The Godfather III: Francis Ford Coppola says cutting Al Pacino’s hair was ‘moment of no return’ for sequel

Director’s decision was ‘greeted by rebellion’ from cast, including Diane Keaton

Jacob Stolworthy
Tuesday 08 December 2020 08:44
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The Godfather Part III - Trailer

Francis Ford Coppola has shared what he believes to have been “the moment of no return” on The Godfather Part III.

The final chapter of his gangster trilogy was mired in controversy throughout production, which Coppola believes was exacerbated by his decision to cut the hair of Michael Corleone actor Al Pacino.

“There was a moment in Godfather III where the die was cast and was me saying to everyone, ‘I’m not going to do anything other than a coda,’” he told Deadline, adding: “That is, I cut Michael’s hair – that was a big deal on the set”.

According to Coppola, the decision was “greeted by rebellion” and ruined his friendship with make-up artist Dick Smith, who told him: “If you do that Francis, I’m going to resign.”

“[It] was the end of our relationship – he never spoke to me again,” Coppola said.

Even Pacino’s co-star, Diane Keaton, stepped in, telling the director: “You can’t cut Al’s hair! It is long and still beautiful.”

“It was one of the many attributes that people found so attractive [in him],” Coppola continued. “I did it and I didn’t know why I was so sure I was right to do it”.

Coppola has recut The Godfather Part III into a 158-minute edit entitled The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.

The new cut includes a different beginning and ending to the film, which Pacino say he “hopes resolves things” for Sofia Coppola, whose appearance was heavily criticised at the time of release.

It is now available to own on digital platforms and Blu-ray.

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