Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Brown Godfathers in 2022

One year on, most voters say Brexit has gone badly Guardian

WHEN PUTIN & THE RUSSIANS SAY WHAT THEY VALUE, LISTEN TO THEM.“After a few decades of fighting relatively unsophisticated enemies – and losing one conflict against them – we should be a bit humble and critical of how good we are against the way more significant opponents intend to fight the next war against us. They’ve been watching us a lot more than we’ve been watching them.”

A writer with Dallas roots unravels the rare secrets of the best movie ever — The Godfather.

Before The Godfather began shooting, the film’s producer, Al Ruddy, was being threatened. Constantly. He and his staff “would trade cars,” Seal says, to avoid being trailed. One night, his female assistant parked Ruddy’s car in front of her home, only to hear gunshots blasting out the windshield, with a note attached “saying they didn’t want the movie made.”

And that, the author says, “was only the beginning.”

Coppola wanted to shoot, not in the Midwest, as his bosses fervently hoped he would to keep costs as low as possible, but in New York City, where the Mafia was headquartered.

Soon, Ruddy was forced to meet with Anthony Colombo, head of the Italian American Civil Rights League, who as Seal says was fighting hard against the “stereotyping of Italian Americans in popular culture.” And making headway.

Ruddy was badly in need of keeping the Mafia at bay. Prime locations were being denied. Truck drivers were threatening a work stoppage. There were bomb scares.

So, Ruddy made a proposal that felt a bit like a Hail Mary. By his agreeing to omit the single word “Mafia” from any Godfather script, Colombo was satisfied. “One deletion,” Seal says, “led to a world of cooperation. From that point on, doors opened.”

And then, a new surprise: Real-life mobsters all but demanded being cast.

At the center of it all was Coppola, who badly needed a break. Initially, Coppola was skeptical of Puzo’s novel becoming anything more than a marginal motion picture. A breakthrough came when the director finally began to see it as the saga of a king and his sons, a Shakespearean story of family, which in Seal’s view gave it the magic it needed.

Even so, moments after its release, Coppola felt less like a potential Oscar winner and more like a doomed failure. It wasn’t until his wife phoned him in Paris, where he had traveled to write the screenplay for another Evans-Paramount film, The Great Gatsby, that he began to see what soon became obvious — that he’d created something great. His wife told him that, in New York City alone, people were lining up around the block, clamoring to see his movie.

Anthony Colombo was actually a Mafia member, as was his father — who was actually shot at a rally opposing steretyping of Italian-Americans as mobsters.