Al Pacino in The Godfather Part III

My Favorite Scene: The Godfather Part III (1990) “Just When I Thought I Was Out”

Just as The Godfather Part II was a pioneer in showing what a sequel could do in terms of equalling (in some minds surpassing) the original film, The Godfather Part III is one of the first instances of what is all-too-common now: an unnecessary franchise film.  Made 16 years after the second installment, the ground The Godfather Part III treads is unnecessary to fleshing out Michael’s character.  If you take the trilogy as a whole, I think it diminishes Michael’s story arc to see him in his dotage trying to avoid damnation while being dragged back to his true nature.  The second film showed the consequences of his choices without having to check back in on him as a senior citizen.

Making the film in the first place was a misstep, but Coppola made an even bigger one when in the most famous case of film nepotism he cast his daughter Sofia as Michael’s daughter when Winona Ryder had to drop out of the film.  Though she’s proven to be a chip off the block in the directing department, Sofia is not an actress and her painful inability to act robs the plodding film of what should be its most poignant moment.  What IS unforgettable and iconic about the film is Al Pacino’s monologue about being dragged back into the real family business.  Pacino’s made a career out of iconic monologues, and whatever your other problems with the third Godfather, no one can deny the greatness of this scene.Al Pacino in The Godfather Part III


5 thoughts on “My Favorite Scene: The Godfather Part III (1990) “Just When I Thought I Was Out””

  1. It’s not THAT bad a movie. Its flaws were correctable. The corrections would not have made for a masterpiece, but it might have been a solid film.

    The big issue for me is that if Coppola had allowed Micheal redemption, then there would have been a point to the movie, and a big one. But the second film ends with Micheal sitting by himself, alone, and the third film ends the exact same way. Okay, so that chair proceeds to tip over, but the end of Part II suggests that the end of Part III was only a matter of time.

    So why? Why? Why? $$$$$$$? Probably.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are a multitude of things I find wrong with G3, but you hit the nail on the head with my major problem: it accomplishes nothing in the end but leave you in the same place with Michael G2 did and the story was DONE. Puzo wanted to make a fourth one as you have said, and it was really only his death that stopped Coppola from pursuing it further.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think post-initial release, most people thought there was exaggeration about Sofia Coppola if you hadn’t seen the film, especially when she turned out to be such a talented director. But it’s not exaggeration. She’s awful. It’s not even her fault. She barely had a resume as a child actor and her dad threw her into the part and should have known she didn’t have what it took. Would Ryder being able to have done the movie saved it from criticism? No. Would it have helped? Ohhhh yeah.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. To this day, I cannot picture Ryder in the role. I’m sure she would have been fantastic, would have blended in if it had happened. But I just can’t visualize it, I cannot fathom what she would have been like as a Corleone. That’s my own limited imagination at work, not a knock on Ryder.

        I’m sure Coppola thought his daughter would be “authentic.” The misjudgment is not weird or inexplicable. Coppola’s career basically consists of three masterpieces, G1, G2, and Apocalypse Now (and Apocalypse Now is highly flawed) and a very long list of misjudgments. It is not surprising to me that the two worlds collided when he refused to let the Godfather franchise go.

        If Robert Duvall had been in G3, instead of George Hammilton as a new character (I still can’t believe it) it would have helped a lot too. A LOT. I know it would not have been a huge role, but it would have been highly significant. They say that Duvall was not in the movie because he wanted equal billing with Pacino, and could not get it. But I don’t believe for one minute that Duvall is crazy enough to ask for something like that, after the down to earth interviews I’ve seen him give. I swear to god that he saw the writing on the wall, and made up a fake issue so he wouldn’t have to tell Coppola the truth.

        Wait I forgot, The Conversation is a damn good film, not a masterpiece but close, that’s another feather that Coppola gets to put in his cap.


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