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The Offer series review: Retelling of The Godfather’s making is messy, but will still strike a chord with fans

The series follows Albert S Ruddy, as he makes his way from a mundane job into the world of Hollywood, where he becomes producer of The Godfather. The Offer gives us a look into how one of the greatest movies of all time came to life. 

  • Akshay Krishna

Last Updated: 04.32 AM, Jun 17, 2022

The Offer series review: Retelling of The Godfather’s making is messy, but will still strike a chord with fans

Story: Albert S Ruddy has been tasked with producing The Godfather, which is based on the best selling novel of the same name. Little did he know that this would be harder than it looked, considering that the mafia takes a particular interest in the movie. 

Review: “It’s there for everybody, if we wanna work, dream and try to get it,” Albert S Ruddy said in his acceptance speech, holding the Oscar for Best Picture the night The Godfather won it. While The Godfather is considered one of the greatest movies of all time and the greatest American movie, the movie’s making has a troubled story to tell. As fans of the movie used to collect information about the production in all ways possible, The Offer, which has Al Ruddy himself as producer, gives a concise look into how it was made. 

While this sounds like an idea for the ages, The Offer does not live up to its true potential. The show for starters, has Dan Fogler play the legendary Francis Ford Coppola almost like a silly man. While we are not sure if this is down to the actor, the writers or even if this was how the filmmaker really behaved back in the day, this is just one of the few things that stick out like a sore thumb in the show. The acting in general is passable, but Miles Teller who plays Ruddy, Matthew Goode as Robert Evans, head of Paramount and Giovanni Ribisi as Joe Colombo all deliver standout performances. 

The show starts off with Ruddy working as a programmer, before he gets a chance to work in Hollywood via a friend and ends up creating Hogan's Heroes, a comedy set in a Nazi German prisoner-of-war (POW) camp during World War II. He then makes it to Paramount, where he is tasked with making The Godfather. Mario Puzo is also given some time on screen during the show’s early episodes, showing how he goes from struggling writer to a best selling author and how Paramount jumps in to get the rights to the book. We also get to see how Puzo and Coppola worked together, writing the script. 

It is common knowledge that the mafia was involved with the movie’s making in some way or the other, and The Offer gives us a detailed look. Al Ruddy is immediately contacted by Joe Colombo, who was the then boss of the Colombo family and the creator of the Italian-American Civil Rights League. Thinking the movie would defame the Italian Americans, he decides to try and pull the movie down, before Ruddy steps up and deals with him and the mafia, like a man who could do it all. We later learn that the mafia’s influence in the movie’s making was deeper than we knew, with them even helping production in various ways. This was achieved by Ruddy promising Colombo that the movie would not bring bad name to the Italian Americans and by ensuring that the word “mafia” is not once used in it, just like how the story goes. 

We also learn about Ruddy’s relationship with Colombo, which grows into a strong friendship, even after the mob boss ends up in a comma after a failed assassination attempt. 

There are a number of things that do not work for the show, including how even with Ruddy having worked with the show closely, there are things that seem inaccurate. It is safe to say that the viewers can have a tough time, especially in the few early episodes, to come to terms with how the big names such as Coppola are treated in the series. But once they can get past this, the show ends up being enjoyable, and even a treat, for die-hard fans of The Godfather. 

For the fans, there is a number of enjoyable information laid out in breadcrumbs through the course of the show. While some of these information about filming, like how Marlon Brando picked up a stray cat before filming his iconic opening scene, are known to fans, we also get answers to situations like why James Cann who plays Sonny actually ends up beating up Gianni Russo who plays Carlo, Connie’s husband. The episodes that revolve around the movie’s filming are some of the most enjoyable episodes on the show, because it is past the stage where we get used to seeing these iconic names in Hollywood being acted out, and because we get to relive the making of a masterpiece. 

The show’s casting is generally well done, with it resembling some of the real life characters, while the others bring them to life in their own style. Anthony Ippolito imitates Al Pacino with the actor’s mannerisms while Justin Chambers as Marlon Brando and Lisa Dobbyn as Morgana King are eerily close look-alikes. 

The show also has a number of Easter eggs, if you may, that fans of Hollywood can catch. There are a number of mentions of great movies made during the time under Paramount or others, such as Love Story, Chinatown, and The Longest Yard, which was produced by Al Ruddy. 

While Ruddy is undoubtedly one of the most important names involved in The Godfather coming to life on the big screen, The Offer often shows him as someone who can deal with issues with relative ease. One could even argue that the show ends up being all about the producer, but that is indeed the idea of the series. Ruddy was a prominent figure following The Godfather’s release, with him having produced a handful of other hits such as The Longest Yard, The Cannonball Run and Million Dollar Baby. Ruddy also recently worked as a producer on Clint Eastwood’s Cry Macho, five decades after he won his Oscar for The Godfather. 

After watching The Offer, viewers will constantly question the authenticity of what they saw on their screens. This could either be due to the fact that The Godfather’s making and subsequent release had some unbelievable stories, or because they are well and truly, not facts. While they get details such as how Ali MacGraw left Evans for Steve McQueen into the show’s story, one cannot help but think that they could have still gotten some things more into it. 

Verdict: The Offer has a few questionable moments as well as depictions of the great Hollywood legends associated with The Godfather. But it is safe to say that die-hard fans of Hollywood and The Godfather can have a good time watching the series, as it gives an inside look into how the cinematic masterpiece was made, even with it facing one problem after the other.