March 15, 2022

THE GODFATHER TRILOGY (4K): An Upgrade You Can't Refuse

1972-2020 / 532 min (3 movies)


Review by Mr. Paws😻

There are two kinds of people in the world…those who think that The Godfather is one of the greatest American films ever made and those who are wrong. While the latter aren’t likely to be reading this, the former are gonna love seeing it in 4K. And if that isn’t enough, this new five-disc set is loaded with extras, including some new stuff.


50 years on, The Godfather remains endlessly quotable and compulsively watchable (no matter how many times you've seen it), not-to-mention thematically & aesthetically timeless. It made stars out of Al Pacino, Robert Duvall & James Caan, and was arguably the pinnacle of Marlon Brando and director Francis Ford Coppola's careers. Movies just don't get much better than this. And when I speak of The Godfather, I'm referring to both the 1972 original and 1974's The Godfather Part II. Nobody really thinks of them as two separate movies anymore. Unlike any other franchise in history, you can't have one without the other. Each film is made even richer and more rewarding by the existence of the other. 

"Can we keep him?"
While the belated Godfather Part III is much better than its maligned reputation suggests, the law of diminishing returns certainly applies. Interestingly though, it’s the recent Coppola recut, The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, that rounds out the trilogy for this set. While the film still has flaws that keep it from being mentioned in the same breath as the first two, it does play more like the tragic epilogue Coppola and Puzo always meant it to be. The result is a better overall film and rendering it ‘canon’ is a wise creative decision. But if one still prefers the original Godfather Part III, a 4K disc of that version is also included.

But did these films need yet another restoration? Another boxed set? After all, they were just overhauled back in 2008 and the transfers were pretty damn good. However, Gordon Willis’ legendary cinematography looks even better in 4K. The blacks are even blacker, the color tones are richer and the overall imagery displays more depth. One of the cooler new bonus features shows side-by-side comparisons between the 2008 restoration and this one. What a difference only 14 years can make. Two audio options are offered: A Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track and a digital mono track. Also included is a fifth Blu-ray disc with hours of supplements, with new material alongside plenty of archival features from numerous previous releases. Informative, entertaining and occasionally quite funny, there’s enough here to keep Godfather fans happy for a long time. 

All of which makes this set the definitive release of The Godfather Trilogy. Even if you’ve purchased previous editions - probably more than once - it’s simply an upgrade you can’t refuse. After all, 4K was made for movies like these.


FULL CIRCLE: PRESERVING THE GODFATHER - Pretty interesting look at the 4K restoration.

CAPTURING THE CORLEONES: THROUGH THE LENS OF PHOTOGRAPHER STEVE SHAPIRO - Shapiro shares his experience being allowed to shoot photos on the set of The Godfather.

THE GODFATHER: HOME MOVIES - 8mm behind-the-scenes footage


INTRODUCTIONS BY FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA - Optional introductions to The Godfather and The Godfather CODA.

THE MASTERPIECE THAT ALMOST WASN’T - The best of the vintage features, this 30 minute film details to somewhat tumultuous production from adaptation to screen.

GODFATHER WORLD - Several actors and filmmakers discuss The Godfather’s cultural and personal impact.

EMULSIONAL RESCUE: RESCUING THE GODFATHER - 20 minute doc about the first restoration.

…WHEN THE SHOOTING STOPPED - The editing process

THE GODFATHER ON THE RED CARPET - Several actors talk about their appreciation of the film. Looks like it was shot during the Cloverfield premiere.

FOUR SHORT FILMS ON THE GODFATHER - GF vs GF Part II”; “Riffing on the Riffing”; “Cannoli”; “Clemenza”

INTERACTIVE GALLERIES - “The Corleone Family Tree”; “Crime Organization Chart”


GODFATHER CHRONOLOGY - Timeline of events from all three films, as well as significant real-life events related to the mafia.

BEHIND THE SCENES - 9 vintage featurettes.

ADDITIONAL SCENES - 34 total scenes, with descriptions prefacing them to provide context.

TRAILER/PHOTO/RESPONSE & ACCLAIM GALLERIES - Includes TV intros, Oscar acceptance speeches and list of awards & nominations.

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL - James Caan “screen test” (where he imitates Brando); “Sopranos” episode, where their trying to watch a bootleg of Godfather; “For the Money” (Mario Puzo cheekily explains why he wrote the novel); “Cosa Nostra & Coppola”; “The Godfather Around the World” (how some scenes sound in different languages.

THE FILMMAKERS - Text bios of Franicis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo, Gordon Willis, Dean Tavoularis, Nino Rota and Carmine Coppola.



THE GODFATHER PART III - 4K Edition of the theatrical and 1991 cuts.


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