You might think you know Francis Ford Coppola‘s “The Godfather” inside out, but HBO is bringing the saga of the gangster family back to the small screen in a completely different format than you’re used to. In fact, you’ve already missed the first airing.
I’m not sure why the network has been so quiet about this, but announced last month (but likely lost amidst the holiday and awards season chatter), last night marked the debut screening of “The Godfather Epic.” Running 424-minutes long, this newly remastered version of “The Godfather” and “The Godfather Part II” features scenes cut from the theatrical release, with both movies re-edited into chronological order.
If this seems like a bastardization of Coppola’s film, it has actually been done before. In 1977, the version aired on NBC as “The Godfather: A Novel For Television,” but with the sex and violence tempered for television. In 1981, Paramount released the uncensored version on VHS, and in 1992 added “The Godfather Part III” to the mix in a box set titled, “The Godfather Trilogy.” Four years ago, AMC showed this version, but with commercial breaks, but HBO is now showing it with no breaks at all, except the ones you make yourself.
“The Godfather Epic” is now available on HBO Now, will air again on January 23rd, and is available On Demand until January 28th. Don’t miss it.