The Godfather Saga is a TV movie that combines The Godfather and The Godfather Part II into one chronologically ordered film. It originally aired on NBC over four consecutive nights in November 1977. The Godfather Saga is also known as The Godfather: The Complete Novel For Television, The Godfather: A Novel for Television, The Godfather Novella and The Godfather Epic.
Francis Ford Coppola asked his editor Barry Malkin to make a seven-hour version for television; Coppola reportedly did this project to raise money for Apocalypse Now, which was severely over-budget at the time. The resulting film was in chronological order. The Godfather Part II had cut back and forth between scenes in the early 1900s and contemporary scenes, and bracketed the period of The Godfather. Malkin also toned down the violence, sex and language for a television audience.
The television film incorporated additional footage not included in the original films, including Don Fanucci being attacked by street thugs, Vito Corleone's first encounter with Hyman Roth, Vito killing two of the thugs who worked for Don Ciccio and were instrumental in his family's death, Michael's reunion with his father after his return from Sicily, and Sonny taking charge of the family after his father is severely wounded. The previously unseen footage / deleted scenes totaled almost 75 minutes.
On March 3, 2012, the American cable television channel AMC marked the 40th anniversary of the original theatrical release of The Godfather by re-broadcasting The Godfather Saga. It marked the first time the Saga was broadcast in high definition.
The Godfather 1901-1959: The Complete Epic
The Godfather 1901-1959: The Complete Epic is a reduced, 386 minute version of The Godfather Saga (which is 434 minutes) that was released to video in 1981. The HBO version known as Mario Puzo's The Godfather: The Complete Epic 1901-1959 has had of the removed scenes restored, giving it a runtime of 423 minutes.
Several additional scenes not shown in theaters were added to both films (Note: * means they were exclusive to The Godfather Saga)
- After Vito agrees to help Amerigo Bonasera avenge the beating of his daughter, Vito whistles to Sonny and asks if he was paying attention. *
- After Vito tells Hagen to go to California, Hagen tells him that the hospital called and the dying Genco Abbandando won't last the night. Vito tells Sonny he wants all his sons to pay their respects to Genco and for Fredo to drive the big car. *
- After Connie's wedding reception, Vito, his sons, and Johnny Fontane go to the hospital to visit Genco, where Vito calls Michael’s military decorations “Christmas ribbons”. *
- Before Hagen and Jack Woltz start talking, Woltz presents a young girl, Janie, with a pony for her birthday. Her mother is there. After Tom leaves Woltz, he's walking to the exit and sees Janie, crying at the top of the staircase, being retrieved by her mother; the implication is that Woltz molested her. *
- There is additional footage of Tom, Sonny and Vito discussing the Woltz situation before the horse head scene. Vito calls Woltz’s pedophilia an "infamita". *
- Michael and Kay pretend to be in New Hampshire to get away, even though they're in New York. The scene is the two of them in a hotel bed, getting a wake-up call at 3 PM. They're supposed to go to the Corleone residence, but Michael doesn't want to go yet. He calls the mansion and Kay pretends to be the long distance operator. Michael tells Hagen that they're "stuck in New Hampshire." This scene occurs before Fredo gets the car for Vito.
- There's some short extra footage of Luca Brasi walking through the hotel hallways before meeting with the Tattaglias. He sees a neon sign turn off, which signals him it is OK to enter the bar. *
- After the Don is shot, Sonny gets a phone call from a detective telling him about it. Sonny then tries to call Tom, but Theresa says he isn't home. *
- After Sonny gets the call from Virgil Sollozzo (“We have Tom Hagen.”), he goes to tells his mother that Vito has been shot. He then calls Sal Tessio to get 50 of his men over. He tries to call Brasi, but he's not there. *
- After Michael calls Sonny about Vito’s shooting, there is additional footage near the phone booth of Michael telling Kay to go back the hotel. *
- There's some short extra footage of Michael in the car arriving at the mall. *
- After Michael meets Peter Clemenza, he asks Hagen's wife Theresa how he is. The two of them go in to see Sonny (who's with Tessio). After discussing how Paulie Gatto, not Clemenza, was the traitor, Hagen enters the room. *
- Before Clemenza leaves the house with Paulie, he and Rocco Lampone talk about Clemenza's car with the wooden bumpers. Clemenza gives Rocco the gun he's to use to "make his bones" by killing Gatto. *
- After they leave Clemenza's driveway, we see them make a stop "to call Sonny". Clemenza eats a meal and buys cannoli while Lampone and Gatto wait in the car. *
- When Michael is hiding in Sicily, there's a scene in which his bodyguard Fabrizio asks him about New York, and whether it is true that he is the son of a Mafia boss. Fabrizio then asks Michael if he could be his bodyguard in America. This scene happens just before they meet Apollonia.
- In Sicily, after Michael tells Don Tommasino that they're going to Corleone, Michael and his bodyguards see a procession of what appears to be Communists marching through the hills. *
- There's some short extra footage of Michael and bodyguards walking through Corleone, before he says "where have all the men gone?"
- Before they're on the road as the GI's pass by, Michael visits his father's birthplace and he asks a woman if there are any family/friends of the Andolini family's around. She says they've all left and gone overseas. *
- After Hagen makes the call to Bonasera following Sonny’s murder, we see Bonasera getting dressed and contemplating what task Vito is going to ask him to do. *
- After Apollonia is killed in the explosion, there's a short scene of Michael, in shock and in bed, muttering to Tommasino and Apollonia's mother: "Apollonia..?" / Tommasino: "Dead" / Michael: "Fabrizio..? Get me Fabrizio..."
- After Connie hangs up the phone following a fight with her husband Carlo Rizzi, she walks into the bathroom where Carlo is showering. She confronts him about the "whore"; he ignores the comment and tells her to make him dinner. The subsequent footage is slightly tailored to fit the standard scene, and a couple of extra lines are added where they weren't before. *
- Before Hagen asks Michael why he is being replaced as consigliere, there's some short extra footage. There's also some after Michael says "You're out Tom." These two short scenes talk about Al Neri. *
- After Hagen leaves the room, Vito takes Michael out to the garden though the French doors in the study. *
- After Vito's brother Paolo is shot, two of Don Ciccio's thugs arrive at the Andolini home looking for Vito. His mother says she'll take him herself.
- When Vito and Genco go backstage at the theater, there is additional footage before and after the scene where Don Fanucci grabs a young girl. Fanucci tells the theater owner that he should have more Sicilian songs and begins to sing. *
- There's a scene before Vito gets fired from Abbandando’s Grosseria: While Vito is delivering groceries, he sees three punks over on 9th Street assaulting Fanucci, and they cut his throat "from ear to ear...to scare him." Genco and Vito discuss how much power Fanucci actually has.
- There is added footage at the beginning of the scene where young Vito and Clemenza are drinking coffee, talking about the carpet Vito is to steal. *
- After the new carpet is installed, Vito, Clemenza and Tessio meet up with a gunsmith, Augustino Coppola, and his young son, Carmine Coppola. This is where Clemenza sells his guns.
- We then see young Clemenza hocking stolen dresses door-to-door for $5 a piece. He makes one married woman an offer (two for one), and presumably has sex with her. Clemenza tells Vito to bring the rest of the dresses to Dadine's Store, where Dadine will turn it over the wholesaler. While they are driving, Fanucci hops aboard Vito’s truck.
- There is added footage at the end of Fanucci's talk with Vito in the truck. *
- There's added footage at the beginning of the scene where Vito, Clemenza and Tessio are eating spaghetti and Vito's house discussing how to pay Fanucci. *
- There's added footage at the beginning of Vito's meeting with Anita Colombo. *
- There's added footage during Vito's talk with Signor Roberto on the street. *
- There's added footage before we see Signor Roberto at Vito's office. He is seen entering through the garage area where he carefully asks for “Don Vito Corleone”.
- After Signor Roberto lowers Signora Colombo's rent, Vito sees Clemenza, who has found "a kid good with cars", to fix the truck. His name is Hyman Suchowsky, but Clemenza calls him "Johnny Lips." Vito suggests that Suchowsky change his name; Suchowsky then begins calling himself Hyman Roth.
- In a trip back to Sicily, there is additional footage of Vito’s family exiting the train and walking with a small band. *
- While in Sicily, Vito finds and kills two of Don Ciccio's retainers (Strollo and Mosca) before he goes with Tommasino to kill Don Ciccio.
- There is additional footage of Vito and his family at the train station leaving Sicily. *
- There is footage of Michael walking on pier in Lake Tahoe playing with a dog. *
- There is footage of Anthony's First Communion ceremony.
- At the beginning of Anthony's party, there's added footage of singing on the grandstand, and in the parking lot. We also see Anthony walking up to the button men, and stopping as Kay calls after him. *
- There’s a scene of Fredo and his wife Deanna in the parking lot. Deanna is already drunk and Fredo doesn't want Michael to see her that way. *
- At the Communion party, Sonny's daughter, Francesca, comes to see Michael for his blessing to marry Gardner Shaw, of whom Michael apparently doesn't approve. He also asks Francesca how her brother Santino Jr. is doing in football.
- There is a scene in which Al Neri is talking to Michael (with Hagen and Lampone) and they are looking at pictures of Fabrizio. Their explains that he was brought over illegally from Sicily by Don Barzini.
- After Michael's meeting with Sen. Pat Geary, we see Fabrizio ("Fred Vincent"), leaving his pizzeria in Buffalo and getting into his car, which explodes. He stumbles out of the car, before he dies.
- There's added footage leading up to Frank Pentangeli drinking from the garden hose when he asked a waiter for canapés. *
- When the family sits down to eat, we see Pentangeli sitting and drinking wine with Anthony. He gives Anthony a $100 bill. *
- There is footage of Al Neri visiting Klingman at the casino, and kicking him out. *
- The Godfather Trilogy: 1901–1980, a 583 minute version of all three films plus some deleted scenes.
Notes and references
- An Offer You Shouldn't Refuse - The Godfather Saga in HD on AMC. AMC Blog. AMCtv.com.