The Godfather – The Director’s Cut!

The Godfather - An artistic vision ruined by the “suits”Like all bloggers, I, the Manhattan Infidel, consider myself an artist.  And as an artist there is nothing I resent more then when the “suits” interfere with my artistic vision.  And by suits, I mean work.

“Answer the damn phone and get to work or your fired” the suits say.

“But I’m blogging” I reply.  Suits.  They just do not appreciate art.

I mention this because Francis Ford Coppola’s long-rumored and believed lost director’s cut of The Godfather has just been released.   Before viewing the movie I sat down with Coppola to discuss the differences between his cut and the studio’s version.

“I wanted to make a life-affirming jukebox musical – something like Viva Las Vegas.  Or a life affirming comedy.  But the studio insisted I make a violence-filled morality tale filled about the Mafia.” says Coppola.  “After filming was complete I showed them my version and they hated it.  I had to refilm everything.  It was humiliating. Do you know how difficult it was to get the entire cast back?  Brando was off on a desert island having sex with corpses and Pacino was getting his legs lengthened.  He’s actually a midget you know.  The whole experience ruined me.  Every problem I’ve had since then I trace to the Godfather.  The alcoholism.  The wife-beating.  The murdering 30 prostitutes across several states.  It all boils down to interference with my artistic vision.”

And with those words we watched the movie together as Coppola provided commentary.

Kay Adams:  Michael, you never told me you knew Johnny Fontane?

Michael:  My father helped him with his career. When Johnny was first starting out, he was signed to a personal services contract with this big-band leader. And as his career got better and better, he wanted to get out of it. But the band leader wouldn’t let him. Now, Johnny is my father’s godson. So my father went to see this bandleader and offered him $10,000 to let Johnny go, but the bandleader said no. So the next day, my father went back, only this time with Luca Brasi and offerered him $11,000.  And the bandleader said ‘Okay, it’s a deal.’

“You see” said Coppola.  “In that scene I wanted to show that peaceful negotiations always work.  It’s an important lesson for kids to learn. But the studio insisted I make it violent.”

Sollazo:  I don’t like violence Tom.  I’m a businessman;  blood is a big expense.  Which is why I’m outsourcing it to India.

Tom Hagen:  Damn.  So I’m going to have to spend a couple hours on hold listening to crappy music?

“I’m very proud of that scene.  It was ahead of its time.  I was trying to warn business owners that outsourcing does not lead to customer satisfaction.  But no one listened” exclaimed Coppola.

Captain McCluskey:  How’s the Italian food in this restaurant?

Sollazo:  Not as good as the Olive Garden but cheaper.

“Well, that’s pretty obvious” I said.

“Yes, but the information still has to get out” said Coppola.

Sollaza:  He’s still alive!  I hit him with five pies in the face and he’s still alive.  Well that’s bad luck for me.  And bad luck for you if you don’t make the deal.

Tom Hagen:  Apple or cherry pie?

Coppola shook his head sadly.  “Who doesn’t like pie fights? It’s been a staple of comedy for decades.  But the studio insisted I use guns.  I was worried it would send the wrong message to the kids but was overruled.”

Don Corleone:  Consigliore of mine.  I think it’s time you told your Don what everyone seems to know.

Don Corleone:  They pied Sonny on the causeway.  Now he has high cholesterol.

“I’m a health nut” said Coppola.  “I wanted to show that throwing a bunch of pies at someone could harm their health.  But again.  Studios.  Guns.  Violence.  It makes me sick.”

Michael:  My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a telemarketer or a mime

Kay Adams:  Do you know how naive you sound, Michael?  Telemarketers and mimes don’t have men killed.  

Michael:  Oh. Who’s being naive, Kay?

I looked at Coppola who appeared shaken.  “A mime killed my cousin” he said.

Michael:  You have to answer for Santino, Carlo.  You fingered Sonny for the Barzini people.  That little farce you played with my sister.  You think that would fool a Corleone?

Carlo:  Mike I’m innocent.  I swear on the kids.

Michael:  Well that’s different. You’re word’s good enough for me.  How about a sing-a-long? Kum bay ya, my Lord,  Kum bay ya.

“If we don’t trust each other” said an agitated Coppola, “what good is civilization.  All we have is our word.”

Kay Adams:  Is it true?  Did you murder Connie’s husband?

Michael:  No but if I had I’d tell you.  You’re my wife. 

“Honesty is the key to any successful marriage” Coppola said.

With the viewing of his cut over, I shook hands with Coppola and asked him what was next for him.

“I’m replacing Simon on American Idol.  It’s a gig and at least there are no guns.”


7 Responses

  1. KingShamus says:

    But at least Brando was banging beautiful multi-ethnic corpses.

    Marlon was an incredibly open-minded racially tolerant necrophiliac.

  2. Manhattan Infidel says:

    He was a necrophiliac for all seasons.

  3. Matt says:

    He is # 3 on the “Top necrophiliac of all time” list.

  4. KingShamus says:

    Funny story about Brando: When he heard he had taken 3rd place on the “Top Necrophiliac of all time” list, he sent a Native American girl to the awards ceremony in his place. She declined the award and talked about land rights for Indians.

    Marlon Brando then ate her.

  5. Sarah says:

    This is still my favorite movie. Even if it’s so old I love it. Well the first part only. I also liked the other two parts but not as much. Al Pacino fits perfectly with Michael’s character. “Now who’s being naive?” Love that back up 🙂

  6. Carrie says:

    This is a great movie!! Great actors and great lines!!

    A real master piece!! and about you..I like the way you are really an artist.. 😛

    Good luck with your writing..! – we are waiting for new interesting stuff from you..

  7. Christina says:

    This is a movie that will live forever. Really amazing!

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