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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Friday May 22, 2020 


A fictional epic story of how an Italian family became a powerful cog in the giant Mafia over several generations, led by the migrant Don Corleone (Marlon Brando), whose single minded business acumen and cunning tactics, strict but immoral ethics laid the groundwork. The story traces the family’s power plays, its inner turmoils, its tragedies and its relationships with the empire of the Mob in a young America.

With their greatness still being discovered and rediscovered today, The Godfather Trilogy represents the crown jewel of filmmaking. The scorching portrait of inter-generational power and loyalty within the infamous - but thankfully fictional - Mafia family has the gravity of a modern day Shakespearean tragedy. Yet based on Mario Puzo's bestseller, it's also pulp fiction of the highest kind; a trilogy everyone should see before they die and every film fan must-own. The secret is the way it takes us into their charmed lives, with wedding scenes and the blissful side of Don Vito Corleone's deadly study. Scoured by dissertations and doctorates and imitated by a thousand films since, no rock has been left unturned in analysing these American epics. Until now.

The bonus features on this immaculate 5-disc box set are almost as extraordinary as the films themselves. The fifth disc is a whopping 215 minutes and begins with The Godfather Family: A Look Inside, where interviews reveal everything from how the original film almost never happened to how it almost starred Sylvester Stallone and John Travolta (!). Coppola recounts the President of Paramount Pictures decrying "Marlon Brando would never appear in this film," and recalls their suggestions of stars Ryan O'Neil, Robert Redford, and even James Caan playing Michael Corleone over Coppola's insistence of the then-unknown Al Pacino. In Francis Coppola's Godfather Workbook, we discover the director's methodical processes; his thick notebook crammed with scripts and pages literally torn from the book with Coppola's original scribbles.

Other segments include Coppola and Puzo on the Screenplay, Cinematography of The Godfather, On Location (an amazing look at how the films overtook entire New York streets), Music of The Godfather - Nino Rota (composer on many Fellini films), and The Godfather: Behind the Scenes. There's unending footage of rehearsals, screen-tests, and deleted scenes, the Academy Award Acceptance Speeches, and even an amusing sequence from The Sopranos talking about the DVD itself. The Godfather Trilogy has done more to shape public perception of the Mafia than anything else, and this revelatory box set shows us why. The crown jewel of filmmaking has just become the crown jewel of any film library.
Shannon J. Harvey

Published October 11, 2001

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You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia


CAST: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, Sofia Coppola, Andy Garcia, Bridget Fonda, George Hamilton, Eli Wallach.

DIRECTOR: Francis Ford Coppola

SCRIPT: Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo, based on Puzo's novels.

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount Home Ent
DVD RELEASE: October 12, 2001
RRP: $140 - $160

Disc 1 – The Godfather Part 1
Disc2,3-The Godfather Part 2
Disc 4 – The Godfather Part 3
Disc 5 – Bonus Materials

Over 3 hours of exclusive bonus features including a documentary on the making of the films, additional scenes, cast rehearsals, cinematography, never before seen film locations featurette, storybords, The Music, The Corleone Family Tree, The Godfather Historical Timeline

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