REVIEW: The Godfather DVD ~ The Coppola Restoration

The Godfather The Coppola Restoration
Directed: Francis Ford Coppela
Produced: Albert S. Ruddy
Publisher: NAL Trade (March 1, 2002) buy Paperback here:
Genre: Crime/Mafia
Rating: R [restricted audience]
ISBN: 1-4157-3659-6
Release date: Available now
Length: 567 minutes for the movies, approximately 240+ minutes for the Supplements
Format: DVD [movie]
Includes profanity and violence, even more so in the last DVD.
Reviewer: Lucille P Robinson

DVD I- The Original Classic Restored---177 minutes
Vito Corleone [Marlon Brando], the Godfather, is one of the five top Mafia Dons America and he's out for all the power he can garner by gaining control of senators, gambling, the union, police, and anyone unfortunate enough to ask a favor. When Vito Corleone grants a favor, the one seeking it belongs to Vito forever. Despite the fact that favors usually include murder, Vito Corleone doesn't look at himself as a murderer. Instead he wields justice and that's not a crime. To stay in control, Vito Corleone sets spies in all the Families. The Godfather has three sons and a daughter: Sonny [James Caan], Fredo [John Cazale], Michael [Al Pacino], Connie [Talia Shire] and Tom Hagen [Robert Duvall], who is like a son.

Michael [Al Pacino] refuses any part in the Mafia, but when his father Vito is shot, Michael comes forth to wreak revenge. He kills the shooter and flees the country to Don Tommasino, the Big Cheese in Sicily.

War breaks out in the Mafia Families and Sonny gets killed. The families meet for a truce but will each of them pay the cost of peace? All the families want power, they have it, but it never seems to be enough.
DVD II---202 minutes---
Flashbacks describing Vito Corleone's childhood, his beginning in the Mafia after being smuggled into America, the early life of Vito as the Godfather, the birth of his children and his death are alternated with the present time.
In the present…

Michael [Al Pacino] is now Don Corleone and the first scene shows his station as some of his men kiss his ring. The kissing is a sign of the loyalty and respect suited to the Don of a Mafia Family.
Since his return, Michael marries his first love Kay [Diane Keaton] and has a son. At the son's first communion, Michael lives through his first assassination attempt by two men hired by Hyman Roth [Lee Strasberg]. Hyman Roth is in control of the Rosato Brothers in New York.

Michael goes to see Hyman in Miami, leaving all the power to Tom Hagen. While in Miami, Michael learns his brother Fredo and Hyman set him up for the assassination attempt and he calls for Fredo to meet him in Miami. There Michael grabs his brother's face and kisses him on the lips [a kiss of death].

Don Michael Corleone is squeezed by a senator in Nevada for money for gambling and hotels in Nevada. Hyman Roth ratted him out. Michael wins clearance against the government committee and goes after Hyman Roth again and gets him.

DVD III---170 minutes---
New York City 1979
Don Michael Corleone, the Godfather, is writing a letter to his children asking them to attend an award ceremony for him. They are with their mother Kay.

Michael started a Vito Corleone foundation for the impoverished, restoring Sicily; grants to artists, funds for medical research-- very good and legitimate things to do. He desired to get straight, to get out of the business.

The church goes to Michael for help to cover a 695 million dollar deficit in a foundation that the Catholic Church started. Michael gives 600 million to take it over. Michael's lawyer [George Hamilton] takes care of the matter for him, but when Pope IV becomes ill Michael learns that if the Pope dies, he will not own.

In Atlantic City, New Jersey, the mob bosses meet and Michael tells them that he is going straight. One of them gets mad, leaves the room and tries to kill all of the mob bosses, but Michael and a few get out.

Michael says "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in." That saying turned out to be the best catch phrase of the 90's. Michael has a diabetic stroke, and goes into a coma. While Michael is in the coma, Connie and Vincent put a hit on the man that did the massacre and kills him.

Michael tells his sister Connie how he wants to go straight, but the higher he goes the more crooked things are. He makes Vincent the new don of the family. Everyone goes to the opera to hear Anthony. The Corleone family settles all accounts by killing the ones that betrayed them. In the last scene we see Michael at a very old age in Sicily where he dies of natural causes.

DVD 4---The 2001 Archival Supplements
These supplements are offered to the hearing impaired in English, French, Spanish or none, if you can hear. They are Godfather World, The Masterpiece That Almost Wasn't, …when the shooting stopped, Emulsional Rescue: Revealing the Godfather, The Godfather on the Red Carpet, Four Short Films on The Godfather, and 2008 Credits.

DVD 5---All New 2008 Supplements
These are Behind the Scenes [I love to watch how the moviemakers set up the stunts or do other special effects.] Filmmakers, Galleries, The Family Tree and Additional Scenes. All supplements should be experienced at least once. They are fascinating and informative.

What works for me:
The music fits the show beautifully. Great actors brought the story to life. There are few who could act the Godfather like Marlon Brando in the first movie and Al Pacino in the other movies. No other actors could have made such great supporting characters as those chosen to fill the roles of Corleone's family. Crime and the Mafia are brought to life before our very eyes.

It is simply amazing how the Godfather movie has influenced so many other movies, even Bart Simpson. What is good, also, is that the Godfather has brought so much humor to so many people despite the seriousness of the content. Truly a worthy set for anyone's personal library.

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