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Reading this made me want to watch the film again, because it described all the fighting and challenges the filmmakers faced trying to get this movie to the screen. It was repetitive at times, as if some of the chapters were written without reviewing the others, but the book has a good index.
 
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Pferdina | 7 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 31, 2024 |
The typical entertaining type of book that Patterson delivers. This is a numerous series of profiles and stories about the weirdness and wonders that is Las Vegas.

I lived for a short time in the city so experienced some of the craziness first hand. Vegas will certainly make its impression on you one way or the other.

The amazing stories shine a light on how things operate behind the surface show of glitz and glitter. One of those types of books to just sit back and enjoy.

Vegas will always be the escape destination where most rules and regulations don't always apply. Except of course for the odds of the games in the favor of those who operate them. Money rules this otherworld, and some are lucky to walk away with a piece usually by pulling that handle in the right place at the right time. But be aware, these amazing sights and experiences are there thanks to your fair share contribution!… (lisätietoja)
 
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knightlight777 | Feb 4, 2024 |
“the moviemakers and the mob”

2 hours and 56 minutes of pure heaven for me! I absolutely love "The Godfather" and was eager to learn more about it! But this book is really focused on the business of the film industry as it related to getting this film to the big screen... The book doesn’t get to Coppola until page 101! Robert Evans seem to get more time in here than him! So, for the most part, I wasn't a fan of this. I did like the stories about Sicily, and the actual, actual shooting of the film. But those were small parts of an otherwise fuh-gedda-aboudit read.

“I believe in America.”
- Amerigo Bonasera
… (lisätietoja)
½
 
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Stahl-Ricco | 7 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 19, 2023 |
I have become a big fan of the subgenre that can be called “the making of (insert film title).” This includes Glen Frankel’s books on the making of HIGH NOON and THE SEARCHERS along with W.K. Stratton’s account of how THE WILD BUNCH came to be. My favorite is still Chris Nashawaty’s book on the chaotic filming of CADDYSHACK, which really is a deep dive into a special time and place in American popular culture. So of course Mark Seal’s LEAVE THE GUN, TAKE THE CANOLI: The Epic Story of the Making of THE GODFATHER would end up on my reading list. With all due respect to CITIZEN KANE, I consider THE GODFATHER to be the greatest film ever made in America. The grand story of Don Vito Corleone, his sons, the men who make up his organized crime family, and all those in the wider world who become entangled in their Mafia Empire to be one of the most compelling pieces of fiction ever created. It is filled with larger than life characters, so vividly rendered that we have come to know them like they are part of our own family. What Seal’s book does is remind us that it took some real larger than life flesh and blood characters to bring the novel to the screen, and in the course of that journey, created a story every bit as compelling as the movie they made.

Among those larger than life characters: Mario Puzo, a financially unsuccessful published novelist who was constantly short of money because of a family to feed and an addiction to gambling; Charles Bluhdorn, the tycoon who bought a failing Paramount Studios with the determination to turn its fortunes around though he knew next to nothing about the film business; Robert Evans, the former actor hired to manage production at Paramount, who had an ego as big as his cocaine habit; Albert Ruddy, formerly employed at the Rand Institute, now a Hollywood producer with a reputation for bringing in films under budget; Francis Ford Coppola, the director and screen writer for a handful of small films whose biggest qualification was his Italian-American heritage; and Marlon Brando, the greatest American actor of the post war era, but now a has-been after a string of box office disappointments and some self inflicted wounds to his career.

Of all these characters, I really came to like Puzo, if only because I am a self-published author and know how hard it can be to get words on paper (or these days, a laptop screen). There is something in Puzo’s determination to be a success that really speaks to any writer, and how he came upon the idea to write a book about the inside workings of a Mafia family is a real tale of circumstances coming together at the right time. Though he always denied having any direct source in the Mafia, Seal’s book recounts how close Puzo walked up to that line; one of my favorite anecdotes is the author’s trip to Las Vegas for “research.” Though the book was a publishing phenomenon in the late ‘60s, and a natural for a screen adaptation, the path it took to become the film classic so many of us love was a rocky one. That is what I like best about these books where we get to see the alchemy of the creative process. Two very contrasting themes emerge in Seal’s book. One is the enormous self-confidence needed to be a success in Hollywood, to sit behind a desk and make decisions that risk millions of dollars just on a hunch and a gut feeling, not to mention the leadership skills it takes to bring a film crew and a cast of actors together and marshal them efficiently to one purpose. Another anecdote of how a young Ruddy got a part-time job at a shoe store to help cover the payments on a Jaguar perfectly illustrates this. But with the striving for success comes self-doubt and second guessing. Coppola was anxiety stricken throughout the production and afterward, convinced (not without reason) that he was about to be fired at every turn, and that he was doing a lousy job, and that the finished film would surely be failure. He was not alone, as many in the front office at Paramount fought every casting decision, the staging of scenes, and the cost of everything. Only a few would admit after all was said and done that they were wrong.

Much has already been written and documented about the production of THE GODFATHER, and Seal leans on some of these old sources, but his book does help put a lot of this into context, and after the passing of time, give it a proper prospective. A lot of the suits at Paramount wanted anybody but Brando as Don Vito, with everybody from Ernest Borgnine to Laurence Olivier touted for the part—Burt Lancaster tried to buy the rights to Puzo’s novel for himself. From a cinephiles standpoint, the portrait of Brando that emerges in these pages is of a legend on the skids who rises to the challenge after years of failure, and commits totally to the role. By all accounts, Brando was a joy to work with on the set of THE GODFATHER, and for a lot of us film lovers this is bittersweet, because this great talent would spend much of the rest of his career squandering his gifts and taking jobs for the money. Al Pacino was almost nobody’s choice to play Michael, and James Caan was far from the first choice to play Sonny, and how they came to get those roles is a fascinating part of the story. With all due respect to Lenny Montana, who made a magnificent Luca Brasi, I would love to have seen what Timothy Carey would have done with the part, and I am disappointed that Seal doesn’t mention Joe Spinell, whose few minutes as Willie Cicci made him a fan favorite. But despite that, I learned so much from this book, including the un-credited contribution Robert Towne made to the script, the background on how the famous horse’s head scene was shot, along with Sonny’s beat down of Carlo (who really had it coming), and Sonny’s subsequent spectacular death scene at the tollbooth. Some of the best remembered dialogue was ad-libbed on the set, including the book’s title by Richard Castellano. Seal also documents just how much the real life Mafia was involved in the film’s production in New York City thanks to Joe Columbo, an organized crime boss who really knew how to play the angles.

Coming in at just over 400 pages, Mark Seal’s book is a quick read and a must read for any true film lover. It left me wanting to know more. THE GODFATHER, both the novel and the movie, were a cultural event, the kind we just don’t see any more in the fractured 21st Century. That is our loss, but we still have this great movie to remember the glory that once was, and this book truly honors the men and women who made it all happen.
… (lisätietoja)
 
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wb4ever1 | 7 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 22, 2023 |

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812
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#31,427
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ISBN:t
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