Sunday, June 12, 2005

Quick rant on Sunday newspaper content

In a box accompanying a story on films adapted from books, today’s HT City has this to say about the classic status of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather:

“Coppola tried to revive the magic through several sequels, but not with much success.”

Duh. And here I was thinking The Godfather Part II was widely regarded one of the greatest American films ever made (even if you don’t actually think it’s better than the first film – I don’t – you’ll probably concede it’s far more ambitious, and doesn’t have the bulwark of an existing work of literature to fall back on). Even Part III, though much criticized at the time of its release, holds up quite well when you pull it out of the shade of its towering predecessors.

Also, several sequels? There were two. I dunno, maybe technically that’s “several”.


  1. If you like the Godfather, check out this asian film trilogy called, Infernal affairs that came out 3 years ago. Inferal affairs 1 was so good that some american producer felt compelled to cough up a lot of money for the remake rights instead of showing the actual film and now Martin Scorcese is remaking it in Boston as a mob film with Jack Nicholson playing the lead baddie and the Matt Damon and Leo DiCaprio playing cops.
    Basic premise is that there is a mole in the police and a mole in the mob and both want to discover each other first so as to not compromise themselves.
    Infernal Affairs 2 is definitely the better one (a la GF 2) and Infernal Affairs 3 just
    I don't know if you can get it in Delhi so you might want to try the inter-nyet.

  2. Jabberwock,

    In fact, I just watched the Godfather on the DVD again this week. Goddamn, it's a good movie. It's like reading a really really good novel, actually.

    I remember Part II being frighteningly good, too, and I look forward to reassuring myself of that soon. Sofie bought be the trilogy box-set a short while ago.

    As for Part III, I've never seen it, but people say it's definitely not as bad as people say it is.


  3. Incidentally, Godfather Part II is the only sequel to have won a Best Film Oscar.

  4. Some more interesting trivia about Godfather II - It was the first time in Academy Award history that a foreign language part had won a major award. Robert De Niro won the award for best supporting actor, which apart from (roughly) three sentences, is entirely in Italian. The second time this happened was when Benicio Del Toro won the same award for "Traffic" [i've asked this q in many quizzes and it stumps people when they realise that De Niro speaks in Italian all the time. He's done it so - for lack of a better term - seamlessly, that people just don't notice it.]

    The other quizzing chestnut is the fact that GF II was the only time in Oscar history that a character has won two Oscar awards in two separate films. Brando for best actor, which he refused and De Niro for best supporting actor.

  5. Hi Quizfan,
    that bit about foreign language parts isn't entirely right. In 1961 Sophia Loren won best actress for a completely non-English role in Two Women. (Incidentally, the same year the best actor award was won by Maximilian Schell, who spoke some of his best lines in German during the trial scenes in Judgement at Nuremberg.) There might be other examples, I'm not certain.

    I'm a bit surprised about people reacting that way to De Niro speaking in Italian in GF II. Regardless of how seamless his performance was, all the sections of the film in which he appeared were in Italian anyway, with subtitles - including everything spoken by the other characters. Maybe the quiz participants were just pretending to have seen the film ;)

    A character winning separate acting awards is interesting, but again I feel a little niggle in my film trivia-saturated brain. There were many cases of multiple nominations at any rate: Charles Laughton won for playing Henry VIII while Robert Shaw and Richard Burton (I think) were both nominated for the same role in other films.

    Also, Robert Donat won for playing Mr Chips in 1939 while Peter O'Toole was nominated 30 years later. And O' Toole incidentally was nominated for playing King Henry II in two different films - Becket and The Lion in WInter.

    And remember when two actresses were nominated for playing Queen Elizabeth I in the same year in different films? Judi Dench (who won as supporting actress) for Shakespeare in Love and Cate Blanchett (nominated as best actress) in Elizabeth.

    So much trivia, whew! My head is full of Oscar nuggets.

  6. I've sent you an email. Btw, regarding Charles Laughton - he appears in an Asterix comic as do Laurensolivius and Alecguinus. :-) [As do many others including Sean Connery and Kirk "call me Spartakus" Douglas]

  7. And Tarzan, and Snoopy.....and lots more in Asterix....:-)

    Jabberwock...perhaps we can give the "incompetent movie writer" award to this person who wrote the sunday article.