While the series is taking its sweet time getting to the filming scenes of The Godfather, the latest episode ups the stakes as Al Ruddy ends up being claimed as “one of our own” by the mafia.
Last Updated: 12.53 PM, May 12, 2022
Story: With the studio still in rifts over the potential casting of Al Pacino, Coppola and Ruddy have entered the post production stages of The Godfather. Ruddy truly enters a dangerous door into the mafia and the Corleone family finally sits down for a memorable dinner.
Review: The Offer, which takes its viewers to the vast and complicated process of the making of The Godfather, offers a solid episode this time around. The episode starts off with the murder of Joe Colombo’s right hand man and end with Colombo proclaiming producer Al Ruddy as one of their own.
The episode puts an end to the Al Pacino conundrum, with Paramount head Robert Evans watching Al Pacino on screen and falling head over heels. Evans’ then wife and star Ali MacGraw says, “Pacino doesn't have to say a word and I can't take my eyes off him,” giving Evans all the confidence to finally say yes to casting Al Pacino as Michael Corleone. He has to get Pacino’s contract with MGM cancelled, and at some cost.
The FBI are hot on the tail of Colombo, but the leader of the league knows just what to say to the congressman to have him pull the FBI and even get the movie back on track. Al Ruddy also catches the attention of the FBI, but is able to convince the feds that all is fine, just like he has throughout the series. There are stories of actual mobsters cast and working in the film’s production and the series gives clarity to this. Three of them were given a job in the film in the production department.
There is also added pressure on Evans, as he learns that Gulf and Western could end up selling Paramount to the biggest bidder. Juno Temple’s secretary, Bettye McCartt also finds this out after Gulf and Western head Charles Bluhdorn offers her a job with him. The makers of The Godfather will now have to make the movie knowing that everything they have worked toward could come to an end.
The episode also keeps a few interesting points for the ardent film fan to take notice, such as Dorothy’s ruby shoes from MGM’s The Wizard of Oz, Roman Polanski’s Chinatown, starring Robert De Niro and the action thriller, The Getaway, starring MacGraw and Steve McQueen. In real life, MacGraw is instantly attracted towards McQueen, eventually leading to her separation with Evans and her following marriage with McQueen. A few lines between Evans and MacGraw also hint at a start of a rift between the two.
The fifth episode, which has had a few good scenes especially for The Godfather fans, offers perhaps the best scene so far in the series. When everything gets the greenlight, Francis Ford Coppola and Ruddy decide to meet with the prominent cast members and sit for a dinner.
The dinner starts off with actors such as Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, Gianni Russo and Morgana King. But after Coppola asks them to sit down, there is a pause before Marlon Brando, the ever so effective method actor that he was, turns himself into Don Vito Corleone in front of everyone’s eyes. Soon, every single actor turns into their characters and the scene promises goosebumps to every Godfather fan. With the don's mannerisms, Connie and Carlo’s troubled relationship, Sonny’s fiery attitude, it all takes form in front of our eyes.
“You know what the word Coleone means? Heart of a lion. So if I were you, I wouldn’t bring any attention to the fact that I am the slowest in the herd,” says Al Pacino who has transformed into Michael, a line that underlines his arc within the movie franchise. Another impressive factor about this scene is how accurate the makers have gotten the casting of the late Morgana King right.
The episode also shows the pre-production of the movie, which involves the production designer and cinematographer. Gordon Willis and Coppola can be seen arguing over the use of lights and shadows for the movie that they were going to make. In real life, the cinematography of The Godfather is still renowned and used as study material with Willis eventually getting the nickname, The Price of Darkness. Another discussion is about the movie going over budget because Coppola wants a functioning kitchen in the set to film a scene. While Ruddy meets it with rift, it is yet another scene that stands out in the original movie and one that underlined Coppola’s vision for The Godfather.
The episode, however, ends with Ruddy getting a surprise he was not ready for. After Joe Columbo summons him, he puts Ruddy up on stage, announcing to the world without prior notice, that the box office collections of the film’s premiere will be donated to the cause of the league. With Ruddy having claimed his distance from the mob across the length of the series, the fifth episode ends with him realising a harsh truth. That he was now indeed, one of them.
Verdict: The fifth episode of The Offer has one of the most powerful scenes in the entire series so far. A scene that could round up the reasons as to why The Godfather became the timeless masterpiece that it did. Upping the ante, this sets up the viewers to know how it will all come to an end.