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.