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The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration

4.6 out of 5 stars 2,385 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Francis Ford Coppola's Masterpiece features Marlon Brando in his Oscar-winning role as the patriarch of the Corleone family. Director Coppola paints a chilling portrait of the Sicilian clan's rise and near fall from power in America, masterfully balancing the story between the Corleone's family life and the ugly crime business in which they are engaged. Based on Mario Puzo's best-selling novel and featuring career-making performances by Al Pacino, James Caan and Robert Duvall, this searing and brilliant film garnered ten Academy Award nominations, and won three including Best Picture of 1972.

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Throughout his long, wandering, often distinguished career Francis Ford Coppola has made many films that are good and fine, many more that are flawed but undeniably interesting, and a handful of duds that are worth viewing if only because his personality is so flagrantly absent. Yet he is and always shall be known as the man who directed the Godfather films, a series that has dominated and defined their creator in a way perhaps no other director can understand. Coppola has never been able to leave them alone, whether returning after 15 years to make a trilogy of the diptych, or re-editing the first two films into chronological order for a separate video release as The Godfather Saga. The films are our very own Shakespearean cycle: they tell a tale of a vicious mobster and his extended personal and professional families (once the stuff of righteous moral comeuppance), and they dared to present themselves with an epic sweep and an unapologetically tragic tone. Murder, it turned out, was a serious business. The first film remains a towering achievement, brilliantly cast and conceived. The entry of Michael Corleone into the family business, the transition of power from his father, the ruthless dispatch of his enemies--all this is told with an assurance that is breathtaking to behold. And it turned out to be merely prologue; two years later The Godfather, Part II balanced Michael's ever-greater acquisition of power and influence during the fall of Cuba with the story of his father's own youthful rise from immigrant slums. The stakes were higher, the story's construction more elaborate, and the isolated despair at the end wholly earned. (Has there ever been a cinematic performance greater than Al Pacino's Michael, so smart and ambitious, marching through the years into what he knows is his own doom with eyes open and hungry?) The Godfather, Part III was mostly written off as an attempted cash-in, but it is a wholly worthy conclusion, less slow than autumnally patient and almost merciless in the way it brings Michael's past sins crashing down around him even as he tries to redeem himself. --Bruce Reid

On the DVD
People used to say this was Frank Sinatra's world, and the rest of us just lived in it. After watching the multiple special features in the box set The Godfather: Coppola Restoration, one might conclude it's actually time for a cultural and historical revision: This is the Corleone family's world. The rest of us better tread lightly. Actually, the point of the half-dozen or so features crammed onto a disc accompanying the beautifully restored The Godfather, The Godfather II and The Godfather III, is that The Godfather movies have penetrated popular culture in such a deep and meaningful way that they are second-nature to everything. David Chase, creator of and writer on The Sopranos, for example, describes in the featurette "Godfather World" that his hit HBO series was intended to be the story of the first generation of mobsters actually influenced by Francis Ford Coppola's hit trilogy. Joe Mantegna calls the three films "the Italian Star Wars." (Mantegna co-stars in The Godfather III.) Alec Baldwin says no matter what one is doing, one is compelled to stop and watch the films if they're on television. Richard Belzer calls the films "a religion."

And so on. A number of people similarly testify in "Godfather World" to the importance and ubiquitousness of The Godfather and its sequels in American life. There's no point in arguing, so its best to move on to the other featurettes, including "The Masterpiece That Almost Wasn't," reviewing in detail much of what has been said about Paramount's mistreatment of Coppola, about casting fights (Steve McQueen as Michael?), about the studio's assumption they were getting a quick-and-dirty B-movie, and about producer Robert Evans' determination to keep his choice of director and unlikely actors under his wing. Fresh information within the special features, however, begins with "… When the Shooting Stopped," a fine study of post-production on The Godfather, with several surprising and fascinating facts. Among emerging details is an explanation of why Michael Corleone's scream toward the end of The Godfather III is silenced out. (Hint: it was meant to be the inverse of a sound effect in the first movie.) "Emulsional Rescue: Revealing The Godfather" talks about the painstaking work of restoring the first two films, beginning with a phone call from Coppola to Steven Spielberg (after the latter's DreamWorks studio became part of the Viacom family) asking if he'd request money from Paramount for restoration work. "The Godfather On the Red Carpet is a negligible series of fawning statements about the movie from hot young actors, while "Four Short Films" are brief and enjoyable takes on different aspects of The Godfather's impact on modern living. --Tom Keogh


Stills from The Godfather - The Coppola Restoration Giftset (Click for larger image)












Special Features

Commentary by Francis Ford Coppola

Product Details

  • Actors: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton
  • Directors: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Writers: Mario Puzo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: September 23, 2008
  • Run Time: 549 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,385 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0018CMJSU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,719 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The new transfers for The Godfather Parts I and II are stunning. It really is like seeing them for the first time. All of the murky, faded colors have been restored to their original glory while still retaining the warmth of the film stock. Gordon Willis' then-controversial cinematography can finally be seen they way it was intended on these new discs. If you have the original box set, it is worth it to double dip if only for the restoration job on these two films.

Carried over from the original set are all of Francis Ford Coppola's commentary tracks for the three films. On The Godfather one, he appropriately enough, starts off by talking about the film's famous opening scene and how it was supposed to start with the wedding but a friend suggested he do something else. Coppola talks about how he organized the elaborate wedding sequence and shot it only 2-3 days! He talks about the pressure he was under by the studio and in read danger of being fired because they didn't like what he was doing. This is pretty solid track that we've come to expect from the veteran filmmaker.

Coppola's contributes another excellent commentary for The Godfather Part II. Initially, he had no interest in doing a sequel and dealing with studio bureaucracy. He suggested Martin Scorsese for the job. The studio balked at this idea and accepted all of Coppola's terms. The veteran filmmaker talks at length about the development of the Corleone family from Part I. Coppola is engaging and very articulate, delivering a top notch track that is well worth a listen for any fan of this movie.

Finally, there is Coppola's commentary for The Godfather Part III. One of the heated debates the filmmaker had with the studio was over Pacino's hair.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
For those crying for the "Godfather Saga"/"Godfather Epic" versions, you are missing the point. Restoration expert Robert Harris (and countless others) worked for over a year from the best available print materials (as the original negatives are badly damaged and faded) to restore the first and second films to their original theatrical glory, which is something these iconic films of American Cinema deserve. That is the point of restoration.

If you are looking for a "wow" disc to show off your Blu-ray home theater sound and video, this is not it. If you are looking to experience modern American Gangster cinema in its 1970's glory, this is as close as you are ever likely to get, muted sepia-esque color, film grain and all.

These were not done exclusively for the home market. The priority was that they were restored for theatres, because that is where they would be judged the most critically, and all indications are that they do not disappoint. Never watch these films in your living room with the lights on. Watch them like you do in the theater, lights out, to appreciate the effort that went into these films.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Francis Ford Coppola and Paramount Home Entertainment held a press conference and street fair in Brooklyn, and yours truly was there! The exciting news, of course, was announcing the release of THE GODFATHER DVD COLLECTION on October 9, 2001! If the preview of the set is any indication, then I must say this will be the crown jewel in any DVD collection!
The three films will only be released together in this set. The Godfather and The Godfather Part III will each be on one disc, and The Godfather Part II will take two discs. The first of the good news? Francis Coppola has recorded full-lenth audio commentaries for all three films!
But wait, there's a fifth disc that will blow your socks off! Check this out -- the bonus disc contains 3+ hours worth of special features, including: > "The Godfather Family: A Look Inside" documentary > "Francis Coppola's Notebook", an inside look at taking the book to screen! > "On Location" with production designer Dean Tavoularis! > "The Godfather Behind The Scenes" 1971 featurette! > "The Cinematography of The Godfather"! > "The Music of The Godfather" -- two featurettes! > "Coppola and Puzo on Screenwriting"! > Storyboards from GF2 and GF3! > "The Corleone Family Tree" character and cast bios! > Academy Award® acceptance speeches! > Photo galleries with captions! > Theatrical trailers! > Filmmaker bios! > Corleone Family timeline, with real-life events mixed in! > Never-seen alternate opening of GF3! > And "all" of the extra footage found in the televised Godfather Saga!
The picture quality looked fantastic -- Coppola's American Zoetrope did a wonderful job restoring the films!
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Format: Blu-ray
NOTE: Opinions vary but MY review is designed to help those who haven't purchased the product decide whether or not they want to. If you disagree, write a review--the comments section IS for that but not the voting system.

A marvelous restoration job, "The Godfather-The Coppola Restoration Gif Set" includes all three original films as they were presented theatrical. It doesn't have the version that Coppola cut for TV and presented in chronological order. THe first two films are masterpieces and while the third is severely flawed, it does have its moments.

Keep in mind that these were restored for theatrical showings NOT for the home video market and, as such, these probably aren't the best Blu-rays to use to show off your home video system. Some people will no doubt be disappointed but, quite frankly, these films have never looked this good before on home video. Is this a big step up from the DVDs? Yes and no. The Blu-ray does provide better resolution but keep in mind it also shows the flaws inherent in the original films (and some people will regard the grainy images as being a flaw).

First keep in mind that "The Godfather" was meant to look grainy so those of you who hate grain will probably wonder why they didn't eliminate it. That's because to do so would have required altering the look of the film not restoring it and the usual result of eliminating film grain is that you lose detail. The result also makes it look like the actors are walking wax dummies. Some scenes are much grainer than others but that's the way the film was meant to look.
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Topic From this Discussion
Regular DVDs or skinny DVDs?
The DVDs are normal size. They are in four skinny cases in the box. Each film is in an individual skinny case, the two bonus disks are in one skinny case.
Nov 19, 2010 by A. Bayer |  See all 3 posts
Difference between gift set and steel box version?
The steelbook DVD Restoration set is exclusive to Amazon UK (Region 2) or F.Y.E. (U.S.). Other than that, it's the same exact discs inside. It's pretty standard for steelbook packaging to be limited/exclusive, but never having any actual additional content.

...other than looking 27x more... Read More
May 27, 2009 by Kerigman |  See all 2 posts
Bonus discs mixed up?
I got the same problem. Personally, I don't mind this a lot, as long they give me all the bonus material.
Jun 12, 2009 by Don Vito Corleone |  See all 7 posts
So what is new on this edition???
In addition to the bonus features included in the older box set, the following new features are presented as well:

- Godfather World
- The Masterpiece That Almost Wasn't
- ...when the shooting stopped
- Emulsional Rescue: Revealing The Godfather
- The Godfather on the Red Carpet
- Four... Read More
Jul 9, 2008 by Taylor T. Carlson |  See all 8 posts
How many discs is Part 2
It's on one single-sided disc (good news for me as it's a pain in my lazy butt to change sides/discs in the middle of a movie).

Somehow, someway, they managed to squeeze all of Part II on one side of a disc and the quality doesn't seem to suffer one bit for it. It looks great!
Sep 23, 2008 by Danny |  See all 5 posts
bonus discs labelled incorrectly Be the first to reply
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