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The Godfather Legacy on the History Channel

Updated on June 10, 2013

The Godfather Legacy (2012) on the History Channel

The History Channel presents a special program The Godfather Legacy (2012). The Godfather Legacy first aired on the History Channel, July 24, 2012. It is about the saga of the three Godfather movies. The Godfather Legacy is directed by Kevin Burns and is written by Kevin Burns and Bruce Coughlin. The television documentary is narrated by Michael Imperioli, who played Christopher Moltisanti on HBO's hit gangster series The Sopranos.

Producer-Director Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino, James Caan, Talia Shire, movie executives Peter Bart and Todd Boyd are interviewed for the program. They all give wonderful and interesting insights about the development, locations, casting of characters and production of the Godfather movies.

The novel, The Godfather (published in1969), was written by Mario Puzo and was a best seller of epic proportions. The movie, The Godfather (1972) won the Academy Award for best picture and Marlon Brando, as Don Vito Corleone, won the Academy Award for best actor. The sequel, The Godfather Part II (1974) also won the Academy Award for best picture.

The Godfather Legacy television program describes the Godfather, Vito Corleone, as a composite character based on three New York City organized crime families Dons. The television show explains that organized crime controlled the rackets in the United States from the 1920’s through the early 1990’s. The three Godfather movies follow the life of the Corleone Crime Family in America.

The Corleone family legacy begins when Vito Corleone arrives at Ellis Island in New York City in the early 1900s. The story ends almost one hundred years later with the death of his grandson Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino. James Caan the actor, who portrays Sonny Corleone in the Godfather movies, describes the history of the Corleone family as the story of an American family.

What makes the Godfather movies fascinating and intriguing are their integration into American and world pop culture. Tom Hanks, as the character Joe Fox in the movie You Got Mail, references The Godfather throughout his film. Hank's directly quotes the Corleone family's capo Clemenza classic line, "Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

Stieg Larsson in his novel The Girl Who Played with Fire title’s Chapter 21 Maundy Thursday. The phrase "Maundy Thursday" is spoken by Apollonia, the Sicilian wife of Michael Corleone, when she recites the days of the week in English in the first Godfather movie.

The television program The Godfather Legacy explains why movie fans were thoroughly delighted with The Godfather Parts I and II but disappointed with The Godfather Part III. At the end of The Godfather III, Michael Corleone dies sick, alone, un-wanted and un-loved in a wheelchair.

Movie enthusiasts want their anti-heroes do die in a deluge of gunshots. At the finish of the 1983 film Scarface, Al Pacino's character Tony Montana is killed by a barrage of bullets in a bloody gun battle. Pacino fans prefer the dynamic movie death of the drug dealer Tony Montana to the pathetic demise of an elderly and ill Don Michael Corleone.

The Godfather films are somewhat Biblical in their effect on Western culture. The Godfather Legacy relates the Old Testament Bible story when Cain murders his brother Abel; to the modern era tragedy in The Godfather Part II where Freddo is killed by his brother Michael. The Godfather Legacy television program on the History Channel is a must see for Godfather aficionados.

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    • americanidle7 profile image

      americanidle7 4 years ago

      love love love the Godfather (books and movies). I recently read The Sicilian, another great book by Puzo. nice hub!!

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