It’s probably safe to say that there aren’t many people who prefer THE GODFATHER: PART III to THE GODFATHER or THE GODFATHER: PART II, and I’m definitely not one of them; It’s not that I consider THE GODFATHER: PART III to be a bad film, it just had the misfortune of following in the brilliant footsteps of the first two.
Well, we may just need to reassess our opinion of THE GODFATHER: PART III as Francis Ford Coppola will be releasing a recut version of the film next month. The new version of the film, which has been re-titled MARIO PUZO’S THE GODFATHER, CODA: THE DEATH OF MICHAEL CORLEONE, recently screened for members of the original cast on the Paramount lot. Diane Keaton, who plays Michael Corleone’s ex-wife Kay, was in attendance, and it was an experience that certainly seemed to change her opinion of the film.
It was one of the best moments of my life to watch it. To me it was a dream come true. I saw the movie in a completely different light. When I saw it way back, it was like ‘Oh, I don’t know.’ It didn’t seem to do that well and the reviews weren’t great. But Francis restructured the beginning and the end and man, I’m telling you it worked.
When the film was originally released back in 1990, Diane Keaton was one of those people who wasn’t impressed with it. “I don’t know why people didn’t appreciate it, but I was one of them,” Keaton admitted. “What was wrong with me? Why didn’t I like this before? But I didn’t. I kind of just dismissed it and thought, ‘oh well.’” One element of THE GODFATHER: PART III that has always been subject to criticism is Sofia Coppola’s performance as Mary Corleone, but Diane Keaton says the new edit might just do away with those concerns. “That’s not going to happen anymore,” Keaton said. “She’s what a daughter would be like if you had this guy as your dad, the head of a criminal organization. She was not so sure of herself and is kind of quiet. Kind of haunted. I thought she was fantastic.“
MARIO PUZO’S THE GODFATHER, CODA: THE DEATH OF MICHAEL CORLEONE will be released on Blu-ray/Digital on December 8, 2020, but Diane Keaton hopes that audiences will get to see it in a theater at some point in the future. “I just hope people can see it in a theater with great music and great sound, so it can sweep you away,” Keaton said. “I like movies big. I like them in my face. You’re engrossed in them that way. It takes you out of your mundane, idiot life. I speak for myself, of course.“