasn't about anything the audience really cared about, and it certainly wasn't anything new. Part I gave us the story of an aging Mafia crime boss, who's family goes into chaos when he's shot. And Michael, the moral son who doesn't want to get involved with his families business, but feels it's his duty when he sees the corruption in the law and the government. Part II gave us the continuing story of Michael Corleone, trying to vanquish his enemies, and it also had the side story of Vito Corleone as a young man coming to America and his rise to power. To me the scenes with De Niro as Vito was the best part of Part II, and I don't think the film would've been nearly as great without them. Part III was the story of the aging Michael Corleone, but we'd already seen the same type of thing in Part I. So we start looking for parallels between Parts I and III, but they're just not there. So we start looking for originality and redeeming qualities of Part III on it's own, but we have a hard time looking past some of the flaws.
Frankly I just didn't really give a damn about any of the characters in Part III. Michael was an old man, and I could guess he would be dead by the end of the film. Connie had suddenly turned into this hard Mafia consultant, which didn't seem to fit her character from the originals at all. Vincent was basically James Caan's character, Sonny, from the original, only Andy Garcia isn't as good an actor and didn't pull it off as believably. Also it seems hard to believe that Michael would leave the family in the hands of someone so brash and forward as Vincent. The character we were really supposed to care about, Mary, was completely blown by a terrible acting performance by Sofia Coppola, that has to be one of the worst casting calls I've ever seen. I literally laughed at the end (you all know what scene I'm talking about), her acting was just so canned and cheesy it was really pathetic.
On an up note, the cinematography was great once again. Although the film didn't have the same play on light and shadowing that the first two had, it did have some amazing shots of Rome and Sicily. The film was very pleasent to look at throughout. The music was also very good, although I think they used Nino Rota's original theme a bit too much.
Of course, if you compare Part III to the first two films, your going to come up with tons of problems with it and probably won't like it very much. But on it's own it's a pretty decent movie, there have been tons of better Mafia films (Goodfellas, Casino, Donnie Brasco etc..) but it's still alright. What's so disappointing is that the first two are amazing, and the third one is just pretty good. But it says a lot about a series when the worst of the bunch is still a good movie. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give The Godfather Part III, 6 stars.
With many years having passed since "Part 2", Michael Corleone (Al
Pacino) is now divorced from Kay (Diane Keaton), and is still trying to
hold his mafia empire together. The new characters in this installment
are Sonny's illegitimate son Vincent (Andy Garcia), Michael's daughter
Mary (Sofia Coppola), lawyer J.B. Harrison (George Hamilton), and some
others. Michael is going to the Vatican to repent, but he gets the
shock of a lifetime when he arrives.
"The Godfather: Part III" has been regarded by apparently most people as the worst installment in the trilogy, but I actually didn't find it so bad. Granted, it might not reach the quality established by its predecessors, but it was a good end to one of filmdom's most famous trilogies. And also, I didn't think that Sofia Coppola was such a bad actress; I've certainly admired her work as a director.
I believe that this movie is bordering on disgraceful. Sometimes when you make a movie that is meant to be tragic, metaphorical, profound and/or moving, it only makes it worse when the movie is a failure. To be honest, while I quite like the first two movies in the series I think they're somewhat overrated. Trying to glorify the mob is an immoral and futile cause. The good thing about the first two movies is that they manage to encompass all of the sins humans are commonly affiliated with- anger, pride,greed etc, and put them in an emphatically harsh context. Namely, that of a life and death situation. Sins that are normally unimportant domestically, ironically become a major problem because of domesticity - "the family." This particular installment attempts to recreate this sentiment, but gets it all wrong. I actually laughed at the ending. It was a poor attempt at trying to move the audience and blatantly duplicates the endings of the last two movies for the sake of it(i.e. all the enemies being wiped out). The difference being, this time perhaps karma has brought about the emotional downfall of Michael, then, it is exemplified in a physical context-that of the accidental assassination of his daughter. My biggest gripe outside of the ending is quite simply the build up. It is somewhat confused and misdirected yet almost lacking in complexity. You feel nothing at all by the time we reach the climax which is then a rampant anti climax in itself. I can't believe they focused also, on an incestuous relationship as the chief romance. There is something very unnatural about the whole film. All due respect should go to the actors who give a reasonable performance despite the poor script. I think though, that it was a matter of misinterpretation of how good the script really was for actors such as Pacino and Keaton which is why they were forced to be associated with this movie. As well as this the dialogue is very ordinary. Coppola has misfired here, but of course we can't forget some of his other achievements and as such can afford to forgive.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Okay, this could have been great except for the plot, the cast, etc. Godfather I and II were classics on anyone's list. This one stank. Andy Garcia was capable as Sonny's tough guy son. But what is this incest stuff? In one scene, he's in bed with an incredibly hot chick. Then, we see him go ga-ga for his first cousin, Mary Corleone, played by Sofia Coppola. Gee, I wonder how she got the role. How can any man look at her twice? I'm sorry, but she has features that would render Viagra useless, even if you swallowed the whole bottle. I'm straight, but I'd rather make out with Al Pacino. And she's his first cousin??!! Andy Garcia is that hard up? I've heard of taking your cousin to the prom, but ----NOOO!!! Now, if my cousin was Charlese Therone, I just might go for it and get my birth certificate changed...but Sofia Coppola??? The Pope thing was a little weird. So was the big Knights of Malta Cross on Michael Corleone's cake. And once again -Andy- if you're gonna go the incest route, hit on your Aunt, played by Talia Shire. She may be older, but she's much hotter. Close knit Italian families don't tolerate incest anyway, except maybe the West Virginia Corleones.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I didn't like it, because I didn't understand it. A business deal
involving a 6 billion dollar company was central to the plot. What
exactly was the deal? Was he trying to buy the company or become its
CEO? The Catholic Church owns 25% now. Would they continue to own 25%?
If they were planning to sell their shares, why would they care if
scandal broke out after they sold? They could treat it the same as any
other business deal. Was Michael offering $6 billion in cash, or would
he have to borrow money to make the deal work? Maybe he could offer
shares. Instead of depositing $600,000,000 in the Vatican bank, he
could have upped his offer by $600,000,000. Michael threw an awful lot
of money around, but that bothered me. If he was a billionaire before
the movie started, then what's his problem?
Who was the bad guy and what was his motivation? Would he have lost money if the deal went through and how much? Why was the bad guy against the deal?
SPOILERS - Did the guy who killed with eyeglasses end up dying and why was he willing to do that? Did the assassin kill the girl on purpose or accidentally? There was comment earlier in the movie that she controlled the money now.
Godfather I & II, were mere "Shoot-em-ups" by comparison.
If you loved "Scarface" and "Casino," this masterpiece is not for you.
For those that appreciate the depths of emotion, that real life will sooner or later send your way, you will not easily find another film that better displays the bitter harvest, of a life spent in a quest for power, at any cost.
Every aspect of this movie rates a ten! Well, I could have done with a couple less assassinations, I guess.
The music was beautiful. From the Italian opera house to Al Martino.
Sofia Coppola is one I might pass on the street without noticing, but here I found her absolutely irresistible, when she molded pasta with Andy Garcia! Who knew common flour could be such a turn-on!
The film has too many high points to mention. Joey Zaza getting' his in the street! The poisoned cannoli. Michael's sister Connie, devoid of the last shred of human tenderness. And best of all, Michael's predestined legacy of anguish.
The film is evidently not for the masses, given their criticisms, but put that aside and let this movie speak for itself. A portion of you will be thrilled with it!
I realize this had very little hope of measuring up to the 1st two GFs,
but I never imagined III would be SUCH a disappointingly off-the-mark
failure. Difficult to believe it even could've been made by the same
This movie had absolutely none of the fascinating believability of the 1st two: NO gangsters would actually use the pretentious empty (and annoying) dialogue that pre-dominated here; NOR would they conduct hits in the extravagant Hollywood-concocted manner here (Helicopter/parade scenes etc.)that seem more appropriate for Batman type movies whereas the whole vatican/immobilario plot base seems more at home in a James Bond flick; characters react throughout as their counterparts in I and II never would have; and entire plot lines (especially the incestuous cousin-love angle) needed to be thrown out entirely. An average Sopranos episode gives a far more interesting and realistic Cosa Nostra portrayal.
And the performances only made it worse. Sophia Coppola was justifiably panned for being dreadful--it looked as if she was reading her lines for the 1st time off cue-cards. But even Pacino seems to have lost track of his character. Michael was so compelling in I and II because of the introverted, extraordinarily controlled, always-calculating way he conducted the "family business", but none of that was apparent in Pacino's III overacted portrayal of an almost-whiny Michael prone to regular emotional outbursts.
You get the idea, I didn't like it. Coppola appears to have grown terribly pretentious and uninspired, and has thoroughly lost touch with the creative vision that made the 1st two GFs so great. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you don't. Re-watch I and II, pretend this never happened.
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