Friday, August 22, 2014

Booknote: The Annotated Godfather

Jones, Jenny M., The Annotated Godfather: the Complete Screenplay. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2007. ISBN: 9781579127398.

This is a book that I found by serendipity at my local public library. Being a fan of the film, I knew that I had to pick it up. This was a book that I definitely enjoyed.

The book is arranged as follows:

  • A short introduction that sets up the book and the context of the film, a film that had many elements opposing its production. We learn that the books looks at various versions of the script, alternate and deleted scenes, modified film releases (done after the 1972 theatrical release), the novel, the production documents, and interviews. The book is very comprehensive in using sources to give a full and more in-depth picture of the film and its times as well as its legacy. 
  • An essay on "Genesis of The Godfather" that goes over how the film came to be and presents those involved in making the film.
  • The complete, annotated screenplay. This was for me the best part of the book. The book offers plenty of annotations with technical details, trivia, comparisons with the novel and adaptation notes, and other details. For fans of the film, the annotations may be much more interesting than the script. They certainly give depth to the film and give us a much better appreciation. This part of the book is definitely must-read. 
  • An aftermath essay that discusses the events after the film and its legacy. 
  • Appendices covering film credits, a timelines, and awards the film earned. 
  • A bibliography. 
  • An index of memorable lines. 
  • An index for the book. 
In addition to the above, the book contains great black and white as well as color photographs. These serve to enhance the book further. Also, the book's layout is good and easy to read; it does not feel cramped, making good use of white space and generous margins.

This is definitely a book I enjoyed reading. I learned much that I did not know before, and I found the book to be very accessible. I borrowed it from the public library, but this is definitely one I will add to my collection when I get a chance. Fans will want this book right next to their DVD or Blue-Ray of the film.

Giving it the full 5 out of 5 stars. 

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