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stanton
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« Reply #45 on: May 05, 2015, 05:39:40 AM »

GF 3 is simply a lesser film. Everything in it is not on the level of the first 2. Coppola was at that time not the Coppola of the 70s anymore. But most of the films he made in the 80s are better than GF 3, so there was more wrong with the film than only the director being beneath his peak.

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« Reply #46 on: May 05, 2015, 06:41:11 AM »

GF 3 is simply a lesser film. Everything in it is not on the level of the first 2.

No doubt.

The only attribute of GF3 over GF1&2 is Eli Wallach  Smiley

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« Reply #47 on: May 05, 2015, 08:53:35 AM »

1 > 3 > 2

But I know I'm alone here. Many American screenwriters agree though: G1 and 3's scripts have been ranked in the top 5 screenplays ever by I don't remember which association of screenwriters. G2 was not in the list. But hey, I don't think G1's script is that great (the movie is great, the script is just very good: 1970's Coppola transcended it).
Still, the most powerful scene from the whole trilogy is in the second one (Fredo's murder).

About real life events being considered as "ridiculous" in a film:
Screenwriters struggle with this all the time. Not only in films inspired by true events: every movie is stuffed with real life lines, stuff that the screenwriters heard/saw in the street or at a Starbucks when he's not plain quoting his girlfriend. Audiard use to spend his time in coffee shops in Paris to steal from real people. More recently, Aaron Sorkin admited to turn to Twitter everytime he needs something that rings "real". The thing is (and really, it sucks): as a filmmaker, you cannot hide behind the good old "BUT IT HAPPENED!" claim. It doesn't work. Because people don't want to double check your facts when they leave the theater. It needs to feel real in the world of your film. That's something the real world never worries about, but a filmmaker has to.

So I'm with Groggy on that one: if it seems ridiculous, there is something wrong with the film. That being said, in the Godfather 3, the Vatican plot is cool, not ridiculous. So I'm also with Drink. I like everybody. Don't shoot at me.

A true example of what LOOKS ridiculous in the film but happened in real life: Michael handing out the power to Andy Garcia. Garcia's character proved to be faithful, but all in all not that smart (just street smart) and he certainly won't lead the family in the right direction. Michael would never do that. Still, that's more or less what happened with the Mafia: the power went from the old school guys to stupid street thugs. But you just spent 9 hours with a guy called Michael who would never ever do that, however broken he is in the end.

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« Reply #48 on: May 05, 2015, 10:18:08 AM »


About real life events being considered as "ridiculous" in a film:
Screenwriters struggle with this all the time. Not only in films inspired by true events: every movie is stuffed with real life lines, stuff that the screenwriters heard/saw in the street or at a Starbucks when he's not plain quoting his girlfriend. Audiard use to spend his time in coffee shops in Paris to steal from real people. More recently, Aaron Sorkin admited to turn to Twitter everytime he needs something that rings "real". The thing is (and really, it sucks): as a filmmaker, you cannot hide behind the good old "BUT IT HAPPENED!" claim. It doesn't work. Because people don't want to double check your facts when they leave the theater. It needs to feel real in the world of your film. That's something the real world never worries about, but a filmmaker has to.

So I'm with Groggy on that one: if it seems ridiculous, there is something wrong with the film. That being said, in the Godfather 3, the Vatican plot is cool, not ridiculous. So I'm also with Drink. I like everybody. Don't shoot at me.

This is a very good point, but I think that in the case of the Vatican/Immobilaire scandal, the filmmaker is expecting the viewer to instantly recognize that story from the news. Presumably, adults alive in the early '90's watching GF3 would immediately recognize the story of Vatican/Immobilaire (just as adults in the early 70's would immediately recognize that Moe Green is inspired by Bugsy Siegel, Hyman Roth is Meyer Lansky, the whole Cuban stuff was based on real facts, Johnny Fontaine was obviously inspired by Frank Sinatra, etc.)

So I agree, the fact that some story happened in real life to me and some babe 27 floors above Union Square on New Years Eve, that doesn't make it believable – when truth is stranger than fiction, tone down the truth. But nobody watching this movie when it was released would ever dream of complaining about the Vatican/Immobilaire story being nonsensical, because they all knew that it happened. That's the difference: This isn't something that just the screenwriter and a few special friends know really happened; this is something everyone watching in the theater knows really happened.

So, now you wanna call it dated? That's a whole other complaint. But nonsensical? Definitely not.

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« Reply #49 on: May 05, 2015, 10:53:08 AM »



A true example of what LOOKS ridiculous in the film but happened in real life: Michael handing out the power to Andy Garcia. Garcia's character proved to be faithful, but all in all not that smart (just street smart) and he certainly won't lead the family in the right direction. Michael would never do that. Still, that's more or less what happened with the Mafia: the power went from the old school guys to stupid street thugs. But you just spent 9 hours with a guy called Michael who would never ever do that, however broken he is in the end.

Firstly, I am not sure what other option Michael had. Who else was he going to give the family over to if not Andy Garcia?


But more importantly, I think you may be missing a little bit of the continuity across the three films – the connection between Vito giving power to Michael and Michael giving power to Andy Garcia (that goes to show what a shitty movie GF3 is: we don't even know the characters' names! The only characters' names anyone knows from GF3 are those who appeared in the earlier movies. There's no character that only appears in GF3 whose name anyone knows. Even Andy Garcia - all I or anyone else remembers is that he is "Sonny's illegitimate son."  Grin But i digress, as usual). Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, Coppola's intention was to make a fourth movie, with Andy Garcia as the godfather and with flashbacks to a younger Michael – just as GF2 had Michael as godfather and with flashbacks to a younger Vito – (but once Mario Puzo died, that plan was abandoned). And this was already being set up, with the death of Michael at the end of GF3 mirroring the death of Vito at the end of GF1.

GF2 is showing the difference between Michael and Vito. The generations have deteriorated. Now between Michael and Andy Garcia, a further deterioration. Michael was no Vito. And Andy Garcia is no Michael.

It's ultimately a tragedy of the deterioration of a family, or if you want to get into the metaphors, the deterioration of the American Dream.

of course, we'll never know what would have happened if GF4 had been made: Would it have been great? Would people today like GF3 more than they do? Would the parallel with GF2 have worked? Who knows. And the fact that GF4 was never made, maybe that makes GF3 more awkward. And maybe the fact that they intended to make GF4 shouldn't change your opinion of what happens in GF3. Still, I think that when criticizing Michael's handing the reins over to Andy Garcia (I still don't know the character's name. This movie is shit), it's worth noting why it was done, as a part of what was supposed to be a bigger story.

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« Reply #50 on: May 05, 2015, 12:15:39 PM »

But that all doesn't change the fact that it isn't convincing, and that Garcia isn't a character who "comes to life", and that generally there aren't any charcaters and events in GF 3 which are remarkable compared to the incidents in the earlier films. I assume that with GF 4 it all would have become only worse. It's good it was never made.
GF 3 is an ok film, but not one I really needed.

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« Reply #51 on: May 05, 2015, 12:20:16 PM »

1 > 3 > 2

But I know I'm alone here. Many American screenwriters agree though: G1 and 3's scripts have been ranked in the top 5 screenplays ever by I don't remember which association of screenwriters. G2 was not in the list.


Shurely shome mistake ...

What they meant was part 2, but they got confused with the numbers. It's so confusing with all these sequels, prequels, cross-overs these days.

But then, like General Custer once said, only a dead screenplay is a good screenplay ...

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« Reply #52 on: May 05, 2015, 12:55:35 PM »

But that all doesn't change the fact that it isn't convincing, and that Garcia isn't a character who "comes to life", and that generally there aren't any charcaters and events in GF 3 which are remarkable compared to the incidents in the earlier films. I assume that with GF 4 it all would have become only worse. It's good it was never made.
GF 3 is an ok film, but not one I really needed.

Oh, I am not defending GF3 in any way. It is a shitty movie.

As to whether or not it's believable that Michael would hand over the reins to Andy Garcia, that's like asking me if it's believable that Joan Crawford would have a crush on Mercedes macAmbridge (or that any human being could wanna fuck Crawford or that any human being could wanna fuck Macmbridge) : Johnny Guitar is so bad, I really don't give a damn about believability, I'm just happy when it's over.

Maybe I'd care more about the believability issues if I gave a damn about the movie. I don't, so I don't.

Do I have many characters I enjoy watching like in the first two movies? No.

Do I like seeing the godfather crying in a confession to a priest rather than having his brother's head blowed off? No.

Do I like seeing endless parodies of scenes from GF1&GF2? No.

It seems like it got to this point where Coppola & Puzo said they'll just endlessly recreate scenes from the first two movies. It got tiring. And they'd killed off too many great characters from the first two movies and didn't have enough great characters to replace them. And ... whatever, why bother. Would I have liked it more if it was its own movie, not part of the GF series? Who knows. Who cares. As a Godfather movie it is shit and that's that.

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« Reply #53 on: May 05, 2015, 12:57:02 PM »

I'm one of the happy few who know the truth: GF III >>>>>>> GF II
Of course GF III is flawed and was only done for the money (and you can definitely feel it), but GF II just does not make any sense from a scriptwriting point of view. There are 2 movies in this one, and absolutely nothing ties them together. That structural nonsense is way more of a pain in this ass (especially with repeated viewings as many mentioned here) than even many flaws here and there.

To me:
GF I : 17/20
GF II: 12/20
GF III: 14/20
GF Trilogy: 18/20


can you explain to me how the trilogy gets a higher grade than any of the individual movies?

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« Reply #54 on: May 05, 2015, 02:52:27 PM »

Shurely shome mistake ...

What they meant was part 2, but they got confused with the numbers. It's so confusing with all these sequels, prequels, cross-overs these days.

But then, like General Custer once said, only a dead screenplay is a good screenplay ...

Screenwriters are not that good at maths so you must be right.


can you explain to me how the trilogy gets a higher grade than any of the individual movies?

1 - Michael Corleone has a trajectory that works better in the trilogy than in any of the individual film.
2 - Grandeur. I like it.

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« Reply #55 on: May 06, 2015, 07:09:50 AM »



1 - Michael Corleone has a trajectory that works better in the trilogy than in any of the individual film.
2 - Grandeur. I like it.

It's funny you say that.

Roger Ebert (rather infamously) gave GF2 only 3 out of 4 stars in his original review, and then years later added that movie to his "Great Movies" list, and said he still wouldn't change one word of his original review  Grin

in case you're interested, here is the original http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-godfather-part-ii-1974 and here is the Great Movies review http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-the-godfather-part-ii-1974

The relevant portion of the "Great Movies" review says:

Of all of the reviews I have ever written, my three-star review of “Part II” has stirred the most disagreement. Sometimes it is simply cited as proof of my worthlessness. I’ve been told by many that “Part II” is a rare sequel that is better than the original. Have I changed my mind? No. I have read my review of “Part II” and would not change a word.

Then why is it a “great movie”? Because it must be seen as a piece with the unqualified greatness of “The Godfather.” The two can hardly be considered apart (“Part III” is another matter). When the characters in a film take on a virtual reality for us, when a character in another film made 30 years later can say “The Godfather” contains all the lessons in life you need to know, when an audience understands why that statement could be made, a film has become a cultural bedrock. No doubt not all of the gospels are equally “good,” but we would not do without any of them.

“The Godfather: Part II” then becomes a film that everyone who values movies at all should see.

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« Reply #56 on: May 08, 2015, 03:03:26 PM »

after all this discussion, I got in the mood to watch the movie again. I just watched GF1 last night on BRD (will probably watch GF2 sometime next week).
When ranking my favorite movies I usually keep separate lists for Westerns and non-Westerns (how can you compare Stagecoach and The Godfather?) Among non-Leone, non-Western movies, The Godfather is one of my 5 favorite movies of all time. Also on that list are Double Indemnity, Casablanca, and a few others  Wink

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« Reply #57 on: May 09, 2015, 07:03:07 PM »

It's funny you say that.

Roger Ebert (rather infamously) gave GF2 only 3 out of 4 stars in his original review, and then years later added that movie to his "Great Movies" list, and said he still wouldn't change one word of his original review  Grin

in case you're interested, here is the original http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-godfather-part-ii-1974 and here is the Great Movies review http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-the-godfather-part-ii-1974

The relevant portion of the "Great Movies" review says:

Then why is it a “great movie”? Because it must be seen as a piece with the unqualified greatness of “The Godfather.” The two can hardly be considered apart.

Of course they can. It may be that 2 isn't completely coherent without 1, but 1 can certainly stand on its own. To such an extent, in fact, that it is very easy to watch 1 and pretend 2 and 3 don't even exist.

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« Reply #58 on: May 10, 2015, 12:54:26 AM »

Of course they can. It may be that 2 isn't completely coherent without 1, but 1 can certainly stand on its own. To such an extent, in fact, that it is very easy to watch 1 and pretend 2 and 3 don't even exist.

I think Ebert's reasoning is dumb. Even if it were true that GF 1 and GF 2 are two parts of one whole, that doesn't mean that GF2 should necessarily be considered a great movie.


As to the question of whether you can watch 1 and pretend 2 and 3 don't exist: For the most part it's true. However,  the ending of 1 makes it very obvious that a sequel is coming. The final sequence of GF1, showing Michael taking over and then the door closing on Kay's crying face, I don't think that would have been a good ending to a movie without a sequel.

But even forgetting just the selection of the final shots and focusing on the story: a major element of GF1 (or perhaps even the whole GF series) is that of succession. (In fact, I distinctly remember Coppola talking about – I don't recall if it was an interview or commentary or what – how this is a story of succession.) The whole story – the tragedy – of Michael's succession I think really only works if you show Michael as godfather also – not just for those few minutes at the end, but a full story of him as godfather. I think most of the movie works on its own, but the end makes it clear that you'll have to have another movie showing Michael as godfather, IMO. (But the end of GF2 in no way requires a GF3.)
Not that I agree with Ebert's reasoning here; IMO,it would have made more sense if Ebert would have simply said, GF2 is terribly flawed but it is still a great movie." I have said that about many movies and I have said that about GF2.
So I disagree with Ebert's reasoning here; if he didn't think GF2 was great on its own, he shouldn't have put it in his "Great Movies" section. But if you forget about Ebert and just talk about the issue of whether GF1 necessarily requires GF2, IMO it does – the end of GF1 is setting up the story of Michael as godfather.

I wasn't around in 1972. I never read Puzo's book. And I don't know much background of the making of The Godfather movies. Did viewers watching GF1 in 1972 knew another movie was coming. Are the stories of both GF1 & GF2 contained in Puzo's book "The Godfather"? (And was the story of GF3 written straight for the screen?) I.e., was it known immediately upon GF1's release that a GF2 was coming? Cuz to me, watching it today, it seems clear that GF1 is not the end of a story.

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« Reply #59 on: May 10, 2015, 02:07:21 AM »

The story of the young Vito was taken from one chapter of the novel, a classic flashback in the book, not interwoven with the main story. The story of Michael in the 50s was written for the screenplay. I doubt that a sequel was planned before it became obvious that G1 became an unexpected and massive success.

G1 ends similarly to the book. And I disagree that the ending of G1 needed a sequel. And it is definitely not obvious that a sequel is coming. It is instead a perfect movie ending.

G2 is a new film, one which one can watch on his own, but also one which is more rewarding to watch with the knowledge of the first one.

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