HBO Is Airing The Godfather Epic, Blending Parts I & II With Cut Footage

Giving fans an offer they can't refuse, HBO has announced it will air a seven-hour mashup of the first two films in The Godfather trilogy, with the events in chronological order, on January 23 at 9PM ET. The program is also currently streaming on HBO Now and HBO Go.

According to Newsweek, a version of the special, called The Godfather Epic, aired in NBC in 1979, but the upcoming HBO blend of the two films won't have the commercials and language censorship that audiences had to settle for 37 years ago. This time, the films have been remastered and HBO will also include additional footage that was never shown in theaters.

While Jacob Hall of Slashfilm reports that none of the additional footage is "vital," it is "fascinating and watching De Niro’s scenes play out prior to meeting Brando’s older version of Vito Corleone changes the color of the first film in a significant way." Hall continues by saying that The Godfather Epic cut "does significant damage to these movies as pieces (of) art... Separately, these are two of the greatest films ever made. Mashed together, they’re a slog of great scenes and amazing performances without shape or structure."

If you insist on binge watching all of Francis Ford Coppola's magnum opus, first educate yourself on things you didn't know, then catch the epic marathon this Sunday (or on-demand now). And, if for some reason that isn't enough Godfather for you, catch up on The Godfather III, which is streaming on Amazon Video.

[h/t: Newsweek]

By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett, Purchased for $10, Could Be Worth Millions
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Several years ago, Randy Guijarro paid $2 for a few old photographs he found in an antiques shop in Fresno, California. In 2015, it was determined that one of those photos—said to be the second verified picture ever found of Billy the Kid—could fetch the lucky thrifter as much as $5 million. That story now sounds familiar to Frank Abrams, a lawyer from North Carolina who purchased his own photo of the legendary outlaw at a flea market in 2011. It turns out that the tintype, which he paid $10 for, is thought to be an image of Billy and Pat Garrett (the sheriff who would eventually kill him) taken in 1880. Like Guijarro’s find, experts say Abrams’s photo could be worth millions.

The discovery is as much a surprise to Abrams as anyone. As The New York Times reports, what drew Abrams to the photo was the fact that it was a tintype, a metal photographic image that was popular in the Wild West. Abrams didn’t recognize any of the men in the image, but he liked it and hung it on a wall in his home, which is where it was when an Airbnb guest joked that it might be a photo of Jesse James. He wasn’t too far off.

Using Google as his main research tool, Abrams attempted to find out if there was any famous face in that photo, and quickly realized that it was Pat Garrett. According to The New York Times:

Then, Mr. Abrams began to wonder about the man in the back with the prominent Adam’s apple. He eventually showed the tintype to Robert Stahl, a retired professor at Arizona State University and an expert on Billy the Kid.

Mr. Stahl encouraged Mr. Abrams to show the image to experts.

William Dunniway, a tintype expert, said the photograph was almost certainly taken between 1875 and 1880. “Everything matches: the plate, the clothing, the firearm,” he said in a phone interview. Mr. Dunniway worked with a forensics expert, Kent Gibson, to conclude that Billy the Kid and Mr. Garrett were indeed pictured.

Abrams, who is a criminal defense lawyer, described the process of investigating the history of the photo as akin to “taking on the biggest case you could ever imagine.” And while he’s thrilled that his epic flea market find could produce a major monetary windfall, don’t expect to see the image hitting the auction block any time soon. 

"Other people, they want to speculate from here to kingdom come,” Abrams told The New York Times of how much the photo, which he has not yet had valuated, might be worth. “I don’t know what it’s worth. I love history. It’s a privilege to have something like this.”

[h/t: The New York Times]

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