HBO is airing The Godfather Saga, which is basically a commercial-free version of what was titled The Godfather Saga when it originally aired on network television in 1977, on 1.23. The 434-minute epic (a sequential telling of the Godfather tale ending with lonely Michael in the shadows outside his Lake Tahoe home, or minus the dubious material contained in The Godfather, Part III) is also streaming on HBO Now. Well, I just watched a portion of it and it looks like shit. They may be claiming it’s streaming in high-def, but it’s not. I know exactly how good this footage can look, being an owner of the restored Blurays of The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II, and what HBO Now is showing isn’t even close. It looks “okay” but at the same time drained and fuzzy and almost VHS-like.
A serious Bluray version needs to be prepared and released. It shouldn’t be that hard.
Posted in August 2011: I remember watching the 434-minute Godfather Saga on NBC some 34 years ago. It played four consecutive nights, and I stopped my life to take part in it. I was like a priest doing vespers. I knew I wasn’t watching a “better” version of the first two Godfather films, and that the Saga was just longer (including 75 minutes of previously un-seen scenes) and chronological, etc. But I loved sinking into the all of it, the sprawl of it.