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Though a considerable improvement on the facile documentary "The Real Goodfella" (a film full of boastful swagger that quickly runs out of steam once you realise the filmmakers actually have nothing to say) that preceded it "The Godfather and the Mob" still manages to disappoint. The problem is not that its badly made - indeed it's polished and has some nice touches (borrowing the digital rostrum technique from "The Kid Stays in the Picture" to good effect) - the problem is that this is a tired old story and if you have even a passing interest in the mob, or movies you'll have heard it told before (and probably better). The programme recounts the various run-ins the makers of The Godfather encountered with both the Mob and the studio - all entertaining enough but I have to admit as I write this I have trouble remembering what any of those were. It was that forgettable...perhaps it would have helped if there was interviews with a few more of the key players - as it is the talking heads are largely bit players, TV rent-a-gob gangsters and commentators - a real shame given the amazing people they COULD have featured. Ho-hum, so all in all - not awful but not great.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Channel 4 had three special documentaries explaining truths behind the inspirations and making of some of the most popular gangster films, this was obviously one of them. They also did The Real Goodfellas! Basically this film explained about Francis Ford Coppola, the cast and crew of the film, and the trouble they went through and could have got into with the real mob! They didn't want the film to be made, until later when they made an agreement to make changes, including lose the word "mafia" in the film (which originally only appeared once!), and maybe using someone else instead of Marlon Brando to play Don Vito Corleone. When the film was completed and had been released, the mob were happy and considered the film as a great part of their culture, or something like that. Coppola was obviously frustrated because he was making it for the audience. Good!
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