The Godfather Epic
In the beginning, 1972, there was The Godfather. It woneth the Academy Award for Best Picture. And Francis Ford Coppola and the critics and audiences saw that it was good. Then in 1974 Coppola created The Godfather, Part II, and behold, it also won the Oscar and was applauded by one and all. And then created he The Cotton Club, and Tucker: The Man and His Dream, and One From the Heart and lo, they didst tanketh, and he was sorely in need of money. Thus created he The Godfather, Part III in 1990, which he hath said he would not do. And sadly underwhelmed were the audiences.
The first two are on my list of favorite movies of all time. In 1977 Coppola did something interesting, which was to edit the two movies together, chronologically. You may recall that the second one jumped back and forth between scenes of Vito Corleone, played by Robert De Niro in 1919 or so, and Michael Corleone, Al Pacino, in the early 1950s. (Plus scenes of Vito as a child.) He called it The Godfather Saga. This was definitely not the way to see it if you had never seen the movies themselves (as if anyone hadn’t!), because you lost the contrast between young Vito coming up as a Mafia power in Old New York, and Michael trying to keep it all together, and losing his soul in the process. But for fans like me, it was great. Hallelujah, sayith I!
Now comes the Epic. What it is, is the Saga with a lot of scenes that were left on the cutting room floor in ’72 and ’74, and it’s even better, say amen! Not that any of these scenes were critical to anything, but many of them are really interesting, and give the story even more depth. See it, if thou are already familiar with the source material.