'The Godfather' is returning to cinemas for its 50th anniversary

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Watch a trailer for the re-release of The Godfather

Francis Ford Coppola’s award-winning mob masterpiece The Godfather is returning to cinemas to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

First released in 1972, Coppola's adaptation of Mario Puzo's novel has been painstakingly restored, and will return to cinemas for a limited engagement in February.

All three films in the trilogy have been meticulously restored under the direction of Coppola and will be made available on 4K Ultra HD for the first time ever on 21 March.

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Starring Al Pacino as Michael Corleone and Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone, The Godfather won Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay at the 45th Academy Awards and is regularly cited as one of the greatest movies ever made.

From left: James Caan, US actor, Marlon Brando (1924–2004), US actor, Al Pacino, US actor, and John Cazale (1935-1978), US actor, all in black suits, shite shirts and black bow ties except for Pacino who wears a military uniform, pose for a group portrait issued as publicity for the film, 'The Godfather', 1972. The mafia drama, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, starred Caan as 'Santino 'Sonny' Corleone', Brando as 'Don Vito Corleone', Pacino as 'Michael Corleone', and Cazale as 'Fredo Corleone'. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
The Godfather, starred Caan as 'Santino 'Sonny' Corleone', Brando as 'Don Vito Corleone', Pacino as 'Michael Corleone', and Cazale as 'Fredo Corleone'. (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

“I am very proud of The Godfather, which certainly defined the first third of my creative life,” said Francis Ford Coppola.

"It’s also gratifying to celebrate this milestone with Paramount alongside the wonderful fans who’ve loved it for decades, younger generations who still find it relevant today, and those who will discover it for the first time.”

The Godfather (Paramount Pictures)
Al Pacino and Francis Ford Coppola on the set of The Godfather (Paramount Pictures)

The film has previously undergone restoration work in 2007, so using that as the blueprint the team — overseen by Coppola himself — spent thousands of hours to ensure that every frame was evaluated to create the most pristine presentation while remaining true to the original look and feel of the films.

“We felt privileged to restore these films and a little in awe every day we worked on them,” said Andrea Kalas, senior vice president, Paramount Archives.

“We were able to witness first-hand how the brilliant cinematography, score, production design, costume design, editing, performances, and, of course, screenwriting and direction became famously more than the sum of their parts. It was our commitment to honour all of the filmmakers’ exceptional work.”

Newly restored and remastered in DolbyVision, all three films in the landmark trilogy will be released together with HDR-10 on 4K Ultra HD Digital and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray for the first time ever on 21 March, 2022.

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