The Godfather’s 50th anniversary is finally here, and to celebrate, The Illuminerdi digs into the brand new The Godfather trilogy box set.
The Godfather is a 1972 gangster crime film starring Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, and Marlon Brando as his father, Vito Corleone, the titular “Godfather”. Francis Ford Coppola directed this nearly 3 hour long epic adaptation of Mario Puzo’s 1969 novel of the same name. Puzo and Coppola cowrote the screenplay, Nino Rota handled the incredible music, and Gordon Willis served as cinematographer. To many film aficionados, this probably is not news. The names of these incredible creative talents have been honored by the Academy-The first Godfather film was nominated for 10 awards at the 45th annual ceremony, winning 3, specifically Best Actor for Marlon Brando, Best Adapted Screenplay for Puzo and Coppola, and Best Picture.
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF THE GODFATHER
The box office was another clear indicator of the massive success of Godfather. For a time, it was considered to be one of, if not the highest-grossing film ever made, reportedly making over $240 million at the worldwide box office on a budget of only $6 million. That success was more than enough for two sequels to eventually receive a greenlight, specifically The Godfather Part II in 1974 and The Godfather Part III in 1990.
The first two installments are considered by many to be among the greatest films ever made; The American Film Institute ranked The Godfather as the 2nd greatest American film, and The Godfather Part II as the 32nd best. That this film is a masterpiece is not a groundbreaking revelation, but that declaration is particularly timely right now.
First of all, the 50th anniversary of the wide domestic release of The Godfather is on Wednesday, March 24, 2022. Secondly, this film critic had never watched any Godfather content before now. But Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment was kind enough to solve that problem for me, by sending a wonderful 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray set containing the complete Godfather trilogy. That brand-new box set is on sale now, and it includes the first two Godfather films, the original theatrical cut of The Godfather Part III, Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death Of Michael Corleone, and a ton more special features.
FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA ON THE NEW GODFATHER BOX SET
“I am very proud of The Godfather, which defined the first third of my creative life. With this 50th anniversary tribute, I’m especially proud Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death Of Michael Corleone is included, as it captures Mario and my original vision in definitively concluding our epic trilogy. It’s also gratifying to celebrate this milestone with Paramount alongside wonderful fans who’ve loved it for decades, younger generations who still find it relevant today, and those who will discover it for the first time.”– Francis Ford Coppola –
This new box set was made possible through three years of work by Coppola and his production company, American Zoetrope. They used the most recent 2007 restoration of the film, completed by film historian Robert Harris as a blueprint and went to work for thousands of hours, applying color correction, sound restoration, repairing tears in the negatives, and so much more. The result is a version of The Godfather that looks better than ever, restored personally by the original director and his team. If that’s not a dream come true for longtime Godfather fans, I don’t know what would be.
LIMITED COLLECTOR’S EDITION SET ALSO AVAILABLE
Additional bonus content featured in the set includes documentaries such as Full Circle: Preserving The Godfather (Paramount Pictures archivists detailing the extensive restoration process, as well as archival footage chronicling the advancement of home media entertainment), Capturing The Corleones: Through The Lens Of Photographer Steve Schapiro (special photographer Steve Schapiro’s personal account and unique experience with The Godfather), The Godfather: Home Movies (a collection of 8mm footage shot during the original 1971 production, this is the first time it’s been made available to the public) and Restoration Comparisons (good luck figuring that one out).
There is also a 4K UHD Limited Collector’s Edition available, complete with deluxe packaging, a hardcover coffee table book, portrait prints on archival paper.and a number of additional bonus features. Some of the extra content found on this Limited Collector’s Edition includes four short films based on The Godfather, Connie & Carlo’s Wedding Album, and a Crime Organization Chart, just to name a few.
In the fifty years since The Godfather first came out, the franchise has changed cinema, changed viewers, and changed American storytelling as we know it. As someone who was lucky enough to take my first steps into Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola’s hallmark franchise through this amazing new 4K restoration set, I highly recommend you do the same. Whether you’re someone interested in a first watchthrough, a longtime fan, or have a loved one who loves The Godfather, this set is the perfect purchase.
How are you celebrating The Godfather’s 50th anniversary? Will you be picking up this amazing new collector’s item? Let us know in the comments below or on our social media!