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Godfather Do-Over: Coppola to Release Re-Edited Godfather: Part III

Godfather Do-Over: Coppola to Release Re-Edited Godfather: Part III

Godfather Part III Godfather Coda

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Francis Ford Coppola will release a re-edited version of his often-maligned The Godfather: Part III that will include a new beginning, new ending, and new title: The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.

Coppola said the film will better reflect his intentions for the third film in the series, released in 1990, to mark its 30th anniversary. He plans a limited December theatrical release.

“‘Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone is an acknowledgement of Mario’s and my preferred title and our original intentions for what became The Godfather: Part III,’” said Coppola. “For this version of the finale, I created a new beginning and ending, and rearranged some scenes, shots, and music cues. With these changes and the restored footage and sound, to me, it is a more appropriate conclusion to The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II and I’m thankful to Jim Gianopulos and Paramount for allowing me to revisit it.”

The first two films in The Godfather saga are widely considered two of the greatest of all time. Godfather: Part III is not. The film has an unremarkable 69 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

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The Godfather: Part III and The Godfather, Coda both follow Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), now in his 60s, as he seeks to become a legitimate businessman man, free his family from it mob ties, and find a suitable heir. In addition to Godfather veterans, it also enlisted young actors Andy Garcia and Coppola’s daughter, Sofia Coppola, who many critics felt was miscast.

Coppola and his production company, American Zoetrope, used a 4K scan of the original negative to undertake a painstaking, frame-by-frame restoration, Paramount said in a news release. Zoetrope and Paramount’s restoration searched for over 50 original takes to replace lower-resolution opticals in the original negative of The Godfather: Part III.

This process took over six months and involved sifting through 300 cartons of negative. The company repaired scratches, stains, and other anomalies, and also enhanced the original 5.1 audio mix.

“Mr. Coppola oversaw every aspect of the restoration while working on the new edit, ensuring that the film not only looks and sounds pristine, but also meets his personal standards and directorial vision,” said Andrea Kalas, senior vice president, Paramount Archives.

This is the latest effort by Coppola, 81, to bolster his legacy: He has previously re-released updated versions of his films Apocalypse Now and The Cotton Club.

His very suitable heir, Sofia Coppola, will release her latest film, On the Rocks, next month. It will be in select theaters Oct. 2 and on Apple TV+ on Oct. 23.

 

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Joseph Campbell

    September 3, 2020 at 11:52 am

    Sequels suck and are SELDOM as good as the original!

    • Avatar

      Paully

      September 3, 2020 at 1:30 pm

      Tell that to Godfather part 2..
      The Empire Strikes Back..
      And From Russia With Love..

    • Avatar

      J

      September 3, 2020 at 4:52 pm

      2 was better than 1…the outlier, I know…but true.

  2. Avatar

    tom g

    September 3, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Compared to I and II the 3rd GF was visually static and unexciting. I haven’t seen it in thirty years but after loving the first two, I recall the third as being an incredible disappointment because the camera never moved.

  3. Avatar

    Radical Normal

    September 3, 2020 at 7:48 pm

    Alas, the real problems with the movie will almost certainly remain — the poor casting choices, especially of Sofia Coppola as the daughter, and Andy Garcia who, sorry, just doesn’t work as an Italian. I’ll still give it a look though – even a disappointing Godfather 3 is better than most movies.

  4. Avatar

    ragu4u

    September 4, 2020 at 6:13 am

    If it cannot be changed enough to make it as good as GF1 & GF2 then it should remain as IS!

  5. Avatar

    LQJones

    September 4, 2020 at 6:30 am

    It should have been a musical.

  6. Avatar

    Hamish Adam

    September 4, 2020 at 6:31 am

    Another main difference between the first two films and Godfather 3 was the change of Editor for 3. Peter Zinner cut the first two and many of the memorable scenes and clever use of musical cues were his work. He did not work on 3.

  7. Avatar

    Michael Rigano

    September 4, 2020 at 7:53 am

    I was so disapointed with GFIII, hurt actually. When I viewed it on the first night, first showing in 1990, I burst through the theater doors and told everyone lined up for next viewing to demand their money back and not bother going in (agreed that was childish of me). Since that time I have refused to acknowledge that a GFIII even existed. The main problem (of many) was there was no magic as in I & II. The casting (beside Pacino) was done by Captain Kangaroo. Will I watch the redo? Probably. I love GF I & II so much I am willing to offer a redo some redemption.

  8. Avatar

    Alan

    September 4, 2020 at 9:19 am

    As an editor who was working on other films at the time of GFIII post, and in proximity of editors who would know details, I can say that the consensus in the editing community was that GFIII had major structural problems, as well as other issues. The story was that these problems were being hastily “solved” to meet a contracted release date. Regardless, Coppola should have pulled the plug, and re-evaluated from beginning to end without any pressures. Re-shoot as needed, since all the actors likely would have found a way to make it happen in their schedules. Given the magnificence of GF & GFII and their place in film history, there was too much at stake to rush it. But Coppola either rushed it for financial reasons or was forced to do so by the studio, or both. Now he is creating a pristine version with new technology, creating a new title, beginning, and ending. What about all the problems in between? I hope this brilliant filmmaker pulls off a miracle, but I am skeptical. I hope I’m wrong, but I believe he sealed the fate of GFIII decades ago with a series of bad and/or mediocre decisions. But I understand Coppola for being haunted and having these regrets all these years. The problem now is that, at age 81, and thirty years after the fact, Coppola (a) is feeling a different kind of pressure in his old age, and (b) likely can’t made a mediocre film into a great one with a few bandaids. To fix GFIII, Coppola would need to pull off a Rosenblum-style of re-edit (Annie Hall) to accomplish a miracle, which is highly doubtful given the super well-known characters, style, story, and available unused footage. Instead, he will end up somewhat diluting the GF legacy because now we will have 4 GF films, two of which will be mediocre.

  9. Avatar

    Signor Roberto

    September 4, 2020 at 11:50 am

    An overlooked aspect of the Godfather films is the film stock itself which had much to do with “the look and feel” of the first two Godfather films. “The Godfather Part II” was the last major studio film (Paramount) shot in the Technicolor dye-transfer process ( the original “The Godfather” was also Technicolor). While this might seem like a minor point it really isn’t. The burnished tones, the color of the olive skin, the richness in the the visual texture of the first two films could only be accomplished through Technicolor. “The Godfather Part III” was not shot in Technicolor. Sadly, Technicolor had vanished from the big screen by 1990. On a subliminal level the audience notices the difference. You simply cannot beat Technicolor. The studio, and Coppola, understood this when making the first two films and insisted on Technicolor. Sadly, that option was not available by 1990.

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