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.
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