(aka "Der Pate" or "El padrino" or "Il Padrino" or "Le Parrain")

directed by Francis Ford Coppola
USA 1972

It's no exaggeration to say that Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather (1972) has moved beyond the realm of mere cinema to become a slice of American mythology. There are so many indelible moments in this movie, it's hard to believe that executives at Paramount Pictures originally envisioned it as a quickie gangster flick, an even pulpier interpretation of Mario Puzo's wildly popular pulp novel. The grandeur that informs every frame of The Godfather arose, in large part, from a rich screenplay that resonates on a wide variety of levels, but Coppola's unwavering passion for filmmaking was the glue that held it together. Throw in three or four of the finest screen performances of the 1970s, and this is one time that Hollywood wasn't able to screw up a good thing. But it wasn't for lack of trying.

Describing the plot of The Godfather almost seems redundant - no real film lover is unfamiliar with this movie. Coppola examines the closed-door dealings of Don Corleone (Marlon Brando), a pseudo-benevolent mafia chief who believes, often with guns drawn, that his family comes first. Set in New York and Sicily in the years following World War II, the narrative unfolds like a modern opera, with the Don's clean-cut son, Michael (Al Pacino), slowly becoming embroiled in the type of family business that he purports to detest. Michael, along with his hot-headed brother, Sonny (James Caan), and far more thoughtful adopted brother, Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall), will be inexorably pulled through a storyline that touches on America's attitudes toward loyalty, power, money, and violence. The Godfather is the very definition of a modern classic and, for once, it really is as good as everybody says it is.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 14th, 1972 - USA

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Paramount (Coppola Restoration) - Region A Blu-ray - NTSC vs. Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC vs.  Paramount (UK) - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Ole Kofoed and Gregory Meshman for the SD-DVD Screen Caps!

1) Paramount (The Coppola Restoration) - Region A - Blu-ray - LEFT

2) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

DVD Box Covers

 

Individual review and separate comparisons to SD-DVD:

Distribution

Paramount - 1080P

Region A  - Blu-ray

Paramount

Region 1  - NTSC

Paramount (UK)
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 2:57:09 2:55:18 2:47:55 (PAL Speedup)
Video

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

1080P - Dual-layered Blu-ray

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.96 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.89 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

NO BITRATE GRAPH FOR BLU-RAY YET

Bitrate:

Region 1

Bitrate:

 

Region 2

 

Audio English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
English: Dolby Digital Mono
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby Digital 5.1, French DD 2.0 mono.

English Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles English SDH, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, none English or none. English, English for the Hearing Impaired, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian Finnish or none.
Features Release Information:
Studio: Paramount

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

1080P - Dual-layered Blu-ray

Edition Details:
Commentary by Francis Ford Coppola

DVD Release Date: September 23rd, 2008

Thick Blu-ray Case inside cardboard box
Chapters 23

Release Information:
Studio: Paramount

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by Francis Ford Coppola.

DVD Release Date: October 9, 2001
Chapters 23

Release Information:
Studio: Paramount (UK)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by Francis Ford Coppola.

DVD Release Date: October 8, 2001
Chapters 23

Comments: NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

Firstly, we intended to review this entire Blu-ray 'Coppola Restoration' package fully (as well as the supplemental 4th disc) but as interest is so high on these titles - we have also decided to compare them to the original SD releases first - as well s the SD-DVD 'Restoration' when it arrives. Stay tuned.

 

As for the initial entry in the series, the dual-layered first Blu-ray, taking up 46.8 GB for the 3 hour feature film, doesn't appear to overly impress in the visual department. I've done some toggling back and forth between the new and the old. The superiority is definitely evident but I am unclear as to the occasional softness that I am seeing. But I do see what appears to be abundant film grain and/or background noise. Colors are also different in many instances with the Blu-ray usually (but not always) being brighter and it leans to a warmer palette. The yellow/magenta/orange skin tones have been replaced with redder ones. Contrast seems improved (look at the shirt in the 5th set of large captures.)  Leonard Norwitz has covered the entire collection with more screen captures HERE..

 

NOTE: I've done my best to match the captures below at the exact same frame.

 

In this first spin my ears didn't note a humungous difference in the TrueHD track (and the older 5.1), but it did sound quite good - especially the score. I'll be examining this in closer detail during the week.

 

Aside from the commentary there are no additional extras on the first Blu-ray disc. We will report more (the rest of the package) as soon as we can.

 

I think it's important to appreciate the film is 36 years old and an immense amount of work went into this frame-by-frame restoration. Initial observations are that it looks very clean, bright and improved... but not pristinely detailed as a modern film might. Perhaps this should have been expected.

 

Herr Schreck from the Criterion Forum states: "I saw-- coincidentally-- the restored Godfather in the cinema yesterday. I give them kudos.. a very restrained restoration, essentially cleaning the film up without rewriting history. As opposed to G2, or later 70mm extravaganza of Apocalypse Now which benefited from the IB restoration process, Godfather seems to have been shot on very unspectacular stock that is heavy on the grain, especially in the zones where Gordon "Prince of Darkness" Willis really pushes the envelope in low key lighting. The grain factor reminds my of Tokyo Olympiad where faster stocks were needed for the lack of heavy lighting.

It looks exactly like what Godfather One was... a tight-budgeted, by Paramount, crime drama that was penned in initially to be run-of-the mill gangster pic... that turned only in an ex post facto way, due entirely to Coppolas vision (not due to any big budgets or lavish sets) to a "big" film. (G2 is another story of course).

I have no doubt that what I saw yesterday resembled very closely the film upon it's original release... no attempt was made to soup it up. And the Blu caps look just like what I saw.
"

 

Duane says in email: "Looking at the captures, the "unrestored" dvd seems to have greenish/sepia tint not present in the blu-ray edition; at least in my mind's eye, I seem to recall this visual patina being part of the Godfather's period look (and seem to recall similar controversy in your 'Deliverance' dvd comparison -- except with the blu-ray adding back the greenish hues that were missing from the original release).
Could it be that the restoration and/or blu-ray is overly "scrubbed" to make the film look brighter thus more modern?
"

 

White Sheik says in email: "Just reading and looking at The Godfather Blu-Ray caps (which I assume will match the new SD DVD restoration). The gentleman who seems to remember in his mind's eye that the film had a greenish/sepia tint in its original release prints, is, of course, completely incorrect and probably never saw the film when it was released. I saw it many times, and I owned a 35mm IB Tech print of it, and the Blu-Ray screencaps look exactly right and I can't wait to get the SD DVD upon its release. Kudos to all involved, especially the "supervisors" - Coppola and Willis, who certainly know what their film should look like."

 

NOTE: 'The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II underwent extensive frame-by-frame examination and restoration utilizing state-of-the-art digital technology in this historic preservation effort, which required more than a year to complete. Robert A. Harris of the Film Preserve supervised the restoration under the direction of Coppola and cinematographer, Gordon Willis.'

 

****

 

 

 

 - Gary Tooze

 



DVD Menus
(
Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs.  - Paramount - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

 

 


Screen Captures

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Paramount (The Coppola Restoration) - Region A - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM


1) Paramount (The Coppola Restoration) - Region A - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Paramount (The Coppola Restoration) - Region A - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 

 


1) Paramount (The Coppola Restoration) - Region A - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 


1) Paramount (The Coppola Restoration) - Region A - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 


1) Paramount (The Coppola Restoration) - Region A - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

NOTE: Artifacts on  stairs of SDs / taillights on cars are red not orange.

 


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Distribution

Paramount - 1080P

Region A  - Blu-ray

Paramount

Region 1  - NTSC

Paramount (UK)
Region 2 - PAL

Individual review and separate comparisons to SD-DVD:

 


Report Card:

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: -
Menu: -


 

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Gary Tooze

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