The Godfather Epic on HBO (deleted scenes)

HBO is showing what they call “The Godfather Epic” – Godfather + Godfather 2, cut into chronological order, with additional scenes deleted from the theatrical versions. 7 hours.

(If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s basically “The Godfather Saga” that ran on NBC several years ago. But this one has not had any violence edited out…and no commercials.)

I’m only up to the hit on Don Vito, but some notes on the deleted scenes:

[/ul]A scene with young Vito, Clemenza and Tessio meeting with a gunsmith named Coppola, and his son Carmine, who plays a song on his flute. So Francis wrote his grandfather and father into the story…then cut them out.

Mama Corleone had most of her lines cut, including a scene where Sonny breaks the news to her that Vito has been shot.

Major change to the scenes with and concerning Jack Woltz. When Tom Hagen first seems Woltz, he’s having a birthday celebration for a young starlet (Judy Garland? Deanna Durbin?), and then they have their first, abrupt conversation. When Tom and Woltz have dinner and Woltz throws Tom out, the starlet appears, along with a handler (her mother?) who tells her to “never leave the bedroom!”

Followed by a scene where Tom, Vito and Sonny discuss what to do about Woltz, and Vito asks if Tom is sure about the starlet. Followed by the horse-head scene.

So Tom flew back to New York, and wasn’t in Hollywood when the horse head was delivered. And why was Vito interested in the starlet? How does that affect his plans for how to deal with Woltz? I can see why the whole thing was cut.

I’m glad they kept out the death bed scene of one of Vitos associates in the first film, you can see why they did it, it would of lowered the tone of the entire film.

That was Genco Abbanando, his consigliere (Tom’s predecessor).

Yeah…there was a reason for the cuts they made. There was a scene with Michael and Kay in a hotel bed (while Vito was getting whacked) that went on and on, for no good reason.

they had a scene where Sonny buys an EZ Pass. But they cut it because if he had one, he would be alive today!! :slight_smile:

Im glad they edited out the Don Vito scenes they shot with Bam Margeras uncle.

In the book, it was emphasized that Don Vito was conservative on sexual matters. The story about the little girl made it clear that besides snubbing Johnny, Woltz was a pervert.

Vito was very interested in the character of people he dealt with. Woltz’s infamia told him that Woltz was someone he could best in a struggle.

I think it was clear in the original that Tom had already come back before the horse head thing.

Anyway, I started going thru it a bit on my DVR to see what was what, but of course getting suckered into certain scenes.

One thing I paid particular attention to was Vito’s funereal. There used to be an odd reflection in front of Mama Corleone in one shot. Quite noticable to me, but not to others (e.g., Roger Ebert). I noticed in recent video releases it had been cleaned up.

But in this version, not only is it back but other reflections can be seen. Much clearer with an HD signal vs. the old analog TV signal.

Another extra scene I had forgotten about was after the bomb blast that killed Apollonia. Michael’s coming to, is told she’s dead, asks for Fabrizio. Which of course leads to the later additional scene where Michael finally gets his revenge.

The big gap between the confrontation with trying to buy Moe Green out and Moe getting killed is too noticeable. In the book, Moe is taken out much earlier and isn’t part of the 5 Families massacre.

And on and on.

I haven’t seen the entire Godfather Epic yet. Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t remember the scene where Fredo and Deanna arrive at Anthony’s communion party in the Godfather Saga. Deanna looks fabulous.

So many deleted scenes that deal with Paulie in the aftermath of the attempt on Vito:

Sonny and Tessio huddling, Michael insists on knowing what’s going on. Sonny finally says “whose brains do we blow out – Clemenza’s or Paulie’s?”

Sonny gets a call from a contact at the phone company, confirming that Paulie had made suspicious phone calls. Finalizes Sonny’s decision to whack Paulie.

Clemenza give a gun to the guy in the back seat, and says “today you make your bones on Paulie.”

OK, we get it – Paulie’s a dead man. By making these cuts, leaving just one scene where Sonny tells Clemenza to do it, the actual hit (“leave the gun…take the cannoli”) is much more startling.

The exact word is used in the deleted scene.

Vito: And this girl, are you certain?
Tom nods.
Vito: Infamia.

And not just a random guy but Rocco Lampone, one of Michael’s future capos. The guy who shoots Hyman Roth at the airport in GF II. Look carefully and you’ll notice it is the same actor ( Tom Rosqui ).

One of the things I really like about the GF films is the character/actor continuity.

It wasn’t a necessary scene, but I did find it interesting how completely unshocked and matter-of-factly Mama Corleone reacted to the news of her husband’s shooting. Especially compared to how Connie reacted to her husband’s death, and her husband was an abusive a-hole.

Agreed. But one of the few characters that was in all the Godfathers was Don Tomosino who was played by 3 different actors. Granted though, all three were at different ages of the character, Don Tomosino.

IIRC, in the book that a big part of Kay’s story is learning from Mama Corleone and accepting that to be a mob boss’ wife means just rolling with it

I just noticed (after god knows how many viewings)…

Godfather begins with a wedding, ends with a baptism.
Godfather 2 (Vito) begins with a funeral
Godfather 2 (Michael) begins with a First Communion.

They’ve practically got all the sacraments covered.

I remember watching “The Godfather Saga” when NBC first aired it and I also saw it this past Sunday on HBO. I agree with many here that while it was cool to see all those “lost” scenes, in most cases it was obvious why they were cut in the first place. Not necessarily because the scene may not seemed needed, but because it may have slowed down the pace or disrupted the direction they wanted to go.

It is interesting though, they go through the painstaking chore of reediting, so it’s shown in chronological order, bit the Dinner-waiting-for-pop-to-return-home, where Michael reveals that he joined the service is still shown as a memory that older Michael has at the end of Godfather 2.

The end scene makes sense to me. As GF II fades out, Michael is sitting alone in contemplation. The waiting for Pop scene has always appeared to me as Micael looking back to a time of innocence before he accepted his destiny in “The Family Business”

He had just decided to assert himself and distance himself from the rackets.

We can all look back to a time where we were, in retrospect, on the correct path and think: “if only I had continued down that path, everything would have been different…”

Yeah, that’s definitely something I didn’t like about the movie. Kay telling Michael that she had an abortion. At the end of the book, Kay and mama Corleone are preparing to go to mass to pray for the souls of their men.

Don’t get me wrong, the GF movies are the best; but I always felt like the tone of the book was that Michael was just like his father, and destined to be a great man. The tone of the movie shows Michael full of hate and revenge. In the movie I feel sad for Michael and the man he’s become.

So a murderous thieving Mafioso is a great man in your opinion?

Could you expand on what you mean by “great?” Don Vito was, in the end, a criminal. IIRC, he had many judges and politicians in his pocket. He was subverting our entire system which, IMPO, is worse than running drugs or illegal gambling operations.