In 1972 a film came along, with a 3-hour running time from a virtually unknown director and went on to become one of the most successful movies of all time, The Godfather.
The Offer is a new series from Paramount that concerns the plight of producer Al Ruddy (Miles Teller) who starts his career in Hollywood with the low-budget TV show Hogan’s Heroes but soon becomes bored with how limiting TV can be and wants to get into his big passion, the movies.
Also around the same time writer Mario Puzo (Patrick Gallo) is a struggling writer who has little success with his novels, when told by his wife to write what he knows about he decides to do a story about a Mafia family from Italy and the trials and tragedies that befall them. After a run of flops, the studio has picked up the option for Mario Puzo’s now best-selling crime saga.
Studio head Bob Evans (Matthew Goode) is not sure the film will ever get made or be a hit but give Ruddy a shot at producing the film, but things go from bad to worse as the New York mafia and their buddy singer Frank Sinatra is passionately against the film ever being made as they think it portrays Italians in a bad way. With director Francis Ford Copolla (Dan Fogler) and main actor Marlon Brando (Justin Chambers) signed on to do the movie, every barrier that is put in the way seems to indicate it will never be completed or released, but Ruddy is determined to succeed.
There are many plot threads going on at once, from the bickering between the studio executives, (a brilliant performance by Burn Gorman as Charles Bluhdorn who almost steals the show), the way Ruddy seeks to appease the New York mafia by befriending the head boss Joe Columbo (Giovanni Ribisi), to arguing over whether Al Pacino is the right unknown actor to play such an important role (Anthony Ippolito is spooky in his impersonation of the man). But it is all put together in an entertaining, funny and exciting way that will keep you glued to your seats even if you do know the eventual outcome.
It captures the feel of the era magnificently when the producers and directors were not afraid to take chances with new stories and actors and it does it in an engaging way with great performances by all.
How much of it is true does not really matter that much, as the way it unfolds and the way it is depicted gives you a new admiration for the people that made The Godfather and the battles they went through to finish it and get it released. (There were big arguments about the running time also, a 3-hour epic was almost unheard of at this time in the late 60s and early 70s.)
It is one of those series that gets better with every episode as the characters are fleshed out and shown with all their good and bad points. For those people that love movies, and especially The Godfather, this is a must-see dramatisation that has it all, great acting, and direction and 10 episodes is the perfect length to tell this amazing story.
The series is available to view in the UK on Paramount + and has also had a DVD release, no news of a Blu-ray yet. But a Blu-ray has been released in the USA which contains over 2 hours of special features, including featurettes, deleted scenes and more! so hopefully, the UK will follow soon.
SERIES: 9.5 OUT OF 10