Godfather Chronological Epic 1901-1980, The

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Godfather Chronological Epic 1901-1980, The
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Brief Synopsis:
Clocking in at 9 hrs and 48 minutes, The Chronological Edit of Francis Ford Coppola’s classic films has finally been restored in Widescreen 16×9 DVD’s.
To re-create The Godfather Chronological Saga using all available footage with the Widescreen Restoration Versions + Deleted Scenes + LaserDisc + Novel For Television.
Additional Notes:
– Since all Deleted Scenes are presented in FULL FRAME 1.33, they have been sized to match the Widescreen 1.85 aspect ratio, adding black bars to the sides of the picture. – To keep from abruptly cutting from Part I to Part II to Part III, a musical interlude against a black screen was added between each film, with a Title Card presenting each new chapter. – In the TV SAGA version, Coppola incorporated deleted scenes shot for THE GODFATHER of Kay praying for Michael and lighting candles in church. However, instead of placing the scene after the evens of the first film (as in the novel, where the scene takes place), Coppola instead placed the scene at the end of PART II, running the end credits over the scene. Some Godfather fans had issues with Kay praying for Michael after the events in PART II, with the footage clearly of a younger Kay. In order to maintain the chronological edit of events, this scene has be re-placed at the end of PART I, after a short music interlude over black screen. – Since this edit is intended to be a chronological edit, the Alternate Opening Sequence for Godfather Part III was used. Coppola had intended to open the film on the business deal with Michael and the Archbishop (notice the same zoom out shot used from Part I), but later was convinced by editor Walter Murch to open the film on family instead of business. The scene was moved to 30 minutes later in the film. By moving the scene back to the beginning, the scenes that follow with the Archbishop giving Michael the award and the behavior at the party celebrations play very differently. – Since the quality of the Alternate Opening for Godfather Part III is in a rough workprint quality, only the first part of the Alternate Opening shot was used, then it cuts directly to the rest of the restored scene and plays as normal. – In Godfather Part III, a dissolve was added on the flashback to Michael watching Fredo’s death back to Michael receiving the award. – Scenes from THE NOVEL FOR TELEVISION are preserved here to create the most complete version of the Saga.
Other Sources:
The Godfather Part II (1974)
The Godfather Part III (1990)
Special Thanks:
– A BIG THANKS to FanFiltration and the remarkable 5 DVD LaserDisc rip with Deleted Scenes added. After watching that version, I decided to tackle a Widescreen Restored Version, since the quality of the recent DVD set is superior to the LaserDisc versions.

– A SECOND BIG THANKS to fanedit.org’s theregencyelf for providing the extra scenes exclusive to the NOVEL FOR TELEVISION version.
Release Information:
Editing Details:
Now clocking in at 9 hrs and 48 minutes, the chronological edit of Francis Ford Coppola’s classic films has finally been restored in Widescreen 16×9 DVD’s.

In 1977, while trying to secure funds for APOCALYPSE NOW, Francis Ford Coppola convinced the NBC TV Network to run a new version of THE GODFATHER and THE GODFATHER PART II edited together into a chronological order called THE GODFATHER SAGA – A NOVEL FOR TELEVISION (434 minutes). To expand the length over four nights, Coppola added over 75 minutes of new scenes into the film, including several outtakes used for additional opening/ending title sequences. Due to television restrictions at the time, many scenes of violence and language were censored.

A shorter version of THE GODFATHER SAGA (386 minutes) was released on VHS tape in 1982. After the release of THE GODFATHER PART III, Coppola and editors Barry Malkin and Walter Murch constructed a new chronological edit called THE GODFATHER TRILOGY 1901-1980 (583 minutes). This version was released to VHS and LaserDisc in 1992 and is out-of-print. While many new scenes appeared in this version, several from the TV SAGA were still not included.

Now all the deleted scenes from NOVEL FOR TELEVISION, SAGA, TRILOGY and extra scenes from the DVD release have been combined to create the longest and most complete chronological version of THE GODFATHER.
Cuts and Additions:
– Added new title card at beginning: “The Godfather Part I”
– Added new Date Title Cards as the story progress through the years.
– Added Kay praying and lighting the candles and at end of Part I
and dissolved to Michael having his hand kissed in Part II.
– Created new musical interludes between each film.
– Added new Title Card: “The Godfather Part II”
– Used the Alternate Opening for Godfather Part III
– All Deleted Scenes from the DVD Collection were used.
– All Deleted Scenes from THE NOVEL FOR TELEVISION were used
– Several shots from the LaserDisc version were used.
– Added new family montage at the end that shows each Corleone family
member with their name + birth/death date and scored using “Coda” from The Godfather Part III soundtrack.
– Added new title card at end: The Godfather The Chronological Epic 1901-1980
– Added a mixture of End Titles from all three films.

– Added in all new scenes from NOVEL FOR TELEVISION
– Added uncensored dialogue with Frankie and Fredo at party
– Moved up Michael and Son scene to BEFORE the shooting in PART II as originally scripted and included new line from Michael “You got me a present?”
– Restored original Godfather Part III ending and moved new Family Montage to afterwards
– DISC 4 BONUS includes 8min of sequences from the NOVEL FOR TELEVISION

– Two men visit Vito’s mother, asking for the boy
– Fanucci talks to Theater owner about Italian opera / threatens his daughter*
– Vito see’s Fanucci attacked by youths / talks to Genco
– Vito walks home
– Vito and Clemenza have breakfast (extended)
– Clemenza takes Vito to see Gunmaker
– Fanucci and Vito take a drive
– Vito, Clemenza and Tessio talk (extended)
– Vito listens to Signora Colombo about her apartment and dog (extended)
– Vito and landlord (extended)
– Vito and landlord at Genco office (extended)
– Vito meets and names Hyman Roth
– Vito’s family greeted at the train (extended)
– Extended Italy Trip / Vito kills two men
– Vito catches Sonny looking out the window*
– Tom informs Vito that Genco will not live through the night
– Vito and sons get into car to visit Genco / Vito and Michael talk
– Vito visits Genco in the hospital
– Woltz gives Janie a pony at her birthday party
– Tom see’s Janie and her mother at Woltz’s house
– Brief scene of Connie and Carlo fighting*
– Tom returns from Woltz and speaks to Vito and Sonny / Vito orders Luca to California*
– Michael and Kay in hotel bed speaking with Tom on the phone
– Michael hangs up the phone with Sonny and sends Kay back to the hotel*
– Extended shots of Luca walking to meeting
– Sonny gets a call about Vito’s shooting
– Sonny informs his mother about the shooting of Vito
– Sonny calls Luca
– Extended shots of Michael in car driving home
– Michael and Teresa Hagen / Michael sits in with Sonny / Tom returns home
– Clemenza showing of car and making plans about Paulie
– Clemenza having lunch
– Michael visits Italy with his bodyguards
– Michael visits Vito’s old home
– Connie gets phonecall for Carlo / Connie and Carlo fight
– Bonasera complains to his Wife after getting phonecall from Tom*
– Michael after Apollonia’s death
– Michael and Vito talk
– Extended Tom and Michael scenes
– Extended Michael and Vito scene walking outside together*
– Kay lighting candles and praying for Michael
– Michael walking alone on pier with dogs and bodyguards*
– Extended PART II party opening / Fredo and wife get into fight
– Frankie and Fredo talk (now includes uncensored dialogue)
– Michael and Sonny’s daughters
– Michael and Santino Jr.*
– Michael and pictures of Apollonia’s killer
– Anthony wanders around, see’s men waiting
– Frankie and Anthony talk
– Frankie at dinner table
– Al Neri visits Casino owner
– Bodyguard car bomb
– Alternate opening for Godfather Part III

* = Scenes exclusive to THE NOVEL FOR TELEVISION
Cover art by Modernknife (DOWNLOAD HERE)

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(Updated: June 07, 2022)
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This is a historic review for a historic edit, albeit in standard definition.

Together with Hal_over_9000's Extended Editions, these were my go-to versions of the Godfather Trilogy for a long while.

Many of us waited for an edit like this for many years...heck, I did a version for myself using VHS tapes of Trilogy, EPIC and SAGA. Many claimed they were working on attempts at such an edit out there, which despite bragging about, actually never appeared or were not made available. Modernknife stepped up to the plate and delivered this gem 11 years ago, beating the non-existant telegraphed versions that
we all craved.

This brought together all the available material from DVD and Laserdisc (which contains two scenes STILL not available in HD today), together in one place for the then longest possible version....IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER....HURRAH!

There is no question that the evolution of Vito and Michael folds out in a more cohesive and satisfying manner IMHO and this is a superb edit. There are many laudable fixes and additions throughout; relocating the original opening of Part 3 for instance (albeit from a poor source) and the 'in memoriam' sequence were masterful in my view...This was the first time that Michael and his son bedtime scene was correctly located (as Modernknife noted was originally scripted) and shot that way (as I was able to prove with alternate versions of the scene) however, there are also many issues that could have been avoided too at the time.

The use of the title cards was not a bad idea but does flag the episodic nature of the movies this was made from. Sourcing from the Laserdisc also meant that some scenes contained TV Version censored dialogue, which is a real shame. The musical interludes are a nice idea though they do halt the flow of things which I found a tad jarring. The extra material from 4:3 shots used were cropped to 16:9 but actually did respect the 16:9 ratio since these 4:3 scenes were open mattes. The downside is that the quality suffers in a few places but the narrative remained gloriously intact.

All things said, and I won't repeat what others already have commented on, this edit is of historical importance and a milestone in the history of Fanedits and should not EVER be ignored.

It was and remains an inspiration to all Godfather fans and faneditors alike.

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(Updated: September 06, 2012)
dr.sapirstein mar 16 2011

*This rating was given before reviews were required*
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(Updated: September 06, 2012)
sunarep feb 9 2012

Like Neglify I can’t add much except that this is a must see for people interested in the Godfather – The original is a fantastic masterpiece and modernknife presents you everything you might not have seen before 10/10
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(Updated: September 06, 2012)
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neglify jan 3 2012

A must-have for Godfather fans! 10/10
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