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May 27th, 2012
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Is the book better than the movie? #788133
07/09/14 01:57 PM
07/09/14 01:57 PM
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DoctorTwink Offline OP
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I've seen the Godfather movie. Is the book like a lot of books are and better than the movie?

Or is it the reverse and the movies are better than the books are since you can see more and things get left out in the books?

Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #788138
07/09/14 02:22 PM
07/09/14 02:22 PM
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For me, it's a very rare instance where a good book was raised to the level of a masterful movie. The book gives significant space to the experiences of Johnny Fontaine in Hollywood and other stuff that really reflected what was trendy in the 60s. Coppola cut out all of the trendy stuff, and kept and tightened most of the timeless stuff. And most of the good stuff that Coppola left out of the Godfather, he was able to work into GF2.

To repeat: it's a good book, and just about perfect "summer reading."

Last edited by mustachepete; 07/09/14 02:25 PM.

"All of these men were good listeners; patient men."
Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #788196
07/09/14 10:41 PM
07/09/14 10:41 PM
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Agreed. Probably the only omission of note (simply because it didn't fit into either the GF1 or GF2 timeline) was the backstory on Al Neri.

Reading the book, I understood why he had the police uniform for the Barzini assassination.

Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #788265
07/10/14 12:15 PM
07/10/14 12:15 PM
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I saw the film first and read the novel several years later. In other threads, it was discussed how Puzo liked to throw in stuff to demonstrate how smart he perceived himself to be. I would agree.

Johnny Fontaine & Michael Corleone were essentially co-lead characters in the novel. The Fontaine plotline was wisely left out of the film version by Coppola.

Like most, I typically favor the book over the film. But in this case, I much preferred the movie over the novel. That's not to say it was a bad book, but there definitely lulls in the novel.

To add to what its da jackeeett said, I thought the background about Luca Brasi helped flesh out why he was so feared. Puzo made a good parallel between Brasi and his heir apparent, Al Neri.

Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #788600
07/12/14 12:37 AM
07/12/14 12:37 AM
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What I kind of remember of the GodFather was the Luca Brasi character was my kind of guy as I recall.

He was uninteresting in the movie. I guess they might have thought he was too violent in the book so they over looked him in the movie.


only the unloved hate
Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #788607
07/12/14 04:13 AM
07/12/14 04:13 AM
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I looked up a few of the things luca did. He killed a whore who had his baby. He had a midwife by knife point through his baby from the whore in a furnace I think the baby was a live at the time. He also killed his father, and he deserved killing.

They should have put That stuff in a movie. Then the audience would have a true understand just what Luca was to deal with. He was also totally loyal to the Don.


only the unloved hate
Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #788649
07/12/14 08:12 AM
07/12/14 08:12 AM
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Yes nobody shed a tear when Luca died. He was used by the family as pure muscle and were the only friends he had if you could even call them that. He was definitely hated by everyone.

I think Michael learned the story while in Sicily didn't he?

Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: Footreads] #788677
07/12/14 10:12 AM
07/12/14 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted By: Footreads
The mother was a whore she should have practiced birth control.

The only thing he did that was weak was not killing the bastard himself instead of making the mid wife do it.

So you're advocating throwing a baby into a furnace? rolleyes

You're a sick and demented fuck. No wonder your daughter fucking hates you. Richie Animal was a much more appropriate username. You know, the name you had here before SC threw you off the board awhile back.

Your father should have thrown you in a furnace.


"I got news for you. If it wasn't for the toilet, there would be no books." --- George Costanza.
Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #788678
07/12/14 10:16 AM
07/12/14 10:16 AM
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He wanted to but did not have the balls to do it. He found out latter he should have done it.

Going to the BBQ when they dress the Giglio on Aug 2 I am thinking about it. Then my friend Lou can tell you what happened to my Daddio smile

At least I don't hate homo's smile like some people.


only the unloved hate
Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #788681
07/12/14 10:19 AM
07/12/14 10:19 AM
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DoctorTwink Offline OP
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I may just read the book. I am a very fast reader, and I do not always have the patience to sit down and watch a very long movie.

Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #792104
07/27/14 01:05 PM
07/27/14 01:05 PM
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The Book is better in my opinion. There is a lot they left out in the movie, and if they add some of that in the movie, then the understanding of some of the scenes would make more sense to the viewers.


"I have this Nightmare. I'm on 5th avenue watching the St. Patrick's Day parade and I have a coronary and nine thousand cops march happily over my body." Chief Sidney Green
Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #805464
10/01/14 05:16 AM
10/01/14 05:16 AM
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As a visual learner there is much about the movie that speaks volumes in just a few frames.
So for me movies can tell a richer story than books can.
Though, I find myself admiring the book more.
Here's why.
From reading the book I learned so much about Life.
I have Asperger's which means I am socially retarded. I'm not Rainman, not as smart or as dysfuntional. More like Freddy (in the movie, not the book)
From reading the book I learned to pick on on people being nice and going the extra step to help out. I learned more about social interactions, and the subtleties lying beneath, from reading the book than I did from watching the movie.

They are both great. (I do admit, Puzo could've used a ghost-writer to make it a better, fuller novel; but great story nonetheless)

Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #813779
11/15/14 08:51 AM
11/15/14 08:51 AM
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I enjoyed the book,the extra detail in some of the dons plots and Michaels life but i found the johnny fontane parts boring and pointless

Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #813925
11/16/14 12:24 PM
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Yea reading about him was boring, but the book was great. I still tell folks to watch the movie first and if you like it, read the book. The added background info of the characters is like watching deleted scenes and helps you learn more about each character.

Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: dixiemafia] #814117
11/17/14 07:01 PM
11/17/14 07:01 PM
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The novel is rough-edged and often reads like a first draft, vs. the brilliant polish and attention to detail of the film. But, Puzo was a great storyteller, and the novel has many side stories that add rich detail and understanding to the Corleone saga. Among the best: The Bocchicchio's and how they helped in Michael's return to Sicily; Neri's background and recruitment by Michael; Sonny and the boiler inspectors; Vito's rise; Luca's background.

Alas, Puzo was one of those writers who couldn't resist loading GF (and especially, "The Last Don") with endless, irrelevant detail about stuff he experienced in his life. He spent a lot of time in Hollywood. Johnny Fontaine, who served a useful purpose early in showing us Vito's generosity and the reach of his power, later becomes an endlessly boring vehicle for movie industry insider detail (which was the ruination of "The Last Don"). Same with Nino, who's even more irrelevant to the main story. Also, some female friend or relative of Puzo's had a gynecological operation that intrigued him. So, he loaded us up with all that Lucy/Jules BS just so he could describe the operation that he learned about. mad


Ntra la porta tua lu sangu sparsu,
E nun me mporta si ce muoru accisu...
E s'iddu muoru e vaju mparadisu
Si nun ce truovo a ttia, mancu ce trasu.
Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #814380
11/19/14 10:38 AM
11/19/14 10:38 AM
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Like mustachepete said, it's rare when a great novel translates to the big screen and makes a great film. Quite often, so much novel material has to be left on the cutting room floor that much of the original meanings behind the novel are left behind as well. The Dune movie comes to mind when I think of it. The movie was fairly well made, but so much material had to be left behind that many of the themes were lost.

Godfather managed to avoid most of that.

Puzo could've left the Lucy/Jules stuff right out as far as I'm concerned. I skip those chapters when I read the novel.

Perhaps that's why Puzo put that in along with the Johnny Fontane saga and the backstories. He hoped that one day a filmmaker would want to make a film based on his novel and he knew they'd need some material to cut out.

Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: goombah] #814982
11/24/14 04:42 AM
11/24/14 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted By: goombah
In other threads, it was discussed how Puzo liked to throw in stuff to demonstrate how smart he perceived himself to be. I would agree

Can you (or anyone for that matter) provide some examples of is. I've read the book and who never have categorised Puzos style of writing in this way.


Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool or a coward, whoever cannot take care of himself without that law is both. For a wounded man shall say to his assailant, 'If I die, you are forgiven, but if I live, I will kill you'. Such is the rule of honor.
Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: Ama_Gi] #814991
11/24/14 05:28 AM
11/24/14 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted By: Ama_Gi
Can you (or anyone for that matter) provide some examples of is. I've read the book and who never have categorised Puzos style of writing in this way.


The most cited example of this is his rather vivid and detailed description of Lucy Mancini's 'condition' and the operation to repair it. He goes into rather deep detail about it and uses a lot of anatomical terminology that, quite frankly, is out of place in a crime family novel. It ends up spanning two chapters if memory serves me correctly.

There's also Johnny Fontane's story that is essentially backdropped by an expose of the Hollywood movie industry.

Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #815464
11/26/14 04:47 AM
11/26/14 04:47 AM
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Hm, it been almost 10 years since I last read the book, I don't recall anything about Lucy Mancini, was her "condition" a unwanted pregnancy? I'll have to go back and read it again.


Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool or a coward, whoever cannot take care of himself without that law is both. For a wounded man shall say to his assailant, 'If I die, you are forgiven, but if I live, I will kill you'. Such is the rule of honor.
Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #815498
11/26/14 07:15 AM
11/26/14 07:15 AM
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Her "condition" was...ah...yeah, go back and read the book.

Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: Turnbull] #817699
12/07/14 11:52 PM
12/07/14 11:52 PM
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here here! couldnt agree more with that

Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #849181
07/01/15 04:12 PM
07/01/15 04:12 PM
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Puzo had been covering the Bonanno and first Colombo war as a journalist, and turned what stories he heard or his investigation revealed about the Italian criminals, and put them as characters in his book. Luca Brasi was based off Gaspario Magaddino, AL Neri was based off a former NYPD cop who became a driver and bodyguard to a Capo in the Genovese crime family after Appalachian.


"I have this Nightmare. I'm on 5th avenue watching the St. Patrick's Day parade and I have a coronary and nine thousand cops march happily over my body." Chief Sidney Green
Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: Turnbull] #851173
07/13/15 12:12 AM
07/13/15 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted By: Turnbull
The novel is rough-edged and often reads like a first draft, vs. the brilliant polish and attention to detail of the film.


Absolutely the case TB. I reread the novel about once a year and am still surprised at Puzo's lack of continuity, sentence structure, etc. Still, it's a great story. The film? What can I say that hasn't been said already.

Usually, novels are better than the films on which they are based. However, not in this case.


"Generosity. That was my first mistake."
"Experience must be our only guide; reason may mislead us."
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Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #853066
07/25/15 09:16 PM
07/25/15 09:16 PM
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I hardly ever read a novel, any novel. It's much easier for me to watch a film, especially a well made film like The Godfather.

But, I happened upon the "audio" verson of the The Godfather novel on you tube. Upon listening to about 5 hours of the book, I must say, that to have brought the full Johnny Fontane part of the story to the movie, would have gotten an NC-17 rating, and would have been better directed by Russ Meyer. It's that sexual.

The Hollywood backstory is fascinating in it's own right. But, I agree with the decision to cut that out of the movie, and just cover Johnny as a very minor part of the plot. All of that is just not needed or necessary in the great gangster movie that The Godfather turned out to be.

But, I would recommend to anyone that loves The Godfather movie, to at least listen to the non-Johnny Fontane parts, to get the juicy details and backstory about the other characters.

It's easy now to attribute the detailed descriptions of characters like Sonny, to the movie. That gives watching the movie an added dimension.


"It's nothing personal, Sonny....... It's strictly business."


Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #886877
07/03/16 05:17 PM
07/03/16 05:17 PM
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I didn't know where else to post this.

Do ya'll remember that in the novel, it appears that its characters never make it to the cemetery? From my reading of the sequence of events, they all gather in the house's garden. There is no description of the cemetery, is there?


"Generosity. That was my first mistake."
"Experience must be our only guide; reason may mislead us."
"Instagram is Twitter for people who can't read."
Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: DoctorTwink] #887115
07/06/16 01:28 AM
07/06/16 01:28 AM
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Way too much on Johnny Fontane. After reading the book I got the feeling that Mario Puzo was jealous of Sinatra. Puzo said some things about Frank over the years that only further convince me of this.


"...the successful annihilation of organized crime's subculture in America would rock the 'legitimate' world's foundation, which would ultimately force fundamental social changes and redistributions of wealth and power in this country. Meyer Lansky's dream was to bond the two worlds together so that one could not survive without the other." - Dan E. Moldea, in 1989
Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: olivant] #887138
07/06/16 08:59 AM
07/06/16 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted By: olivant
I didn't know where else to post this.

Do ya'll remember that in the novel, it appears that its characters never make it to the cemetery? From my reading of the sequence of events, they all gather in the house's garden. There is no description of the cemetery, is there?


I think you're right, Oli. They're gathering to go to the cemetery, and then it cuts to the day after the funeral.


"All of these men were good listeners; patient men."
Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: OakAsFan] #887140
07/06/16 09:04 AM
07/06/16 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted By: OakAsFan
Way too much on Johnny Fontane.


One thing that's interesting to me is how the substory would have changed if Puzo had been writing at different times. I think Puzo himself sort of addressed this in GF2 by making Geary the large secondary character, which I think is at least partially a reflection of politics merging into popular culture. If you pushed it into the 80s, then you might have had a Wall Street guy.


"All of these men were good listeners; patient men."
Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: mustachepete] #887318
07/08/16 01:11 AM
07/08/16 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted By: mustachepete
Originally Posted By: OakAsFan
Way too much on Johnny Fontane.


One thing that's interesting to me is how the substory would have changed if Puzo had been writing at different times. I think Puzo himself sort of addressed this in GF2 by making Geary the large secondary character, which I think is at least partially a reflection of politics merging into popular culture. If you pushed it into the 80s, then you might have had a Wall Street guy.


Someone on youtube should do a Michael Corleone, Gordon Gekko mash up.


"...the successful annihilation of organized crime's subculture in America would rock the 'legitimate' world's foundation, which would ultimately force fundamental social changes and redistributions of wealth and power in this country. Meyer Lansky's dream was to bond the two worlds together so that one could not survive without the other." - Dan E. Moldea, in 1989
Re: Is the book better than the movie? [Re: Giacomo_Vacari] #900056
11/29/16 07:36 PM
11/29/16 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted By: Giacomo_Vacari
Puzo had been covering the Bonanno and first Colombo war as a journalist, and turned what stories he heard or his investigation revealed about the Italian criminals, and put them as characters in his book. Luca Brasi was based off Gaspario Magaddino, AL Neri was based off a former NYPD cop who became a driver and bodyguard to a Capo in the Genovese crime family after Appalachian.


I know this is old but uhh, got any links Mr. Vacari of Puzo's articles which covered the Bananas War and the Colombo War? Because I call bullshit.

Puzo himself admitted after the unforeseen success of the book and the film, that he was a literal outsider when it came to the world of the Mafia. Meaning he knew jack shit about the mafia. He admits in his memoir "The Godfather Papers and Other Things" that he was ashamed to admit that he wrote "The Godfather" entirely from research. And that he'd never met a "real honest-to-god gangster". He says he knew the gambling world pretty well, but that was the extent of it.

He'd been a novelist since 1955. I haven't seen any articles from him in relation to the Colombo or Bonanno wars, or any other articles he'd written for papers. He was hired as an editor for a group of mens magazines, in which he essentially wrote war stories for the readers. Nothing Mafia related though. And it's very well known, that like his book "The Fortunate Pilgrim", the Vito Corleone character was based on his mother, not any gangster. And these are Puzo's own words.


http://www.nytimes.com/1999/07/03/movies...dead-at-78.html


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