The Godfather: Part III

December 25, 1990 0 By Fans
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In the midst of trying to legitimize his business dealings in 1979 New York and Italy, aging mafia don Michael Corleone seeks to vow for his sins while taking a young protégé under his wing.

Release Year: 1990

Rating: 7.6/10 (117,905 voted)

Critic's Score: 60/100

Francis Ford Coppola

Stars: Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Andy Garcia

In the final instalment of the Godfather Trilogy, an aging Don Michael Corleone seeks to legitimize his crime family's interests and remove himself from the violent underworld but is kept back by the ambitions of the young. While he attempts to link the Corleone's finances with the Vatican, Michael must deal with the machinations of a hungrier gangster seeking to upset the existing Mafioso order and a young protoge's love affair with his daughter.

Writers: Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola


Al Pacino

Don Michael Corleone

Diane Keaton

Kay Adams Michelson

Talia Shire

Connie Corleone Rizzi

Andy Garcia

Vincent Mancini

Eli Wallach

Don Altobello

Joe Mantegna

Joey Zasa

George Hamilton

B.J. Harrison

Bridget Fonda

Grace Hamilton

Sofia Coppola

Mary Corleone

Raf Vallone

Cardinal Lamberto

Franc D'Ambrosio

Anthony Vito Corleone

Donal Donnelly

Archbishop Gilday

Richard Bright

Al Neri

Helmut Berger

Frederick Keinszig

Don Novello

Dominic Abbandando

Real power can't be given. It must be taken.

Release Date: 25 December 1990

Filming Locations: Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $55,000,000


Gross: $136,766,062

Technical Specs


(video version)

Did You Know?


According to Peter Biskind's book "The Godfather Companion," a 1985 script co-written by Thomas Lee Wright and Nick Marino, included a character based on drug lord Leroy 'Nicky' Barnes. When the script was briefly considered, Wright persuaded Eddie Murphy to take the role. Murphy reportedly said, "I would act in The Godfather for nothing."


A hand can be seen on the shotgun on the table in the opera, followed by a shot of the hand reaching down to pick it up.


[first lines]

Michael Corleone:
My dear children: It is now better than several years since I moved to New York, and I haven't seen you as much as I would like to. I hope you will come to the ceremony of papal honors given for my charitable work. The only wealth in this world is children; more than all the money, power on earth, you are my treasure.

User Review

Outstanding, But Sadly Forgotten and Somewhat Misunderstood by Many


Many believed that the series was complete in 1974. Even Francis Ford
Coppola thought that another installment was unlikely. However in 1990, some
16 years later, "The Godfather, Part III" was released with results that few
could have perceived. The film was not very successful at the box office and
many who did see the movie said "ho-hum". The critics were also indifferent
to an extent. A Christmas release would create enough steam for the film to
achieve a best picture nomination and seven nominations in all from the
Academy (it failed to win any though). Of course "Dances With Wolves"
dominated the night and that film along with "GoodFellas" are considered the
class acts of that year. Why has "The Godfather, Part III" failed to achieve
a following like its two predecessors (parts I & II)? I am not sure I can
answer that question. Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) is becoming an old man
and his health is slowly worsening. He wants the family to become 100%
legitimate and even makes a deal to link his finances to the Vatican.
However Michael has become a bit naive and everyone double-crosses him. Now
it appears that the only answer is to get back to the old ways. Younger
sister Connie (Talia Shire) believes that Michael has grown soft and that
Santino's (James Caan from the first film) illegitimate son should take
control (Andy Garcia, in his Oscar-nominated performanece). He is ambitious
and has the short fuse that his late father had and this is going to lead to
fireworks for the family. He also starts seeing Michael's teenaged daughter
(Sofia Coppola, Francis Ford's real-life daughter) and a romance blossoms.
Meanwhile crime bosses Eli Wallach and Joe Mantegna pose threats to the
Corleones. Kaye (Diane Keaton) has divorced herself from Michael and their
son (Franc D'Ambrosio) has somewhat sided with her. Michael's health takes a
turn for the worse as he actually goes into a diabetic coma for a time
during the film and when he does recover (not completely though) he starts
to reflect on a life of loss. The ordering of Fredo's death (John Cazale) in
the second installment and his Sicilian wife's murder in the original haunt
Michael and he tries to come to terms with his life, but learns from a
Catholic cardinal while in Sicily that he deserves all the suffering he
experiences and realizes that his suffering will be even greater in the
future. In fact there will be a finale that will be the "fatal nail in the
coffin" for Michael. "The Godfather, Part III" is focused on Michael and
that is why it is unique to the series. The first two sported so many rich
characters that it was impossible to focus on just one. This film could be
best described as "Reflections of a Life of Loss". The film is excellent and
even though it is likely the weakest of the three when you compare them, it
is somewhat unfair to put the three "Godfather" movies together because they
can all stand on their own. Great movies stand on their own and "The
Godfather, Part III" does just that. 5 stars out of 5.