“I BELIEVE IN AMERICA.”
That’s the opening line of one of Hollywood’s most influential films.
It’s fifty years since audiences first heard Al Pacino utter them at the beginning of The Godfather, which celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of its first screen appearance.
Ford Coppola’s epic masterpiece features Marlon Brando in his Oscar-winning role as the patriarch of the Corleone family.
Amaze yourselves and see Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro while they could still act more than surprised.
And, if you haven’t seen the movie that rebooted a whole genre of movies and spawned countless variations on the same themes and pale imitations of its shadowy grandeur, you now have the chance to see it as never seen before as it goes on limited release for the next week.
The Godfather can now be seen in all its dark and shimmering magnificence, fully restored and remastered.
And, as a bonus, not only the original has had the Rolls-Royce treatment. The Godfather: Part II, a masterpiece of moviemaking with sizzling performances and a commanding narrative structure, also gets the superstar brush-up. And the third instalment is an intriguing coda to its illustrious predecessors. The third film features a career-best, almost operatic performance by Talia Shire as Connie – the almost forgotten Corleone sibling.
Without giving anything away to first-time watchers, wait for her to reach for the opera glasses.
Every effort was made to create the finest possible presentation for today’s audiences, who can watch the films using technology that has advanced dramatically since 2007 when the last restoration was completed by eminent film historian and preservationist Robert Harris.
Using that work as a blueprint, the team spent thousands of hours to ensure that every frame was evaluated to create the most pristine presentation while remaining true to the original look and feel of the films.
Over 300 cartons of film were scrutinized to find the best possible resolution for every frame of all three films.
Over 4,000 hours were spent repairing film stains, tears, and other anomalies in the negatives.
Over 1,000 hours were spent on rigorous colour correction to ensure the high dynamic range tools were respectful of the original vision of Coppola and cinematographer Gordon Willis.
In addition to the 5.1 audio approved by Walter Murch in 2007, the original mono tracks on The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II have been restored.
All work was overseen by Francis Ford Coppola.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Francis Ford Coppola’s Academy Award®-winning masterwork The Godfather, Paramount Pictures announced today that the film will have a limited theatrical release in Dolby Vision beginning February 25.
All three films in the epic trilogy have been meticulously restored under the direction of Coppola and will be made available on 4K Ultra HD for the first time on March 22, 2022.
If you get the chance, watch The Godfather and (especially) The Godfather Two in sparkling clarity with pin-sharp sound.
They’re modern tragedies that underline the bitter irony of Michael Corleone’s opening words.
10/10 for The Godfather. The scale doesn’t go high enough for The Godfather Part II. And 7/10 for The Godfather: Part III.
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