For the producer Albert S. Ruddy, realization The Godfather it was as dramatic as the story written by the writer Mario Puzo.
There were extraordinary tactics, a spray of bullets and dead animals in beds, all before a frame of the legendary film was ever shot.
Paramount + drama The offer is based on Ruddy’s personal experiences from novel to box office glory. Miles Teller plays Rand’s Jewish-American programmer who has film ambitions and gets his big break at Paramount Pictures under studio head Bob Evans (Matthew Goode).
He’ll churn through lesser-known projects and co-create along the way Hogan’s heroes (who knew?) before his break with the book by Mario Puzo (Patrick Gallo). The novel proved to be a best-seller and Puzo’s salvation from his debts, but New York’s Italian community considered him a “traitor” for the revelations of his fiction. Even Frank Sinatra (Frank John Hughes) was convinced that he was the basis of a character and was furious.
Rising mobster Joe Colombo (Giovanni Ribisi), who was acting through the Italian American Civil Rights League, was one of many who worked to stop Hollywood from making the film, including plans to shoot in New York.
But assistant Bettye McCartt (Juno Temple) helped Ruddy get Francis Ford Coppola (Dan Fogler) to direct and co-write the epic, who in turn wanted the likes of Marlon Brando (Justin Chambers) and Al Pacino (Anthony Hippolytus) for his story.
Above all, the creatives were convinced The Godfather era about the family, a metaphor for American capitalism, and the price children will pay for their fathers’ sins.
The history of a Paramount classic is certainly a long one, with 10 unnecessary episodes. That leaves a lot to explore, which is both good and bad news.
There’s plenty of Old Hollywood to celebrate, from star impersonations (Ann-Margret, Ali McGraw, Vic Damone) to classic Paramount lot locations and LA pool parties.
But the pacing is uneven and some scenes seem superfluous. In an age of content overload and time-strapped audiences, what could have been distilled into a feature-length tearjerker?
None of that detracts from some fine performances, with Miles Teller anchoring this story and perfectly flamboyant Matthew Goode as studio head. Juno Temple and Nora Arnezeder as Ruddy’s girlfriend Francoise Glaze are both excellent and welcome in a male-dominated ensemble.
Giovanni Ribisi’s menace belies his light mobster tone, while Dan Fogler provides the passion needed to bring the story to the screen.
There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes tidbits and controversies around making movies to tickle fans… you’ll love Ruddy’s quote to Gulf+Western boss Charles Bluhdorn on why the film rights shouldn’t be sold to Jack Warner of Warner Bros.
There’s a barrage of 70s-inspired drama about us at the moment, and if you’ve got room The offer it might be one you can’t refuse.
The Offer is now screening on Paramount+.