- Actors: Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Andy Garcia, Talia Shire, Eli Wallach
- Directors: Francis Ford Coppola
- Writers: Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo
- Producers: Francis Ford Coppola, Charles Mulvehill, Fred Fuchs, Fred Roos, Gray Frederickson
- Format: NTSC
- Language: English, German, Italian, Latin
- Number of tapes: 2
- Studio: Paramount Home Video
- VHS Release Date: Jan. 8 2004
- Run Time: 162 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 71 customer reviews
- ASIN: 6302158176
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #469 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)
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Godfather III, the
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The Godfather Part III is a 1990 American crime film written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, and directed by Coppola. A sequel to The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather Part II (1974), it completes the story of Michael Corleone, a Mafia kingpin who attempts to legitimize his criminal empire. The film also includes fictionalized accounts of two real-life events: the 1978 death of Pope John Paul I and the Papal banking scandal of 1981–82, both linked to Michael Corleone's business affairs. The film stars Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, and Andy García, and features Eli Wallach, Joe Mantegna, George Hamilton, Bridget Fonda, and Sofia Coppola
Sixteen years after Francis Ford Coppola won his second Oscar for The Godfather II (his first was for the 1972 Godfather), the director and star Al Pacino attempted to revive the concept one more time. Despite an elaborate plot that involves Michael Corleone seeking redemption through the Vatican while simultaneously preparing his nephew (Andy Garcia) to take over the Corleone family, the film fails to take shape as a truly meaningful experience in the way the preceding movies do. Still, Pacino is very moving as an elder Michael, filled with regret and trying hard to make amends with his wife (Diane Keaton) and grown children (one of whom is played, and not all that well, by the director's daughter, Sofia Coppola). --Tom Keogh
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If only Variety had not written that one review, which single-handedly lead to the largest onslaught of an American cinema masterpiece in the history of film, we would have not an underrated "underdog", but a universally accepted final chapter which is actually superior to the second installment of Francis Ford Coppola's gangster epic.
For those who have the capacity for abstract thought, present in human beings since the Stone Age, this undoubtably one of the greatest films of all time. Picking up many years after Part II, we are introduced to a new Michael Corleone, an older, more mature, guilt-faced man who faintly goes through life as a ghost, going through the motions but ultimately is so overtaken by the guilt of his brother's murder, he is unable to be involved in any form of organized crime whatsoever.
As crime seduces Michael back into the seedy underworld of crime, we see more than ever a message that was merely hinted towards in Part II. In many ways, Michael's destiny has been sealed since the beginning. His actions, although seemingly calculated, not only are written as a part of his own fate, but that of Vincent Mancini, Sonny's bastard son, who will ultimately go down the same road as Michael.
The grand finale in the opera house is absolutely masterful. The cinematography, acting, and pacing are all some of the best in existense. But it is Pacino's final collapse on the steps of the theatre which stand alone as the single greatest image ever captured on film. Here is a man undone. A man broken in half by the things he has done. Done to himself and done to his family. The choices he made, and the choices he should have made. Every mistake he ever made, leading to the final stab in the heart, come crashing down on him as he lets out a single, unwavering scream of regret and sorrow.
What was done to this film is unacceptable. Absolutely intolerable. What Variety did was cause a chain of events which would discredit a film which should belong to the ages. Instead, it is looked down upon for no better reason that to conform with the rest of the savages. Francis Ford Coppola's masterpiece, however, is stronger than words, and hopefully the damage Variety has done will wear off over the course of the next 25 or 50 years.
One thing is certain. The Godfather Trilogy is the greatest work of story-telling the world has ever seen, and it will always be respected and cherished for generations to come.
-Sean Nichols Lynch
The first film featured the shadow of power cast by narcotics; the second film fell into the depths of a powerful and treacherous jew; the third film revolved around sleep-inducing corporate intrigue involving the Vatican. Had Godfather III told the story of an aging, suffering Michael Corleone within the fast paced, popcorn style of the 1930's gangster flick, it would have been a far better film. Instead, we get a bloated, portentous epic. Indeed, while gorgeously photographed, the classic feel of the first two films are gone. This is a modern setting. And it doesn't feel right. Interesting enough, Coppola acknowledges that he lost much of the artistic power he once had, and found himself at the mercy of a studio who had little interest in what made the first two films so great. That speaks volumes about the failure of Godfather III. And while there are powerful moments, they are too few and far between. Everything about this film is a pale reflection of what came before. Such a shame.
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