The Godfather: Part III

Year: 1990
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola
Written By: Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is an awful movie plain and simple.  It is stupid for a number of reasons and mainly because it does not even remotely correlate with the original story.  It was a desperate attempt to make bank on a popular franchise and they blew it.  I am perfectly aware of how many awards it was nominated for and all I can say is that those people were lying.  It’s The Godfather and after more than 15 years of waiting for it to be made they were all going to gush over how great it was whether it was true or not.  This is a stupid movie and I will not even waste my time with it now by suffering through the two hours and forty-two minutes of monotony.

I will tell you why this is a stupid movie that doesn’t correlate with the original story.  Lucy Mancini did not have a son by Sonny Corleone and that is specifically covered in the book. After Sonny was killed Don Corleone personally went to see Lucy Mancini if I’m not mistaken, although he may have sent Tom Hagen.  It doesn’t matter though because she was specifically asked if she was pregnant and was not.  She then went on to be part of the staff at the family owned hotel in Las Vegas where she met and fell in love with a doctor employed by the family owned hospital in Vegas.  So to create a story that revolves around a character that clearly didn’t exist is stupid. Sonny had two legitimate sons and I think the story would have been better had they just used one of them. Of course that is assuming they didn’t have them enter a sexual relationship with their cousin. Secondly, and I know this started in the second film, but Michael Corleone did not have a daughter.  In the first book it specifically mentioned that Kay had given Michael two sons.  Although because of the films the sequels to the novels include the Mary character.  Thirdly, this movie is stupid because it is BORING as hell, and because there is no Tom Hagen.  Robert Duvall was supposed to be in it but demanded the same amount of money Pacino was getting and was simply written out of the script.  That was a bad idea and a serious part of why this movie was so bad.  All the Godfather characters are gone here, with the exception of Connie and Al Neri.  The problem with including Al Neri in such a large part is that none of the movies clearly explain who he is.  Neither the first film nor the second clearly explain who Neri is and until I had read the book I had no idea why Vincent seemed to value his opinion so much.  Now to the biggest reason this is a stupid movie.

INCEST does not belong in such a great franchise and I think the man who put forth that idea should be beaten, and then the man that allowed it to be part of the movie should be beaten.  It was an awful idea and I can’t believe somebody approved it.  Granted they are simply cousins, but when did “simply being cousins” not cause offense? I don’t care what anybody says, it was incest, and it was stupid.  Not only that but the whole point of legitimizing the family only makes for a boring story.  Yeah it makes sense because that was always Michael’s dream but it still makes for a story that sucks.  People watch mob movies to see the crimes, to see the killing, to see the great power and manipulation.  When they are trying to turn into legitimate people then they are no different than Spiderman deciding he doesn’t want to be a hero anymore.  What good is he if he isn’t the hero anymore? Why even pay attention to his story?  That goes double for a beloved mafia franchise trying to not be in the mafia anymore.  It’s lame and who cares?

Since I have mentioned that Al Neri is never really properly introduced in the movies I will explain who he is.  Al Neri was a Sicilian police officer in New York who had a real mean streak to him. He did not take bribes and took his job very seriously. On one call he went too far and killed a criminal in his efforts to subdue him.  Despite his good police record he was imprisoned and let go from the police force.  It was Michael who found him, took care of his troubles, and offered him a position in the family. Al Neri is more or less Michael’s version of Luca Brasi.  Luca was a true killer that Don Corleone feared but had bent to his own will nonetheless.  The Don tells Michael about the importance of having a man like this, a man without fear that can be counted on.  Al becomes this man for Michael and is always at his side throughout the novel sequels. Al’s role is head of security for the Corleones in Vegas but he operates as Michael’s main enforcer. In the first film we see Al Neri dressed in his police uniform and he is the man that shoots Don Barzini. He doesn’t say a single word in the movie and his name is never mentioned. We see him many times throughout the second movie but I don’t think he was ever properly introduced there either.  He is seen on the big board in the courtroom as a high ranking family member and he is the man that executes Fredo.  Still we never really find out who he is in either of these movies as it is never explained.

In closing I just want to again express how bad this movie is.  IT HAS INCEST IN IT! That says it all, incest is gross and dangerous.  It has no place in a franchise about such a famous family that is loved by all.  I haven’t even mentioned how bad casting was when they called on names like Andy Garcia and Joe Mantegna for key roles.  I know that Garcia was nominated for his role in the film but like I mentioned earlier, these decision makers were lying to themselves.  They nominated this film for Best Picture of the year for Christ’s sake, if that’s not a move made for political purposes I don’t know what is.  This movie is specifically a waste of your time, and I would almost go as far to say the second one is practically a waste of your time as well. If you want a truly fulfilling continuation of the first film then read the books by Mark Winegadner.  The Godfather Returns and The Godfather’s Revenge are both exciting and well written books that are actually worth your time.

NEXT MOVIE: Goodfellas (1990)

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12 comments

    1. Very interesting factoid thank you for sharing it. I’m curious though, in your opinion was The Godfather III a good movie? Despite my own opinion I would love to hear some thoughts from someone who did.

  1. @RYAN’S REVIEW I actually find your commentary very refreshing. You mentioned a few things I didn’t know about the film. I’ve never read the novels, but being a fan of the Godfather franchise, I look foward to soon picking the mentioned novels up when given the chance. I’ve also wondered why Robert Duvall’s character as Tom Hagen wasn’t revised. But Richard Bright’s (Al Neri) character was (in all 3 films!) Of course, The Godfather III was simply an epilogue, I truly believe, lol!, that there will end up being another film added to the series real soon. Why not?

    1. I know that there has been talk before about making The Godfather Returns into a film, but it hasn’t went anywhere so far. We live in an age where franchises are rebooted and added onto all the time but I doubt they will do anything with this one. Of course I would love to see the stories in a film but it wouldn’t be the same without the same iconic people playing the parts. Who can replace Al Pacino as Michael or Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen? I would encourage you to read the first book by Mario Puzo, it’s excellent. I think the sequels by Mark Winegardner are really good as well but they weren’t given enough credit.

  2. is incest really so bad? if you have sofia coppola for a cousin it makes sense.
    plus tom hagen was gonna be an informant which would be cool.

    1. Seriously? You are suggesting that if you have a hot cousin it’s OK to get involved with her? I can’t get on board with that line of thinking.

      Why would it be cool for Tom Hagan to be an informant? His betrayal would have been an awful thing because it would be so against who he was as a character. Tom’s loyalty was his most important characteristic. He owes everything he has to the Corleones and would never betray them. Even when Michael treats him poorly in the second film he would never turn on him. Tom was written out because Robert Duvall wanted too much money and the movie suffered because of it. Hagan’s death is covered in the sequels written by Mark WineGardner. It’s a compelling chapter, and Tom’s final thoughts are about the Corleone’s and how they accepted him into their family.

      1. lol guy, it seems like you’ve never stepped outside your suburb – have you really not ever seen that in a bunch of cultures, especially conservative ones like the middle east, cousin marriage is considered better than marrying some random. Not the best source but here’s a line from wiki: “First cousin marriage was also common among southern Italians as Sicily had a high percentage of cousin marriage of almost 50 percent in rural areas in the early 20th century”.

      2. It’s rare to find the advocate for incest or cousin marrying but to each his own. They do many things in all rural areas of the world that would never be deemed socially acceptable in America. Not only that but the early 20th century hardly sets the bar for what passed as OK in the 90s when this movie came out. Maybe 100 years ago they married cousins in Sicily all the time, what of it? This is an American mafia film featuring a generation that has been brought up American as opposed to Sicilian. Vincent was a second generation removed from his homeland and thus not attached to old customs. He was an American with Sicilian heritage and when he started sleeping with his cousin it was incest and socially unacceptable unless he wanted to relocate to the hills of Appalachia.

  3. I think you Summarization of the Godfather part three is off, this film wasn’t perfect but I think it was good. It explained a lot of connections between the catholic Church in the mafia. In many cultures marrying your cousin isn’t considered a problem and so what Tom wasn’t included in the film. You are so off-base about this film. I think the only valid point that you had was the tom wasn’t in the film.

    1. Fair enough, I appreciate your response. I am a bit too critical about the cousins thing and i get that its acceptable in plenty of cultures. I dont think the stance of it in other cultures applies in this film though. It is an American iconic franchise. Culturally it should only feature italian americanized culture. Godfather III features the third generation of Corleones to grow up in America. Relations among cousins would be frowned upon by both sides of Mary’s family in this film. Nevertheless you made a valid point about the connection between the mob and catholic church. Im overly critical of this film because I prefer the written sequels to The Godfather.

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