ABC Notes on The Godfather
The following was written by the late Jeffery Hodes while we were getting notes from ABC on his pilot.
TO: Francis Ford Coppola
Hey, Francis. First of all, we really appreciate all the hard work you’ve put in on this.
It’s a little long. But really great work! We are so excited. Just a few thoughts:
- In the opening scene in Vito’s office, he’s petting a cat but the cat never appears any where else in the movie. Maybe we could plant something that tells us what he does for a living. Could he be cleaning a gun?
- The horse’s head thing is bit… gross. Plus, PETA will be ALL OVER US.
- We spend a lot of time tracking Michael – from the war, to Sicily, etc. Isn’t this really Kay’s story?
- Why would you leave the gun and take the cannolis? You can’t shoot anyone with a cannoli. This makes NO SENSE!
- Shouldn’t it be, “Sleeps with the fish?” instead of “Sleeps with the fishes?” Isn’t “fish” the plural of “fish”? I don’t know. I’m not a writer. But seriously it doesn’t seem right.
- We can’t understand ANYTHING Brando is saying. Can we loop him?
- Speaking of looping, those accents are REALLY thick.
- We don’t think the audience will understand the phrase, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” It’s just not clear. This is the bad words version, but what about, “I’m gonna threaten him with violence unless he does what I want.”
- Connie seems whiney.
- The scene where Sonny beats up Carlo on the street needs a funny out. It’s very grim.
- What’s with all the shooting?!
Well, we have more notes but we have to go give notes on Chinatown. God, just between you and us that movie is a mess. I mean, it’s called Chinatown but only the last minute takes place there. And there aren’t even any Chinese people in it! The whole thing is about water rights! How is that funny?!