In 1977, NBC found some time in its busy schedule of Chico and the Man reruns to air The Godfather Saga, a massive seven-and-a-half-hour chronological edit of The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. It follows Marlon Brando’s Vito Corleone from his young immigrant days, where he’s played by Robert De Niro, to when he’s a crazy old man with oranges in his mouth.
The Godfather Saga had director Francis Ford Coppola’s blessing (he reportedly said yes because he needed money to finish making Apocalypse Now). But with the Saga‘s toned-down violence and frequent commercial breaks, not to mention how it aired over four nights, it’s not the way The Godfather and The Godfather Part II deserve to be seen. Enter HBO, which is airing the re-named Godfather Epic throughout January, complete with restored violence and footage that was cut from the theatrical releases.
The Godfather Epic, which is available on HBO Now and will re-air on HBO on Jan. 23, comes in at 434 minutes, or just over seven hours. It’s not the longest Godfather chronological edit out there, however: The Godfather Trilogy: 1901–1980 combines the first two films, as well as The Godfather Part III, into one 583-minute flawed masterpiece.
HBO was wise to stick with The Godfather Epic. Everyone stops watching once footage from Part III begins (check out Mad Max: Fury Road instead).
(Via The Playlist)