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Since June 11, 2001 we've been drooling and anticipating the DVD event of the year -- and it's finally arrived Oct 9th!
The three Godfather films have been released together in the 5-disc The Godfather DVD Collection. The Godfather and The Godfather Part III each are on one disc, and The Godfather Part II is on two discs.
All three films include feature-length audio commentary by Francis Ford Coppola!
But wait, there's a fifth disc that will blow your socks off! Check this out -- the bonus disc contains 3+ hours worth of special features! (It actually took me about four hours to go through it all).
Behind The Scenes
"The Godfather Family: A Look Inside" documentary
On Location with production designer Dean Tavoularis
Francis Coppola's Notebook The Music of The Godfather Coppola and Puzo on Screenwriting
Gordon Willis on Cinematography
Storyboards from The Godfather Part II Storyboards from The Godfather Part III The Godfather Behind The Scenes 1971
Additional Scenes* / Chronology
Corleone Family timeline (Sort of like this one that's been on this site for the past few years, but with "official" dates)
Set Up - easter egg!
Subtitles: English/French The Family Tree
Character Bios Cast Bios - easter egg! (James Caan)
Acclaim and Response
Academy Award® Acceptance Speeches List of Awards and Nominations 1974 Network TV Introduction DVD Credits - easter egg!
Francis Ford Coppola Mario Puzo - easter egg! Gordon Willis Dean Tavoularis Nino Rota Carmine Coppola
*The Additional Scenes include:
>Searching for Vito (Ciccio's men looking for boy)
>Fanucci Attacked (gets throad cut by punks)
>Clemenza: "I'm my own boss" (added to cafe scene)
>Playing The Flute (visit to the gunsmith)
>Discussing Fanucci (additional Vito truck footage)
>Reasoning with Signor Roberto (additional footage)
>Don Vito Corleone (added footage of Roberto visiting Vito)
>Introducing Hyman Roth (Hyman Suchowski)
>Vito's Revenge (killing Ciccio's goons)
>The Death of Genco (in the hospital after the wedding)
>A Gift from Woltz (his girl-friend Janie gets a pony)
>Hagen Sees Janie (on his way out after dinner)
>A Family Fight (Connie and Carlo argueing at Vito's)
>Michael and Kay in Bed (in NY, pretending to be in New Hampshire)
>The Don's Been Shot (Sonny gets a call)
>Sonny Absorbs The News (added footage)
>Michael Gets Involved (crucial footage!)
>Planning Paulie's Death (Rocco makes his bones)
>Clemenza Eats Lunch (while Paulie and Rocco wait in car)
>Communist Demonstration (in Sicily)
>Seeking Vito's House (in Sicily)
>Yelling in the Shower (Carlo and Connie added footage)
>"Bring Me Fabrizio" (Michael after Appolonia is killed)
>Talking in the Garden (Michael and Vito -- crucial footage!)
>Hagen: "Why Am I Out?" (another look at it)
>Kay Lights Candles (in church, for Michael's soul)
>Fredo and Deanna (arriving at Anthony's Communion party)
>Champagne Cocktails (more of Pentangeli)
>Francesca to Marry (Sonny's daughter getting Michael's permission)
>Fabrizio Located (they found him)
>Anthony and Pentangeli (share a moment)
>Neri Humiliates Klingman (takes over the casino)
>Murder of Fabrizio (car-bombed outside pizzeria)
>Godfather III Alternate Opening (never before seen!)
What's not included?
The list of extra scenes is impressive, but there are a few I didn't notice seeing. Maybe I didn't notice them, and there may be more from the Saga. Extra short footage of current scenes are not included.
>After The Don tells Tom he's to go to California, Tom tells him that the hospital called and the dying Consiglieri Genco won't last the night.
>After Sonny gets the call from Sollozzo, he goes to tells Carmella that the Don's been shot. He then calls up Tessio to get 50 of his men over. He tries to call Luca, but he's not there.
>There's added footage of singing on the grandstand, and in the parking lot. We also see Anthony walking up to the buttomen, and stopping as Kay calls after him.
The sound and picture quality are fantastic -- the best presentation of these films you've ever seen. Coppola's American Zoetrope did a wonderful job restoring the films (they did it electronically). The on-screen menus look great [see sample screenshots]. The DVD packaging looks nice overall, but some feel they could've put more "weight" into it. And some type of booklet would have been cool as there are no inserts at all.
All three films are in anamorphic widescreen format with English 5.1 surround sound, French mono, and English subtitles. [*see this note about widescreen versions of the Godfather films, by Harlan Lebo, author of The Godfather Legacy.]
There were no plans at this point to release the chronological version on DVD. Francis said that the films were meant to be seen with the flashbacks, and I tend to agree. The biggest plus of having The Godfather Trilogy or Epic on tape, or watching The Godfather Saga on TV, was all the extra footage included. Well, the bonus disc in The Godfather DVD Collection contains most of the extra footage, and even something we've never seen anywhere before: an alternate opening for The Godfather Part III. Francis didn't give a firm "no" though; he cited technical reasons for not being able to include all the extra footage on DVD: the different scenes are in various levels of production ("they weren't mixed and scored"), making it difficult to add them seemlessly with today's technology. Maybe, but they seemed to be okay in the boxed sets....
Before the DVD Collection came out, I attended the Paramount Press conference in Brooklyn on June 11th. See my report here for a recap, and other interesting notes!
OH, AND DON'T FORGET:
> Order The Godfather DVD Collection Now!
> Order Region 2/PAL version here (Europe, Middle East, Japan only)
J Geoff Malta
Visit Niebaum-Coppola for Francis's food, wine, and filmstuff
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