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“The Godfather”, by Coppola: from the Stations of the Cross to the Jubilee


On October 30, 1972, the hall of the Paris Opera was full, the guests in grand tralala, dresses signed Patou and mothballed tuxedos. This is the Parisian premiere of “The Godfather”, by Francis Ford Coppola, already a triumph in the United States, which earned the director (until then broke) to be offered the Pope’s Mercedes 600 , promised by one of the two producers, Al Ruddy, if the film passed the 100,000 mark at the box office.

It’s done, and not just a little! Written by Mario Puzo, a mediocre author, initially conceived as a little thriller about thugs, directed by an unknown filmmaker, starring a devalued Marlon Brando, inflated into a three-hour blockbuster, the film was welcomed in New York by an enthusiastic public and a critic who pouted.

The “New York Times” is formal: “What Philip Roth accomplished for masturbation, Puzo accomplishes for murder. » There are twenty-seven deaths in the film, and we are in the middle of the Vietnam War, recall the beautiful minds. In France, it’s worse: Jean-Louis Bory, in “Le Nouvel Obs”, describes a saga of “lasagna and mandolins”vomit this “huge thing that oscillates between bluster and cookie cutter” and, to “Mask and the Feather”, adds a layer: “A mammoth dung!” » He’s not the only one who hates it. American cinema does not have a good press at the Flore. The only character that escapes the ire of critics is the cat on the Godfather’s lap.

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