Friday, January 16, 2009

Ferraro's Restaurant and "The Godfather"

Every Thursday night, the Regency Theatre in Ventura reserves one of its six screens to show a classic movie instead of one of their normal, first run pictures.

Last night's Classic-of-the-Week was "The Godfather".  How could we resist?

The Real Sicilian Town of Corleone

The town in "The Godfather" where Michael Corleone meets Apollonia Vitelli who will become his first wife.

Because Corleone was too developed for Francis Ford Coppola's tastes, he used the town of Savoca near Taormina to represent the city of Corleone.

What a great scene at the cafe when Michael's two body guards are unknowingly talking to Apollonia's father about the beautiful girl that struck Michael "like a thunderbolt" when he first saw her.  I love that after the father gets angry and Michael and the bodyguards realize their offending unintentional disrespect, Michael apologizes and smoothes things over WITH RESPECT.  The part I really like is when Apollonia's father realizes the now respectful gravity of the situation, how he subtly pulls up his suspenders thus returning the respect to young Michael.  I'm sure Michael's death threat didn't hurt.

Special thanks to Claudio Mangano, a.k.a. Michael Corleone, and Roberta Dantona for both responding quickly to the question of what Michael and Apollonia were passing out to their wedding guests out of a spoon.  It was traditional Sicilian candy made of almonds dipped in chocolate and covered with a hard sugar coating known as confetti.  Different colored sugar coatings are used to celebrate different events... white for weddings, sky blue for the birth of a boy, pink for a baby girl, red for graduation, etc.

Corleone in the Distance, June 2008

Corleone Up Close

The Traditional City Map of Corleone

I couldn't find the Vitelli's Cafe on it, maybe with Laurie's help this year we'll find it.

They still have horses in Corleone.

"Liberty and Justice"
The town's motto is permanently posted on Corleone's City Hall

A Great Italian (What Else?) Dinner

To get us into the proper mood, we joined Brian and Koreen FitzGerald for a pre-movie Italian dinner at another classic, Ferraro's restaurant.

I have only seen this film one time from start to finish. That was in a theatre in Santa Barbara in 1972 when "The Godfather" first came out.  Of course, I have since seen various different scenes from it on TV over the years but never again, until last night, the whole thing.

WHAT A MOVIE!!!  First, I think you have to see it in a theatre to get the full effect that Francis Ford Coppola wanted for the viewers.  Incredible story telling and, of course, it is packed with so many key phrases that are now part of the fabric of American linguistics.

"Leave the gun, take the cannoli."

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