|Index||4 reviews in total|
I just finished watching THE GODFATHER FAMILY. Although enjoyable for the behind the scenes footage and candid footage, I would have liked to have heard more from author Mario Puzo on how he came up with the idea for the original story. I was disappointed not to hear anything about the late John Cazale, who played Fredo in the first two films. For myself, his performance was the most enthralling of the series.
Yup: as IMDb has the best database, it has this documentary that was
among the bonus disk of the collector set and so I had to review it!
As I saw it after the other extras, I was already satisfied. There are interesting tidbits with personal interviews of Coppola, Pacino and even De Niro but the editing is awful: the sequences aren't organized but merely added one after another and all the three movies are finally mixed together.
Worse, nearly all previews of the movies have a horrible quality.
What I retain is that the studio executives really don't understand what movies are about: I wonder what happened to the ones in Paramount who wanted this movie with no Coppola, no Brando, no pacino! It was clear as water that to do a movie about cosa nostra, it had to involve italo- Americans and not wasp.
This film concerning the making of the Godfather films coincided with
the release of the disastrous "The Godfather: Part III"--a film hated
by many fans and critics (oddly, I thought it was pretty good). It
begins, naturally, discussing the first movie in the series and, not
surprisingly because of when it was made, a huge emphasis was made on
the final film. Much of the film consisted of interviews though many
clips from the movies were interspersed into the production. My feeling
is that the earlier portion of the making of documentary was the best
and most interesting because the film makers were not trying to sell
these films--they were considered classics. However, later in the film,
it bogs down a bit because instead of just trying to explain the films,
they are pushing it in hopes that the viewer will be induced to watch
"The Godfather: Part III". In essence, here it was a bit too
self-congratulatory (and, in hindsight, prematurely so).
Of the many things in this lengthy documentary, the things that stood out for me were the 'what might have been' moments. I had no idea that Al Pacino's part in the movies was so tenuous--that the studio pushed Francis Ford Coppola to drop him from the film, as Pacino was an unknown at the time. Seeing James Caan and Martin Sheen also being tested for the role fascinating. Also, seeing Robert Di Nero trying out for the role of Sonny (he later played a Vito in "The Godfather II"). And, finally, hearing how Coppola himself was CONSTANTLY on the proverbial hot-seat--as Paramount even had a second director on hand during much of the film in case they'd have to replace him! And, how the stud pushed him to make "The Godfather" MORE violent!! Wow.
Now there are some negatives. I really would have loved more background to the films and was surprised that there was no mention of the very premature death of John Cazale ('Fredo'). More 'tidbits'--that would have improved this film--as well as a bit less on trying to push the third film. Still, for fans of the series, this is definitely a must-see.
Very interesting if only for the screen tests of * James Caan * Al Pacino * Diane Keaton * and especially, especially Robert De Niro! Electric!
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