As one of the great American film classics of the last century, The Godfather (1972) has left a lasting impression on pop culture. It practically birthed the ‘mob movie’ genre and has inspired and influenced countless films, television series, songs and other art.
However, popular opinion seems to dictate that the only ‘real’ Godfather films are one and two; The Godfather Part III (1990) is often seen as a black mark on the trilogy, or at least not nearly as good as the first two. There are troves of proposed reasons to back up this argument: production troubles, the large delay between its release and the release of Part II (1974), the constant re-writing of the script, Al Pacino’s age, Sofia Coppola’s acting, or even the lack of many of the characters that made the first two films what they were, but I’m not really here to argue who’s right. The point is that the third Godfather film, despite being a pretty good film, did not stand up to its predecessors.
Francis Ford Coppola has announced that there will be a re-cut of The Godfather Part III releasing in December. Following in the footsteps of previous auteurs who had their film mangled and twisted into something they couldn’t be proud of, most notably Zack Snyder and his Justice League cut, Coppola reckons that this cut is more in line with his and Puzo’s “original intentions for what became The Godfather: Part III,”.
From his statement, it seems that the changes will include rearranged scenes, shots and music cues, as well as a new beginning and ending, with restored footage and sound to boot. Perhaps the most significant change is the least drastic one; the title of the film. Coppola and Puzo originally wanted to call the film Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone. Somewhat understandably, the studio thought that was a mouthful and thought The Godfather Part III sounded better. The new cut will have the original title, and is a symbol of Coppola getting back creative control over his film. It also better sets the film up as a coda to the first two, and not as a sequel, which is the way Coppola intended it.
Coppola, now 81 and in the twilight of his career, seems confident this cut will be a more fitting ending to ‘The Godfather’ series, and has also noted that he wants to vindicate his daughter’s infamous performance as Mary Corleone, a role that then-19-year-old Sofia garnered a lot of criticism for. As fans of The Godfather, we can only hope he accomplishes both goals come December.
Featured Image: IMDb
Last modified: 13th September 2020