The Godfather Image
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Fans of director Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 classic gangster film The Godfather have a new look at the series that will tell the behind-the-scenes stories of the film. Paramount+ has released new images of the upcoming limited series The Offer, via Entertainment Weekly.
The images include Coopla (Dan Fogler) and producer Albert S. Ruddy (Miles Teller) on the set of the film. Another features Ruddy with Robert Evans, Paramount Studios' chief, (Matthew Goode). There is also an image that focuses on Bettye McCartt (Juno Temple), who is described as Ruddy's secretary and "right-hand woman." Another image focuses on notorious mobster Joe Colombo (Giovanni Ribisi), who had a mission to shut down the film.
"At the beginning of our story, we come to learn that the mafia has a very active interest in making sure that The Godfather never gets made," said series showrunner Nikki Toscano to Vanity Fair. Ruddy, Coppola, and Evans also have images that focus on them. Also starring in the series will be Colin Hanks as Barry Lapidus, a fictionalized studio executive. Burn Gorman will also appear as Charles Bluhdorn, the head of Gult+Western, who was the owner of Paramount at the time The Godfather was being made.
At this point, Michael understands his personality change into what his father knew what would happen a long time ago. Don Corleone saw himself within Michael and knew that one day Michael would be the next Don. Throughout the film many stereotypes of family, traditions and violence arise. Besides the many stereotypes, there are many overt images of Italian mobsters in the film. With all of this said, do the stereotypes of the brutal underworld and the gaudy images of themselves accurately portray the Italian-American mafia in The Godfather?
The level of detail Coppola creates in this film allows the old stereotypes of Italians to regenerate and foster stereotypical images of themselves as hard-fisted, greased up gangsters. With these constant images throughout the film, Michael lies in the center being the epitome of the stereotype creating the image. Before he was involved with the family, he thought, dressed, and acted differently; but now that he has fully immersed himself into the mafia he carries along the image of an Italian gangster, just like the rest of his family. When Michael goes to Las Vegas to meet with his older brother Fredo about the gambling business, he says one simple line that fully explains his own transformation:
When many people watch gangster films like The Godfather they are witnessing what may be their only base of judgment of the Italian mafia. In all honesty, not that many people know or have met a mafia member, so their image of an Italian mobster is purely generated by Hollywood filmmakers. When the masses watch these films they are witnessing the image and the stereotype being created right before them. In the common viewers eye a gangster is someone who dresses in suits, acts violently and talks with an uneducated accent; but in actuality many of these images and stereotypes may not be true. In order for the public to understand this Italian subculture, the filmmakers have to make generalizations and from these generalizations come the image and the stereotype. These depictions of how the mafia took actions into their own hands may be similar to how the actual mafia behaves, but a lot of the brutal actions found in The Godfather could definitely be exaggerated; and from these bluffs comes the imprinted vision of image and stereotype. The character of Michael Corleone is so vital to the core of this film, but not only for the storyline, but for him to be an example how the stereotype of his own people transformed him into the image of what we have all come to accept as the Italian mafia.
In 1955, Vito dies of a heart attack while playing with his grandchild. At Vito's funeral, Tessio asks Michael to meet with Barzini, signaling his betrayal. The meeting is set for the same day as the baptism of Connie's baby. While Michael stands at the altar as the child's godfather, Corleone hitmen murder the dons of the Five Families, plus Greene, and Tessio is executed (offscreen) for his treachery. Michael extracts Carlo's confession to playing a part in Sonny's murder, assuring Carlo he is only being exiled, not murdered; afterward, Clemenza garrotes Carlo. Connie confronts Michael about Carlo's death while Kay is in the room. Kay asks Michael if Connie is telling the truth and is relieved when he denies it. As Kay leaves, capos enter the office and pay reverence to Michael as "Don Corleone" before closing the door.
Gulf+Western executive Charles Bluhdorn was frustrated with Coppola over the number of screen tests he had performed without finding a person to play the various roles. Production quickly fell behind because of Coppola's indecisiveness and conflicts with Paramount, which led to costs being around $40,000 per day. With costs rising, Paramount had then-Vice President Jack Ballard keep a close eye on production expenses. While filming, Coppola stated that he felt he could be fired at any point as he knew Paramount executives were not happy with many of the decisions he had made. Coppola was aware that Evans had asked Elia Kazan to take over directing the film because he feared that Coppola was too inexperienced to cope with the increased size of the production. Coppola was also convinced that the film editor, Aram Avakian, and the assistant director, Steve Kestner, were conspiring to get him fired. Avakian complained to Evans that he could not edit the scenes correctly because Coppola was not shooting enough footage. Evans was satisfied with the footage being sent to the West Coast and authorized Coppola to fire them both. Coppola later explained: "Like the godfather, I fired people as a preemptory strike. The people who were angling the most to have me fired, I had fired." Brando threatened to quit if Coppola was fired.
From the start of production, Coppola wanted Robert Duvall to play the part of Tom Hagen. After screen testing several other actors, Coppola eventually got his wish and Duvall was awarded the part. Al Martino, a then famed singer in nightclubs, was notified of the character Johnny Fontane by a friend who read the novel and felt Martino represented the character of Johnny Fontane. Martino then contacted producer Albert S. Ruddy, who gave him the part. However, Martino was stripped of the part after Coppola became director and then awarded the role to singer Vic Damone. According to Martino, after being stripped of the role, he went to Russell Bufalino, his godfather and a crime boss, who then orchestrated the publication of various news articles that claimed Coppola was unaware of Ruddy giving Martino the part. Damone eventually dropped the role because he did not want to provoke the mob, in addition to being paid too little. Ultimately, the part of Johnny Fontane was given to Martino.
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While watching the new "Godfather" DVD, I noticed a startling image. During Vito's funeral, Tessio comes over to tell Michael about the upcoming meeting. As Michael stands up, in the crook of his left armpit a half picture of a woman's face can be seen. Who is it? How did it get into the frame? My roommate says it's Kay, and since it's over his heart, it's symbolic of their love. That sounds like hogwash to me, but I don't have a better answer.
Roger Ebert: Good gravy! I see her, too. I owe an apology to Jeffrey Horowitz of Syosset, N.Y., who wrote earlier with the same sighting. I couldn't find the woman, and told him so. Now your description sent me back for a frame-by-frame creep through the sequence, and there she is, ghostly red against black, fading in and out. Is this a real ghost image, or only an optical illusion, like those Elvises people see on screen doors?
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