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Author Topic: The Godfather vs. OUATIA  (Read 28123 times)
4stars
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« on: June 03, 2004, 09:24:03 PM »

I have no idea if this is true or a bunch of BS, but just of a curiosity - is it true that Mario Puzo originally asked Sergio Leone to direct The Godfather?  And despite the offer, Sergio Leone turned it down, this way he could work on his masterpiece - Once Upon A Time In America......?

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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2004, 03:06:48 AM »

very true 4stars.

sergio refused because he didnt think puzo's story was up 2 much and because he wanted to avoid Italian gangsters and focus on Irish and Jews.
He also wanted to devise hiw own story and not be controlled by a novel.

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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2004, 11:43:44 PM »

I think it all worked out pretty well! I wouldnt change either movie.

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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2004, 06:07:38 AM »

very true 4stars.

sergio refused because he didnt think puzo's story was up 2 much and because he wanted to avoid Italian gangsters and focus on Irish and Jews.
He also wanted to devise hiw own story and not be controlled by a novel.
But later, after having seen the movie, he regretted his decision.

Anyway, I think it's for the best, because now there are three (Godfather I & II, OUATIA) gangster movies that stand out above all others and are among the best movies ever made, instead of possibly just one.

As for the question in the title, if I'd had to choose between the Godfather and Once Upon..., I'd have to go for the Godfather. (With pain in my heart, of course.)

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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2004, 06:25:40 AM »

i think OUATIA is artistically superior - Leone's editing and directorial flair stands out above Coppola's, but in terms of a great drama and story The Godfather wins, and it probably has better actors and characters development as well. But if we're analysing it as a trilogy i think OUATIA is better because the third isnt quite as good.

As one critic said (forgive me i cant remember who):

"The Godfather is a great movie, Once Upon a Time in America is a great film".

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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2004, 10:56:43 AM »

is there any evidence that he regretted the decision aaronson? I mean if he doesn't like the story about italian gangsters on paper i bet he didn't like the story about italian gangsters on film... i personally love OUATIA and don't much care for the godfather... i don't know... i just see it as the dances with wolves of gangster movies... people love it and wanna call it a gangster movie, but it really does suck... OUATIA beats it in everyway and as for saying the the godfather wins in great drama and story and character developement, you must not have seen OUATIA... i mean those are all the things i believe america crushes the godfather into submission.

I don't want to sound like a leone worshipper... because i'm not... but maybe if i hadn't seen OUATIA before the godfather i could like it more... america is just too high a standard i guess.

« Last Edit: October 03, 2004, 11:02:41 AM by grandpa_chum » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2004, 03:20:25 AM »

is there any evidence that he regretted the decision aaronson? I mean if he doesn't like the story about italian gangsters on paper i bet he didn't like the story about italian gangsters on film... i personally love OUATIA and don't much care for the godfather... i don't know... i just see it as the dances with wolves of gangster movies... people love it and wanna call it a gangster movie, but it really does suck... OUATIA beats it in everyway and as for saying the the godfather wins in great drama and story and character developement, you must not have seen OUATIA... i mean those are all the things i believe america crushes the godfather into submission.

I don't want to sound like a leone worshipper... because i'm not... but maybe if i hadn't seen OUATIA before the godfather i could like it more... america is just too high a standard i guess.
It says so on IMDB, that's all I know. The information on that site is usually reliable. I bet his regrets also had to do something with the fact that at the time he saw The Godfather, he still hadn't been able to get his own project made.

As for the Godfather... It's a story about innocence being corrupted by familybonds, about the impossibility of the American Dream, about a man who tries to do what he believes is good but ends up failing miserably, and about so much more... And it's much more than just a gangster movie.
The fractured and ambiguous story of OUATIA is geniusly told, but because of its ambiguity and fractured storyline, the emotional impact is less than the story of the Godfather. At least, to me it is.

As for better actors... I truly believe that the ensemble cast of Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Talia Shire, James Caan, John Cazale, Sterling Hayden, Richard Castellano, Diane Keaton, Abe Vigoda, Al Lettieri and many more great actors is, as a whole, a better cast than the cast of OUATIA.

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« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2004, 03:53:36 AM »

is there any evidence that he regretted the decision aaronson? I mean if he doesn't like the story about italian gangsters on paper i bet he didn't like the story about italian gangsters on film... i personally love OUATIA and don't much care for the godfather... i don't know... i just see it as the dances with wolves of gangster movies... people love it and wanna call it a gangster movie, but it really does suck... OUATIA beats it in everyway and as for saying the the godfather wins in great drama and story and character developement, you must not have seen OUATIA... i mean those are all the things i believe america crushes the godfather into submission.

I don't want to sound like a leone worshipper... because i'm not... but maybe if i hadn't seen OUATIA before the godfather i could like it more... america is just too high a standard i guess.

sorry grandpa_chum but ive gotta disagree with u there and im afraid i have seen OUATIA. I think the development of the Michael and Vito Corleone characters is pulled off better than the development of Noodles.

Overall, yeah, i feel OUATIA is better stylistically, artistically and i think its more distinctive, but im not gonna say it beats The Godfather in every department just because im a Leone fan, because it doesnt.

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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2004, 10:17:49 AM »

you guys make some great points... and maybe i need to see the godfather a few more times... but i still believe that OUATIA is far and away a better film.

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« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2004, 10:19:29 AM »

i think OUATIA is artistically superior - Leone's editing and directorial flair stands out above Coppola's, but in terms of a great drama and story The Godfather wins, and it probably has better actors and characters development as well. But if we're analysing it as a trilogy i think OUATIA is better because the third isnt quite as good.

As one critic said (forgive me i cant remember who):

"The Godfather is a great movie, Once Upon a Time in America is a great film".

When the Godfather came out it was a huge hit, critics loved it, made everyone a star, won oscars, book was a bestseller, parts one and two followed, as did a tv bestseller version,everyone quotes the lines, the films are never off the tv-in a way the whole Godfather thing became a bit overwhelming in the same way as Titanic. Most people I speak to admire the Godfather (artistically) OUATIA on the other is a film that people love! Despite the subject matter OUATIA is a beautiful film, original, complex, ambiguous, fascinating and brilliant. Its a film that has really only been discovered through cable,video and dvd-it has a mythical and mystical quality that the Godfather lacks. This is why (in my opion) OUATIA has the edge.

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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2004, 01:48:46 PM »

I think Godfather 1 + 2 , Once Upon a Time in America and Miller's Crossing are the best Gangster movies of the last 40 years and possibly of all time.   I have no knocks on the first two GF's or MC and only a small quibble with McGovern in ...America, but it really is small compared to the enormity of the masterpiece.

Goodfella's is in 5th place - questionable third act.  

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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2004, 11:47:54 AM »

Both Great Gangster Epics!!

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« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2004, 05:34:23 PM »

my biggest problem with the godfather and miller's crossing and even goodfellas... is that i hate every gangster movie i've ever seen... for some reason i love OUATIA, maybe i just can't appreciate a good gangster epic when i see one.

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« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2004, 09:21:55 PM »

my biggest problem with the godfather and miller's crossing and even goodfellas... is that i hate every gangster movie i've ever seen... for some reason i love OUATIA, maybe i just can't appreciate a good gangster epic when i see one.

Maybe the problem is that gangsters are not admirable and that movies that try to make them attractive can only do so by being dishonest about the kind of people they are. You can only enjoy a film like Godfather if you like Michael, but sons of real Godfathers are never likeable.

The strength of OUATIA is that you don't have to like the gangsters in it to enjoy the film.

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« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2004, 12:27:39 PM »

leone has never regretted the choice of doing ouatia. He only said that he regretted to have refused to do the godfather, because he could have done something great, especially with the second one. I think he told that to a french journalist, probably one of the cahiers du cinema, i'll have to check (i have the cahiers du cinema in which he has been interviewed)... or may be in noel simsolo's book "conversation with sergio leone". But i'm pretty sure he was speaking to a french...

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