When are we gonna get a DVD copy of the long film Coppola made using the first two films films, editing them in chronological sequence and telling the story from the beginning to the end? I used to have it on VHS years ago.
As I understand it, the version you're referring to is called "The Godfather Saga". It's a version Coppola and his editor created by transferring the three movies plus deleted footage to videotape first, and then editing all three films together with the deleted footage into a 9+ hour video for broadcast television. Since there was never an actual film print of this version made, (Just video) My best guess is this version never made it to DVD or Blu-ray because the video is simply not a good enough source for transferring to higher resolution media, and either Coppola didn't want to re-edit in film, or he couldn't get the approval from Paramount. It would probably be an expensive project to do.
With the present digital technology, it should not that difficult for Paramount and Coppola to replicate the Godfather Saga (the 9hour TV movie). They have all the elements, the techonology, and the resources to do such project. I have to think that we will see it released in the foreseeable future. One would hope so. I loved that version, have it on VHS box set.
I don't understand why anyone would want to watch the films "in chronological order" in the first place. If Coppola had meant for them to be seen that way, he wouldn't have made Part II such an astounding journey back and forth in time.
I posted the original question in this thread and, with all due respect, Coppola was the one who did the cut I'm referring to and looking for. Are you asking why anyone would want to watch something that the director, himself, created? I love the individual films, including Part III (Yes! That's right!), but I thought the chronologically edited version was an inspired piece of work. It also contains footage not used in either of the two original films. So? Why would anybody want to watch that? The question kind of answers itself, no?
I couldn't resist and bought what was advertised as a 'professional' transfer of the VHS tapes on to DVD recently but the quality is inferior to that of my old tapes. It's grainy and very dark in spots and gets hard to watch, especially for 9 hours. Coppola originally did the chronological edit for ABC TV in the US as a multi-part mini series and vowed to never make it available again. We've heard 'never' before, so we can still keep our fingers crossed. Let's just hope Ruben Rodriguez's hunch is wrong and the source material is good enough for DVD and Blu-ray or can be made so.
I have it on Laser Disc. I think it cost me around $300 when it came out. Wish I still had a player. It was nice because it had the extra scenes like the TV broadcast but wasn't edited for language. Of course you have to turn the disc over every hour and the set weighs about 10 pounds. I should try and find a cheap laser disc player and transfer it to blu-ray.
I own the VHS boxed set of The Godfather 1902-1959: The Complete Epic, which is the first 2 movies in chronological order. Picked it up on ebay about 10 years ago, I think for about $50. It is an interesting way to watch the movie.
For more info check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Godfather_Saga
As a Godfather fan, I can't wait for a definitive chronological edit to hit BD someday (soon?).
Previous chronlogical edits include: (1) "Godfather 1902-1959: The Complete Epic" which is a VHS-only 402 min. chronological edit of Parts I & II not available on DVD or laserdisc. Doesn't include Part III (171 min.) which would take it to 573 min. total; (2) "Godfather Trilogy: 1901-1980" which is a Laserdisc chronological 583 min. edit of Parts I, II, & III (std 171 min. for Part III); and (3) "Godfather Saga" (aka Mario Puzo's The Godfather Saga: The Complete Novel for Television) which is a chronological 605 min. edit of Parts I, II, & III with added footage (434 min. for Parts I & II plus std 171 min. for Part III) done for TV broadcast only. This version was never issued commercially in any format. Some lucky people like me were able to record it off TV.
ALL of these chronological versions are slightly different and all contain at least some footage not contained on the other versions! Come on Francis, give the fans a super complete chronologiocal edit sooner rather than later!
Wonder why there would be a Mario Puzo's Godfather Saga that includes bits of Part III, when, as far as I remember, Part III was an original screenplay and not adaprted from anything Puzo wrote. It all gets very confusing, which is the reason I don't believe Mr Coppola is ever going to get around to most of it. Still the 9 hour edit that has already been available on VHS would be a nice touch.
I still have the Godfather Saga on VHS and it's always been the way I prefer to watch this epic. Many of the extra scenes are great inclusions, and seeing the first two films in chronological order is undeniably more effective then jumping around in time like they do in Godfather II. As for Godfather III, I continue to pretend it doesn't exist. Michael sitting in his Lake Tahoe chair with dead leaves falling around him after he had killed off his own brother was the absolute perfect ending to the story.
To anyone still paying attention to this thread: Next Sunday, 1/17/16 at 5PM ET, on HBO. They're calling it "The Godfather Epic," and, according to their website, it runs 424 mins, compared to Wikipedia's listed run time of 434 mins for the "Saga," so I'm not sure it's exactly the same thing.
Thanks for the heads-up! The Saga and Epic versions have slightly different added footage. The Saga version hasn't been rebroadcast in a very long time. The Epic has been seen rarely. HBO's site says HD and on-demand for this time too! This gives me hope that we'll see a BD release of a chronological Godfather. In the meantime, I'm glad I have HBO right now!
Update - Bill Hunt of Digitalbits.com reported the following today:
"I wanted to comment on the recent HBO broadcast of The Godfather Saga uncut and in HD. Industry sources tell me that it's unlikely this version of the combined The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II will be released on disc. Director Francis Ford Coppola apparently just doesn't want it to happen. So if you want it, the HBO broadcast may be your best chance to record it for long-term keeping. It's not impossible there could be a home video release at some point, but I'm told it's pretty unlikely to happen anytime soon."
So, be sure to catch/record it on HBO while you can.
I absolutely agree. The "Epic" cut that HBO has been airing lately is outstanding. The restored scenes provide new insights into the characters and story. Seeing the story unfold chronologically brings a fresh perspective to the story line. Coppola may or may not have have edited the "Saga" version as a TV miniseries to generate revenue for "Apocalypse Now", but he surely took pride in his Godfather Saga work and the legacy of the "Godfather" franchise.
So there are actually 3 chronological cuts: "Saga", "Epic" and "Trilogy", of which "Saga" has the most restored scenes, followed by "Trilogy", then "Epic". It would be nice if Paramount re-enlisted Coppola to oversee a released the best of these on Blu-Ray. As Mr. Vasallo noted, the technology is certainly there to make short work of a project like this.
Realistically, anyone with even the most basic video editor could purchase the Blu-Ray "The Godfather Collection (The Coppola Restoration)" and piece it together chronologically. The extra footage may not be re-mastered, but it would be a fun project. I'll probably take this on (for personal use only, of course) if Paramount doesn't release one of the three chronological versions.