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Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Godfather Part III, or The Death of Michael Corleone: "A Long Contemplation of Eternity"


  1. Speaking of a ““syphilitic, like Dorian Gray”: Godfather III was set 8 years after Godfather II, but filmed about 16 years later. The difference in years shows in the face of Pacino which creates an implausible discontinuity in the timeline for me. And that wasn't helped by the spikey short (graying) hairstyle of the Michael Corleone character in GFIII. Now I understand that Coppola may have wanted to project the continued degeneration of "Dorian Gray" in GfIII. But I think he overdid it. I might be splitting hairs (no pun intended), but Pacino's character in GFIII would have been more identifiable if he had looked more like Lt. Col Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman, but exuded a persona closer to the “Dorian Gray” of GfII than of Col. Slade. So for me, the Michael Corleone of GFIII looked and acted (in mannerism) like a 70 year old Frank Slade. And I feel that greatly detracted from the narrative coherence of the trilogy.

    1. Thanks for the comment--but just to clarify, Part III is set 20 years later. (Part II concludes in 1959; Part III is 1979).

    2. Correct, the 8 years is now long Michael has seen Kay.

    3. However, if you notice Michael in the last shot of GFII alone in the chair, his hair is much noticeably grayer and face more wrinkly than the entire movie. Therefore, I have a hard time believing that GFII ended in 1959/1960. Seems like they jumped ahead several years in that final shot. I'm interested in hearing someone else's take on that.

    4. So inattentive. The film is set 20 years later, not 8. And Frank Slade did not exist for several more years after this film. You clearly haven't followed this essay's analysis of Michael Corleone's evolution.

    5. So where was the scene shot and who kept the little puppy?