There’s a new cut of The Godfather Part III making headlines – The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone. Director Francis Ford Coppola has recut his films in the past – Apocalypse Now has several different cuts, and he recently released The Cotton Club Encore, a recut of The Cotton Club. Now, with The Godfather, Coda, Coppola hopes to show the world the movie he always hoped to make. In a new interview with film critic Leonard Maltin, Coppola and Godfather, Coda stars Al Pacino and Andy Garcia talk about the new cut.
The Godfather Coda Interview
With The Godfather, Coda, director Francis Ford Coppola said: “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.” Coppola talks more about the film in a new interview with Leonard Maltin, telling Maltin that as he went through The Godfather Part III for this recut, he found himself making choices he never thought to make when shooting the film.
The biggest change is a new opening scene which really sets the movie’s plot in motion. The new opening features his Michael Corleone meeting with the head of the Vatican Bank. As I wrote in my review:
As far as big changes go, Coppola has tweaked the beginning and end and then trimmed down some scenes. The theatrical cut opened with a haunting look at the abandoned, rotting, ghostly Corleone compound at Lake Tahoe. It was Coppola signaling the death and decay that lurks in every shadowy corner of the film. Here, the filmmaker nixes that, jumping instead to a scene where aging Corleone Family Godfather Michael (Al Pacino) meets with the head of the Vatican Bank. The bank has racked up a huge deficit and they want this distinguished mobster to bail them out. And Michael is more than happy to intervene – not because he’s a particularly faithful man. Rather, he longs to be seen as a legitimate businessman, not just another greasy hoodlum. But more than that, he wants redemption.
In this interview, Pacino says the new opening “centers the film” and focuses it in a different way. And he’s right.
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