What if Brian De Palma had directed The Godfather?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Il Zio, Jun 26, 2022.

  1. Il Zio

    Il Zio Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marco Island, FL
    According to Robert Evans, "In 1969 there wasn't a single Italian American director with any credibility to be found." So they "settled" on Coppolla (born 1939), who had just achieved some early Hollywood successes with The Rain People and Patton. But there was indeed another Italian American, Brian De Palma (born 1940), building a similar reputation with Greetings (starring DiNiro) and Sisters.

    So, today's exercise is to imagine how De Palma, deep in the throes of his Hitchcock idolation, might had approached some of the iconic scenes from the script. For example, how might he have applied his trademark suspense stylings to the hospital scene, already very suspenseful? Or to the Sollozzo meeting? Lemme know what you think.
     
  2. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    I'm a pretty big Brian De Palma fan, but if you look at their respective careers leading up to The Godfather, it's clear that project was more in Coppola's wheelhouse. No way they would have considered De Palma for it, nor should they have.

    But what the hell: In the Sollozzo meeting, Michael would have telekinetically levitated the restaurant knives and sent them flying toward Sollozzo and McCluskey. ;)
     
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  3. Frangelico

    Frangelico Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Vincente Minnelli was still active in Hollywood in the Sixties. Wouldn’t have been a good fit for The Godfather, but certainly a very credible and influential director. The film would have been weaker if it was DePalma - a glazed version.

    The best directors in the Sixties were from Italy and Italian, not Italian American and not American. Would their philosophies and sensibilities have worked with The Godfather ? Maybe, maybe not. Coppola, the American, was the perfect fit - hard to argue since it might be the greatest film of all-time.

    The Conversation on the other hand - that’s more in DePalma’s wheelhouse.
     
  4. Mosep

    Mosep Forum Resident

    Location:
    St.Louis, MO
    Personally I think it would still been pretty good and seems like a project right in his wheelhouse. His very flamboyant (sometimes bordering on kitschy) style of filmmaking would work well with the material.
     
  5. Mosep

    Mosep Forum Resident

    Location:
    St.Louis, MO
    Not sure about telekinesis but I'm sure the scene would either be filmed as split screen (Sollozzo eating while Michael is finding the gun) or in one continuous shot. Hell, maybe both.
     
  6. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    And for the hospital scene he'd have the camera making 360-degree turns between Michael standing with Mr. Nervous and the guys coming to whack Don Corleone. :D

    I don't think De Pama's style was suited to The Godfather, but I do think the De Palma of a few years later might have done a great job with The Conversation, as Frangelico suggested above. And the fact the script was Coppola's rather than his own would have been a big plus.
     
  7. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    probably more violence and most definitely not the same movie...and would we still have Keaton? No?, that would be a good think...her part was totally miscast...
     
  8. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    that is quite hysterical! : )
     
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  9. Il Zio

    Il Zio Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marco Island, FL
    A lot if what De Palma borrowed from Hitch includes the POV shot, seeing the action from the character's eyes. I do think more POV in the hospital scene might have been interesting. Putting the audience more in Michael's shoes.
     
  10. Il Zio

    Il Zio Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marco Island, FL
    De Palma's 1972 release was Sisters. Famously, he was somehow able to lure Bernard Herrmann into the fold to compose the music. I wonder what Herrmann might have contributed to The Godfather. Crazy, right?
     
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  11. P(orF)

    P(orF) Forum Resident

    It's fun to imagine…. Michael comes out of the bathroom with his gun and says “Say hello to my little friend…”
     
  12. Il Zio

    Il Zio Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marco Island, FL
    According to Evans, "Richard Brooks, Costa-Gavras, Elia Kazan, Arthur Penn turned it down."
     
  13. Il Zio

    Il Zio Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marco Island, FL
    Sollozzo looks at clock. Takes a bite. Says something to McCluskey. Looks at men's room door. Takes another bite.

    Michael's stretches for gun. Can't reach. Extreme close-up of gun and fingertips. Sweat on brow. Another patron knocks on door.

    McCluskey takes bite. Says something to Sollozzo. Door sounds. A family enters the restaurant. McCluskey looks up.

    Et cetera.
     
  14. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader

    Location:
    ontario canada
    I hear ya about Keaton.
    She's in all three of the movies and always sticks out. This could be a deliberate thing though. Her character was always an outcast of sorts.
     
    Michael likes this.
  15. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    well if it was deliberate it worked as intended! She was the least enjoyable character in a great franchise for me...she added nothing to the movies....I read Coppolla picked Keaton because his wife was not Italian as well...that's what he said anyway.
     
  16. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Uh Huh

    Location:
    OH
    "You're out of the family business, Carlo. I'm putting you on a plane. Here is your first class ticket to the resurrection "
     
  17. GregM

    GregM The expanding man

    Location:
    Daddyland, CA
    Coppola had the right approach, practicing great subtlety except with Santino and one or two other characters. I've never known De Palma to be capable of that kind of restraint. He tends to hit you over the head in all his films. Not a great master of subtlety.
     
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  18. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Senior Member

    Location:
    US
    He made some real stinkers, IMO, but gets a pass for "Scarface."
     
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  19. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    I thought Keaton was terrible in the first two Godfathers--the single worst thing about them. The Godfather was her second feature film, though, and she'd yet to develop as an actress. I honestly don't remember if she was bad in the third part but, even if she was, it was hard to notice among all the general badness.
     
  20. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    They might have done a good job, especially Penn, who had a flair for violence. But The Godfather pictures seemed to spark something in the young Coppola that, whatever it was, got left behind in the jungles of the Philippines. By the time the '80s rolled around, he was no longer the same.
     
  21. Steve Baker

    Steve Baker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbia, Maryland
    I don't know about the Godfather, but DePalma would have had fun with Bram Stoker's Dracula.
     
  22. HaileyMcComet

    HaileyMcComet Forum Resident

    Location:
    中華民國
    Make him an offer he can't refuse.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. HaileyMcComet

    HaileyMcComet Forum Resident

    Location:
    中華民國
    Never tell anyone outside the family what you're thinking.

    [​IMG]
     
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  24. ATR

    ATR Senior Member

    Location:
    Baystate
    So glad he made Sisters, because now we have both movies. If DePalma had made Godfather it would have been more like Goodfellas, maybe. Anyway, if you don't know this story you should. It's in the insert that came with my Sisters DVD. DePalma and his producer were considering who should score Sisters, and Pressman suggested Herrmann. DePalma didn't even know that Herrmann was still alive. So they hire him, and he's the single most costly line in the film's budget. He comes over from Europe, and DePalma screens some rushes for him to give him ideas. During the screening DePalma comments that it seems slow, but he's building tension, 'like Hitchcock'. Herrmann replies 'For Hitchcock they'll wait.'
     
  25. PNeski@aol.com

    PNeski@aol.com Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Glad he didn't, good director but not found of his visual talent
     

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