The Godfather Saga on HBO

What HBO has done here showing The Godfather I & II chopped up in chronological order isn’t anything new, it was done on TV a while back, or is it? I am an avid Godfather fan, as I am of most thing Italian related. I have read the book, in fact I own a good deal of Mario Puzo’s works, and I have seen the trilogy probably no less than 20 times. What struck me about this rendition of the first two films, other than the just more than 7-hour run time, was the addition of new scenes in the film. There were maybe 5 or 6 of them and people who casually watch the film might not even notice the scenes were new.
The first of the two I will mention comes after the wedding scene of Connie Corleone. Don Corleone finds out that his consigliere Genco is ill and will not make it through the night. He takes his 3 sons and his godson to the hospital to pay their respects to the dying man. Gene comes briefly to consciousness and begs the Don to help save him. He tells the Don that he is bigger than death, the Don has the power to save him. Don Corleone tells him he is not that powerful and cannot but not to be afraid of death. It has been a while for me having read the book, but i do remember reading something like that scene in the book.
The second scene comes after the death of Sonny Corleone, the Don’s oldest son. In this scene it follows the call to Buonasera (the undertaker) who is getting ready to receive the Don and his remaining sons as well as some security. Buonasera is getting dressed and prepared to meet him, his wife helping him dress. Buonasera is telling his wife he regrets the day that he got “in bed” with the Don asking him to help with a personal matter. He thinks he is going to become an accomplice, having to make a body disappear, or worse, only to find out the Don wishes the undertaker to use all of his powers to make the recently deceased Sonny viewable for the funeral.
These two scenes are just a couple examples of the additions to The Godfather in this presentation. It is viewable for streaming on HBOGo or HBONow and they have run it in entirety on the channel. It is also an interesting opportunity to get to watch the entire first two films in chronological order and see the development of the characters, especially Don Vito Corleone from the time he was in Sicily until the time he dies in his garden playing with his grandson. I hope they put this version out on Blu-Ray it would be a definite buy for me and I have or do own The Godfather on VHS, DVD and Blu-Ray. Even if you cannot watch the film in 1 sitting, it took me 3 just due to life and obligations, it is completely worth it to see the Saga as presented here.

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