The Ciné + Frisson channel is dedicating a 100% mafia cycle this Saturday, December 4 with the broadcast of the Godfather trilogy by Francis F. Coppola. The highlight: the formidable new unpublished version of The Godfather III, put together by the filmmaker.
This Saturday, December 4, the Ciné + Frisson channel is offering a 100% Godfather night; the fabulous family saga orchestrated by Francis Ford Coppola. Kick-off at 8:50 p.m. with the first part released in 1972; followed at 11:40 pm by the broadcast of the second part, just as fabulous (and that some moreover prefer to the first). And finally, at 2:55 am, the broadcast of Godfather III.
But, and this is what brings us here, this is the very last version reworked by Francis Ford Coppola, called The Godfather, epilogue: the death of Michael Corleone. The filmmaker likes to dive back into his works to rework them. This was the case recently with his Final Cut version of Apocalypse Now, after having already offered us a Redux in 2001.
This time, under the auspices and with the blessing of Paramount Pictures, Coppola has actively worked on the restoration of the third and final installment of his The Godfather trilogy. A meticulous and long-term endeavor: just to find negatives in good condition and make their selections from no less than 300 boxes, it took six months.
But Coppola was not satisfied with a simple restoration of his film which remains (and wrongly) the badly loved of the saga; always compared to the yardstick of its two glorious elders. Baptized The Godfather Epilogue – the death of Michael Corleone, the film benefits from a new cut. “For this final version, I created a new beginning and a new end, rearranged some scenes, shots, and musical accompaniment. With these changes, the images and sound restored, this is for me the most appropriate to the Godfather and the Godfather II. I am indebted to Jim Gianopulos [NDR : l’actuel PDG de Paramount Pictures] to allow me to revisit it “ released the filmmaker, in the press release accompanying the announcement of this new version.
What’s new on the editing table?
To initially benefit from a very limited release in the United States in December 2020, this version of the film is now available on VOD on demand and on Blu-ray in the United States, including here. Here is what the journalist Bernard Achour wrote in his test bench in the issue of the specialized magazine The Laser Years of the month of December 2020.
In addition to the very solid performance of the whole from a technical point of view of this edition, the changes of this version, shorter by 5 min, “are not as radical in form as […] the countless touch-ups made over time to Apocalypse Now. […] Where the film differs considerably from its original cut, however, is in two very specific points. While it once opened with a long melancholy sequence where the hero spoke in voiceover to his children, it begins today with the meeting between Michael Corleone and the Vatican banker located a good half hour later in the old version: a way of putting the whole storyline under the black wing of Church corruption. As for the epilogue, reworked with exceptional finesse, it redistributes many cards while amplifying the tragic dimension of a shorter set. [..]”.
At the end of November 2020, Coppola organized a private screening at Paramount to show this new version to part of the cast of the 1990 film. Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, Al Pacino and George Hamilton were able to discover the new montage. As well as Andy Garcia, also present at the celebrations.
At the end of this screening, Diane Keaton split a comment reported by Variety : “I don’t know why people didn’t like him, at least I was among them. I couldn’t even say why I didn’t like him more than that” she blurted out. This new version seems to have largely won its favor: “It was one of the happiest moments of my life to see it. For me, it was a dream come true. I saw the film in a completely different light. At the time, it was not doing very well. worked, and the Critics weren’t famous. But there, Francis changed the beginning and the end, and damn it, I can tell you that works! “
As for Andy Garcia, who plays as a reminder Vincent Corleone, the illegitimate son of Sonny Corleone (James Caan), who ends up taking the reins of the family, it is at the microphone of the Hollywood Reporter that he reserved his remarks concerning this new version of the Godfather III, who has it, according to his words, “shakes”, while declaring never to have understood the lukewarm reception given to the film in 1990. “I think a lot of unfair things were said about the film at the time, especially the way Sofia was treated.”.
Winona Ryder was originally cast for her role, but had to leave the production very quickly, which was starting on the orders of her doctor, as she was exhausted. It was Sofia Coppola who took over the role off the cuff in her father’s film. “I think if people see the movie again, they will see a very honest, deep, performance by Sofia. I think there is a great tragedy in her character, a very courageous performance, and I’m very proud of the work that we have done”.
Here is precisely, below, a (short) conversation between Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino and Andy Garcia, about this new version of The Godfather III. A bonus video that accompanies the Blu-ray disc of the film.