Cinema is something to adore and behold; seeing a new release on the big screen has been, and always will be a wonderful experience. However, seeing a classic from before our time on the silver screen, now that’s something to remember. 

The Godfather celebrates its 50th anniversary this year (2022); the acclaimed classic was released in March of 1972, and has now been restored with a great deal of love and care, ready to be seen on the big screen once again. 

In honour of Francis Ford Coppola’s Academy Award-winning masterpiece, Paramount Pictures have announced that the movie will be released in cinemas for a limited time, in US and international territories across the world. 

The newly-remastered release will be seen in Dolby Vision; in fact, all three films in the well-known trilogy have been restored after thousands of hours’ worth of work under the watchful eye of Coppola. 

The Godfather follows the head of a mafia family as he decides to hand off the family business to his son, which had major repercussions. The feature starred Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, with James Caan and Diane Keaton. 

“I am very proud of The Godfather, which certainly defined the first third of my creative life,” said Coppola, “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 [Puzo] 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.” 

Coppola’s genius adaptation of Mario Puzo’s novel sees the Corleone family’s problems and successes; the trilogy is, rightfully, seen as one of the greatest in the history of cinema. 

See the classic film in a fresh, new light / Picture Credit: Paramount Pictures
See the classic film in a fresh, new light / Picture Credit: Paramount Pictures

In regard to the restoration of The Godfather, intense effort, love and skill was put into creating the best possible presentation of the movie for today’s audiences, who watch feature films with technology that has greatly advanced in the time since the last restoration was completed (in 2007) by film historian and preservationist, Robert Harris. 

The team used the material they had at hand, namely Harris’ 2007 restoration, as a basis for what was to come. As a result, thousands of hours were spent making sure that every single frame and image matched, and were remastered to the highest quality possible, while remaining true to the original look and feel of the films. 

Andrea Kalas, senior vice president, Paramount Archives, stated that “We felt privileged to restore these films and a little in awe every day we worked on them. We were able to witness first-hand how the brilliant cinematography, score, production design, costume design, editing, performances, and, of course, screenwriting and direction became famously more than the sum of their parts.  It was our commitment to honour all of the filmmakers’ exceptional work.” 

Details about the restoration include: 

  • Over 300 cartons of film were scrutinized to find the best possible resolution for every frame of all three films. 
  • Over 4,000 hours were spent repairing film stains, tears, and other anomalies in the negatives. 
  • Over 1,000 hours were spent on rigorous colour correction to ensure the high dynamic range tools were respectful of the original vision of Coppola and cinematographer Gordon Willis. 
  • In addition to the 5.1 audio approved by Walter Murch in 2007, the original mono tracks on The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II have been restored. 
  • All work was overseen by Coppola. 

The restored version of The Godfather will be available in cinemas from February 25th, 2022; the trilogy will be made available on 4K Ultra HD for the first time ever on March 21st, 2022. 

Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal

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