All three Godfather films will be released on 4K Ultra HD for the first time ever on March 22, 2022, in celebration of the first film’s 50th anniversary. The restoration has been supervised by director Francis Ford Coppola, who said in a statement that the process of revisiting the films was “gratifying.”
The movies—The Godfather, The Godfather Part II and The Godfather Part III—were restored over the course of three years, in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the first film’s original release on March 24, 1972. Coppola also revealed that Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone—a re-cut version of the third film—will be thrown into the mix for good measure. In his own words:
“I am very proud of The Godfather, which certainly defined the first third of my creative life. With this 50th anniversary tribute, I’m especially proud Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone is included, as it captures Mario and my original vision in definitively concluding our epic trilogy. It’s also gratifying to celebrate this milestone with Paramount alongside the wonderful fans who’ve loved it for decades, younger generations who still find it relevant today, and those who will discover it for the first time.”
The last restoration was conducted under the supervision of “eminent film historian and preservationist Robert Harris” in 2007. This time, over 300 cartons of the film were scrutinized, and 4,000 hours were spent "repairing film stains, tears, and other anomalies in the negatives." The commitment, said Andrea Kalas, senior vice president, Paramount Archives, was to “honor all of the filmmakers’ exceptional work.”
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray set will include legacy commentaries by Coppola, and access to digital copies of all three films, as well as Coda. In addition to this box set, a 4K Ultra HD Limited Collector’s Edition will also be released in deluxe packaging. The limited-edition set includes a hardcover coffee table book featuring photographs, as well as portrait art prints on archival paper.
Based on Mario Puzo’s novel, the first film focused on the patriarch of a New York crime family and the transformation of his mild-mannered younger son into a feared mafia boss. Widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, The Godfather is also a seminal text in the New Hollywood era of movie making. It received nine Academy Award nominations, and was, for some time, the highest-grossing film ever made.
New bonus content includes:
- Introduction to The Godfather by Francis Ford Coppola
- Full Circle: Preserving The Godfather—Paramount Pictures archivists detail the incredible restoration process with archival footage showing the evolution of the film through various home entertainment incarnations as picture and audio technologies make quantum leaps over the decades.
- Capturing the Corleones: Through the Lens of Photographer Steve Schapiro—In this reflective and frank discussion, special photographer Steve Schapiro shares his unique perspective and cherished memories as a witness to the making of this seminal film. Commentary on curated archival images makes for a fascinating, never-before-seen addition to the production’s history.
- The Godfather: Home Movies—An assortment of 8mm home movie footage shot in 1971 offers a candid glimpse into the production of The Godfather. Shot on location at the Norton family estate on Staten Island’s Emerson Hill, this is the first time it’s been made available to the public.
- Restoration Comparisons—Before and after highlights showcase extensive picture quality improvements to The Godfather.
Legacy bonus features will also be included. Additionally, the film will get a limited theatrical release in Dolby Vision beginning February 25, 2022, exclusively at AMC Theaters in the U.S., as well as in international territories around the world. You can check out the artwork and watch a new trailer for the restored film below:
The winners will be announced on March 20.
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