Book Review “The Godfather: The Official Motion Picture Archives”

Author: Peter Cowie
Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: Insight Editions
Release Date: October 30, 2012

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“The Godfather” is one of the most iconic franchises in the history of cinema. The American Film Institute ranked this masterpiece Number 2 of the “100 Greatest Movies of All Time.” 2012 is the 40th anniversary of the film. “The Godfather: The Official Motion Picture Archives” is a nice look behind-the- scenes to see what it was like to make one of the greatest movies of all time. I remember the first time that I saw “The Godfather” and the effect it had on me as a film buff.

This book contains rare, removable memorabilia from the “Godfather” movies.  Insight also released another similar making-of book this past summer with “The Dark Knight Manual”.  I love the idea of being able to read through a book like it is a scrapbook and not a technical manual. I only wish this book was longer than its scant 96 pages.  I would have liked to see this be a lot longer, especially since it is covering the span of the franchise through its three films.  Overall though fans of the franchise should dig these very creative and unique book.

This book contains many previously unseen behind-the-scene images from the Paramount Archives. I mentioned this book was like a scrapbook and the reason behind that is the 15 removable facsimile documents that were created for this including: a poster publicizing the original film, a special leaflet on the prosthetic teeth worn by Marlon Brando, continuity sheets and a page from Mario Puzo’s novel annotated during the writing of the screenplay.

“The Godfather: The Official Motion Picture Archives” is authored by Peter Cowie, who is a film historian who has written extensively on Francis Ford Coppola’s work. He is the author of over 30 books, including a biography of Francis Ford Coppola. Fans of the series are also going to really enjoy seeing the previously unpublished photos from the set and on-location filming capturing the look and feel of 1970s New York. There are also some really great rare stills from the film’s deleted scenes. If you can get over the length of the book, then you will find that this is definitely the definitive behind-the-scenes guide into the making of this wonderful film.


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Book Review “The Stanley Kubrick Archives”

Authors: Alison Castle, Christiane Kubrick and Jan Harlan
Hardcover: 544 pages
Publisher: Taschen
Release Date: October 1, 2008

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

I have to start with this is probably the book I am most proud to have in my library. I have been a fan of Stanley Kubrick since I become a film buff many many years ago. My favorite film of his is “The Shining”, it is a film I can watch literally every day of the week. This book is such a tribute to Kubrick and his wonderful very unique work. I do not think that there will ever be another director that is able to replicate the magic that Kubrick was able to conjure up in his films. If this is the last book every written about Kubrick, I strongly believe that it will be enough to continue his legacy for years to come.

The book is split into two parts. The first part contains over 800 film stills scanned directly from the original prints and interpositives. I swear I cannot even count how many times, I have went through this section just starring at each image. The clarity of the images are beyond impressive and overall extremely outstanding. So if you think that is cool, then you are going to be simply blown away by the second part. This section contains about 800 items from the archives, most of which have never been published before. I am absolutely in love with this section and I was able to get a glimpse in Kubrick’s vision with images I have never seen before.

To continue with this books outstanding contents, there are all essays from Kubrick scholars Gene D. Phillips, Michel Ciment, and Rodney Hill. There are selected articles and essays, including interviews with and essays by Stanley Kubrick. They are a must ready for any true fan of Kubrick. Lastly there is all an illustrated Kubrick chronology. Every film of Kubrick’s is showcased and given the royal treatment in this, nothing is left out. If you can call a book breathtaking, that would be the perfect way to describe this.